Imagine yourself there.

Art on the waterfront.  Discover the story behind the Art Gallery’s extraordinary transformation.

‘Great art picks up where nature ends.’ – Marc Chagall

The proposed location for the new Gallery is on a spectacular site at the Thunder Bay waterfront.  Located south of a new condominium development on Tugboat Basin and adjacent to The Spirit Garden, the site boasts a magnificent view of Lake Superior and Nanabijou, the Sleeping Giant.

Prince Arthur’s Landing has transformed the Thunder Bay waterfront into a vibrant destination.  As a significant anchor at the south end of the development, the new Art Gallery will provide a year-round destination and further stimulus to the cultural, recreational and commercial growth on Lake Superior.

The Architectural Design Phase of the Project is currently underway.

The Project Architects – Patkau Architects (Vancouver) and Brook McIlroy (Thunder Bay/Toronto) have completed the Schematic Design and are immersed in Design Development.  Colliers Project Leaders are guiding the process for the Gallery. Gallery staff and the Board of Directors are working hard to secure funding and manage the project.

The Architectural Design Phase of the project has been generously funded by the City of Thunder Bay, the Northern Ontario Heritage Foundation (NOHFC), and the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges this extremely important early support of the project by all three levels of government.

The goal is to open the new Gallery in 2019-20.

The 40,000-square-foot building will rest beside the lake, looking towards the Sleeping Giant and offering up a spectacular view from the ground level porch and the glassed upper level.  Behind, a large berm will shelter the building and set it into the landscape.  The building features:

  • Exhibition Spaces with 16-foot ceilings that can accommodate up to six separate exhibitions
  • Beautifully functional Classrooms and Studios with over three times more dedicated space for creative art learning and Artist-in-residence programs
  • A climate-controlled Collection Storage Vault
  • A 180-foot Event Hall with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lake Superior
  • A versatile Community Room for artist talks, film screenings, and event rentals
  • A comfortable Café with outdoor seating and an expanded Gallery Shop

This significant cultural facility will provide $33 million in direct economic impacts during construction.  Once open, the Gallery’s operations will generate $2.2 million annually in direct and indirect impacts to the local economy.  As a major tourist attraction, the Art Gallery will also generate an estimated $7 million in annual visitor spending in the local economy.