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 and/or property owners and at least one member of municipal council.

Every property and 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 property owners and businesses within the boundaries.  The Board of Management establishes the budget every year which is presented to the BIA membership then submitted to City Council for approval.


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 shop, eat, playstay, live, work ~ do business.



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.eat.play … stay
  16. Promoting live, work and do business

2018 Board of Management

Jim Comuzzi, Chair, Rooster’s Bistro
Maelyn Hurley, Vice Chair, The Chanterelle on Park
David Richard, Treasurer, Vast Benefits
Jolene DesRosiers, Director, Kitty Cucumber Children’s Boutique   
Sandy Herron, Director, StreetCity Realty Inc., Brokerage
Peter White, Director, White Macgillivary Lester LLP
Paul Pugh, Councillor, City of Thunder Bay
Andrew Foulds, Councillor, City of Thunder Bay


  The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce 2017 Business Excellence Award For Tourism Partner: The Waterfront District BIA

The BIA was honoured to receive the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce 2017 Business Excellence Award for Tourism Partner.

Photo (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 Children’s Boutique and Jim Comuzzi, Chair, Rooster’s Bistro (Missing:  Dave Richard, Director, VAST Benefits, Sandy Herron, Director, StreetCity Realty Inc., Peter White, Director, White Macgillivray Lester, Andrew Foulds, City Councillor & Paul Pugh, City Councillor)


Sponsorship Opportunities

Corporate Sponsorship:

The Waterfront District BIA has many opportunities throughout the year for sponsorship. Through our many programs and services 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.  You can review our sponsorship opportunities package here.  Please contact the office at 343-9032 to discuss your opportunities!

BIA Sponsorships/Donations Guidelines & Application Form:

The Board of Management establishes funds annually for donating BIA Bucks to our members’ projects or events as well as community events that fit our criteria.  If you would like to request funding from the Waterfront District BIA, download the Sponsorships/Donations Guidelines and Application form.  Requests must be received by the 21st of the month for review at the next Board meeting.  Please email your completed application to:  thewaterfrontdistrict@tbaytel.net.

BIA Bucks & BIA Gift Certificates

The Waterfront District BIA Bucks and Gift Certificates program promote the Waterfront District BIA as the place to shop, eat, play … stay, work and do business.  The BIA Bucks and BIA Gift Certificates are administered by the Waterfront District BIA.

BIA Bucks:

Spend the BIA Bucks coupon as cash at participating businesses in the Waterfront District. The BIA Bucks coupons are valid and redeemable for goods and services at participating businesses for stated value. Purchases exclude tobacco products, lottery tickets and gambling. BIA Business participation and product availability are subject to change at any time. Please inquire prior to your purchase with the BIA Business that you hope to spend the BIA Bucks. Participating businesses reserve the right to limit use when in conjunction with another offer. Please check the coupon expiry date. No change will be given.

BIA Gift Certificates:

Thinking of a gift for someone special? The Waterfront District Gift Certificates never expire.  The BIA Gift Certificates are valid and redeemable for goods and services at participating businesses for stated value. Purchases exclude tobacco products, lottery tickets and gambling.  BIA Business participation and product availability are subject to change at any time.  Please inquire prior to your purchase with the BIA Business that you hope to spend the BIA Gift Certificates. To purchase the Waterfront District BIA gift certificates, please contact our office at 343-9032 or send us an email: thewaterfrontdistrict@tbaytel.net.

Participating Businesses – We Accept BIA Bucks & Gift Certificates card

To Redeem BIA Bucks or BIA Gift Certificates:

Please submit your invoice noting coupon numbers and deliver your package to either Rooster’s Bistro, 32 St. Paul Street (Monday through Sunday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm) or Kitty Cucumber Children’s Boutique, 236 Red River Road (Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm). Packages can be mailed to the BIA Office, 195 Park Avenue, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 1B9.


Volunteer Opportunities

We have some exciting volunteer opportunities! Please review our BIA Committees Summary. We invite you to get involved by choosing a Committee that interests you!  We welcome your support and your input is greatly appreciated.


Career Opportunities


BIA Minutes & Reports

Board Meeting: December 4, 2018 – Minutes
Board Meeting: November 6, 2018 – Minutes
Board Meeting: October 2, 2018 – Minutes
Board Meeting: September 4, 2018 – Minutes
Board Meeting: August 7, 2018 – Minutes
Board Meeting:  July 3, 2018 – Minutes
Board Meeting: June 5, 2018 – Minutes
Board Meeting: May 1, 2018 – Minutes
Board Meeting: April 3, 2018 – Minutes
Board Meeting: March 6, 2018 – Minutes
Board Meeting: February 6, 2018 – Minutes
Budget Request 2018: January 24, 2018 – Presentation
Board Meeting: January 9, 2018 – Minutes
Board Meeting: December 12, 2017 – Minutes
Financial Statements 2016: November 28, 2017 – Report
Annual General Meeting 2017: November 28, 2017 – Presentation
Annual Report 2017: November 27, 2017 – Report
Board Meeting: November 7, 2017 – Minutes
Board Meeting: October 3, 2017 – Minutes
Board Meeting: September 5, 2017 – Minutes
Board Meeting: August 1, 2017 – Minutes
Board Meeting: July 11, 2017 – Minutes
Board Meeting: June 13, 2017 – Minutes
Board Meeting: May 2, 2017 – Minutes
Tourism Exemption: April 24 2017 – Presentation
Board Meeting: April 11, 2017 – Minutes
Board Meeting: March 2017 – Minutes
Board Meeting: February 16, 2017 – Minutes
Board Planning Meeting: January 24, 2017 – Minutes


BIA Media Releases



Membership Brochure and Member Profile Form

Download our membership brochure here.

Update your Member Profile by downloading this form and sending it to us.


Boundaries of the Waterfront District BIA: