Tbnewswatch Local News
Sunday July 5 2015
8:58 PM EDT
2014-05-13 at 01:01

Go forward: Council ratifies LOI with group on event centre

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- A proposed event centre could open in the fall of 2017.

It’s just one of five points in a letter of intent between the city and Thunder Bay LIVE! ratified by city council Monday. The letter is non-binding and specifics terms remain confidential but a city media release highlights that no commitments can be made without future city approvals and confirmation that federal and provincial funding is in place. It also states that agreements on operation, leasing and design will be negotiated by March 2015.

“It’s important to note though, that even with an LOI to define how we work together, there is no guarantee on either side,” city facilities, fleet and transit services manager Michael Smith said.

"Certainly it's a step in the right direction."

Mayor Keith Hobbs said with agreements in place it will help when the city asks the federal and provincial governments, expected to begin in September.

"We deliver that to the feds and the province, they know that we're serious and our other partners are serious as well," he said.

Smith said funding applications are expected to take abuot six months, which would put the start of the construction phase into the summer of 2015. A two-year build would see it open in September 2017. In the meantime administration can now begin negotiating agreements, the specifics of which are confidential for now.

"Those will be unfolding. There's lots of work ahead of us," Smith said.

A schematic design will be presented to the public at an open house May 27. Members of city administration and Thunder Bay LIVE! will be there to answer questions Smith said.

Thunder Bay LIVE! is made up of Stadium Consultants International, Global Spectrum Facility Management, True North Sports and Entertainment, Lakehead University and the Thunderwolves, PCL Contractors Canada and BBB Architects.

Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error



We've improved our comment system.
The Beaver..... says:
fastball:Credit is easy...also very Expensive. Try it sometimes wen at the end of the month that big Truck comes to hound you and you have to feed the kids Kraft Dinner again for the 15th time that month.
5/15/2014 5:30:20 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
...were "ifs" and "buts", all candy and nuts, and ponies were free, then beggars would ride....
5/15/2014 10:36:24 AM
dank says:
If your neighborhood requires revitalization, don't you think there are also others with the same needs. That particular neighborhood seems to be getting all the city's attention. Whats wrong with my neighborhood on the extreme opposite end of town- it has bars and restarants. More investigation is required to see who is really benefiting from this major mistake.
5/14/2014 4:31:31 PM
Having Questions says:
Ok I haven't made up my mind as of yet if we should build an event centre or not. Probably because i still have too many questions.

Why shouldn't this be built at Innova Park? To me that makes more sense because:

1. More parking, and yes walking a few blocks is no big deal, unless you are disabled, and as you can see when you go anywhere in this town disabled parking is always full, never enough spots. I don't want to get into the debate that always comes up about so many people who have permits shouldn't because they are not disabled. Not all disabilities are visible, and if their doctor filled out their form, good enough for me, because I am NOT a doctor.

2. Innova Park has the room to grow, where the water front is land (water) locked. Should we have future sight, and not limit the potential of this event centre? Planning ahead is a good thing?

3. It is closer to LU - Is it not the plan for the Thunder Wolves to play there? - (have to finish in next post)
5/14/2014 9:39:39 AM
fastball says:
It's not just about plopping a centre down someplace - it's also about revitalizing a downtown core. It's about bringing people to an area with stores, restaurants and bars - and making that area viable again on many levels. It's not about developing yet another area where you have to provide all those services for businesses that MIGHT come down there. Those businesses currently exist in the Core area...and there's room for more.
Again...it's about the neighbourhood, not just the facility.
Other than parking, Innova has really nothing else going for it. Parking is nice - but it's not the be all and end all.
5/14/2014 1:02:21 PM
Eastender says:
Building this thing at its present proposed location will do nothing to bring in new business. Innova has room for expansion. New businesses would spring up around this centre just because of the increased traffic flow. We may even be able to attract a Costco, which pays decent wages. There is more potential att Innova park to attract new business and new construction than in Marina Park. There already are several motels nearby, and Montanas, The Keg, Caribou, Bistro One, are a stones throw away. Tims and Robins are also close. In the winter, when most events will take place, who wants to walk to a reataurant, even if its a block away. Women dress for looks not warmth, and they are not keen on walking in cold temperatures. You must not have a wife or girlfriend, or else you would know this.
Not everyone in Thunder Bay is a Neanderthal wearing a hair shirt just to,prove hes a man. Build it for the convenience of all not just a few sauna and snow afficionados.

5/14/2014 7:29:02 PM
fastball says:
Now you're just being ridiculous.
Firstly, you don't go for an after/pre-game bite and a beer at The Caribou or Bistro One. Those are top-notch dining places...not a place to grab some wings and a Blue. As for the more delicate sex - I'm sure most ladies aren't dressing up to the nines in stiletto heels to go to a hockey game in January.
If I'm at Innova - and I have to get into my car and drive at least 10 minutes (out of the lot, one car at a time) and fight traffic to get to Montana's or the Keg to get a bite and a beer after the game, I might as well drive 10 minutes and go home and eat for free. I'm getting a bite and beer near the centre because it's close and handy. I can walk.
Yes, there is potential at Innova. But for what it was created for - as an industrial zone. Not a place taken up by a giant parking lot on half of the available room there. Parking lots create nothing and provide no other service other than housing cars on event nights. That truly is a waste of space.
5/14/2014 9:28:32 PM
Having Questions says:
To finish my earlier comment....

Also everyone says that they will attend, but will they? We have a baseball team that could use a lot more support. I remember the residents crying when the other team left, and now we have another team, and where are the people?

Thunder Bay, despite the outrageous house prices, is a poor population. We have an increasing, alarmingly, homeless population. More and more residents are having to use the food banks and shelter house. The argument that other cities our size have facilities, also have other things we don't, a large surrounding population, we are in the middle of nowhere. And they have jobs, and I don't mean retail supporting retail.

We need roads! Our city is crying poor when it comes to roads, but yet want to spend money elsewhere. Build it and they will come only works if people can get there! Do you think tourists will return with the state our roads are Iin?

