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New owner of downtown Washago pharmacy is a familiar face

Don’t let the new name fool you. Ownership of the downtown Washago pharmacy has changed hands, but the face, dedication, and personal small-town service live on. Pharmacist Leah Beers and her husband, Matt, are proud to call Washago their home and are thrilled to be the new owners of the rechristened Beers Family Pharmacy. Located…


Cards and Coasters

Pathways to Employment: Cards and Coasters

We cant say enough positive about the Pathways to Employment program. The ease of applying and receiving the benefits was unmatched compared to other programs we have participated in.   The assistance and guidance this program gave us couldn’t have come at a better time. When we applied for this program we had just opened…



Pathways to Employment Youth Spotlight: Fabstyle

I moved to Orillia in 2022. After being at my old job for 4 years, I was very nervous about starting at a new place of employment.   After living in Orillia for 8 months, I finally found a salon that was everything I had been looking for. I have been a hairstylist with Fabstyle…


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Low Carb #1 Stop

Two female entrepreneurs are working hard to make sure residents of the Orillia area who live with dietary restrictions have somewhere to purchase a variety of delicious foods that they can eat. Janet Paquin Watson and her daughter Jessica own Low Carb #1 Stop on Rama Road. The bright, inviting space stocks a wide variety…



Business Loans: Formac Fabrication

A loan from the Orillia CDC enabled Formac Fabrication to access cash for their day to day operating needs. Need a business loan for your current, short-term operating expenses? Don’t miss this opportunity to get a Business Loan up to $50,000 at PRIME Interest Rate! These loans are tailored for the Tourism, Retail, Service, and…



Business Loans: Cocoon Orillia

A loan from the Orillia CDC enabled Candy Potter (registered psychotherapist) and Steve Caston (graphic designer) to create Cocoon Orillia – beautiful turnkey offices for psychotherapists, social workers and other independent health and wellness practitioners in the Orillia Area. “The CDC understood our vision, and gave us the support, guidance, and financial backing to make…


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Local BizLink Program Recognized with Provincial Award Community Futures Ontario recognizes the BizLink Program as the Community Economic Development (CED) Project of the year. BizLink, a regional Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) program, connects new entrepreneurs with retiring business owners and supports them through successful business transitions, simultaneously developing successful entrepreneurs who create employment, maintain valuable goods and service offerings, and…



Regional Event: Your Entrepreneurial Journey – Don’t Travel Alone On April 5, 2023, BizLink and its four regional Community Futures offices hosted the event: Your Entrepreneurial Journey – Don’t Travel Alone. At this event, attendees learned how to build the right team of people, both within and outside their organization, to enhance their success. The event Included: Networking Adventure Sarah-Jane VandenBerg, Author, Speaker…



Pathways to Employment Youth Spotlight: Lakehead University

“The Pathways to Employment program has served as a wonderful opportunity for me. Recently graduating from the University of Guelph, I was unsure what my next steps would be – something almost every graduate struggles with. I was grateful to work alongside the CDC team to find a job that would suit my skills and…


New owners of Windmill Garden Centre and Landscaping, Timm and Megan McLean

Windmill Garden Centre and Landscaping Some business owners can’t get enough of businesses in Orillia and area, and Timm McLean is definitely one of them. McLean has owned a number of businesses in Orillia, including Extreme Rockstar Clothing which was active from 2008-2014. He is now the CEO of WLTH on Coldwater St. East.   When McLean decided he…


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New Life for The Death Industry: Canadians AWAKE to a Simple, Sustainable & Spiritual Afterlife Alternative

These two Ontario-ordained Ministers and entrepreneurs don’t shy away from conversations about death, even if most of us do. Instead, they educate Canadians on a simple, eco-friendly and innovative alternative to traditional funeral and burial options. Amanda Kelly and Lauren Andrew are the founders of AWAKE, an ashes-to-earth eco-solution company offering Canada’s only carbon-neutral cremation…



Orillia CDC provided lifeline to local businesses amid pandemic

The Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) issued 75 loans in the first year of the pandemic, providing over $2.5 million in COVID-19 relief funding to 59 area businesses through a federal program. Orillia CDC general manager Wendy Timpano gave city council an overview of the organization’s economic development work at this week’s meeting. “We provide business…



Orillia’s Floor Fashion With the help of the BizLink program, Orillia’s Floor Fashion has successfully transitioned owners from Dean Beer to previous store manager Nicole Smith.   BizLink connects business buyers and sellers to help entrepreneurs confidently move forward in the transition process.



