Science NORD plans new waterfront home

The downtown Thunder Bay waterfront looking towards Pier Six where the Viking Octantis is moored
Thunder Bay’s downtown waterfront looking towards Pier Six where the Viking Octantis is moored © 2022 NetNewsLedger

THUNDER BAY – LIVE – Science North today announced that the Waterfront Pool 6 site will be the preferred location to build its new 34,000 square foot science center. With the potential to welcome more than 80,000 visitors annually and generate 5,000 city nights with a forecast of $6 million in visitor spending and operations, the facility would offer year-round activities to city residents and tourists – while also welcoming residents from the surrounding area. Northern Ontario communities to enjoy science education and entertainment.

Science North’s satellite base in Thunder Bay was established in 2010 and reaches nearly 30,000 youth in Northwestern Ontario (NWO) through school outreach programs, community outreach events, public, First Nations outreach and camps on an annual basis. With NWO’s growing economy and infrastructure and a proven model for bridging the gaps in culture, recreation and education through entertainment, Science North believes it is a step closer towards realizing its vision through the development of a permanent facility in the city. .

Science North’s northwest expansion project is currently in its schematic design phase which primarily focuses on community engagement, architectural design and visitor experience – which involves working closely with Indigenous communities, private sector partners, community organizations and the City of Thunder Bay to create champions and ensure new attractions reflect the region and its heritage. Outputs from the schematic design phase include the development of a detailed visitor experience, program plans, completed surveys, site plans, architectural schematic designs, and the development of detailed operating plans for the Thunder Bay attraction. This phase is funded in part by the NOHFC, FedNor, Thunder Bay CEDC and the City of Kenora.

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The City of Thunder Bay played a key role in the development of this project; in addition to financially supporting the project, key staff participated in stakeholder workshops and provided feedback and advice on next steps. The city also played a vital role in evaluating and recommending potential sites for the science center. As a result of this work, Waterfront’s Pool 6 site was selected as the preferred location for construction and Science North will continue to work with the city and other partners on future conditions.

Science North CEO Ashley Larose said, “We are excited to move forward with the schematic design phase of the Northwest Expansion and are grateful to have the support of all three levels of government to do so. Science North’s growth opportunities in Thunder Bay and the region align well with the city’s vision of a thriving and sustainable community. Choosing Waterfront Pool 6 as our desired location is an exciting step in our North West expansion. This phase of the project will also see us map the design elements and determine what the experiences will be during your visit. »

CEDC CEO Eric Zakrewski said, The Science North campus expansion project is a potentially critical project for Thunder Bay in conjunction with their consideration of the Pool 6 waterfront lands as a preferred construction site. CEDC has been working with Science North for over a year now to support the possibility of locating its new campus on these former industrial lands adjacent to Prince Arthur’s Landing. We at CEDC and Tourism Thunder Bay envision that this project could be a catalyst for other major investments in Pool 6 development associated with recent and planned cruise ship operations and tourist attractions. Ultimately, these lands could form a new hub in our community for science, technology, arts, culture and tourism, attracting thousands of visitors year-round and contributing millions to our local economy. We are proud to support Science North in its expansion project and look forward to the progressive development of our waterfront for all to enjoy.”

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Science North has also established a project office at 12 Cumberland Street North, and the public is encouraged to visit the office to share their thoughts on what they would like to see in the new Science Centre.

An online survey is also in place to gather thoughts and ideas. Science North also hosts “Downtown Science” at the corner of the Red River and Cumberland every Friday with FREE weekly science activities and demonstrations all summer long!

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