Ontario Construction News staff writer
A new $1.2 billion, 345-bed correctional complex in Thunder Bay will relieve capacity pressures and create additional space.
Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2026
Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and the Ministry of the Solicitor General have awarded a fixed-price contract to EllisDon Infrastructure Justice to design, build, finance and maintain the Thunder Bay Correctional Complex project. The contract, adjusted for inflation, reflects payments during construction, a substantial completion payment and monthly service payments during the 30-year operations and maintenance period.
The EllisDon Infrastructure Justice team includes:
- Developer: EllisDon Capital Inc.
- Design-Builder: EllisDon Corporation
- Design Team: Zeidler Architecture Inc. and DLR Group Inc.
- Facilities Management: EllisDon Facilities Services Inc.
- Financial Advisor: EllisDon Capital Inc.
“We are very excited to be part of a project team to deliver this terrific facility that will serve a great purpose to the community of Thunder Bay,” said Wayne Ferguson, Senior Vice President and Area Manager of EllisDon Infrastructure Justice.
The site was designed with input from frontline staff, local municipal partners, stakeholders and Indigenous leaders. Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2026.
Increased levels of natural light and views of nature, along with fixtures and furnishings that will create a healthy environment for both staff and those in custody. There will also be dedicated Indigenous cultural spaces, both indoors and outdoors, such as a smudging space, sweat lodge and teaching lodge. Some of the outdoor features will include a communal gathering space, greenhouse, and secure yard.
This project is one of a series of corrections infrastructure builds in the North.
“This is welcome news for Northwestern Ontario,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development. “Correctional facilities play an important role in keeping communities across the North safe. We will continue to develop northern communities with good-paying jobs and key infrastructure, as our government understands the unique challenges of the Northwest.”
Last month, expansion projects were completed at the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre and Kenora Jail to help address overcrowding while the Thunder Bay complex is under construction.
“Replacing out-of-date infrastructure that no longer meets current needs is an investment in corrections modernization and public safety,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “This new facility will provide staff with the tools, technology and healthy work environment needed to do their jobs safely and effectively while providing a high standard of care and supervision for those in custody.”