Sunshine Windows & Doors With the help of the BizLink program, Tyler Stata and Troy Thompson successfully took over the business Sunshine Windows and Doors.   BizLink is a proven transition program and tool that offer confidentiality and anonymity in buying or selling a business. Bizlink is the only program that offers a business matching service as well…


New owners of Windmill Garden Centre and Landscaping, Timm and Megan McLean

New ownership of local company blossoms from CDC program

Some business owners can’t get enough of businesses in Orillia and area, and Timm McLean is definitely one of them. McLean has owned a number of businesses in Orillia, including Extreme Rockstar Clothing which was active from 2008-2014. He is now the CEO of WLTH on Coldwater St. East. When McLean decided he wanted to…



The UPS Store Meet the new owner of The UPS Store, Kevin Le, who moved to Canada and got connected in Orillia.   BizLink is a proven transition program and tool that offer confidentiality and anonymity in buying or selling a business. Bizlink is the only program that offers a business matching service as well as wrap-around…


Paul and Pat Sheridan recently sold their business with the help of the Orillia Area CDC BizLink program

Sheridan Seating gets new owners with help of CDC

Apparently, Paul Sheridan needs lots of time to work on his golf game. Luckily, thanks to the Orillia Area CDC’s BizLink program, Sheridan will soon have lots of time to do just that. A few years ago, with the help of the BizLink Program, Sheridan started trying to sell his business, Sheridan Seating, in earnest.…


Orillia’s Floor Fashion Centre former owner, Dean Beers. and new owner, Nicole Smith

New owner takes the helm at Orillia’s Floor Fashion Centre

Dean and Roseanne Beers are retired and loving it. The long-time owners of Orillia’s Floor Fashion Centre handed over the keys to the kingdom to former store manager, Nicole Smith, on January 1, 2022. With the help of the Orillia Area CDC, the transition has been seamless and practically painless. “My wife and I were…


Orillia DryWall-Mario

Pathways to Employment: Orillia Drywall

Mario was recently hired by Orillia Drywall as a new comer to Orillia, and to Canada. Pathways to Employment has provided both essential equipment and training support for Mario to begin a new career in his new country of choice in the Drywall industry. Since Maurice Purkiss brought the drywall trade to Orillia in the…


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Orillia Area CDC Provides $26,500.00 to Strengthen Local Businesses

In late 2021, the Orillia Area CDC ‘s Community Capacity Building Fund approved $26,500 in grants to support local projects that improve opportunities for growth and/or success within an organization/business. Of the 42 applications submitted, 12 businesses rose to the top. Proposals showcased projects that are collaborative, innovative, and address local needs and priorities, resulting…


Matt Spencer, owner of CrossFit Orillia, holds a Level 3 trainer certification, something that less than 1% of all CrossFit trainers have attained

Strong support helped CrossFit Orillia weather pandemic

“I was teetering on the edge but wasn’t ready to fail. What we’re doing here is too important; we’re helping to keep people sane, giving them an outlet, and helping them take care of their health.” This is how Matt Spencer, owner of CrossFit Orillia, located at 7 Progress Drive, described his situation when faced…


Changing of the Garnet

Pathways to Employment: Changing of the Garnet

Changing of the Garnet is owned and operated by Susie Maurice. She currently employs 2 youth from the Pathways to Employment Program. Susie has a passion for educating like-minded stylists and training young individuals with an interest in hairdressing.   Susie has struggled with anxiety and depression since she was 9 years old. She understands the hurdles…


