Downtown Waterfront Master Plan

The City of North Bay, in partnership with a consultant team lead by Brook McIlroy, is undertaking a 10 month study for the North Bay Downtown Waterfront Master Plan. The Study will focus on 4 major tasks:

  • Downtown Waterfront Area Visioning
  • Draft Land-Use and Urban Design Plan; Main Street Streetscape Concept
  • Downtown Waterfront Draft Urban Design Guidelines
  • Implementation; Zoning By-law Amendments

The Land Use and Urban Design Plan will be an overreaching vision and demonstration plan for the Downtown Waterfront, and will coordinate the ongoing Waterfront work with this vision. It will also guide the balancing of area wide design quality with unique elements within it, identify areas to the preserved and changed and serve as a guide for future municipal work.

North Bay Downtown Waterfront Advisory Committee

The City of North Bay is establishing a Downtown Waterfront Advisory Committee. The overall purpose of the Committee is to review the North Bay Downtown Waterfront Master Plan, examine the implementation plan (steps and phases) and cost estimates set out in Section 6 of the Downtown Waterfront Master Plan, and make recommendations to Council for adopting or revising actions identified in the implementation plan.

The Terms of Reference are available online by clicking here.

Implementation Status

Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment

The City of North Bay is holding a public meeting on Tuesday, May 22nd at 6:30 p.m. to consider Amendments to the Official Plan and Zoning By-law to implement the Downtown Waterfront Master Plan.

 A Downtown Development Handbook has been created to provide information and support for business development in Downtown North Bay.

Final Draft of the Downtown Waterfront Master Plan

Instrumental music plays throughout the video.


Black screen fades to show aerial footage of North Bay.

Narrator: This is North Bay. A place where we live, work and play.


Scene changes to aerial footage of the North Bay Marina.

Narrator: Over the last one hundred years our City’s waterfront has gone through a significant transformation.


Scene changes to a series of historical photos of North Bay’s downtown, railyard and waterfront.

Narrator: From a thriving hub of rail activity…


Scene changes to aerial photograph of the current waterfront.

Narrator: to a space that encompasses open, natural expanses…


Scene changes to four people walking by the North Bay Marina.

Narrator: …much loved by residents and praised by visitors.


Scene changes to pedestrians walking at the waterfront.

Narrator: Now it’s time to build the foundation…


Scene changes to a map of the Downtown Waterfront that has been drawn and written on.

Narrator: …for the future…


Scene changes to image of gallery full of people drawing and writing on maps of the Downtown Waterfront.

Narrator: …of the heart of our City.


Scene changes to image of five people talking and writing on a map of the Downtown Waterfront.

Narrator: The City’s downtown waterfront…


Scene changes to aerial images of the Downtown Waterfront.

Narrator: …is full of untapped potential. Opportunities for private investment…


Scene changes to a couple and their child sitting at a table on the sidewalk in Downtown North Bay.

Narrator: … that will encourage and drive economic development…


Scene changes to a midway at the Waterfront.

Narrator: …and vitality…


Scene changes to people at a festival at the Waterfront.

Narrator: …as well as enhanced green space…


Scene changes to a child climbing a rock wall Downtown.

Narrator: …that will continue to provide…


Scene changes to a man biking off a jump Downtown.

Narrator: … a high quality of life for residents.


Scene changes to people walking on the sidewalk Downtown.


Scene changes to image of a room full of people drawing and writing on maps of the Downtown Waterfront.

Narrator: Following ten months of consultation…


Scene changes to image of five people talking and writing on a map of the Downtown Waterfront.

Narrator: …that saw over two thousand points of contact with the community…


Scene changes to crowd of people attending an event at the Waterfront.

Narrator: … the vision for the Downtown Waterfront…


Scene changes to a crowd of people standing under the pergola.

Narrator: …has become a lot clearer.


Scene changes to two women looking at produce at the North Bay Farmers Market.

Narrator: It describes a fully connected downtown and waterfront…


Scene changes to women playing beach volleyball in front of a crowd of spectators.

