Ontario Construction News staff writer
Over $33.4 million has been announced for two green infrastructure projects in Thunder Bay, including the relocation of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.
In addition to reclaiming a brownfield site, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery will build a net zero carbon public art gallery and community gathering place on the shore of Lake Superior. The Gallery Board and staff who have been planning the new waterfront art gallery for over a decade.
The new net-zero facility will include large, flexible spaces to host events and art exhibitions, classrooms and studios for creative learning and greater opportunities to experience and learn about art. It will also include more space to house the gallery’s important collection of contemporary art by Indigenous and Northwestern Ontario artists.
Federal funding will also support rehabilitation of a former long-term care home into the Matawa Training and Wellness Centre with several classrooms, multi-use training areas, individual and family transition units, a health clinic and a cultural room with a stage. The Matawa Training and Wellness Centre will provide 10,000 Indigenous peoples with access to education, health, social services and cultural programming in Northern Ontario. Retrofits to the existing structure will reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Matawa Wellness and Training Centre – Green Building Project is pleased to be one of the recipients of Canada’s Green and Inclusive Community Building (GICB) program in the country and one of two green infrastructure projects in Thunder Bay,” said Robinson Meshake, Matawa First Nations Management Board of Directors.
“We know there were a lot of other worthy projects that were proposed. Overall, this project will see a reduction of 420.8 tCO2 and an increased energy efficiency of 2,683,503 Kwh or 69.9%. This investment of $13,844,168 is a substantial contribution for which we are very grateful. It will help to continue to move this project forward towards completion in 2023.”