I think there is too many unanswered questions.
5/14/2014 6:34:32 PM
bttnk says:
@Having Questions - You really have to get out of that bubble. Thunder Bay has "outrageous" house prices? They are rated as the 2nd least expensive city in all of Canada to own a home!

Sorry I really had to stop reading there.
5/15/2014 9:41:24 AM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
So the city has decided to tear down the ONLY existing bus depot in town now too???

Hopefully this town has a plan to build & replace the bus depot that they already ripped down, let alone the bus depot they will soon be demolishing to make way for this under-sized events centre...

Council needs to wake up sometime soon.
5/14/2014 1:06:17 AM
festus says:
Most towns don't have a bus terminal like we do,did, I guess when you have a broken transit system that's how you try and patch it up.
5/14/2014 12:41:27 PM
reese says:
You will be able to afford to go there to watch hockey they will be giving tickets away at the grocery store like NHL desparete for fans
Good idea but a popular venue is required to make it work
5/13/2014 10:48:44 PM
sinkoreswim says:
This news sure made my day! (not so much for alot of other people) LOL!
5/13/2014 10:28:57 PM
S Duncan says:
its OK skyhigh, it just to butter up the fools before they go into the frying pan.

theres a saying for ideas like this..

the game players in city hall and big business put stories like this out there and "let them bake" Its just damage control to sway opinions and judge how their next moves will take place.

Only some strong actions will turn off the oven on this one, but its still possible. The only speed bump for them will be when the governments send them packing and they have to come to us for the full funding..

..and they need it because it was guaranteed to Delta for their hotel deal.

City hall isn't as good at keeping secrets as they think.
5/13/2014 11:25:30 PM
orig junkyarddog says:
More high speed lies and bullcrap, This is a no go the Liberals down east will not make a government, It will most likely be a PC minority or even a colalition government. NO Funding. Even if Wynne gets it She won,t have any power because of minority or a colition situation, Again NO Funding .This province is so far in the hole after this election it,s going to be budget cuts everywhere.NO Funding. So call me Swamy and leave your money on the jar by the door.
Doug Powell
5/13/2014 7:37:35 PM
grazzroots says:
Darn, if they build this thing my taxes will go up and then i'll have to stay home from bingo twice a year. Signman says downtown site is no good because of the parking and yet he posted that 14 thousand went to the gardens for the multiculture weekend with a lot less parking available
5/13/2014 3:23:01 PM
opinions2014 says:
Since i have moved to this city, i notice most people who are from this city complain, complain and complain. Scared of change, and being a tax payer. Big deal, get over it, we all pay taxes. Change the redneck ways and open up for change.
5/13/2014 3:18:42 PM
NowayJose says:
I will lobby hard against this - the Ontario election candidates’ will know how strongly I disagree with this farce. The federal government will be cc’d on all correspondence. I trust that all of us who are against this joke, so the same!
5/13/2014 2:43:53 PM
Black Bear says:
Lets get this place going. I'am tired of all the complainers in this town. I think this would be good for the city, you don't like it don't go. I hate going to the gardens the place is old. But i still pay taxes to keep it open!!
5/13/2014 2:34:04 PM
gone for good says:
I probably should not comment on this as I no longer reside in Thunder Bay (not my choice, no jobs left for 50 year old mill worker) but if any one thinks that all the parking needs directly behind the MTS centre have been met then they are sadly mistaken.
That venue holds 13.500 people and I have never had a problem finding a spot to park.
You walk a block or two.
I didn't realize Thunder Bays streets were any different then Winnipeg's.
Thats a lame argument.
Can your city afford it?
Who's to say. Time will tell.
5/13/2014 2:28:47 PM
Dockboy says:
Plain and simple, it's a stupid idea, we don't need it, and only a certain few will support it. Typical T. Bay.
5/13/2014 1:30:48 PM
signman says:

Taxpayers will receive their third and fourth tax installments sometime in July.

If the city is really interested in how the tax payers feel about building a $100 million dollar Event Centre enclose a survey along with their tax bill. Ask all taxpayers simply if they now support the city's proposal to build this Event Centre.

This would be far better than Mr. Commisso's $20,000 survey of less than 1,000 people.
5/13/2014 12:58:21 PM
buzz says:
And how would you survey people that do not own a home? Before people jump on me with if you do not own a home you do not get a say, remember everyone one pay's property taxes to the city, some directly, some indirectly through rent or cost of goods. So direct taxpayers are not the only ones that should get a voice.
5/13/2014 2:17:40 PM
S Duncan says:
that's why we have plebiscites. They would go to every registered voter in the city.

Id prefer if only people with tax bills had a say because we'd be running a much tighter ship if the people who paid the bills were the ones making the decisions on where the money goes.

but either way, to supress the public on this issue is a sad statement for the city of thunder bay. it reeks of corruption and cronyism.

the real reason they don't want a plebiscite is tampering with the results would be a criminal matter, with commissos survey they will be able to claim whatever they want without any accountability.

its thievery 101.
5/13/2014 11:45:12 PM
smartguy83 says:
People who constantly complain about parking need to just sit back and relax.

The project is still another year away and the City has not released all the information. There are reasons why the City would keep details confidential and I respect that.

There has been no credible report stating no parking will be added. There is also no common sense being exercised.

Parking downtown is nowhere near as bad as people think. Many establishments will allow fans to use their parking lots hoping for business before/after the game. Further, the marina has a fair bit of parking.

Lets not forget there is public transit, and also easy to implement shuttle options (like all sporting events in every single city in N America).

Public transit anyone?