Narrator: … that not only reflects the City’s history…


Scene changes to a sail boat and two kayaks on Lake Nipissing.

Scene changes to three ice shacks and number of people walking on Lake Nipissing.

Narrator: … but also creates new centres of activity…


Scene changes to a row of door frames in the ice of Lake Nipissing at sunset.

Narrator: …including parks…


Scene changes to ice shacks and an ATV on Lake Nipissing.

Narrator: …and open spaces that can support a vibrant downtown and waterfront year round.


Scene changes to the Chief Commanda II cruising on Lake Nipissing at sunset.

Scene changes to the North Bay Marina at sunset.

Narrator: We invite you to come out and see the future of North Bay.


Scene changes to two children playing on a play structure at the Waterfront.

Narrator: Join us on March 1st


Scene changes to a man kite surfing on Lake Nipissing.

Narrator: …at 5pm…


Scene change to North Bay City Hall.

Narrator: …at City Hall.


Scene changes to aerial to aerial footage of the Downtown Waterfront.

Narrator: Together we can do this.


Scene changes to aerial footage of Lake Nipissing.

Text on screen reads “Downtown Waterfront Master Plan – Join us on March 1st at 5pm at City Hall – Visit for more information”


Screen goes black.

The final draft of the Downtown Waterfront Master Plan was presented to Council on March 1st, 2017. An Open House was held at City Hall prior to the meeting to give members of the public the opportunity to review the Plan and ask questions. The presentation slides are available below. 


The Downtown Waterfront Master Plan is guided by the following Vision Statement: “North Bay’s downtown waterfront will be unified in a comprehensive long-term vision that brings together economic strength, social parity, environmental sustainability and cultural vibrancy”. The Plan was created using the following guiding principles as expressed by the North Bay community:


  1. Celebrate North Bay History/Indigenous Culture
  2. Introduce New Year Round Destinations
  3. Support a Mixed Use Downtown
  4. Focus Design on Environmentally Sustainable Buildings, Parks and Streetscapes
  5. Encourage Diversity in Building Design and Form
  6. Create a Connected Downtown Circulation Network
  7. Follow an Economically Feasible Approach to Implement the Vision


Key elements of the Downtown Waterfront Master Plan include:


  • A comprehensive land use plan identifying locations for key programming elements, public spaces and infill and development opportunities
  • A design concept for Main Street which celebrates North Bay and Northern Ontario landscapes
  • Urban design guidelines to direct public and private sector development in a manner consistent with the Plan’s vision
  • A recommended long term implementation plan for achieving the Plan’s vision in a realistic and cost effective manner
  • High level cost estimates of the proposed Concept Plan and Main Street Design
  • Recommended amendments to the City’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law to support the implementation of the Plan


The complete Downtown Waterfront Master Plan and the Report to Council from Staff are available below.

Downtown Waterfront Master Plan Public Consultation

Public Consultation Event #2 - September 27, 2016

There was a great turn out to the public consultation session #2 - your opinions are very valuable and your input into this process is appreciated.

The purpose of the consultation workshop was to gather feedback from the public on design options for the Downtown Waterfront Master Plan and provide direction on the character of Main Street.

There were 3 options presented at the workshop that were developed based on feedback and ideas generated through consultations held throughout the summer, with the public and stakeholders.

Documents from the Public Consultation Event #2

Online Survey

The Online Survey is now closed. Thank you to those who participated.

Farmers' Market Consultation - August 17, 2016

Thank you to everyone who came out to see us at the Farmers' Market on August 17 - we had a great turnout and appreciate your input in the process.

Public Consultation Event #1 - June 23, 2016

Several key elements that the workshop addressed include:

  1. How to optimize and enhance existing retail patterns
  2. How to harmonize new uses with existing uses
  3. How to improve the pedestrian environment
  4. How to improve existing open spaces and waterfront with better connections
  5. What the program and character of the existing waterfront areas should be
  6. General ‘green’ strategies for the area

Documents from the Public Consultation Event #1




This project is being completed with support from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.


Beverley Hillier
 Manager, Planning & Building Services
 (705) 474-0400 x2403