The Friends of Chippewa Park

"Bringing Chippewa's Past into the Future"

Chippewa Park has been a favorite with city residents and visitors since it opened in 1921.  Located on along the beautiful coast of Lake Superior, Chippewa holds  an amazing view of the Sleeping Giant, this is your destination for family fun, scenic beauty and relaxation.  With so much to see and do Chippewa is your perfect summer getaway.   

  Live Web cam from Chippewa Park

Camera Image

Please Note: You must install Axis software in order to view the images, please click on the link below (may not work in all browsers):  



3 ways you can help

1) Contact City Council

2) Sign our petition

3) Donate to an advertising campaign to spread our message

For each $16.89 you donate we can buy one radio ad on one of the local radio stations. These ads will encourage supporters of the Widlife Exhibit to come to this web site so that they too can contact City Council with their views. Each donor will receive a Charitable Receipt from The Friends of Chippewa Park. Please click the icon immediately below.

Donate Now Through!

City Council voted on Thursday to close the wildlife exhibit as of May 1, 2017.  Council voted 11 to 2 to close although the decision still has to be ratified on Tuesday, February 21 at 6:30 PM. Only Councilors Foulds and Angus voted to keep the Wildlife Exhibit operating.

Your last chance to see the animals, unless 5 members of Council can be convinced to change their minds, is on Sunday and Monday, February 19 and 20 as the Wildlife Exhibit will be open for the Family Day Weekend.


There are two ways to make your views known to those members of Council who don't believe the Wildlife Exhibit has any value to our community:  

  • the best way is to take the time to call them on the telephone – you can get their phone numbers below 


  • the second way is to send them an email. We have made it easier for you to send that email. If you click the bear below it will take you to an email message already partly written. Add your own comments and your name, address and phone number (so they know you are real and a resident of Thunder Bay) and click send. (If you get an error message please click send anyway)




If you are at a loss for words to put into an email please scroll down to see what others have already said about why the Exhibit should stay open and be converted to a rescue and conservation centre.


Keith Hobbs - Business – 807-625-3600 

Trevor Giertuga - – Home – 807-683-8041 (1st) Cell - 807-628-4790 

Paul Pugh - home - 807-346-8485
Linda Rydholm - home - (807) 577-9260
Shelby Ch’ng - cell phone - 807-708-1983
Brian McKinnon - home – 807-767-3945
Joe Virdiramo - home - 807-625-5547
Frank Pullia - home – 807-767-6579
Iain Angus - Home - 807-474-0926
Rebecca Johnson - – home 807-577-2807
Larry Hebert - – Home 807-622-7938 – Bus 807-624-1482 Cell - 807-624-8551

Aldo Ruberto - Cell – 807-628-5547 

Every signature, phone call and email helps. And if you bump into any of them, all you have to say is that you support continuing the Wildlife Exhibit. No need for a long explanation or arguement. They will get the message.

Thank you for your support

The Friends of Chippewa Park



The Friends of Chippewa Park were shocked today to learn that City Administration is recommending the closure of the Chippewa Park Wildlife Exhibit on May 1 this year as part of the 2017 operating budget.


 “Viewing of wild animals has been part of the fabric of Chippewa Park since 1924” said Friends President, Lorraine Lortie-Krawczuk, “and hundreds of thousands of children and adults alike have had the opportunity to not only see the animals of Northwestern Ontario up close but to gain a better understanding of the way they live and for Council to even consider eliminating this quality of life feature is unacceptable.

Lortie-Krawczuk also stated that the Friends cannot understand why Administration would make such a recommendation when Council is funding the creation of a new Vision Statement for Chippewa Park – and that Vision has yet to be completed or even presented to Council.  “How can you expect the public to believe that their input is important when decisions are made during the process that will have a profound impact on the park’s overall operation” she said. “This flies in the face of the Public Engagement Framework recently approved by Council.”

 “At the same time the work that The Friends of Chippewa Park have accomplished, bringing in over $5 million dollars from other governments to upgrade the park, should be seen as a social contract that commits the City to maintaining the key elements of the park.”