Let it go!!!!!!!!
5/13/2014 12:53:35 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Name a few business's that have parking in that part of town . On another note , will local vendors be allowed to set-up kiosks in the Events Center for beer ,food or merchandise under the agreement the City has with TBLive ? I highly doubt they will be allowed thru the door .
5/13/2014 4:44:48 PM
Lpitura says:
Prospector. Cumberland restaurant. Mcdonalds. Shoreline. Dental building. Casino. Parking in behind bop, also mr sub. Behind old post office. Lot 66. On deck. Prince Arthur. Art gallery/ apartment lot. Gov building parking. Park avenue and van Norman lots. Pearl street and kayaking place lot. Even parking by the pagoda. Tons more. There is a lot of parking downtown. Ever tried to park downtown in a city with a great downtown? Name it please.
5/14/2014 6:10:27 AM
Eastender says:
Yeah, when one spot is full, you have to go to the next spot, if that spot is full you have to try and guess which spot might have an opening. So every time you go to an event, your driving around wasting your time and getting frustrated trying to find a parking spot. Not everyone hangs around bars frequently, and are not going to be familiar with all the little mud caked parking nooks and crannies in this area.
Nice try, but you dont win the kewpie doll today!
5/14/2014 6:58:02 PM
fastball says:
Wow...life is HARD, isn't it?
If the mere thought of NOT being able to pull into the nearest parking lot and having a spot appear before your eyes like magic is enough to put the kibosh on this whole project....wow.
Your head would probably explode in any other city. And the sheer hardship of driving around a couple of blocks or so looking for a spot? My god, man - the mind reels! By all means - let's nip this lunacy in the bud, shall we?
5/15/2014 7:43:23 AM
smartguy83 says:
I'll waste my time responding to you here.

Street parking, Tony and Adams, THE MARINA, current parkade, Lot 66, the Prospector, Hydro parking lot, etc etc etc.

There is no saying they will all allow parking. But I am certain some establishments will be fine with it.

A great example would be Ribfest. Downtown is packed. Where do they park!?

And no, they will not have vendors? Have you ever went for some drinks or apps before or after a sporting event like a normal human being?

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/news/240308/Parking-problems%3f Worth noting Roosters is not open past mid afternoon....No benefit to him unless he extends his hours.
5/14/2014 9:55:20 AM
dank says:
I will have a hard time going there knowing the inconvenience of parking. If you do, there is no way you can stay afterward and have a beer in one of local establishments due to strict laws and high cost of taxis. The city of Thunder Bay lives by the old saying-he who dies with the most debt wins.
5/13/2014 12:50:19 PM
downtownie says:
The minority are the ones complaining about it! Facts are and you can finds these in archives and the past local news.

Complaints from minority citizens that said NO.
They said No to the FW Gardens being built with plans as far back as 1956 for 1959 opening.
They said No to the any indoor hockey rink being built for youth in the 1960's.
They said No to the Canada Games with talks as far back as 1976 for the 1981 games being held in Thunder Bay that included the Canada Games Swimming Complex. Complaint "what are we going to do with an oversize pool?
They said No to the Auditorium with talks in 1980,81 for the 1984 completion date.
They said No to the new city Police Station being built.
They said No to the beginning and as far back and every phase since 1972 slowing building the Marina up. It is still growing!

Guess what? We have all of those items, still active, in operation and affordable in our community. I lived long enough that I know. The new facility will happen.
5/13/2014 12:36:58 PM
papercut says:

Here is a fact that you can mull over:

The average citizen, in this city, is getting taxed out!

So, even though this will be good for your downtown business on a couple of days a month....it will negatively affect the city's citizen's via tax hikes.

Seriously, do you think that taxes can go up forever? If so, you are mistaken....we are quickly approaching the tipping point.
5/13/2014 1:11:19 PM
tiredofit says:
Totally agree on the tax issue. I built in 1999, first assessment in 2000 was $2485 (approx), I've added a garage since then and my taxes today are just shy of $5400! For those of you who can't do the math, that's more than doubled in 14 years!!!

I for one am sick and tired of my taxes continually going up 2-3% a year. Then add the other increases, hydro, water, etc.. and it all adds up fast.

I took part in the phone survey last night, they said my taxes would increase only $24 a year if they build it, I find that hard to believe, but even if it was, it's going to be tacked on to the other increases this city demands every year. Then factor in the province is half way through the increase in basic assessment, I still have another $75k in value to be added towards the increase. Enough is enough. Get the hell out of the internment business. Now they're looking at a potential sports complex? Another $24 a year.. etc.. it all adds up folks.
5/14/2014 11:22:05 AM
fastball says:
Well, maybe we should tell the rest of the world to stop raising their prices on stuff we need, so we can keep our taxes the same.
Is it the city's fault that world fuel prices, or electricity, or the cost of machinery, or staff wages all go up incrementally over the years? There's no "special" Thunder Bay cost for gasoline or for paving equipment. If Caterpillar raises the price of a grader by 5 thousand dollars, can the city buyer just ask them to keep the price the same as it was in 2000 - because people don't want their tax bill to rise.
I feel your pain...I'm also a homeowner, and I wince a bit every year when I look at that bill. But I'll eat an extra few bucks on my bill if there's something out there than I can use and get some enjoyment from.
5/14/2014 2:06:41 PM
unknowncronik says:
They should have said no to the Canada Games Complex & the Auditorium because of their sizes from square one & then they build a hospital too small also....
Seems this town never learns about building buildings too small & can only blame themselves after the fact!
Build atleast a 10,000 seat capacity events centre if anything.
5/13/2014 6:02:21 PM
momof2greatkids says:
I think is so ridiculous this city can not afford this center.... our taxes are high enough...this city really need to think about what they are doing.... this is poorly spent money.... our city needs more things done way before this is done...
5/13/2014 12:30:15 PM
Eastender says:
Sorry Momoftwogreatkids, but Mr. Hobbs, and Mr Commisso arn't really concerned that your taxes will increase to pay for their playground. You'll just have to get a second job, if you want to send your kids to college, or even get to keep your house!
Hope your proud of yourselves Hobbs, Commisso, Angus, Boschcoff, et al.
5/14/2014 7:42:50 PM
OdieCleghorn says:
Until this site regulates the amount of usernames one can use or "Agrees" one can click, this comment section serves the same function as toilet paper. Could be the same person using many different aliases.
5/13/2014 12:24:52 PM
Enquirer says:
A slightly harder voting, commenting, and agreement system? Wow, look at crazy talker over here!

