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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Jessica

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…

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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 WLTH.ca and our WLTH Blog, we knew it made sense to keep moving forward with our online marketing.…

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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.…

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Sam Gillett_VICLYN INDUSTRIES & COPPERSMITHWEAR

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…

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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…

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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… …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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)  

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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