 The Friends President indicated that a recent on line survey conducted by the non-profit organization found that 91% of respondents who indicated that they visit the Wildlife Exhibit when at the park, supported maintaining the Exhibit as is, or expanding it with 68% supporting an expansion of the facility[3].

It is also important to note that the last time the City included the future of the Wildlife Exhibit in its’ Citizen Survey (2005 & 2007) 75% to 77% supported maintaining or enhancing the Wildlife Exhibit.

 The Friends of Chippewa Park are launching a new petition requesting that City Council add the necessary funding back into the 2017 budget and to begin work to convert the Wildlife Exhibit to a Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre.  The results will be presented to Council prior to the final decision on the budget.

 The Friends also announced that Parks and Open Spaces will once again open up the Wildlife Exhibit on the Family Day weekend – Sunday, February 19 and Monday, February 20 from 11 AM to 3:30 PM so that residents can see the animals in their fine winter coats. The Friends will be there handing out hot chocolate and coffee.



Thunder Bay City Council will decide in February if the funding for the operation of the Chippewa Park Wildlife Exhibit will be eliminated and the Exhibit Closed on May 1, 2017. The animals and birds will be shipped off to zoos around the country. The cost saving to the tax payer will be $83,500 a year. This works out to 56 cents per household per year. The Friends of Chippewa Park have a better idea: build on the existing wildlife exhibit by converting it to a wildlife rescue and conservation centre where injured or abandoned wildlife is brought to treatment, rehabilitation and where possible a return to the wild. In the meantime it can become a place of wildlife research to assist scientists in understanding how to preserve the species in the wild. Please help save the Wildlife Exhibit from closure and then see it converted to a Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre.


Survey is found after the following section:

Reasons for Signing

The following are extracts from the petition circulated by TFOCP where the individual respondents recorded their reason for supporting the petition. The petition is still circulating.


Erin Desjardins

Thunder Bay, Canada

Changing the name from zoo to rehabilitation and making a strong effort to eliminate the stigma around the reasons for this place's being would make a big improvement. There are so many ways to make the "zoo" a better place and so many opportunities to teach the public about these animals and give them a better appreciation for the wildlife that lives in our back yard. Council always wants to scrap things that don't work instead of trying to fix things. They seem to have their own agenda and don't really take into consideration the views and wants of the public. This is one of those cases where our voices really need to be heard.


Naomi Liima

Thunder Bay, Canada

I think that we need to expand the wildlife exhibit. Make it better. Use it for teaching our students be it elementary to university. Allow those who are taking any format of animal sciences or veterinary to come in and use it to learn as well as providing free care for these animals while learning. Provide better advertising for such a wonderful exhibit and hold more learning events for our community and outlying regions.


Dana Levanto

Thunder Bay, Canada

We need a wildlife sanctuary. Having a place that can effectively heal and rehabilitate our wildlife makes sense from a social responsibility point of view, it will also offer positive educational opportunities for our youth. There are many ways that this can financially viable, by partnering with other organizations. Perhaps some indigenous culture can also be introduced, indigenous names of animals, sacred meanings, role the animals played in our ancestors lives. This would open up additional funding opportunities. The possibilities are endless, let's make this place a better attraction, not close it down. It doesn't make sense to "throw the baby out with the bath water " for a few cents per household when so many opportunities have yet to be explored

Maureen Black

Thunder Bay, Canada

Many upgrades and renovations should be made to this zoo as it's been in affect since 1924 and considered an animal rescue and conservation/wildlife exhibit for injured animals as is the case at the present time. It therefore should not be considered a zoo. Expansions and fencing should also be upgraded plus security cameras installed due to recent vandalism and endangerment to the bald eagles. The latter should have been considered years ago and a top priority which protects the very animals it's housing and caring for. The "zoo" truly needs a major overhaul which could generate more interest to local citizens and tourists to visit animals they would not necessarily have the opportunity to view otherwise. It's a small cost per household to continue caring for animals not capable of living in their natural habitat.


