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Ontario Strengthening Economic Development in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is providing more than $18.7 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to 24 economic development projects in Thunder Bay. This investment is building a stronger Ontario by creating good-paying jobs, supporting critical infrastructure and improving quality of life in the Northwest.

“As the largest city in Northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay is a major economic hub, industrial centre and tourism destination,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “By investing in projects from varied sectors, our government is promoting a more diverse economy and supporting job creation in the community.”

Projects receiving NOHFC funding include:

  • $1.5 million for Confederation College to expand and modernize its aviation programs, including purchasing five trainer aircraft and two flight simulators, as well as renovating and upgrading the college’s Aviation Centre of Excellence located at the Thunder Bay International Airport
  • $1.2 million for the City of Thunder Bay to further develop cruise ship docking infrastructure at the former Pool 6 grain elevator waterfront property adjacent to Prince Arthur’s Landing
  • $477,375 for the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge to build a car museum to house a collection of racing cars and automotive paraphernalia next to the Founders’ Museum and Pioneer Village.

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.

Quick Facts

  • 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.


“Confederation College is incredibly appreciative of the significant investment the Ontario government is making in the ability of the college to meet the demands of an aviation industry that so many communities in Northern Ontario depend upon for the transportation of goods, services and people. This funding also enables the college to provide and expand state-of-the-art programming for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to be successful in aviation careers.”

– Kathleen Lynch
President of Confederation College

“With financial support from the Ontario government, the City of Thunder Bay intends to transform the former Pool 6 grain elevator waterfront property to accommodate cruise ships and passengers landing in Thunder Bay. Four cruise ships have been confirmed to arrive in Thunder Bay between 2022 and 2024 with an economic impact of $14 million. This project also complements major investments made in the Thunder Bay waterfront and is a further step in realizing the strategic vision for waterfront development.”

– Bill Mauro
Mayor of the City of Thunder Bay

“For over 15 years, Council and the Museum Board have been working on establishing a home for a fabulous racing car and paraphernalia collection detailing many decades of car racing history in the Thunder Bay area. With the generous support of the Ontario government, the dream has now been realized. The new building provides the public an opportunity to appreciate the collection donated by a local resident for many years to come.”

– Lucy Kloosterhuis
Mayor of the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge