Thunder Bay is:
One of Ontario's largest cities
The service centre to the North with world class health, medical and research facilities
Home to an international airport, one of the busiest in Ontario
Close to the U.S. border with excellent access to the U.S market
On Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world
Largest outbound port on the St. Lawrence Seaway System
A transportation hub for Canada and the principal north-south routes from the Upper Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico
A major education centre with Confederation College, Lakehead University, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and outstanding elementary and secondary schools
Owner of the largest independent telecommunications company in Canada
Home to skilled labour, affordable real estate and housing
Rich in natural resources with the boreal forest, minerals and fresh water lakes
Developing a growing focus in molecular medicine (research in the areas of mitochondrial DNA, genetic DNA analysis, and cancer research and development)
City of Thunder Bay (municipal government)
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (acute care hospital)
Lakehead District School Board (elementary and secondary education)
Government of Ontario / Management Board of Cabinet (provincial government)
St. Joseph’s Care Group (complex care, rehabilitation, long term care, supportive housing and mental health)
Lakehead University (education)
Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board (education)
Abitibi-Bowater (pulp and paper, forest products)
Confederation College (education)
Bombardier Transportation ( mass transportation, equipment manufacturing)
Government of Canada (federal government)
Buchanan Group (forest products)
As the geographical centre of North America and the largest metropolitan centre in Northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay has a population of over 109,000 residents. Historically, the City's location as a gateway to vast tracks of wilderness made it a strong participant in resource industries like the fur trade and forestry. Today, Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario are demonstrating the capacity to build and sustain a knowledge-based economy that provides a diversity of good jobs and academic opportunities for our citizens.
Thunder Bay’s central location in Canada makes it very easy to transport people and goods in and out of the area with our airport, port, railways and highways. The Thunder Bay International Airport is the third busiest in Ontario, servicing over half a million passengers annually – nationally and internationally. The Thunder Bay Airport boasts the highest number of flying hours in the country, and is the first Canadian airport to eliminate its airport improvement fee.
Thunder Bay ranked 24th out of 179 cities that were rated as the best place to live in Canada.
MoneySense’s Best Places to Live is based on data compiled from 179 Canadian cities and towns with populations over 10,000 people. Cities were rated based on climate, prosperity, access to healthcare, home affordability, crime rates and lifestyle with subcategories in each area.
6th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey - 2010
The 6th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey expands coverage to 272 markets in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Survey ranks Thunder Bay as number one among the most affordable housing markets in Canada and 20th internationally.
Thunder Bay has excellent primary and secondary educational opportunities with over 60 schools that include French immersion programs, comprehensive special education services, an International Baccalaureate Programme and an Outdoor Education Centre. The City is also served by a Christian private school and a French school governed by its own board. The main school boards serving the Thunder Bay area are the Lakehead District School Board, the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, and the Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boréales.
The Community Economic Development Commission website provides assistance in business relocation or expansion and helps you with other business decisions. Assistance is available from professional staff and consultants in areas such as business and marketing plans, networking and next steps.
Our Funding and Resources page provides a list of resources and support for businesses and community groups.
BizPal helps you generate a personalized list of the business documents you need for all levels of government - local, provincial/territorial, and federal - in order to grow or start up your business. And if you are already operating, BizPal can help you verify that you have all the correct permits and licences.