For Thunder Bay business owner and city councillor Shelby Ch'ng, Thunder Bay is the "perfect sweet spot."
Ch'ng, who owns a bridal store in Thunder Bay's south core and holds the city's council seat for the Northwood ward, said her success probably would not have been possible in another place.
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"There's a space for every business in Thunder Bay, no matter what it is," Ch'ng said. "If you're in a bigger city, there's often a lot of competition. I couldn't own a bridal shop in Toronto — be 30-something with almost zero money opening up a bridal shop."
That translates to running for city council, as well, Ch'ng said, calling the costs associated with that "bite-sized," and manageable "for somebody that doesn't have the means."
"I think that's what Thunder Bay is," she said. "But we also have the population to hold up a business, so it's that perfect sweet spot, I think."
Ch'ng is one of the Thunder Bay residents featured in the I Love My City video series, produced by CBC Thunder Bay and Theymedia.
City can be 'complicated'
Still, the city can be "complicated", she said, noting that there are issues in Thunder Bay, which need to be addressed.
"We need to ask ourselves some tough questions about what the good life in Thunder Bay looks like for everyone, and not just people who hold the keys to the city," Ch'ng said.
"It's important that we meet people where they're at. I mean, I've received a number of angry phone calls just on my short term of council so far, just raging about one thing or anothing."
Civic discourse needs to become "a top priority," said Ch'ng.
"People just don't know, and then when they don't know, they fill the vacuum with their fears, and it makes things very complicated and people become mistrusting. And it's not where my vision for the city is."