Location & Transportation

World Class Logistics Network

Thunder Bay has an excellent transportation and communications infrastructure, as well as international market access due to its strategic location. Goods can quickly and easily be shipped across the country as well as to destinations around the globe.

Transportation infographic

Thunder Bay's extensive transportation network gives businesses the opportunity to use the most efficient and cost effective shipping methods for their goods.


Transport truckThe Trans-Canada Highway is a transcontinental highway system that travels through all ten provinces of Canada between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Thunder Bay also has direct highway access to international transportation arteries such as port, rail, and an international airport. With its central location within Canada, trucking is a viable shipping option throughout the country and into the US.


Distances to Major Markets


Airport landing stripThunder Bay International Airport is the 3rd busiest international airport in Ontario, servicing 869,404 passengers in 2018.  With planes departing daily, goods can be shipped across the globe. Economic activity related to the Airport is responsible for an estimated $645 million dollars in GDP annually and over 5000 jobs.



Travel times to major centres


Arial photo of portThe Port of Thunder Bay is a major international inland port. With 400 ships coming through annually, an average of over 8 million tonnes of goods are shipped through the port. Keefer Terminal, at the Thunder Bay Port Authority, handles grain, coal, and potash. The port also handles lumber, steel, machinery, bagged goods, and forest products. By using vessels through The Port of Thunder Bay, businesses have a cost effective shipping method for national and international markets.

St Lawrence Seaway Ports


CN LocomotiveGoods can be shipped across the continent through the Canadian Pacific (CP) and Canadian National (CN) Railways, both of which service Thunder Bay. With access to over 20,000 kilometres / 12,427 miles of tracks, Thunder Bay is well connected across Canada and the US. The mainline of Canadian Pacific railway runs directly through Thunder Bay, providing convenient and cost effective access to markets and suppliers.

Shipping via rail is not only cost effective, but can be more environmentally sustainable than other modes of transportation. Both CP and CN offer intermodal shipping, making door-to-door service through connections with rail, trucking and sea ports possible.

Map of Railways

Access to Raw Materials

Rock containing goldAccess to raw materials has historically fuelled two key sectors in Thunder Bay - Forestry and Mining. Northwestern Ontario is covered in coniferous and deciduous forests, and for the past 100 years, Ontario has provided the world with an array of high-quality forest products such as pulp, paper, lumber, and veneers. 

Due to recent developments, Thunder Bay is now a strong contributor to Canada's gold mining industry. In 2015, Northwestern Ontario Mines produced approximately 900,000 ounces of gold and 234,000 ounces of palladium in 2017.

New Gold Inc.'s Rainy River Gold Project came into production in late 2017 as Canada's newest gold mine. Production rate will be 325,000 ounces of gold per year. Harte Gold, Treasury Metals, Greenstone Gold Mines, Goldcorp-Cochenour, Pure Gold Mining Inc. and First Mining Gold, all continue to advance major gold projects in the Northwest toward production.

New business sectors can also benefit from Thunder Bay being situated along Lake Superior, the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes. It stores 10% of the Earth's available fresh water, providing a key resource for industries such as food and beverage, deep water cooling ,and data centres, to name a just a few.

Mining operations map

Success Stories: Lowery's

Lowery staff"Geographically, Thunder Bay offered [Lowery's] an ideal opportunity to expand and grow. Access to markets, affordability and a pro-business environment has provided foundations for a nurturing business ecosystem.” Click here to download the full success story and lean more about Lowery's more than 100 year history in Thunder Bay.


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


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Why Thunder Bay

Technicians working in lab

Thunder Bay is Northwestern Ontario's commercial, administrative and medical hub.


“We ship every day… Plane leaves here at 5 o’clock every day. Our goods are in their owners hands as quick as 18 hours anywhere in North America.” - Owner, Cinevate Inc.

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