Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay, Ont., mayor seeks expansion of pop-up patio program

Thunder Bay’s mayor will ask city administration to look at expanding the city’s popular pop-up patio program on Monday.

Resolution to be tabled at Monday’s meeting of city council

A boardwalk is constructed in front of The Foundry in Thunder Bay, Ont., so the sidewalk in front of the building can be used for a patio. It's one of the pop-up patios the city has approved as part of a pilot project. (Matt Prokopchuk / CBC)

Thunder Bay's mayor will ask city administration to look at expanding the city's popular pop-up patio program on Monday.

In a resolution to be tabled at Monday's city council meeting, Bill Mauro also asks administration to "include recommendations to close suitable streets or surface parking lots that continue to ensure that the flow of pedestrian traffic is not disrupted, and that accessible parking spaces are maintained" in the report, which is due back in June.

The pop-up patio program, which is still in its pilot phase, allows restaurants to set up temporary outdoor patios during the summer months.

Mauro said at an online town hall meeting, the idea is to allow more restaurants to open up safely while COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted.

In his resolution, Mauro also asks for information about possibly waiving fees associated with the program for 2020, and whether it's possible to expedite the approval process so more restaurants can participate.

Police headquarters

The future of Thunder Bay police headquarters may be back on the table Monday, as well.

A resolution in Monday's agenda, tabled by Coun. Trevor Giertuga, requests additional options for police facilities in the city.

Council heard in March that city police headquarters on Balmoral Street is in need of either expansion, or reconstruction. Both of those options, the resolution states, will cost more than $50 million.

In Giertuga's resolution, he calls for other options to be presented to council, including - but not limited to - satellite police offices in the city.

The report is due back by Sept. 30.

Also Monday, council is expected to award a contract for the refurbishment of the marina park pedestrian overpass.

Tom Jones Corporation submitted the lowest bid, at just over $1.3 million, below the city's estimate of $1.8 million.

The work will include repairs to structural steel, the approaches, and the railings. The report from administration noted there was some "advanced deterioration" in the steel structure.

The overpass will not be accessible during the work phase, as it will need to be moved from its current location by a crane during the project.

Funding was included in the city's 2020 capital budget. There's no word on when, exactly, work will begin.