Kelsey Frankl

Thunder Bay, Canada

There is such educational value here, it would be so unfortunate to see it close.


Marc Mullo

Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

This exhibit and park are very important to the survival and prosperity of these wild animals!


Louis Besignano


There are somethings worth keeping

May Kitching

Thunder Bay, Canada

This is a beautiful park land with a lot of potential that should be expanded not close attractions. Take a look at the water and beach and fix ecoli outbreaks that happen in the heat of summer!! It needs more highlighting of events for our local people and tourists for revenue making and fund raisings.


Denise Ormerod

Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada

A great idea to help animals and educate people about conservation. These Friends of Chippewa Park are very forward thinking.


Marie Dean

Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

I am definitely in favour of converting the exhibit to a Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre.

Katherine Onyshkewych

Thunder Bay, Canada

This park is a fantastic resource for the people of Thunder Bay and tourist, alike. It seems that for years now the city has "made it's decision" and let it fall into disrepair and twice last year during operating hours the chalet was closed and our visit was not counted. Quite "setting it up for failure". Let's reinvest and make the park a great tourist attraction while doing some good. My children love visiting and learning about the animals (that are there) and I believe this is how we create good stewards of our environment.


Sylvia Wright

Thunder Bay, Canada

It's an educational and interesting place to see wild animals of our area. It's walkable for small children and seniors too.


Becky Poschmann

Calgary, Canada

I believe in wildlife conservation. It would be great if this facility can get in partnership with zoos across the country that also have wildlife exhibits to help better the lives of the injured/abandoned animals so they can thrive in the wild or in life.

catol Hicketts

Merritt, Canada

This zoo was an integral part of my childhood and the only place I saw the type of animals on display. I loved going to the park to picnic on the beach and visit the zoo. Future generations of kids should be afforded the same experience.


Darrell Brassard

Thunder Bay, Canada

People love Animals & they need a decent home. Any jackass who favors closing down our beloved Zoo their days will be numbered in City Politics. Look what happened to the jackass who tried to close down our beloved Conservatory. He's no longer a Councillor. Close down this Zoo just to be cheap assholes & the people in City Politics will be looked at as the pricks of the World. Shame on the Mayor & City Council to even consider this, shame.

Yvonne Harris

Thunder Bay, Canada

These animals are rescues! What other opportunities do we have to observe such beauty? They are well taken care of. Go see them yourself this winter. Do not close the zoo!

Emmett Pitts

Grand Portage, MN

This would be a wonderful opportunity for Thunder Bay and Chippewa Park.


Mike Burrows

Thunder Bay, Canada

Because I like to take my kids to as I whent when I was a kid


Eveline Fischer

Thunder Bay ON., Canada

4 days ago

Keep the animals at Chippewa Park with this new program


Ruth Kruppa

Thunder Bay, Canada

Chippewa is a historical site and should be a drawing point for tourism


Don Ruth

Thunder Bay, Canada

The council is closing to many recreation parks


Morgan Lee

Thunder Bay, Canada

I agree with the solution.


Sarah Fischer

Thunder Bay, Canada

I am signing this because I love to see the animals and birds that live at Chippewa Park Wildlife Exhibit. There is so much to dean about the different animals and birds and I wouldn't want to see them leave Thunder Bay and be shipped to other zoos.


Shannon Gauthier

Barrie, Canada

We should be saving more places such as this, not shutting them down.


William McLean

Thunder Bay, Canada

I believe the Wildlife exhibit is a great educational tool adults & children would be loss to the community. To save pennies when city council is looking to spend thousands on other non essential items like the event centre and the art gallery.


Joan Bodnarchuk

Thunder Bay, Canada

I believe that families like to go to see the wildlife as do we.


Amanda peters

Neebing, Canada

Many summers enjoyed taking children through.


Audrey Patriquin

Thunder Bay, Canada

This is a very unique facility in Ontario & I would love to see the rehab added to its mandate.