1) Welcome to Vettä Nordic Spa

Vettä Nordic Spa

Vettä Nordic Spa Founder and President Eric Harkonen has a passion for Finland, his Finnish heritage, and the Finnish lifestyle. So much so, that he has brought a big piece of that experience to Horseshoe Valley, for everyone to enjoy. Vettä Nordic Spa offers thermal therapy and an authentic Finnish experience with its impressive hot…


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Pathways to Employment: DWN Craft Chocolatier

“DWN Craft Chocolatier is a new business and in order to grow, I needed some help. Participating in the Youth Employment Program has allowed me to pass along my production duties so that I could focus on building the business. It has also allowed me to teach the craft of being a chocolatier.   Traditional…


ShamPooch Dog Grooming triped its business within six months of moving to their Downtown Orillia location

Downtown Orillia business aims to ‘make dogs feel better’

ShamPooch Dog Grooming is located Downtown Orillia, and its storefront location in the city’s Arts District at 19 Peter St. S. has been a boon for business, says ShamPooch owner Dianne Wall. “Within six months of moving from a location along the highway north of Orillia, my business tripled,” explained Wall. “There’s so much traffic…


Skate deck paint workshop with BONES featuring the projector & screen purchased through the CDC’s Community Capacity Building Fund grant

Otter Art Club inspired by and thankful for community

For Travis Shilling, acclaimed Ojibwe artist, and Naomi Woodman, professional photographer, art is not a subject, but a way of understanding who we are. As founders of the Otter Art Club, this belief forms the basis of the community initiative they created in 2018. “The whole idea is to give youth the opportunity to explore…


Mike Mather (left) with his wife Trish Burke (right)

CDC helps local man move from employee to entrepreneur

Mike Mather had a successful career in the automotive service industry, but something was missing. He really wanted to make a difference in peoples lives, and feel the satisfaction that comes from doing something you believe in. “I’ve been fortunate enough to recognize that no matter your chosen occupation, it really is all about people.…


Owners, Laurie (left) and Chris (right) Orser, invite you to enjoy your summer or fall event on their timeless property.

CDC helped Northbrook Farm find ‘silver lining’ amid pandemic

Many businesses have been affected by the global pandemic over the past couple of years, but especially those that are in the business of hosting or providing venues for “large gatherings,” such as weddings. The cancellation and postponement of wedding celebrations has been a huge disappointment, not only to couples planning to celebrate their marriage,…


Kelsey Beesley, owner of My Moon Collective, located downtown Orillia, has creatively weathered the pandemic and is open and ready for business

CDC support helps business cater to modern-day mystics

Kelsey Beesley has recently joined an exciting group of young entrepreneurs who are adding to the character and energy of Orillia’s downtown. Beesley’s new shop, My Moon Collective, joins a growing collection of cafes, restaurants and specialty shops that have opened recently by a new generation of business leaders. Beesley describes her shop, located at…


Design By Bobbi co-owners, Bobbi Leppington and Steve Rossiter with remote staff

Design By Bobbi

“Expanding your business is not stress-free,” admits Bobbi Leppington, but it’s something the co-owner of Design By Bobbi, an Orillia-based custom architectural design firm, has done twice over the past decade – all in an effort to actually reduce stress.   Leppington started her business out of a passion for custom architectural design and a…


Botree Inc.

Pathways to Employment: Botree

At Botree, we were looking to get some additional talent on our team. We felt very passionately about hiring locally. We also, at our core, believe in taking on newer graduates to support mentorship, growth, and innovation with our brand. After several successful hires through the CDC, we were eager to participate in the Pathways…


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Pathways to Employment: Scales Nature Park

“The CDC’s Pathways to Employment program allowed us to hire two youth for the fall and winter.   They helped with our conservation projects and built their off-season skills such as data analysis and project management.   It’s been great to have the extra help, and the CDC has been a wonderful partner to work…


Shanaly Aitchison

Pathways to Employment: COPPERSMITHWEAR

Pathways to Employment couldn’t have come at a better time for Shanaly Aitchison. The Orillia Area CDC’s youth wage subsidy program allowed her to get ahead in life amidst one of the most challenging times that we’ve seen in decades. After leaving her former place of work due to a business relocation, she was able…


