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Installation view of Thunder Bay IOD. Harbourfront Centre. Photography: Tom Bilenkey.

Thunder Bay IOD

December 18 - December 18, 2018

Brook McIlroy

“Architecture has graver ends: capable of the sublime…”
— Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier’s seminal 1931 publication, Towards a New Architecture, celebrated Canada’s Great Lakes grain elevators as heroic architectural achievements exemplified by Thunder Bay’s ‘Pool 6’, which was then the world’s largest.

Excerpt from Le Corbusier's Towards a New Architecture

The City of Thunder Bay has begun an ambitious project of converting its industrial waterfront to public trails, parks and villages. This era of transformation – predicated on embracing the waterfront as an amenity – has also seen the removal of some of its heroic industrial legacy embodied in the massive structures that line the shores of Lake Superior.

The Iron Ore Dock (IOD) is one such structure; designed by C.D. Howe and built in 1944, it stands today, overlooking Thunder Bay’s ‘Sleeping Giant’ peninsula. Engaging these heroic and historic structures as permanent elements in a waterfront park network offers a remarkable opportunity for a reinvigorated community identity.

Embedded in a ‘working’ waterfront – IOD Park fuses dichotomous elements into a new composite of mega structure/meadow, wetland/theatre, forest/acrobatic school, fish habitat/music hall, bird nesting/outdoor cinema, phyto-remediation lab/water park, and northern spirit sanctuary/zip line course.

Team Members:
Calvin Brook, Anne McIlroy, Rajko Jakovic, Victoria Taylor, Stacy Anderson, Paul Gorrie, Tsugumi Kanno, Zhongwei Shi, Amrit Phull, Sanford Riley, Shawna Bowen, Tsenye Ing, Jana Joyce, Jessica Hawes, Linda Dervishaj, Matt Reid, Blair Scorgie, Nooshin Talebiani, Marta Sitek, Judy Sanz-Sole, Morteza Behrooz, Georgia Brook, Rochelle Haw

Mike Lalich (photographer), Paul Morralee (videographer), Benjamin Brook (videography), Derek Ledoux (sound designer), Ken Johnson, Arc-Design (trough sculptor/fabricator)

Special Acknowledgments:
John Twigg (Northern Wood), Chief Hay and the City of Thunder Bay Fire Department Kathy Ball, Katherine Dugmore, Gary Wood (City Of Thunder Bay)


Brook McIlroy was founded on the ambition to create a truly multi-disciplinary practice to address the complex and interrelated challenges of contemporary city building. Our office combines practices in architecture, urban design, landscape architecture and planning into an integrated studio based in downtown Toronto.

Recent projects include waterfronts in Toronto, Thunder Bay, Windsor and Montenegro; Parc Downsview Park National Urban Park (Toronto); The Gardiner Expressway Transformation project; Jarvis Street Transformation and over a dozen campus projects for universities across Canada and the United States.

Recognizing the profound impact our cities, buildings and landscapes have on the global environment, Brook McIlroy proactively integrates sustainable development into all projects and the workplace.

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