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2022 budget includes transit fare freeze, mostly small user fee hikes

Draft spending plan would raise most City of Thunder Bay user fees by 2.75 per cent in 2022.
With one exception, Thunder Bay Transit fares would remain frozen in the city's draft 2022 budget. (File photo)

THUNDER BAY – Residents will see a freeze on public transit fares extend to a second year and inflationary increases to most other City of Thunder Bay user fees, if city council adopts recommendations in the draft 2022 budget.

The majority of the fees charged by the city, for everything from equipment and room rentals to swimming lessons and seniors' activities, are set to increase by roughly 2.75 per cent in the budget proposed by city administration.

Most city childcare rates are set to rise by 2 per cent, with a small number of larger fee hikes.

Those figures could change over the coming weeks as city council debates the draft budget, with final approval scheduled for Feb. 7. More details on the budget process, and how residents can submit feedback, are available at the city’s website.


Public transit

The cost of public transit fares and passes would remain frozen, with the exception of the adult monthly pass, which is recommended to increase 3.23 per cent to $80.

If approved by council, it would mark the second straight year in which transit fees have been frozen.

Thunder Bay Transit is also set to expand free rides to all children 12 and under as part of a three-year pilot project. Previously, only children five and under rode free. The change will take effect in the spring of 2022.



The individual hourly rate for ice rental at city arenas (unbooked hours only) would increase 4.37 per cent, to $8.60. Other hourly ice rental rates would increase by 2.75 per cent.

The Canada Games Complex plans to add a discounted “adult with disability” 12-month membership for $447.53 – matching the seniors’ rate and comparing to a regular adult membership rate of $645.60.

Other membership levels will also add a discounted rate for adults with disabilities that will mirror the seniors’ rate.

The cost to enroll in P.A. day activities at the complex is proposed to rise by 7.5 per cent, to $43.57 per day for a first child

Most other recreation fees are set to rise by 2.75 per cent.

The cost of drop-in swimming lessons at outdoor pools will decrease slightly to $2.


Childcare and camps

Most municipal childcare rates are set to increase by roughly 2 per cent.

Some would see larger increases: Full-day preschool care is set to rise 3.62 per cent to $49 per day, half-day toddler (with lunch) rates 4.84 per cent to $4 per day, and half-day pre-school (with lunch) rates 6.38 per cent to $38 per day.

The cost of before- and after-school care is set to rise 3.5 per cent, to $28 per day.

Chippewa summer camp fees are proposed to jump 7.5 per cent, rising to $109.66 for three days for a first child, and $94.97 for an additional child.


The full proposed user fee schedule for 2022 is available online as part of the city’s posted budget documents. In many cases, fee changes would not take effect until April 1.

Ian Kaufman

About the Author: Ian Kaufman

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