Thunder Bay's low Cost Advantages

Thunder Bay has everything your business needs to thrive:  available property and land, access to a strong talent pool, global transportation connections and competitively low operational costs. It’s not surprising that the city attracts businesses of all sizes from SMEs through to multinationals. 

Thunder Bay benefits from being part of Ontario as well as Canada. Canada is an extremely business friendly country and consistently ranks highly competitive on major cost factors including labour, transportation, and taxes. Canada also has a lower dollar value, which increases profits when selling to the US and global markets.

Low Taxes

Ontario has a combined provincial (11.5%) and federal (15%) corporate income tax rate of 26.5%, making Ontario’s combined general federal-provincial CIT rate lower than the average of G20 countries, and lower than the average federal plus state CIT rate in the United States.

Low Site and Building Costs

Thunder Bay offers extremely competitive land costs, construction costs, and zero development charges, making it an ideal location for expansion and new construction. Thunder Bay has a large amount of land zoned for new development offering commercial and industrial space.

Low Healthcare Costs

One area in which Canadian companies are much more competitive than their US counterparts is healthcare. Ontario has a universal healthcare system, which means that average employer health costs per year for companies based in Ontario are 1/3 of the cost of the US average.

Cost of Land

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The cost of land in Thunder Bay is less than half when compared to US cities like Minneapolis.

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Cost of land in Thunder Bay is 68% below average of all cities included in the KPMG Competitive Alternatives Study.


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Construction costs in Thunder Bay are 15% lower when compared to Minneapolis.


Thunder Bay District has 480 active apprentices in the construction sector and 1,379 active journey persons, across all industry sectors.

Development Charges

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With no development charges, and affordable cost of land, Thunder Bay offers prime real estate for development.

Thunder Bay has large amounts of land zoned for new development, offering commercial, industrial, and aviation space for business in all sectors.

The Thunder Bay Advantage

As the regional hub for health services in Northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay serves a catchment population of 250,000 in a geographical area the size of France, and is a leading destination for clinical, teaching, research and health system leadership. Recent investment and innovations support a rapidly growing medical device and remote healthcare sectors where health sciences, and ICT businesses can flourish.  When compared to US cities such as Minneapolis, Thunder Bay has 22% lower costs for digital industries, 20.8% lower R&D costs, and 21.8% lower costs for corporate services (such as international financial services and shared services centres). (Source: KPMG Competitive Alternatives 2016). Thunder Bay businesses benefit from these lower corporate service costs because of lower average wages for administrative and customer service level employees, as well as financial professionals.

The KPMG 2016 Competitive Alternatives highlighted Thunder Bay for providing significant cost advantages for:

  • Video Game Production
  • Shared Service Centres
  • International Financial Services
  • Video game production
  • Shared Service Centres
  • International Financial Services

Thunder Bay has zero development charges, affordable cost of land and buildings, and competitive construction costs, giving businesses superior opportunities for success.

Businesses also benefit from SYNERGY NORTH being the third-lowest cost electrical distributor in Ontario. Thunder Bay is also well serviced by TBAYTEL as well as national communications providers, enabling worldwide connections at affordable rates.

Thunder Bay enjoys a central location within Canada, close proximity to the US and a well developed transportation network, allowing companies to maximize the use of air, rail, sea, and road transportation. This thriving city is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, features a superior quality of life and a  lower cost of living for its residents.

For additional information please contact the Development Officer at: (807) 625-3960 or visit our Contact Us page.

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