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Fort William Gardens set to be retrofitted

By CJ Goater Nov 15, 2023 | 4:00 PM

Fort William Gardens funding announcement - CJ Goater

Fort William Gardens has been a part of the community since 1951, and its time in Thunder Bay is set to be extended as the federal government has announced funding to retrofit the building to serve future generations and minimize the building’s energy consumption.

“The iconic Fort William Gardens has allowed generations of people to enjoy various sporting and non-sporting events over the years. Through various upgrades including the use of green technologies, this building will become more energy efficient and will continue to serve the needs of Thunder Bay residents and visitors to the city for years to come,” said Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River.

The Government of Canada is investing over $2.35 million in this project through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program and the City of Thunder Bay is contributing $644,895.

Modernizing the facility will make it a greener and more accessible focal point in Northern Ontario for hockey, figure skating, and curling championships as well as attracting performers for concerts and cultural events. In addition, the City will continue to use this facility for affordable city-sponsored programs that are accessible to all.

The planned changes include:

  • Replacing dressing rooms and washroom fixtures.
  • Swapping the roof, doors, and windows with energy-efficient models.
  • Redesigning the ice-making process to store the heat produced so that it can be used to heat the building and melt excess snow from cleaning the ice rink.
  • Upgrading the ventilation systems in the building offices to improve air quality.
  • Replacing the cooling tower and condensing unit with one that is more reliable and energy efficient.
  • Retrofitting the ticket window, entrance, concession area, and counter space so it is more accessible for patrons with diverse mobility needs.

These improvements are expected to reduce the facility’s energy consumption by an estimated 29.4% and greenhouse gas emissions by 164 tonnes annually.

Fort William Garden construction shot – Adam Riley