I ask you, OdieCleghorn, how will the usual suspects who register 50+ accounts apiece come on to spout the usual rhetoric if they have a few more hoops to hop through? How will they make it look like public opinion is on their side if they can't reply to their own posts with: "Hit the nail on the head!" "I totally agree with Henry/Ray/S Duncan/Chezhank/Chbaker/Gutshot/pieislandrefugee/whateverelseitisthisweek"?

Heck, I have even offered my extensive web programming services free of charge to TBNewswatch to revamp these system, but alas, no one took me up on the offer.

Face it...those usual posts that magically receive 100+ agree clicks while the next highest one that disagrees receives 6 would just up and disappear.

If TBNewswatch changed up, I could hear it now..."Concerned Readers of TBNewswatch" would start up...people would bang noise makers...the Magna Carta would be cited!
5/13/2014 5:05:53 PM
OdieCleghorn says:
well played Enquirer.
5/13/2014 7:57:15 PM
kitch69 says:
So parking is an big issue then!!!!!

ou812 says:

Parking is a non-issue. There will be plenty of places to park if you don't mind walking 2 or 3 blocks and if you do mind then take the bus! I'm a 20 minute walk away, so i'll walk down, drink some beer, watch a game/concert, drink more beer afterwards, then walk home.

I am not walking my little kids several block, and I am not loading my family on to a bus or shuttle to get there. What about leaving all, all these people trying to catch the same bus or shuttle, how long will they have to wait to be loaded on an over crowed bus? call the parking authority they will tell they will be giving out lots of tickets in that area if its built. and my family will not be walking up to crocks and rolls for a beer! were do you part for weekday time event, are we supose to run out every hour and put a change in the 1hour metter? the group wanting the event center built at the water frount, only answer this topic by takingthe bus, or walk
5/13/2014 11:45:46 AM
fastball says:
"I"m not walking my little kids several blocks" - oh my god, what's the big deal?
Get a stroller or carry them...just like your parents did and their parents before them. Amazingly enough, generations before you and your seeming all-too-precious cargo managed to go places even if it meant (get ready for this) WALKING several blocks. I know..nuts, eh?
I know you want to drive right up to the doors and - in a perfect world, have you and your darlings carried in a litter to your seats.
But amazingly enough - in other cities, families seem to manage to attend events just fine - and survive to tell about it. Even the kiddies.
But hey - it's all about you, right?
5/13/2014 2:23:08 PM
Jimmyjames says:
Haha you can't walk a few blocks with your kids? Maybe get them started early and buy a family pack of rascal mobility scooters.
5/13/2014 4:19:20 PM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:

this "MA-ARENA" is being built in the wrong place in this town...

the size of this small capacity "MA-ARENA" is my concern, let alone the parking concerns that will arise once its built...

5/13/2014 11:41:43 AM
crypto says:
Fast forward a few months and the response from city council will be: "We've already put all of this time and effort into planning for this Event Centre. It's too late to throw in the towel now. Let's do this!"

Meanwhile any other request for funding to help better the city will be quickly denied, as the city can't afford to spend anymore money.

But on the plus side, while I was at the Marina last week I realized how much of an eye sore it is with the new condos. We may as well get rid of some more green space and turn it into a parking lot. That will solve the parking issues!
5/13/2014 10:54:23 AM
bttnk says:
@ Crypto - I'm not really sure how to respond to your comment that residential condo's on our waterfront are an eye-sore. In actual fact, they are just as pleasant as the condo's on the waterfronts of 1000's of cities across the globe. Only in some obscure, Thunder Bay mentality stone age, is this type of residentail infrastructure an eye sore.

The redevelopment of our waterfront treasure continues and the event centre is the next piece of the puzzle. Way to go city council!

5/13/2014 12:17:50 PM
papercut says:
As long as my TAXES DO NOT GO UP to pay for this place.....Great.

If you expect the citizens to bend over and take more tax hikes to fund this palace....you are going to find that the tap is running dry!
5/13/2014 9:45:19 AM
yqtyqt says:
Which taxes are you bending over for?

Federal? They've got a balanced budget program going on. They've got it right.

Provincial? They'll spend the taxpayers on anything that will get them re-elected. Bend over my friend. As long as you vote liberal it will feel good.

Municipal? Same story. An election this fall. They'll promise you whatever you want to hear. Just don't bring fiscal responsibility into the argument. These spendaholics don't want to hear that word. Its political poison.

Here's a prediction. Bill & Mike will appear on a white horse with a vague, not committal statement any day now. Followed by the Mayor waffling back & forth (taxpayer money included). They'll come up with words like "partners", "investment in our future", "job creation", "we have a mandate".

The usual BS. The same lines as Vville, Keskus, Canada Games Comlex, the Auditorium. It won't cost a cent to operate. Build it and they will come. The same old tax sucking lines.

Be smart here. Say no.
5/13/2014 11:55:28 AM
S Duncan says:
Your taxes are definately going up for this. Just look how much money has already been spent on this.

Our snow removal budget has taken a back seat to this nonsense already, but theres never any discussion about our expenses to date for the welfare dome.

We will have to pay an optimistically projected $1.3 million just in losses for this place and thats before we consider the losses from lost business/revenue by the FW Gardens and the auditorium that will be competiting for your limited entertainment dollar.

all the math clearly shows this as an accountant's make work project which has already been directed to play the shell game with the numbers.

It needs to be stopped now.
5/13/2014 12:18:33 PM
n00n says:
S Duncan,

Please tell me how much my taxes will go up? $10,$100, $500 a year?

I am fine with all them, as I'm sure lots of other people are as well.

It's worth it, period.
5/13/2014 2:01:08 PM
buzz says:
not to worry n00n, even if the annual operating subsidy was $1.5 million, that works out to less then $40/year to your tax bill. I think we can all afford a dime a day. That is worst case scenario, depending on how the deal with Thunder Bay Live is structured it could be much less.
5/13/2014 5:08:07 PM
tiredofit says:
And what about the additional costs to maintain the Auditorium since it will no longer be hosting as many shows and events? The city will now be competing with itself for tenants to fill each center, taking away business from other private sector businesses, thus reducing the need for employees, creating more unemployment in this great town.

If Mr. Hudak is elected, he'll wipe out the vast majority of good paying jobs in this town as promised (Provincial workers, Teachers, etc..), thus there will be several hundred people who cannot afford the $75-$300 shows.

What most people forget is, a good majority of the government workers on average earn about $35-45k per year, these are the ones that will become unemployed. Not every worker earns "big bucks" like most think. Check the sunshine list, very few of them (Government side) are on it. A few directors and senior managers, that's about it. The city on the other hand, well they have loads of them.
5/13/2014 9:28:31 PM
Reignmaker says:
And the people who are fine with it will end up paying a lot more when the folks who couldn't afford those increases have lost their homes due to it. The majority cannot afford the lowest increase now, let alone a $500 increase. Shrink the tax base and the load will be taken up by the rest.
5/13/2014 5:11:11 PM
S Duncan says:
but YOU don't get to decide what other people are OK with.

besides, how desperately blind can you be for welfare hockey that you claim its "worth it" but yet you don't know what its going to cost?

I suspect you're not a taxpayer. If you are, its not in Thunder Bay.
5/13/2014 10:11:05 PM
fastball says:
But somehow it's OK for you to tell me what we can or can't afford?
5/15/2014 9:36:10 AM
S Duncan says:
Youre the one begging for money, not me.

You spend your money on what you want and I'll spend mine how I want. Thats how a free country works.

You get your 50 people together and build your hockey rink with your own money. If I feel the need to visit it I'll pay your fee.

You are advocating for the municipal government forcible theft of my money to pay for your entertainment desires. Thats wrong. If you had morals instead of greed and selfishness in your mind you would understand that.
5/15/2014 11:23:46 AM
mrforreal says:
Why don't the leagues/teams/university buy property and set up their own place to play?(or at best have the city chip in the land for FREE for the private money investors GREAT investment to the betterment of the Tbay economy and quality of life) Its not up to taxpayers to provide a place for them to play!! That way the city does not lose 1.5million a year to operate this place... but makes 1.5M a year in Taxes. But The city knows that no one will build it with private money because there is no money to be made.
5/13/2014 9:33:08 AM
ring of fire dude says:
From what I understand the City will be paying a middle-man to operate the rink , city employees will have anything to do with it . That's part of the 1.5 million deficit .
5/13/2014 4:33:16 PM
grs says:
lol...here come the comments...

You could literally close the comment section and copy/paste the 100+ comments from any of the bi-weekly event centre articles. Same people saying the same thing with the same results.
5/13/2014 9:27:57 AM
GoAwayCaneShakers says:
Your argument about the small turnout makes no sense , I support the event centre but I didn't go . Why ? Because I have a busy life with a young son who id love to take to games every chance I got , just because you don't like leaving your basement doesn't mean everyone else shouldn't . Let's give our children something to be proud of !
5/13/2014 9:27:02 AM
ou812 says:
yeah! glad I beat S Duncan to the punch!

Good work council/administrators. Let's get this rolling. I was downtown on Saturday with my son and although the crowd was a little small, it was awesome to look around and picture what will be there in few years. We strolled through the marina and saw the kids using the skate park, the impressive condos going up, and the beautiful view of the lake. next we went over and noticed the endless potential of the entertainment district. I'm sure the Shoreline Hotel will be scooped up and remodelled and other businesses will follow.

One idea for the city. Why not offer Peterson Electric and Brewers Retail a tax incentive to move to Innova Park. This would allow for more parking or other more suitable business for downtown.
5/13/2014 9:17:04 AM
fastball says:
The Brewers Retail building is going...as is the other building.
Now if they could get rid of the Shoreline, that would be awesome. But I've heard rumours of another hotel/motel chain buying it up and totally gutting and renovating it. Just rumours, though.
5/13/2014 10:52:04 AM
S Duncan says:
Dont get too excited, you didnt beat me to the punch. Its just that local politicans find my comments too hurtful and humiliating to this projects and their agendas so the sportsloving biased media that operate this site find my comments inappropriate to display...

...despite the fact that I follow all the rules.

Its sad that council is organizing this abuse of the taxpaying public with the willful cooperation of those pretending to be an honest form of media.

Ive made multiples of valid, fair, honest comments over the last few days but the editors here only support their personal agendas through their actions.

Members of council are not allowed to be fairly criticized here on this matter, nor are members of a special group allowed to be questioned for fear of upsetting them and of coure the city's directive to build this welfare faciity which will siphon money away from all of us to generate wealth for the few of us, all under the guise of entertainment.

delete? sure!
5/13/2014 11:22:37 AM
conker2012 says:
Ou812: We do not want to close down or move tax paying businesses to a sprawl area like innova. This kind of move would turn tax generating businesses into tax liabilities. The idea is nice, but to understand why it is bad you have to understand the hidden costs of sprawl. By moving these two businesses out to innova you would be displacing another new business further out away from existing infrastructure. To support a new business further out new infrastructure would have to be built and this would be a new tax burden that will have to be covered by you and me.

The solution is to redevelop downtown, but force new construction to include parking garages under their building that can be used after hours by the general public. The means that the lot would generate more tax revenue for the city while not wasting land for only parking cars.

The objective should be no open air parking downtown in 20 years, only parking garages under new buildings or dedicated parking structures.
5/13/2014 11:44:24 AM
Kam River says:
So the Multiplex is going ahead.
They have now decide who is going to design it and build it.
So no tenders on construction....

Yet it is too soon to have a plebiscite.

Yet under 200 people show up Saturday show how little community support this project has.