Barbara Zaporzan

Thunder Bay, Canada

This would be a very great idea for Thunder Bay and not a waste of money compared to the other things our city council have in mind such as the event center or the soccer plex to name a few!

sandra Pivarnik

Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada

People have worked very hard to keep Chippewa a family place for outings. Rather have to money go to support this than some ridiculous event centre that we don't need!!

Tracey Hewalo

Thunder Bay, Canada

My kids and later I hope my grandkids have and will learn about the animals that are rarely seen. To see animals that would not be able to function, in the wild be given a chance to live, in the climate they are used to.


Angie Stolz

Thunder Bay, Canada

If for sure this would be turned into a rescue, I am all for it!


Tammy Bryant

Thunder Bay, Canada

I'm signing because I agree 100% with the parks proposal to upgrade and expand the park and turn it into a sauncturary and also for rehabilitation , educational purposes


Garry Welyki

Thunder Bay, Canada

This zoo needs expansion and better security management


Katherine Day

Thunder Bay, Canada

It's a beautiful place with beautiful memories of past present AND future!


Roy Cote

Thunder Bay, Canada

I believe the wildlife exhibit to our younger generation will be a valuable learning tool. As a child I grew up in the country but enjoyed seeing the different animals 55 years ago.


Kathy Peterson

Thunder Bay, Canada

We need to keep the resources we have but also to expand on them - becoming a wildlife rescue centre is needed in this area as there is nothing like that available.


Beth Alkenbrack

Rosslyn, Canada

It's a good plan and should stay in the area. It can't be all about the money. This is not a huge expenditure.


Kim Crawford

Shuniah, Canada

I grew up going to the park to visit the animals and I want my kids to have the same experience that I did.

I am also concerned about the plan (or lack there of) to rehouse the animals and the stress of potentially moving them to alternate facilities. Many animals have lived there for years. It is their home and they should be able to continue to live there.


Pam Douthwright

Thunder Bay, Canada

I believe there is a need for conservation and rehabilitation.....children need to learn about and care for the wildlife


Bill Brown

Thunder Bay, Canada

It's the right thing to do


Cheryl Daze

Thunder Bay, Canada

It will help preserve our natural habitat for animals that have been orphaned/injured/abandoned.


samantha duke-richards

thunder bay, Canada

I believe this park is vital to our community


Susan Kaszuba

Thunder Bay, Canada

I'm signing this petition because I believe that Thunder Bay has the opportunity to provide its residents and visitors access to NWO wildlife for education and preservation and to celebrate the diversity of the area.


Lorraine Lortie-Krawczuk

Thunder Bay, Canada

I strongly believe that a wildlife rehabilitation centre and sanctuary would be a benefit to the citizens of Thunder Bay and be an attraction to tourists


Melissa Hanlon

Thunder Bay, Canada

I have grown up going to the zoo and my kids now enjoy going out to the zoo. We go out there several times a year and would be very sad to see this go


Jessie Clapp

Thunder Bay, Canada

I'd like to see positive change, the city needs to put money into improving the beautiful things it already has instead of taking them away to focus on the marina.


Linda Ryma

Thunder Bay, Canada

A rescue centre would be a valuable educational resource in our city and should definitely be included in the long term plans for Chippewa. The savings achieved by closing the exhibit are minimal.


Heather Dickson

Thunder Bay, Canada

As a zoologist, I can say that a Rescue and Conservation Centre will help the wildlife in the region that are at risk of compromised safety. I'm also signing because it would be something that the people in the region can be proud of. It's timely, it's global and it's the right thing to do.


Sherry Costa

Thunder Bay, Canada

I love taking my grandchildren to the animal park and seeing how many animals we can see . I find it very relaxing going there.


Tyler Johnson

Thunder Bay, Canada

I live in westfort, and as a kid I remember going here.. do I want to save it for nostalgic reasons? No.. I want to save it because it's something I saw potential in from my first time going.. I can't stand sitting by and watching it fall apart and get closed down.. let's see some funding and proper upgrades now. The waterfront is done, let's fix up something different.. Chippewa Park, animal area included.


