Thunder Bay has a supportive community where businesses help each other to thrive. Use the links below to learn more about the Business Support Organizations, as well as Research and Innovation Centres in the area that encourage development and foster growth in the Specialized Manufacturing Sector.

Business Support Organizations

Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce - The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce is focused on "Stronger business together." This member-driven organization works to advocate for Thunder Bay's local economy, engage and create relationships within the business community, and to empower business development and growth.

PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise - PARO is dedicated to supporting women in business in Northern Ontario. They provide business services, networking events, and peer support in order to empower women to start and improve their businesses.

The Entrepreneur Centre - City of Thunder Bay - The Entrepreneur Centre provides support for new and expanding businesses. Services include meetings with a business consultant, professional workshops, networking opportunities, mentoring and a wide variety of business resources. 

Research and Innovation Centres

Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre - This team supports not only entrepreneurs but all businesses in Northwestern Ontario that are working on innovation. Become a member to access business advice, market research and development assistance as well as funding opportunities and networking.

Confederation College TEC Hub - This facility will support the College’s engineering technology programs, enhance the Aerospace Manufacturing program, and contribute to the development of a skilled employment ready workforce in aerospace product parts manufacturing and aircraft maintenance. It will also host vibrant research incubation and technology transfer services supporting the region’s advanced manufacturing technology and resource sectors.

NORDIK Institute - The NORDIK Institute is focused on building Northern Ontario's capacity for research. Their research projects have contributed to social and economic justice, and provided evidence for informed policy and decision making in Northern Communities.

Confederation College - Partners in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) - This program is dedicated to promote youth employment through entrepreneurship. They provide business development support, workshops, and mentorship opportunities.

Innovative Initiatives Ontario North (IION) - IION is a regional innovation centre providing a network of strategic partners to help businesses succeed.

Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) - NOFIA is a non-profit organization, dedicated to agricultural innovation in Northern Ontario. They create partnerships to enable research, innovation, and commercialization of agricultural products and technologies.

Process and Regulations

Canada ranks first among the G7 and OECD countries for the lowest number of procedures required to establish a new business. (Source: Doing Business in 2018 - The World Bank Group, November 2017). Thunder Bay's CEDC team is here to make the process of establishing a business in Thunder Bay as smooth as possible. Our team can assist you with all of the permits, legislation, and other regulations to get your business up and running fast.

Use the links below to learn which building applications, environmental legislation, and zoning regulations apply to your industry. If you have any questions, please contact the Development Officer at (807) 625-3960.

Applications, Licenses, and Permits

Property Information Report Request Form - Submit a request form to find out zoning, zoning by-law amendments, committee of adjustments decisions, permitted uses, unfinished building permits and orders for a property.

Building and Plumbing Permits -  Apply for small commercial or large commercial building permits. Learn about permit fees, processing time, and other required approvals.

Building and Plumbing Forms and Documents -  Visit this page for supplementary information to building permits, architect and engineer design forms, demolition permits and inspection requirements.

Planning Applications – These applications include: consent to sever, minor variance, zoning amendments, as well as the appeal process and support for official plans. 

Utility Services and Utility Location Permits - This page has information regarding major utility providers in Thunder Bay and has applications for new utility connections.

Regulations and Guidelines

Interactive Zoning Map - Use this map to find the current zoning on any property in the City of Thunder Bay. 

  • Zoning By-Law - Download a consolidated copy of the City of Thunder Bay Zoning By-Law 100-2010.

  • Visit the City of Thunder Bay's Zoning webpage to see all zoning by-laws, former by-laws, surviving paragraphs or to make an enquiry.

Urban Design - Urban design is both visual and practical. People are more likely to visit a site, a neighbourhood, or a city if it looks good and functions well. Using best urban design practices ensures this. Good design makes people happier and calmer. Well-designed sites maintain their value and increase values in their area.

The vision for Thunder Bay is a city that is attractive, accessible, walkable, and resilient. To achieve this, we must use urban design best practices. The City of Thunder Bay has two documents that guide the design of private and public lands. These are the Urban Design Guidelines and the Image Route Guidelines.

Municipal Bids - The City uses the Bids & Tenders website for all bid opportunities. Register/sign-up for an account within the site that relates to your appropriate category, or Log In if you already have an account. Documents are no longer available at Supply Management.

Development Codes, Ordinances, Standards, & Interpretations

Ontario Building Code - This website provides detailed information regarding Ontario's Building Code.