Matt Spencer CrossFit Orillia

Orillia businesses pivot operations to survive

Matt Spencer’s CrossFit facility in Orillia has seen the ups and downs of any business struggling to power through the pandemic, and the gym owner says he’s holding strong by pivoting his focus. “I’ve reinvented what we’re doing with the help of business coaches and the community that supports us, and now we’re able to…


Megan Kavanagh

Pathways to Employment: Big Brothers Big Sisters

“This year, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been able to bring on two new staff through the CDC’s Pathways to Employment Program. We are so grateful to the CDC for enabling us to build a mutually beneficial employment relationship with these youth during a year that has been challenging for so many.   We have…


Laurie Thompson previous owner of Chelsea Chocolates (002)

CDC helps Chelsea Chocolates find sweet new owners

John and Laurie Thompson bought Chelsea Chocolates in 2010, located in Craighurst, Oro-Medonte. Becoming small business owners was a steep learning curve for the couple, but one filled with excitement and joy as they expanded and improved Chelsea Chocolates over the years. “We had a wonderful adventure in owning and growing the business,” enthuses Laurie.…


Connor McNeilly

Pathways to Employment: KnightVision Media

When COVID first emerged in March 2020, the entire entertainment industry in Toronto shut down. This, unfortunately, put Connor McNeilly out of work while the industry tried to figure itself out. During this time, Connor was introduced to Tyler Knight, owner of KnightVision Media, and thanks to the Pathways to Employment program, a successful working…


Connor Campbell – Caredove

Pathways to Employment: Caredove

Connor Campbell was hired in July of 2020 as a Full-Stack Developer for Caredove, an e-referral platform that aims to provide quick and easy access to home care and community services. In the 6 months he worked there he collaborated with the other programmers and team members on a number of different projects including database…



Local entrepreneur is cleaning up — and loving it

After nearly 11 years of doing business, Andrew Meades, owner of Meades Restoration in Orillia, considers himself more of an applied chemist than pressure washer. Having around 50 different products used to clean up various surface staining, be it organic matter, grease or oil, chewing gum litter, efflorescence, graffiti, etc., Meades has the experience cleaning…



Pathways to Employment: Happy at Home Support Services

“We’re incredibly thankful for the CDC’s consideration and support during the last year. As we all know, the pandemic made it difficult for new grads and youth to secure full-time employment.   Happy at Home was excited to participate in the Pathways to Employment Program. We interviewed many candidates for our new Finance Admin role…



Pathways to Employment: WLTH

At WLTH we’re always looking for ways to innovate and grow. We’ve always understood the need to be technology focused and aware. But, often that comes at a large cost. After a large investment into our website and our WLTH Blog, we knew it made sense to keep moving forward with our online marketing.…


JamesFoy – CDC

CDC helps local business owner put his passion to work

Everyone should enjoy their properties stress free. That’s why James Foy started his Orillia-based business, All in Home and Yard. He provides interior and exterior property maintenance, such as landscaping, window and eaves trough cleaning, and junk removal. Foy says, this way, his clients — businesses, busy families, or seniors — can skip the hassle.…



Pathways to Employment: VicLyn Industries

Sam Gillett has learned so much during his time at COPPERSMITHWEAR and VicLyn Industries. Thanks to the expertise of the management team, he’s had the chance to develop hard and soft skills, and was encouraged to be creative and ambitious.  It’s been a chance to find new experiences & great opportunities in what’s been a…


2020-12-03 Aiesha Aggarwal at Grant’s Woods

Pathways to Employment: Couchiching Conservancy

Aiesha Aggarwal was hired as a Conservation Researcher and Analyst by the Couchiching Conservancy in October 2020. In her role, she gets to create maps to support their Citizen Science program and is putting together a report on a 12-year running bird survey. “It’s been a joy working alongside like-minded individuals who are passionate about…



