This is a high quality catalyst infrastructure investment in the community unlike anything in the past and will be relevant to the local population and help with visitor retention by keeping them in the city longer with a variety of activities including enhanced charter boat access, galleries, local eateries, water park, public walking and biking trails and spa. Subsequent phases of enhanced marina capacity and a cruise shipping terminal will become important regional beacons for the regional tourism economy, drawing educated adventure seekers to the city and area. Its a large, complex and complicated undertaking but one that will play a major role in the transition of Thunder Bay's tourism economy towards a more captivating destination. When one looks at some of the most successful cities in the world, a common theme is a vibrant mixed use waterfront that brings people to the waters edge 24 hours a day and year around.
The fact that the funding for the first phase is already committed is a testament to the quality of the project and the matching of pragmatic elements with consumer travel experience demands. At last week's Ontario Tourism Summit in Windsor, talk of the development was everywhere and at a time when many economies are constricting, the positive movement is putting Thunder Bay on the tourism map internationally. There are some in the community who are fearful of change, lack confidence in our community's potential to be world class or are just unaware that we have the ability to develop infrastructure and experiences that people the world over are seeking. Its important that we move forward confidently and boldly, take calculated risks based on good consumer research and embrace everything great this city can be.
Visit www.thunderbay.ca/waterfront for more background on the project or join the facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Thunder-Bay-ON/City-of-Thunder-Bay-Waterfront-Development/139348779150?ref=ts