THUNDER BAY — Sail Superior Adventures, a harbour tour operator in Thunder Bay, is among the beneficiaries of a series of investments announced Wednesday by the provincial government.
The company has been awarded $456,000 for the purchase of a new catamaran.
Owner Gregory Heroux said the money is a combination of grant and loan dollars.
The boat is expected to be in service in 2020.
"With a catamaran of this size — 50 feet and a lot of deck area — we're able to cater to larger groups. Right now we have our sailboats, which take 12 people and are a lot of fun. But we're getting more requests for weddings, family reunions, corporate outings for up to 25 people. With multiple decks and different pontoons on the catamaran, we can take these groups out. We can also do dinner parties," Heroux said.
With cabins below, he said, the company will also be able to offer "micro-cruising" including overnight excursions to north shore communities and as far as Sault Ste. Marie.
Greg Rickford, the Minister of Energy, Northern Development & Mines, made the announcement of the funding.
Rickford also said the province is investing in five additional projects in the city and district:
- $200,000 for North West Helicopters for its aerial tour and charter operation
- $114,000 for Seek Adventure & Tours Inc. to establish a business that provides walking tours in the Thunder Bay area
- $101,000 for the Coalition for Waverley Park toward the cost of the multi-use stage in the park
- $140,000 for the Town of Marathon for waterfront upgrades including three new docks
- $25,000 for the Township of Red Rock to study the feasibility of a new RV campground on the waterfront
The Waverley pavilion opened last May but confirmation of provincial support for the project was not previously made public.
According to the news release, the projects together will generate 18 new full- and part-time jobs.
"With this investment, our government is strengthening the Thunder Bay region's economy...and sending a strong signal that Northwestern Ontario is open for business," Rickford said.