Orillia Area CDC helps business flow smoothly

“Dirty hands equal clean money.” says Paul Bosse. With over 18 years in the plumbing business, he ought to know. Bosse owns Poly-B Plumbing with his wife Jody. He opened the company with the aim of offering the Orillia area professional, affordable services that run the gamut. From unclogging drains and fixing leaky pipes, to… …


Michael Fredson, Manticore Books_web

CDC has helped Manticore Books enter new chapter of success

Michael Fredson hopes people visiting his main street bookstore enter alone but leave with a book for a life-long friend. It’s this personal connection and more that Manticore Books, an independent community bookstore located at 103 Mississaga St, E. Downtown Orillia, aims to create for its clients. Michael says this emulates what the Orillia Area…


Functional Fitness Owner, Crystal Cabural

Flexibility helps Functional Fitness stride into success

Crystal Cabural believes healthy people make healthy communities, and that exercising should be enjoyable. As the owner of Functional Fitness, located at 190 Memorial Ave. in Orillia, she’s strived for this since 2015. Crystal, who has a background in physiotherapy assistance, started her business to provide exercise services to those who have been affected by…


Farm View

CDC helps entrepreneur cultivate sale of family business

John and Jill Beischer’s business was like family to them. After all, it had been part of the clan for 43 years. So, when they set about selling Farm View Newspaper last year, John wanted to keep the paper close to home. Last year, the Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) advertised its newly implemented…


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CDC helps ensure success adds up for local accounting firm

Catherine Bristow knows businesses aren’t just spreadsheets — there are people behind the numbers. That’s why she positioned her business to be more interactive. Before launching Cat May CPA Professional Corporation, which now operates remotely, she only intended to serve clients as their year-end accountant. “It is a great advantage for business owners to have…


The Bike Stop Photo

CDC support gets the wheels rolling for The Bike Stop of Orillia

Whether your bike is your main form of transportation or you ride it recreationally, Paul Belanger and Thomas Hulton, the new co-owners of The Bike Stop of Orillia, want to help you get the most out of your cycling experience. “The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) was instrumental in introducing this opportunity and helping…



Orillia chamber celebrates best in business

They serve you food, sell you cars, provide shelter to those in need and promote the area to tourists, and on Wednesday night, they were in the spotlight. The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Achievement Awards at the Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club, where 14 honours were handed out. “This…



Local ‘artrepreneurs’ brush up on the business of art

For many artists, their work is, above all else, a labour of love. That doesn’t mean they can’t turn that passion into a viable business. Fifteen local artists took part in Artrepreneur, a 13-week program that culminated in an expo Thursday night at the Orillia Opera House. “A lot of people think arts and culture…



Making Buying and Selling Businesses Less Stressful

When Jack Johnson applied for a job at a local wellness studio, he was asked one critical question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” “I responded, ‘I see myself in your shoes,” recalls Jack. Little did he know that his response was just what the owner, Amanda, was looking for. Within a few…


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Strength of CDC helps Peak Performance flex its muscles

  Starting a business in an already crowded industry can be daunting for some. For Brandon Peacock, it was an exciting opportunity to carve out his niche and break away from the crowd. Unlike most gyms, Peak Performance is a studio focused on functional fitness, quality movement, and elite personal training. Being a former employee…


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Buying a Dream

Tiffany Denena never though she’d be a business owner, but after 13 years of working at MasterLube Rust Check in Orillia, she took ownership – all with the help of the Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC)  


Owners, Allie Fry and Tyler Knight

Refillery District a step forward for Orillia and planet

The planet called and two entrepreneurs answered. Tyler Knight and Allie Fry knew Orillia needed a zero-waste store, and that’s what gave birth to the Refillery District. “We felt we could make a difference in our community, and eventually the planet,” said Tyler. “We wanted to make it accessible for everybody so it would catch…


Inside The Shop

Community support has been a gem for downtown jewelry shop

Some might say it’s serendipity that had led Sarah Anne Moleme on her entrepreneurial journey, but ask her and she will tell you it is her community that made Sarahannedipity possible. Sarahannedipity is a jewelry store located at 161 Mississaga St E. in Orillia, which opened in the fall of 2017. Each piece of simple,…


Joanna Crichton Photography

Jenna and Sean take over Georgian Chocolate Co.

