Car insurance Thunder Bay, ON

Part of a series on car insurance rates in Ontario.

Fast facts about auto insurance in Thunder Bay

Average annual car insurance rate

Regular drivers in the city

Collisions per year (approximately)


Collision rate for the city

Average age

Average household income


Unemployment rate


Understanding car insurance in Thunder Bay, Ontario

Sitting halfway between Sudbury and Winnipeg, Thunder Bay is one of the major cities in northern Ontario. Despite harsh winters and a lot of open road, residents here actually have great car insurance rates on average.

Despite the open roads and great highway access, residents of Thunder Bay don’t have to spend all that much time driving. This seriously lowers everyone’s exposure to risk on the road. Winter tires should still be a priority due to harsh winters, though.

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Get your bundle on & save!

Want even cheaper insurance? Save up to 50% on home and up to 18% on car insurance when you bundle them.

Busting myths about driving and insurance in Thunder Bay

Myth: Thunder Bay’s jobs are far away, forcing you to commute.

False.  The vast majority of Thunder Bay’s workforce has a local commute within the city’s boundaries. Specifically, about 85% of the city’s workforce works locally (according to Statistics Canada). There’s an overwhelming chance that you won’t have to drive very far.

45.3% of the workforce commutes for 15 minutes or less.

Myth: Thunder Bay isn’t a safe place to live.

Thunder Bay does have a higher crime severity index than most of Ontario, but there are 67 more dangerous cities in Canada as of 2019. Thunder Bay’s index of 88 is eclipsed by North Battleford (372), Red Deer (222), and even Regina (117).

With that said, the city does have the highest rate of homicides per 100,000 people across Canada.

Myth: Thunder Bay is an overwhelmingly industrial city.

False. In fact, Thunder Bay is home to over 100 parks inside of the city, never mind all of the natural trails you can hike outside of the city.

It’s not true about the job market, either. Healthcare is the largest employment sector by far, followed by retail, education, public administration, and food services.

Myth: Thunder Bay is out of the way, making highway access difficult.

Not true. Highway 17 runs north-south along the city’s western edge, becoming Highway 61 south of its intersection with Highway 11 (the Harbour Expressway).

Thunder Bay is a decent distance from the nearest major population centres, but that makes it a crucial stop along Ontario’s supply line through northern Ontario.

How Thunder Bay’s rates compare to other cities in Ontario

  • North York: $4,261
  • Etobicoke: $4,199
  • Brampton: $4,071
  • Scarborough: $3,825
  • East York: $3,605
  • Woodbridge: $3,603
  • Richmond Hill: $3,579
  • Mississauga: $3,473
  • Markham: $3,389
  • Niagara Falls: $3,321
  • Bowmanville: $3,308
  • Peterborough: $3,259
  • Pickering: $ 3,245
  • Newmarket: $ 3,216
  • Hamilton: $3,201
  • Brantford: $ 3,158
  • Maple: $3,150
  • Whitby: $3,087
  • Ajax: $3,053
  • York: $2,999
  • Toronto: $2,983
  • Barrie: $2,924
  • Thornhill: $2,871
  • Waterloo: $2,867
  • Caledon: $2,780
  • London: $2,765
  • Fort Erie: $2,720
  • Oakville: $2,720
  • Sault Ste Marie: $ 2,713
  • Kitchener: $2,705
  • Milton: $2,680
  • St Catharines: $ 2,550
  • Windsor: $2,536
  • Woodstock: $2,513
  • Innisfil: $2,505
  • Burlington: $2,476
  • Kingston: $ 2,360
  • Cambridge: $2,297
  • Oshawa: $2,295
  • Guelph: $2,268
  • Gloucester: $2,256
  • Stoney Creek: $2,222
  • Nepean: $2,196
  • Ottawa: $2,195
  • Sudbury: $2,005
  • Kanata: $2,002
  • Thunder Bay: $1,973
  • Wasaga Beach: $1,958

Quick tips on insurance and driving in Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay gets nasty winters. Invest in winter tires, because they work.

Thunder Bay gets the worst of both worlds when it comes to winter. 

The science is in. Winter tires work better than summer or all-season tires under 7 degrees celsius. They get more traction, they don’t harden up like regular tires, and they allow you to brake faster and more safely.

The best part? Ontario’s insurance companies give you an insurance discount for using them.

Avoid Thunder Bay’s most dangerous intersections to protect yourself.

Dangerous intersections increase your odds of being in a collision. Collisions hurt you as much as they hurt your auto rates, so avoid the worst ones whenever you can. Here’s the list:

  • Balmoral Street and Harbour Expressway
  • Golf Links Road and Harbour Expressway
  • Arthur Street and James Street South
  • Harbour Expresway and Memorial Avenue

Avoid neighbourhoods with high rates of claims and reported crimes.

Car insurance rates are affected by where you live. The statistical odds of a claim being made over property damage or car theft differs everywhere, so living in these neighbourhoods could help reduce rates:

  • Communities south of Arthur Street and north of Mary Street
  • South of Arthur Street East and east of Edward Street South
  • Neigbbourhoods surrounding Chapples Municipal Golf Course.
  • Neighbourhoods north of River Street, and even some south of it.

Sources for fast facts about Thunder Bay:

  • Statistics Canada, Thunder Bay 2016 Census Profile
  • Ministry of Transportation, 2016 Road Safety Report
  • TB News Watch, “Thunder Bay’s most dangerous intersections in 2017”
  • CBC News, “Thunder Bay, Ont. once again homicide capital of Canada”
  • Thunder Bay Police Community Crime Map
  • Maclean’s, “Canada’s Most Dangerous Places 2019”
  • Thunderbay.ca, “City Parks”
  • CBC News, “Beware slippery winter driving: Thunder Bay police”

Source for average insurance rates by city:

  • Survey of 2,800 auto insurance policy holders in Ontario

Google Rating: 4.8

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