The City has experienced major storms with large hail and extreme winds in 2011, extreme flooding that caused the City to declare a state of emergency in 2012, major snowstorms in the springs of 2013 and 2014, and extreme cold temperatures that have stressed water utilities during winter. In 2015, the City adopted a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to address these impacts, called “Climate Ready City.”
A single source platform to access information about climate change impacts and actions has been highly requested in Thunder Bay. In March 2017, the City initiated the development of a new climate change website with locally relevant information to the Thunder Bay community. The website is intended to be a centralized source of tools to understand, talk about, and adapt to climate change. The project was created to fill a gap in place-based awareness-raising about climate change in the Thunder Bay community context. The website is unique in its approach to community engagement and motivation. It presents several different avenues for users to engage and share, and provides an accessible platform for communication about the physical and emotional impacts of climate change. To facilitate this, the website was built on three guiding principles: Head (connect with users at a cognitive level in understanding climate science and impacts), Heart (connect with users at an emotional level and provide the opportunity to share stories and experiences with other users), and Hands (connect with users in an action-oriented way by providing users with actions that can be taken to adapt to the impacts of climate change).