A passion for art and years of experience in the hospitality business came together in the form of Georgian Chocolate Co. for Jenna Green and Sean Carter. The couple was in the market looking for a local business that would fit their vision of supporting local, and that’s when they met the previous owner of…


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Personal touch at Home Comfort Care is a key to their success

Everyone has their struggles, yet Bonnie Smith and her team at Home Comfort Care have put their own struggles aside to serve and care for the Muskoka community. With three Home Comfort Care shops in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Huntsville, Bonnie and her team provide rehabilitation and health care equipment from sports braces to hospital beds.…


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Orillia wins international attention for business retention work

NEWS RELEASE COUNTY OF SIMCOE ************************* Area partners, including the County of Simcoe, the cities of Barrie and Orillia, Grey County, Bruce County, Georgian College, Nottawasaga Futures Community Development Corporation and South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre, have been recognized by Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) as the 2019 winner of the Multi-Community…


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Second generation of family keeping bustling business afloat

Have you been dreaming of your perfect lakefront retreat, a vision of perfectly reflective waters, and rocky shores? Now you just need the perfect dock so you can go explore that perfect picture, and that’s where On the Water Designs saw an opportunity. On the Water Designs started 18 years ago with a vision to…


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Orillia’s female entrepreneurs at the forefront of change

Orillia is ahead of the pack as Canada looks to foster female entrepreneurs. As part of budget 2018, the federal government created the $20 million Women Entrepreneurship Fund, providing non-repayable contribution funding to female entrepreneurs. Across the country, women own fewer than 16 per cent of businesses, states Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. That…



Local businesses celebrated by chamber of commerce

Local businesses & individuals that go the extra mile were recognized for their accomplishments Thursday. The annual Orillia District Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards were handed out at the Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club. While 30 awards were presented, chamber president Dean Beers gave a shout-out to all businesses that contribute to the…



Flowers and Creativity Have Deep Roots in the Collie Family

Katelyn Collie’s story began by attending the Barrie Farmers’ Market on a regular basis in 2013. From there, the business expanded to a home-based floral business in Sugarbush with a focus on weddings, special occasions and special events. When her business grew to a point where more space was required, the CDC provided financing enabling…



Orillia is growing thanks to millennials, investors and entrepreneurs

The heart of our city — Orillia’s historic downtown and waterfront — is growing thanks to millennials with on-trend ideas, big city investors, and long-standing entrepreneurs. It’s a multi-layer approach to building our economy that gives Orillia a strong chance to be successful, said Laura Thompson, the city’s manager of real estate and commercial development.…


REVIEW: The RBC Work Integrated Learning Program

The RBC Work-Integrated Learning Program is aimed at bridging the gap between the classroom and the work world. The program combines classroom learning with practical application in the workplace, relevant to a student’s program or career goals. This helps Lakehead University students gain technical, entrepreneurial, and social skills and equip them with the resources and…



Chamber recognizes local businesses

The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce recognized the best in business Thursday night at its annual Business Achievement Awards ceremony at the Geneva Event Centre. The event also served as the chamber’s annual general meeting. Mayor Steve Clarke told the packed house it’s a good time to be in business in Orillia, noting the city…


Doug Downey’s Community Insights: CDC

Doug Downey’s Community Insights, a ROGERS TV Orillia communication, came by our office late January 2018 to chat with General Manager, Wendy Timpano about the impact & support the CDC brings to businesses/organizations throughout Ontario’s Lake Country.

