Thunder Bay Event Centre Study, Phase 2


A superior solution.

The new Thunder Bay Event Centre will replace the city’s aging Fort William Gardens with a 5,700 fixed-seat spectator facility with 20–24 private suites, and a 50,000 square foot conference centre including a banquet hall with seating for 1,000. The project has gained much attention in Thunder Bay and the surrounding region, with very polarized community opinions regarding a preferred site.

The overall goal for the Phase 2 Study, which began in January 2012, was to make a recommendation for both a preferred site and an overall building size based on economic impact, a solid financial and operational case, pedestrian and vehicular access, and quality of life. HDR | CEI’s multidisciplinary team was led by Conrad Boychuk, a native of Thunder Bay, and included experts in economic impact and business case assessment, traffic and parking, and environmental and infrastructure assessment. The estimated cost for the new facility and associated infrastructure improvements was estimated at $106,000,000.

The Phase 2 process included concept designs for three sites: a downtown site, an airport site, and an industrial park site. HDR | CEI focused on developing strong design and planning solutions for each of the three sites. After many open house and town hall events, the downtown preferred site was confirmed in November 2012.

Project Cost

$106,000,000 (anticipated)


5,700 fixed-seat capacity; 50,000 sq ft conference centre


November 2012


City of Thunder Bay


Thunder Bay, ON


Recreation & Community