Next will be a million dollar ad campaign to convince us what a great benefit this is to the community.
Please stop wasting our money...
5/13/2014 8:54:02 AM
conker2012 says:
Yes there will be tenders, PCL does not have any equipment or personnel in Thunder Bay. They also do not do mechanical, electrical, roofing, concrete, and many other sub-trades, but what they do is have experience and a willingness to accept risk. The cost will not be like other TJ contracts where there are extras here and there. This will be a not to exceed contract. They get a lump of cash and a detailed spec and are told build it and don't come back to us for cash. If there are overruns it comes out of PCL's margin not our.

Funny you say only 200 people showed up.... That is double the attendance of any opposition rally.... so by that, there is double the support than there is opposition...
5/13/2014 11:52:29 AM
djs says:
" The letter is non-binding and specific terms remain confidential"....When I read this line, something in me went "Oh Oh" and I shook my head. I am perplexed to see that terms of an agreement that will affect all the people of Thunder Bay is, at this point in time, confidential. I was glad to see that funding needs to be in place before anything moves forward, but I am still going to be hopeful that the new elected council is more inclined to spend our tax dollars knowing that the it isn't a bottomless supply. The future of the waterfront for our own citizens needs to be considered before any more is sold to private enterprise. I do not want to see what little waterfront we have filled with condos and hotels....but I am laughing at those who spent money already on condos by the train tracks...I hope the walls are well insulated against the noise of trains and tourists....
5/13/2014 8:45:17 AM
fastball says:
Yes - at this time, it's confidential. Which, just like any contract - means that until every last legal T has been crossed and all parties have totally signed off on it - it's considered "confidential". Once that happens, I'm sure further details will be released.
But I'm glad to see that everything hinges on our successful application for funding. We're not on the hook for anything - which is another sign that the City is doing its due diligence and covering their bases.
5/13/2014 9:50:23 AM
S Duncan says:
Its confidential just like the Horizon Wind one huh?

I'm glad the city did its due diligence on that one too, aren't you?

Im still waiting for full details to be released on that one as well. Its a good thing the city covered their bases there too.

Lets face it, your blind support for the welfare dome has let you throw away fact, reason, and experience. You are blindly allowing the taxpayers of this city to be taken advantage of because of your own greed and selfishness.

How can you honestly trust the mayor, the manager and council after the obvious failures, flip flopping, and downright lying that they have committed?

And if you do trust them, you certainly shouldnt trust yourself because your judgement is obviously poor or clouded by greed.
5/13/2014 12:40:06 PM
fastball says:
I resent, and I'm sure other do as well - being catagorized as selfish and greedy. Yes, I support the centre - but not blindly. I don't support the city paying 100+ million all on their own - but if other parties cough up, I'm OK with it. I think it will be an integral part of this city for decades to come...and it's high time.
Other communities have taken the plunge and built facilities - and I'm not seeing any of them declaring bankruptcy or driving on perfectly-maintained streets of solid gold.
Do I totally trust Council, etc? As much as I trust any government official, I suppose. But what I do trust them to do is NOT sell us down the river. I understand the money worries. But instead of staying agonizingly static, waiting for "better times", let's look at some of the ongoing things that are costing us big money every year, and work on eliminating or reducing those. That's the bigger waste, and it happens year after year. Change the way we do some things, instead of doing nothing.
5/13/2014 1:15:26 PM
n00n says:
I completely agree with your statement fastball.
5/13/2014 1:55:03 PM
S Duncan says:
If you don't like being referred to as selfish and greedy, stop trying to spend everybody elses money to suit your desires.

shouldn't be too hard, should it?
5/13/2014 10:05:25 PM
Lpitura says:
Selfish and greedy like someone suing the city? Ya that isn't selfish and greedy. At all.
5/14/2014 5:50:17 AM
Eastender says:
Its called justice, not greed.
5/14/2014 10:32:13 AM
fastball says:
Again, you don't get to pick and choose where your tax dollars go. For those of us who living in the REAL world - taxpayers' dollars are used for a variety of things....including things that you might not agree with, personally. Us in the grown-up world merely pull up our big-boy pants and accept that not everything happens the way we'd want it to happen all the time. Most of that "get it" by the time we're 10 or so.
If you don't like the system - there's property out in the boondocks for you to move.
5/14/2014 7:38:36 AM
signman says:
The Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay will continue to push for a plebiscite on the proposed Event Centre.

These are out tax dollars and it is the taxpayers who will have to cover the huge operational subsidy every year of over a million dollars.

All we are asking for is a VOTE!

5/13/2014 8:32:29 AM
Eastender says:
More like "Moving Backwards" into a quagmire of debt and escalating taxes.
5/13/2014 8:25:32 AM
cariboukid says:
Woohoo!! Lets do this thing!
5/13/2014 8:23:16 AM
cm punk says:
This should be a dead issue.
Hudak will most likely win a minority government and given the massive cuts he is proposing, money for an event center is not in the cards.
But the city will go ahead with it anyway because taxpayers can pay for it.
5/13/2014 8:16:33 AM
S Duncan says:
It is a dead issue. Its dead in the water, belly up.

The city agenda is still pushing forward trying to ram this through under the guise of a signed contract that will cost us more not to build it than it does to build it..

and thats after the govt's both shoot it down.

you heard it here first!
5/13/2014 11:32:17 AM
smartguy83 says:
This LOI will not cost us much at all. The cost of not receiving funding is minimal. LOI = greater chance to receive funding. I'll take that bet any day of the week.

Now go crawl back into the hole you came out of until the next article gets posted.
5/13/2014 12:48:58 PM
nvjgu says:
Ya ok event center. FW gardens is toast but why do they have to put it in the middle of no parking. A 5k seat place with 200 parking spaces.
5/13/2014 7:59:01 AM
ou812 says:
Parking is a non-issue. There will be plenty of places to park if you don't mind walking 2 or 3 blocks and if you do mind then take the bus! I'm a 20 minute walk away, so i'll walk down, drink some beer, watch a game/concert, drink more beer afterwards, then walk home.