Helen Shipston

Thunder Bay, Canada

I'm signing because Thunder Bay needs a wildlife rescue and conservation centre!!


Barb Fraser

Thunder Bay, Canada

I believe animals need a safe place to live out their life when unable to return to the wild


Karl Dahl

Thunder Bay, Canada

Dont Close it. Enough stupid decisions by this concil, they are an embarrassment to all citizens of Thunder Bay.


Abby Bushby


For a small of money per capita, Thunder Bay can make a huge impact on promoting conservation of wildlife, teach children good values, and earn a respected reputation as a steward of Canadian wildlife species. I urge you to accept the proposal of The Friends of Chippewa Park.


Wendy Scott-Ligate

Neebing, Canada

The park is a valuable asset to the city as both an educational tool as well as helping animals that can thus no further help themselves in the wild. 



The Friends of Chippewa Park are interested in your opinions on three projects for the park.  One is the development of a water play feature, the second is regarding the future of the Wildlife Exhibit and the third is our historical Carousel.

 Create your own user feedback survey Please share this page (  with your friends and family. We need as many people as possible to respond to the survey. The results will be reported to Thunder Bay City Council as well as being shared with the Consulting Team that are developing the long term plan for the Park. If you haven't filled out this survey yet, please do so now.






The City of Thunder Bay has engaged FOTENN Planning + Design and the Boreal Centre in the creation of a renewed vision for Chippewa Park, one of Thunder Bay’s most treasured landmarks. As part of this work, a comprehensive consultation effort with local First Nations and urban aboriginal groups, key stakeholders, and members of the public will be undertaken to garner beneficial information from all interested parties. This project will guide municipal investment over the short and medium term and establish updated priorities and programming for the park.

Together with your help and understanding, the project outcomes will foster:

  1. Improved terrestrial environments;
  2. Enhanced cultural recognition of our collective heritage;
  3. Usable recreational facilities; and,
  4. Vested public interest in the well being of this community space.

Building off the foundational work completed in the 2000 Chippewa Park Master Plan, this project will evaluate the park’s current programming and infrastructure in order to determine a preferred concept plan for its future use. The project commenced in December 2015 and will continue over the next 6-9 months, with anticipated completion in late summer/fall 2016.


Whether you are discovering the park for the very first time or a regular visitor, we want to hear from you. Our goal for the visioning of Chippewa Park is to engage the community to identify the needs, challenges, opportunities, and to request input on how you would like the future transformation of Chippewa Park to take place.


A second Stakeholder Workshop and Public Open House and will also be held at a later stage in the project to present preliminary options for review, based on the feedback from the first stage of public consultations.


We look forward to working with you throughout this project.


Sheriden Barnett, LLM (ADR)


Boreal Centre

Sarah Millar, RPP

Senior Planner

FOTENN Consultants Inc.

Werner Schwar, OALA

Supervisor, Parks + Open Spaces Section

City of Thunder Bay

A copy of relevant background documents can be located on the City of Thunder Bay’s website at:

Relevant documents include:

  1. Chippewa Park Masterplan, 2000
  2. Chippewa Park Breakwater Study
  3. City of Thunder Bay 2011-2014 Strategic Plan


  Stay with us this summer, whether it is in your RV or tent or in one of our new wheelchair accessible log cabins. Click here for more details  

 The park offers a number of amusement rides aimed at the young and not so young including the historic Merry-Go-Round.  Animals of Northwestern Ontario are showcased in our Wildlife Exhibit . These animals have all been raised in captivity or have been rescued as abandoned offspring.

On Sundays we feature local musical entertainment as part of our Sundays in the Park Concert Series. The first concert will be held on July 3 and the last on September 4.