Environmental Legislation

Ontario Environmental Protection Act - Download a complete copy of the current Environmental Protection Act, or search through the Act by regulations.

Ontario's Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks - This webpage includes business resources such as: Environmental Assessments, Environmental Approvals, Environmental Registry, Hazardous Waste Management, Records of Site Conditions Registry, and Renewable Energy Projects.

Reports and Publications

Learn about Thunder Bay's current business landscape and plans for growth. This section includes many resources including the city's Community Profile, Strategic Action Plan, as well as engineering and construction resources to turn your new business into a reality.

Manufacturing from Ontario's North - Download a PDF brochure which covers key statistics, notable businesses, and more information about Specialized Manufacturing in Thunder Bay.

Community Reports

Community Profile - highlights Thunder Bay’s strategic location and competitive advantages, as well as major employers. It includes Thunder Bay's statistics and demographics. 

Community Profile French – download the French version of the Community Profile. 

Strategic Action Plan – The CEDC launched their new 2019-2022 Strategic Action Plan titled Mission Possible: Agents of Change on January 10, 2019

The CEDC's focus is to:

  1. Work with partners to expand a highly productive and innovative economy ensuring it is diverse and globally effective.

  2. Develop and support joint projects in partnership that strengthen indigenous communities.

  3. Attract and retain labour while ensuring a highly educated and skilled work force is available and developed.

  4. Influence ideas to strengthen Thunder Bay and regional infrastructure.

  5. Market the economic development potential of Thunder Bay and region.


Corporate Energy Management Plan - This plan is responsible for the budgeting and monitoring of the City of Thunder Bay's corporate energy use and for creating a corporate culture of conservation through education that ensures the wise use of energy.

EarthCare Sustainability Plan- This plan works towards a more sustainable Thunder Bay.

Other Resources

Thunder Bay Statistics – Review detailed statistics on demographics, labour force, taxes, etc.

Construction Association of Thunder Bay -

Thunder Bay Companies involved with Construction of Major Projects

  • Actlabs

  • Atlas Dewatering

  • Automation Now

  • Blue Heron Environmental

  • Central Industries

  • Dingwells

  • DST Engineering

  • EKT 90

  • Equipment World

  • Fastenal

  • GC Crane

  • GFL

  • Gordon Trailer Sales

  • Intercity Industrial Supply

  • Iron Range

  • J Remus

  • KBM

  • Lakehead Insulation

  • Lakehead Iron Works

  • Lu Natural Resource

  • Management-Drones

  • Moffat Supply

  • Nordmin Engineering

  • Nu-Tech Metals

  • Payford

  • Polar Mechanical

  • Secure Stores

  • Skyway Scaffolding

  • SPF Safety

  • Superior Propane

  • TBT Engineering

  • Thunder Bay Port Authority

  • Tom Jones

  • Vector Construction

  • Venasky Electrical

  • Venshore Mechanical  

  • Wajax  

Engineering and Technical Service Companies Serving Thunder Bay
Company Name Area of Expertise
CH2M Hill Multidisciplinary consulting, design, construction & operations services in environment, energy & transportation.
Tulloch Engineering Energy, transportation, infrastructure, mining, forestry.
Hatch Corporation Mining, energy and infrastructure
KGS Consulting Group Engineers in energy, civil, water, geotechnical
WSP Canada Inc Mining, energy, environment, infrastructure, buildings
Golder Associates Ltd. Environmental, remediation
Form Architecture Engineering Architects (commercial and industrial)
True Grit Consulting Ltd. Civil, environmental, project management
EXP Bridges, energy, rail, water
Optum Engineering Inc Electronic product development, mechanical 3d modelling, electrical simulation
Nordmin Engineering Ltd. Consulting engineering firm in the resource & industrial sectors
TBT Engineering Limited Transportation, geotechnical, environmental, structural, mechanical, electrical, industrial. Materials, testing
Digital Engineering Inc. System integration, automation, energy
Animikii Wajiw Gis  
Kozar Engineering Inc. Electrical, industrial, mechanical
Tetra Tech Global Mining Practice Civil, geotechnical, mechanical, electrical, structural
Telecom Engineering Inc. Fibre optics, wireless
DST Consulting Engineers Inc. Mining, energy, environment, infrastructure
Stantec Environmental, project management, civil
Santamaria Engineering Inc. Mechanical
Sostratus Bridges, roads
Oshki-Aki Lp Engineering Project management, civil engineering, environmental, planning & development

For additional information please contact the Development Officer at (807) 625-3960 or visit our Contact Us page.


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