5/13/2014 9:27:26 AM
fastball says:
But another thousand or two spots within a 5-8 minute walk.
Oops, sorry...I used the W-word. Face it, if you parked at the back of the Auditorium lot, or at the back end of the Hospital parking lot - chances are that's roughly how far you'd walk to the event center.
Get over having to endure a five minute walk already!
5/13/2014 9:43:00 AM
Eastender says:
Here is something no one seems to get. When you go to an event, it is nice to know that there will be a place to park, instead of driving around in circles for who knows how long. Even if I am late to a concert at the auditorium, I know there WILL be a spot for me to park, even if it is at the back of the lot.
There is nothing more frustrating than looking for a place to park for half an hour, wasting gas, and time, not knowing if and where, and wether you will find a spot.
5/14/2014 9:42:27 AM
Eastender says:
This location for the centre totally ignores the needs of persons with disabilities. They will have to face the inconvenience of parking long distances away, and then try to make their way through snow, rain, and icy snowy, slushy sidewalks, to get to the doors.
A properly designed parking lot would give the disabled parking spots with close proximity to the doors.
This location totally disregards this need.
Even those not confined to a wheelchair have difficulty walking distances, especially in cold weather. How would you like to push a wheelchair for a half kilometer, in snow? Not much fun.
I think this location is wrong and is being pushed on this community by selfish and self interested groups of people, with a myopic vision that only includes their personal preferences, and excludes anyone unlike themselves.
5/14/2014 10:01:19 AM
fastball says:
What do these people do at the Gardens right now? They get dropped off, right? Because I sure don't see tons of reserved parking spots for them directly beside the Gardens' door.
Do you have access to the final plans that show that there's NO parking spots at all for the disabled?
Amazingly enough, people in other cities that have special needs manage to enjoy events...and I'm pretty sure that not every one of them has parking 10 meters from the door. They manage. People manage. There's more than one way to do things, you know.
5/14/2014 11:20:37 AM
Eastender says:
Yes there is more than one way to do things.
Theres the right way and the wrong way, and just because other places do them the wrong way, doesn't mean we have to copycat them.
Im hoping this thing gets totally canned, but if its going to be built in spite of the tremendous opposition, then at least do it the right way, and build it to accomodate the young, the elderly, those with physical limitations, and the disabled. And, yes, the obese also, after all they are people, same as you and I.
If an event centre is to be succesful, it has got to accomodate all of its citizens, not just the choice few athletic specimens.
Come on Hobbs, where 's your heart, I thought Thunder Bay had the big heart?
5/14/2014 1:04:23 PM
fastball says:
Well, I don't think it's possible to build a public building in Ontario anymore without every single conceivably bell and whistle for accessibility...and for the most part, that's a good thing. I'm sure there will be ramps, elevators and decent bathrooms in the joint, no doubt about it. There will be transit stops right outside, more than likely - and probably some kind of parking setup for the Hagi vans and other accommodations. There's always a work-around.
I'm with you on "if they're gonna do it, do it right."
5/14/2014 5:30:54 PM
lucky8 says:
Been here all my life. Maybe I'm getting old but dont like seeing new bigger things being built. More mistakes and waste of money? This is not the big city like Toronto.
5/13/2014 7:55:20 AM
rapaul76 says:
Here we go! Let the slogging begin!
5/13/2014 7:53:51 AM
onebyside says:
looking good
5/13/2014 7:42:36 AM
eventscentre says:
They should have had a couple of the Jets' farm team players at that rally signing autographs on Saturday, and then you would have had 7000 people. This should not take away from the hard work of the organisers though as they put in a lot of their own time on that project. Nice to see the project is rolling along smoothly-despite the protests of the jaded. Can't wait to get my season tickets!
5/13/2014 6:49:19 AM
conker2012 says:
I heard that the Thunder Bay live was invited, but due to legal reasons they could not attend. Likely they had to wait for some kind of legal agreement between the city and the group before anything like that could happen.

Makes sense that they do not want to put the cart before the horse. Perhaps once the final funding and a legally binding agreement is achieved something like that could be organized. Perhaps at a second celebratory boot hockey tourney?
5/13/2014 11:32:20 AM
Zelig says:
When we hear that funding will come from federal and provincial sources we're made to think that we don't have to pay for it ourselves, or at least not entirely. If we think for a moment, we acknowledge that the money comes from taxes but we feel relaxed because it's spread out among the province or country. If we stop analyzing at that point, we can overlook the risks of a project like this, but if we give it just a little more thought we begin to wonder how many other communities across the province or country are pitching projects like this and wanting some of those 'funds'. Would you want to pay for a project like this in some other town? You already do.
5/13/2014 6:47:22 AM
bttnk says:
@ Zelig - You fail to mention that most, if not all communities across Canada of similar size to Thunder Bay already have operational buildings such as the event centre. Thunder Bay, as per usual, is lagging behind the rest of the country.
5/13/2014 9:13:48 AM
Zelig says:
How do you measure this state of lagging? Do you simply compare Tbay to cities of similar population and assume that we should have everything they have? Do your neighbours have a nicer car than you, or a bigger pool, or are you and they equal in every way. Does their or your income, lifestyle, age, career potential, etc have any impact on the level of affluence that they can support? Free market logic is set aside when tax dollars and loose lending are widely available but the free ride is usually brief and followed by pain. The pain though, is usually delayed and borne by people who have no idea what is causing it. Like the pain we're feeling now.
5/13/2014 12:05:08 PM
bttnk says:
@ Zelig - With all due respect, speak for yourself when you suggest that "we" are feeling pain right now. Most of the people I speak to at many events and social functions across the city are feeling excitement and pride in their city for the first time in decades.

I measure the state of lagging by comparing cities of similar size and looking at their developed infrastructure. Things that bring people and commerce together, attracting business and working professionals to a community. I would suggest to you, that the following criteria are some of things that would be measured.