2016 Sundays in the Park Schedule - Available


Tuesday Night Jam Sessions

Chippewa Park’s Pavilion Coffee House is alive with music every Tuesday night at 7 PM starting on July 5 and continuing to August 30. Musicians are invited to participate in the ‘open jam’ and the audience is invited to listen, dance and even sing along when appropriate. The evening features a mix of old and new country, folk and some rock & roll and gospel. Existing seating is limited to the first 100 so it would be wise to bring your own chairs. There is no admission but we would welcome a ‘good will’ donation to help cover expenses. Coffee, tea, juice, cakes and cookies are available at no cost. The evening ends at 10 PM. The pavilion and adjacent washrooms are wheelchair accessible. 

For Park bookings, hours of operation etc please call the City of Thunder Bay at  (807) 625-CHIP


For information about Sundays in the Park or The Friends of Chippewa Park please email 


  SSpend Spend your summer at Chippewa Park

 Join    Join us at Chippewa Park again this year for a wide range of public events. 


More kites


Check out some pictures ! 

If you have any pictures of Chippewa Park that you would like to share, please bring them out to the park and we will scan them into our computer and add them to our growing data base on the history of the park.  We want your stories too!

The Gateway to Northwestern Ontario History
Check out the link below!

  Chippewa Park has been a favorite with city residents and visitors since it opened in 1921.  Located on along the beautiful coast of Lake Superior, Chippewa holds  an amazing view of the Sleeping Giant, this is your destination for family fun, scenic beauty and relaxation.  With so much to see and do Chippewa is your perfect summer getaway.  


Click on the links on the side to see all that Chippewa has to offer, or telephone the Chippewa Hotline at 807-625-CHIP or call Toll Free at 888-711-5094.  Above is a live action look at the water at Chippewa Park and Pictures and Details of events here at Chippewa Park!






EMPLOYER:  The Friends of Chippewa Park


WORK LOCATION:  Chippewa Park Pavilion, Chippewa Park, City Road, Thunder Bay




  • Must be either a high school or post secondary school student returning to school in the fall of 2016.
  • Must have own transportation as there is no public transit available
  • Must be able to work with minimal supervision
  • Must be comfortable:

managing web pages, responding to emails, tweets and facebookspeaking to strangers, including approaching them to see if they will fill out a survey or join The Friends of Chippewa Park

MCing the Sunday in the Park Concerts

  • Experience in organizing events an asset
  • Will be required to work weekends and holidays

DURATION OF POSITION:  8 Weeks each – Please see attached position descriptions for work periods



RATE OF PAY:  $11.25 per hour

 POSITION 1: Programming Assistant  (PA)

           WORK PERIOD:               Option A: Post-Secondary Student

June 4 to July 30

Option B: High School Student

          Weekends – June 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 18 & 19

          Summer –    June 25 to Aug 13


 Assists the Volunteer Board in planning and implementing Sundays in the Park Concert Series, Bill Beavis Family Fun Day and coordination of Seniors transportation to the park each Sunday. Conducts and analyses park visitor surveys daily and provides information to the public, maintains the web site and responds to phone calls, emails, tweets and facebook inquiries.  They will also assist in setting up  for various events.


POSITION 2: Programming Assistant (PA)

           WORK PERIOD:               July 11 to September 4


 Assists the Volunteer Board in planning and implementing Sundays in the Park Concert Series and coordination of Seniors transportation to the park each Sunday. Conducts and analyses park visitor surveys daily and provides information to the public, maintains the web site and responds to phone calls, emails, tweets and facebook inquiries.  They will also assist the Melodrama Theatre group in setting up and collecting admissions where appropriate.


 Please emailyour application along with a resume to

  1. You must place the following words (and only those words) in the subject line of the email APPLICATION TO TFOCP.  Any other words will result in the application not being forwarded to the review team and will therefore not be considered
  2. Indicate on your application which of the two positions your are applying for, or if you are applying for both
  3. All applications will be acknowledged by return email
  4. Only those chosen for an interview will receive follow up contact
  5. Any questions can be submitted to the above noted email address
  6. Deadline for applications for Position 1 is Wednesday, June 1
  7. Deadline for applications for Position 2 is Sunday, June 12