Orillia Floor Fashion Centre

Giving both youths and businesses a leg up

Owner Dean Beers (left), with staff Jessica Wiles (centre), and Wes Bennett (right).   Many youth hunting for a job find themselves in a vicious circle: An employer wants to hire someone with experience, but many are wary of providing a youth with that valuable experience. “We have heard this message loud and clear from…


Complete Concrete Forming

Built to succeed

Ryan Crolly, left, and Trevor Lamondin joined forces to create Complete Concrete Forming. With the help of a loan from the CDC, the duo started from scratch and have built a business with a rock-solid foundation that is growing at a rapid pace.   Building a business is a little like building a house: without…


Severn Cycle horiz

CDC offers kick-start

For a motorcyclist, there’s nothing quite like hitting the open road on a finely-tuned hot rod. Scott Smith loves that freedom so much, he’s turned his passion for bikes into a business that puts him in the driver’s seat – in more ways than one. Four years ago, husband and wife team Scott Smith and…



Knight expands business

For Tyler Knight, the road to entrepreneurial success has taken some unexpected twists and turns. Originally, he thought his creative flair and eye for detail would be qualities that would help him become a first-rate cabinet maker. But after learning the trade, he realized it wasn’t for him. So, he took a job at Kahuna…


Up & Out

CDC helps entrepreneur get business up and running

Inspired by healthy living and nature, Robb MacDonald has successfully taken his passions and turned them into an influential, multifaceted business. Originally a marketing and communications consultant, Robb used his social marketing skills and a multi-disciplinary approach to educate communities about healthy eating, and living a more active lifestyle. His focus on behaviour change pushed…


CDC Success Story: Harold + Ferne

Meet young entrepreneur Olivia Neal, owner of Harold + Ferne: The Local Goods Co. and CDC Success Story! After receiving a BA in Political Science, Olivia returned to her hometown of Orillia, and it wasn’t long before the artist in her saw a need to display the area’s ever growing community of makers and artisans.…


CDC Success Story: EarthTreks

Meet Alison Braun, founder of EarthTreks. Alison combined her love of travel in search of the world’s abundance of natural and cultural treasures, with her personal commitment to effect positive social and environmental change to form the vision of EarthTreks. Her business was shortlisted and selected as one of Western Ontario Community Futures most recent…


Harold + Ferne: The Local Goods Co.

The art of small business

After receiving a BA in Political Science, Olivia Neal returned to her hometown of Orillia, and it wasn’t long before the artist in her saw a need to display the area’s ever growing community of makers and artisans. Named after her beloved great grandparents, her business Harold + Ferne: The Local Goods Co. was born…


Chamber hands out business awards

The Orillia Chamber of Commerce recognized local businesses Thursday night during its annual Business Achievement Awards. Several businesses and a couple of non-profits received awards during the ceremony at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club. Award winners are as follows: Entrepreneurial Initiative Momma Mari’s Harold + Ferne: The Local Goods Co. Driverseat Orillia Rustica Pizza…



Uke-a-Ladies work to bring music to kids

The moment Sherry McKinnon and Gayle Wells met they knew they would be friends—but they never imagined they would begin Hummin’ & Strummin’ Music Company together. Gayle, in search of a new career, had just moved to Orillia with her family after 20 years in corporate sales. With a strong background in music she was…


The Kitchen Garden Farm is the brainchild of Greg Simms, pictured here with his family.

CDC Success Story: Finding peace through organic farming

After nine years of dedication, Greg Simms’ career as a professional firefighter began to exact its toll on his health. Greg found a sanctuary in his small garden while facing his health challenges, and that’s where he found peace and healing and discovered his passion for organic farming. “I love to work with my hands…


Impression House

Succession planning another specialty of local CDC

Celebrating her 15th year in the printing industry, Carey Frantz is ready to take over the business her father first purchased in 2001. Impression House, located at 44 Mississaga St. W., takes care of all of your graphic design, binding, copying, printing, and promotional needs. As owner Bob Frantz nears his retirement, Carey decided to…


Coachman & Customer-Getting into Car

Driverseat hits the road in Orillia

Andy Moore, an entrepreneur at heart weary of working for someone else, decided to put himself in the driver’s seat. Literally. With financial assistance from the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC), the local resident recently opened a Driverseat franchise. “It’s a great concept,” Moore said of Driverseat. “You’re helping people and you’re keeping the…