•Major port with national influence

•High-quality educational institutions, including renowned universities, international student attendance and research facilities

•Multi-functional infrastructure offering some of the best legal, medical and entertainment facilities in the country

•Centres of new ideas and innovation in business, economics, culture and politics
5/14/2014 8:30:51 AM
progress now says:
I have to tell you bttnk, I get a real lump in my throat when I see the Royal Edward, and flush with pride as I walk down east Victoria.

I say if that doesn't do it for ya, take delight our infrastructure surtaxes and budgets that last about a month. I know there are naysayers that complain about the millions pumped out of our community by the casino, but look at the good that it does - the city gets 5 percent of the action on the slots, and now we can afford the SOS program!

I guess folks here attend different parties than you. The folks they speak to talk about an administration's ambition that does not match our reality, and a rob Peter to pay Paul public policy that will continue to blight our neighborhoods well into the future.

But hey, lets let consultants rule the day. What do people know about their own city? No wisdom there.

5/14/2014 7:24:27 PM
Zelig says:
Thank you for clarifying your measuring tools and for the extension of respect. I do agree that there are sectors of Tbay that seem to be thriving and some exciting new forays into niches that give the city some neat character. My use of the word 'pain' was meant in a larger context, encompassing global issues and the breadth of social classes. Ultimately, this pain can be sourced back to the advent of the corporation, and the accelerating shift of wealth and power from men and women to artificial entities with no soul. The enthusiasm you feel is enviable but I think it can only be sustained by ignoring the deeper reality of our situation and the tenuous nature of it all. I say this with genuine respect and thank you for the exchange.
5/15/2014 6:45:18 AM
progress now says:
So the rationale is we should have one because other communities do? There has got to be a little more to it than that.
5/14/2014 7:07:50 PM
Oldnews says:
They quote going to the Feds and to the Prov. for welfare money handout?. It's very clear the province is broke and are looking for ways to spend find money for the transit system in Toronto. I guess there will be a another hydro rate increase in the future to cover the costs in Toronto; never mind other parts of the province? Ya I hear the politicians trying to get elected saying something else about hydro.
5/13/2014 6:42:21 AM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
We will move forward in October 2014 when we vote these fools out.
5/13/2014 6:10:19 AM
bluebear1985 says:
The only fools are those that are stuck too far back in the past and are too resistant to change. It will happen eventually whether people like it or not. Let's face it, Thunder Bay needs change in more ways than one. Getting this event centre built would be a step in the right direction.
5/13/2014 9:04:29 AM
Reignmaker says:
In reality, the fools are the ones believing that the majority of people in this town can still afford to go to events with enough frequency to make this work. The people "stuck too far back in the past" are the folks who still think we have the jobs we used to that allow for massive amounts of disposable income. Sorry to tell you this, we do not anymore.

Even when we did, we lost hockey teams because they weren't supported then.
5/13/2014 10:30:15 AM
fastball says:
You make it seem like we're teetering on the edge of poverty here.
That's funny..when I see all those new pickup trucks and SUV's in driveways parked next to ANOTHER vehicle - I wonder where all this poverty is. I see all those new 400K dollar homes advertised in the real estate papers, and they're getting snapped up apparently. I see lineups for coffee at every Tim's and Robin's locations. I see the Mall parking lot FULL every weekend. I see boats and motors and trailers hauled out to camp every weekend.
Seems to me that if we don't have "massive amounts of disposable income", it's because we've chosen to spend it elsewhere.
5/13/2014 10:59:07 AM
Just Sayin' says:
That's thanks to the Liberal spending machine. What you are seeing are Govn't employees driving in their shiney cars with their hyper-inflated salaries. Hopefully Hudak can help with this.
5/13/2014 1:03:48 PM
fastball says:
I'm pretty sure that out of 100,000 people in town - "government employees with hyper-inflated salaries in shiny new cars" are a pretty miniscule percentage.
But as long as we're blaming "them" instead of "us", right?
5/13/2014 2:51:44 PM
Allan J. says:
that miniscule amount is the same miniscule amount that want this and even less can actually afford it.
5/13/2014 5:34:00 PM
realisticone says:
It's called debt....and many are sinking in it. Ontario leads the way ahead of California and right next to Greece.
5/13/2014 2:06:12 PM
rob20 says:
Check what their mortgages are and ask yourself if a 25-30+ year mortgage makes sense. Just because people can take on a massive amount in mortgage does not mean they have large disposable incomes... it only means banks having nothing to lose because they can always foreclose on them and take the assets in the end.
5/13/2014 4:11:17 PM
Zelig says:
The 'banks having nothing to lose' is not just because they can foreclose on the assets, it's also because they aren't risking any of their own money when they lend. Unravel the mystery of where 'money' comes from and your life will never be the same. It's all a brilliant, brilliant scam.
5/13/2014 5:19:26 PM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:

"The only fools are those that are stuck too far back in the past and are too resistant to change?"

--change is good if the ideas are good.
"Thunder Bay needs change in more ways than one"

--yes, I can see council playing thier guitars & a sprawled out hat in front of them trying to get peoples' "spare change" as they walk by because that's where this town is headed soon.
5/14/2014 1:12:51 AM
Eastender says:
From all the comments on this site, people I have talked to, the polls that have been taken, be they scientific or not, the concensus seems to be, that about 60% of this town is against building this project, and about 35% is for it.
Yet the mayor and council blindly continue to pursue this gigantic mistake.
There is something seriously wrong with a system that can go against tne will of an obviously major group of citizens, and that can defy democratic efforts to make decisions that will represent the will of the majority. This city should be angry, very angry to see this travesty of democracy forced on them. Shame on you Hobbs, shame on all you councilors that have ignored the voice of your constituents, for not giving them the venue of a plebiscite to be able to make tne democratic decision.
5/14/2014 10:24:05 AM
TBDR says:
I'd take that bet any day. Last election everyone on here was convinced we'd make a wholesale change on council... it didn't happen at all. Our economy, housing market,and crime rate is all better now than it was 4 years ago. You can hope all you want for big changes... but they aren't coming.
5/13/2014 9:38:39 AM
Comments for this story are semi-moderated. Read our comment guideline.

Add a new comment.
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Log In