Ontario Strengthening Tourism Industry in Northwestern Ontario
SUDBURY — The Ontario government is providing $1 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to support Science North as it seeks to expand its tourism opportunities in Thunder Bay and Kenora. This investment will build a stronger Ontario by helping create jobs, expand business operations, improve quality of life and grow the tourism industry in this important region of the province.
“Our government is proud to help Science North take another step in achieving its goal of establishing a permanent presence in Thunder Bay and Kenora,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “This expansion would deepen engagement with Indigenous audiences and other communities across the northwest, while making a significant economic and tourism impact in the region.”
The Schematic Design Phase of Science North’s Northwest Expansion Project involves the architectural and visitor experiences design of a new 33,750-square-foot facility in Thunder Bay, as well as a 4,000-square-foot expansion of the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre in Kenora, and an operating plan for these potential permanent attractions.
There are no other similar science-based organizations in Northwestern Ontario that offer a similar level of educational programs or exhibits, summer youth programs and science-based economic development opportunities tailored to youth and the general public.
“A permanent Science North presence in Kenora and Thunder Bay will serve over 80,000 people across Northwestern Ontario annually with innovative, unique and interactive science education experiences,” said Jennifer Booth, Interim CEO, Science North. “The Schematic Design Phase will be informed by strong collaborations to help us better understand and serve the needs of communities across Northwestern Ontario, ensure new attractions reflect the region and its heritage and set up these centres for economic and tourism success. We thank the NOHFC and the Ontario government for its continued support of this exciting project.”
“Science North is one of our great tourist attractions and a valued cultural institution, welcoming people of all ages to the wonderful world of science,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “By supporting Science North’s expansion plans through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, our government is creating more opportunities for visitors to explore hands-on, interactive learning experiences – boosting our sense of pride in Northern Ontario’s culture, ingenuity and industrial successes.”
The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects – big and small, rural and urban – that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $473 million in 4,244 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.5 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 6,600 jobs.
- In 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.
- On March 25, the Ontario government announced a $1.5 million investment to support Science North in engaging audiences in new and memorable experiences highlighting Ontario’s innovative and modern mining sector with its Go Deeper: New Experiences to Engage Northern Ontarians in Modern Mining and Critical Minerals project.
- Science North is Canada’s second largest science centre and the largest tourism-based attraction in Northern Ontario. An agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, it has a mandate to deliver a program of science and learning throughout Northern Ontario.