The purpose of the Waterfront District BIA is to facilitate a vibrant, diverse, mixed-use downtown area where residents and visitors collectively gather to enjoy a variety of businesses, shopping, entertainment and recreational activities in a safe, beautiful environment. 



The Waterfront District is the official organization of all of the businesses within the district. The Waterfront District consists of more than 130+ members. Our members are a wide range of businesses- from restaurants and bars to specialty shops and everything in between.

Our members represent the growth and revitalization of the north core. We also work to help bring new businesses, work with existing businesses, help improve the quality of life in the district, work to help businesses economically and much more. Our focus is growth and continued success for all of our members.



A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a not-for-profit association of the property owners and businesses in a geographic district within a municipality.

A BIA is managed by a volunteer Board of Management. The Board of Management is comprised of business owners and at least one member of municipal council.

Every business within the BIA area is automatically included in the BIA membership and contributes to the BIA budget through a special levy (tax).  The levy is paid by the businesses within the boundaries.  The Board of Management establishes the budget every year which is approved by the BIA membership then submitted to City Council.


All BIA’s have the same goal – to encourage more traffic and ultimately increase traffic and sales in their downtown business district.  The BIA acts as a unifying body for its membership, local business people working together with the support of the municipality to make their BIA a “destination” and not only for its retailers and restaurants but its professional and cultural assets as well.The Waterfront District’s priority areas continue to focus on maintaining essential services to all its members, and being a partner in addressing downtown development and growth including:

  1. Revitalizing the downtown area through regular maintenance, façade improvements, streetscape and public art programs, special events and seasonal decorations, business recruitment, promotions and municipal partnership.
  2. Promoting the district as a place to conduct business, live, work, play and stay.



Programs & Services:

  1. Planters and flowers
  2. Street banners
  3. Garbage cans
  4. Star lights and tree lighting
  5. Decorative tree guards
  6. Bike racks
  7. Seasonal decorations
  8. Annual spring clean up
  9. Special Events
  10. Advertising & promotion
  11. Social Media & Website
  12. Sponsorship donations
  13. BIA Bucks for donations
  14. BIA gift certificates for purchase
  15. Promoting shop.dine.play. downtown

2017 Board of directors

Jim Comuzzi, Chair, Rooster’s Bistro
Maelyn Hurley, Vice Chair, The Chanterelle
Jolene DesRosiers, Director, Kitty Cucumber Children’s Boutique   
David Richard, Director, Vast Benefits
Sandy Herron, Director, Sandy Herron Real Estate Sales
Peter White, Director, White Macgillivary Lester LLP
Paul Pugh, Councillor, City of Thunder Bay
Andrew Foulds, Councillor, City of Thunder Bay

 The BIA is honoured to have received this year’s Business Excellence Award from the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce for Tourism Partnership.

Pictured (from left to right): Kory Morabito, Director, Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel & Suites, Maelyn Hurley, Vice Chair, The Chanterelle on Park, Paul Pepe, Manager, Tourism Thunder Bay, Jolene DesRosiers, Director, Kitty Cucumber and Jim Comuzzi, Chair, Rooster’s Bistro

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Waterfront District BIA has many opportunities throughout the year for sponsorship. Through our many programs and events your business can be recognized front and centre.  Or there’s also the option to sponsor a capital item such as a planter, banner or public art.

Please contact the office at 343-9032 to discuss your sponsorship opportunities! 

Gift Certificates

Thinking of a gift for someone special? The Waterfront District Gift Certificates never expire.  Please contact our office or send us an email to purchase!


Board of Management Meeting – December 5, 2017 – MINUTES
Board of Management Meeting – November 7, 2017 – MINUTES
Board of Management Meeting – October 3, 2017 – MINUTES
Board of Management Meeting – September 5, 2017 – MINUTES
Board of Management Meeting – August 1, 2017 – MINUTES
Board of Management Meeting – July 11, 2017 – MINUTES
Board of Management Meeting – June 13, 2017 – MINUTES
Board of Management Meeting – May 2, 2017 – MINUTES
Board of Management Meeting – April 11, 2017 – MINUTES
Board of Management Meeting – March 2017 – MINUTES
Board of Management Meeting – February 16, 2017 – MINUTES
Planning Meeting – January 24, 2017 – MINUTES




Update your Membership Profile by filling out this form and sending it to us.