Business one to watch for 20 years

Located at 106 Mississaga St. E. in a beautiful old building built in 1881, Perfect Timing transports you back to yesteryear with its brick walls, fireplace, wing-back chairs, and countless antiques – mainly clocks. Kind and approachable shop owners Rick and Aime Brownbill welcomed me in, and showed me what they were currently working on.…


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Bolen sets up shop in Orillia with CDC’s help

RELEASED: Thursday, February 25, 2016   For almost a decade, Amanda Bolen has been working her way to the top of her field in massage therapy and all its modalities. As a young and driven female entrepreneur, she has always dreamed of owning and operating her own clinic, and when her client base began to…



Client Testimonial: KnightVision Video Productions

Several months ago, I applied to the Community Devel opment Corp. – CDC for their Community Capacity Building Fund grant. I was privileged to receive a grant from the CDC 2 years ago to upgrade my computer system to handle 4K video and applied this year to help fund a full frame camera for weddings.…


S-Business & DevelopmentSuccess Stories & News ReleasePeak PerformancePeak Performance (14)WEB

Community support sets Orillia apart for new business owner

RELEASED: Monday, November 16, 2015   Brandon Peacock wants to help Orillians ‘reach their peak’ by helping them improve their overall health. Peacock, owner of the new Peak Performance gym located at 408 Laclie Street, says he went to school knowing that he wanted to someday start a business in Orillia. “When I went to…


On The Water Designs Dock1

Agency Helps Company Get Its Feet Wet

RELEASED: May 31, 2015 For almost 15 years, On the Water Designs, just north of Orillia, has been making waves in the custom-dock market. The company works in dock manufacturing, sales, accessories and installation. “We manufacture innovative aluminum docks — everything from pole docks to floating docks and tower docks,” said company general manager Brandon…


All In Home and Yard photo

CDC Helps Get Company Off The Ground

RELEASED: May 8, 2015 James Foy loves to work with his hands and, even when he was busy with the demands of work, found time to dabble in landscaping. Recently, he decided to marry that passion with his long-held desire to start his own business. With financial help from the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation…



Award Winning Pumpkin Business Gets Help From Local CDC

Simon Southwell is a successful businessman. He can rhyme off the financials related to his growing enterprise like a pro; his dynamic sales pitch has wowed judges and got him inside the corridors of power. And he’s just 12 years old. “I guess you could say I’m on the ball,” Simon, who has autism, says…


White Lions Tea House

White Lion’s Tea House

Turning a dream into a reality requires hard work, blood, sweat, tears – and money. Laurie Neill was armed with all those critical qualities as she diligently worked to transform the former El Castel Steak House into the quaint tea room she had long envisioned. But the renovations were much more onerous, extensive and expensive…


Saturday Afternoons

Saturday Afternoons

When the chance to purchase Saturday Afternoons Home Store presented itself, Michelle Madden jumped at the opportunity. “I definitely have a flair for anything related to the home and interior design, so Saturday Afternoons is a great fit for me,” said Madden, who said being downtown was critical. “To me, downtown is the heart and…



Orillia Woodworking

Martin Stannus, an experienced general contractor, purchased Orillia Woodworking Inc. this summer. He said the well-respected company’s competent staff, coupled with its strong core business attracted his interest. And, with the help of a loan from the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (OACDC), he was able to complete the purchase in June. “We are grateful…


Lake Country Grill

Lake Country Grill

Banks rarely line up to offer new businesses financing. And if it’s a new restaurant on the menu, they are even less likely to ante up cash. That’s why the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) was so critical to Diana Roman and Rob Frost when they decided to open a new eatery in Orillia.…



Going with Gibb

When Brian Gibb lost his job at Casino Rama – alongside dozens of other employees – he found himself at a crossroads. Like most people, he polished his resume and applied for 292 jobs before attending a job fair at Orillia Square mall – it was a decision that would dramatically alter his path. “The…


Carthew Bay 005

Carthew Bay General Store

A bike ride with his children changed the course of Senti Rasa’s life – and altered the destiny of the general store that is the heart of Carthew Bay. “I have a cottage on Line 12 and me and the kids decided to bike to the Carthew Bay Store for ice cream,” recalled Rasa, who…