Government of Canada invests over $1.5 million to help revitalize community infrastructure and tourism industry in Sarnia-Lambton

News release

FedDev Ontario supports six projects to revitalize communities, support local tourism and create conditions for local economies to rebound

July 27, 2022 – Sarnia, Ontario

One of the busiest commercial land border crossings in North America, strategically located on the Ontario–Michigan border, Sarnia-Lambton is a dynamic hub for businesses and tourists, drawn to its local markets, city’s waterfront, trails and parks. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the growth of local communities, across regions like Sarnia-Lambton, to position them for a strong and resilient economic present and future.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Peter Fragiskatos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for London North Centre, announced an investment of over $1.5 million in support for six community infrastructure and tourism projects across Sarnia-Lambton under the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) and Tourism Relief Fund (TRF). These investments will create and revitalize community spaces and enhance tourism attractions to welcome more visitors and build stronger, more vibrant communities.

The announcement was made in the Town of Petrolia at Victoria Hall, home to Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, a 400-seat state-of-the-art theatre in the centre of downtown Petrolia, which is receiving $116,825. With this TRF investment, Victoria Playhouse will extend its season from three to six weeks, add digital screens to bring visitors back to the theatre and enhance their experience. The Town of Petrolia is also receiving a $699,000-non-repayable CCRF investment to improve the Petrolia YMCA Community Centre creating a fitness and wellness hub for the residents of Petrolia as well as its surrounding communities.

An investment of over $47,400 was also announced for the Kiwanis Club of Forest to improve the interior and exterior of Kiwanis’ flagship, historic Kineto Theatre.

Additional details on the six projects that received support can be found in the backgrounder.


“The Government of Canada is investing in community infrastructure and tourist attractions that will help revitalize communities and attract tourists from around the world. Today’s investment will help improve the quality of life for residents across Sarnia-Lambton by providing communities with the necessary tools to drive regional economic growth, advance cross-border tourism and fuel community engagement back in our neighbourhoods.”
The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Community spaces and the tourism industry in Sarnia-Lambton is vital to our local economy and the vibrancy of our communities. Today’s investment in six community infrastructure and tourism projects will help to enhance existing public infrastructure and local events that will safely welcome vistors, and prepare for a more resilient future with positive ripple economic benefits to the region.”
Peter Fragiskatos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for London North Centre

“We are extremely grateful for this financial support to assist with tourism and recreation in the Town of Petrolia. The importance of these two areas in our municipality have been underscored during the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery and enhancement will provide amazing recreational amenities and increased tourism to our community. We thank you very much for your support and vision.”
 – His Worship R. Brad Loosley, Mayor of the Town of Petrolia

“The Kiwanis Club of Forest owns and operates the Kineto Theatre, one of the world’s oldest, independent movie theatres. The FedDev Ontario funding will allow us to finish the façade and other upgrades making the 106-year-old building a stunning showcase in our downtown streetscape. The theatre, often referred to as the gem of the town, is a cultural hub that attracts patrons from across Lambton County and beyond.”
Sandy Burkhart, President, Kiwanis Club of Forest

Quick facts

  • Sarnia is a city in southwestern Ontario, located where Lake Huron flows into the St. Clair River at the Canada-U.S. border. As a waterfront community with easy access to the United States, the city attracts international visitors each year and boosts revenue for local businesses and economic growth.

  • With a national investment of $500 million over two years, the Canada Community Revitalization Fund supports projects that build new community infrastructure and revitalize existing assets, bring people back to public spaces safely and stimulate local economies. This includes $139 million for projects in southern Ontario, delivered by FedDev Ontario. 

  • The Government of Canada’s $500-million Tourism Relief Fund is helping tourism-oriented businesses and organizations recover from the pandemic and prepare for future growth, with a minimum of $50 million of the Fund allocated to supporting Indigenous-led projects or Indigenous focused projects. FedDev Ontario is delivering nearly $120 million of the Tourism Relief Fund across southern Ontario.

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $45 million in more than 30 projects in Sarnia-Lambton, creating over 800 jobs and maintaining over 500 jobs.

  • Today’s $1.5 million Government of Canada investment is pending successful completion of signed contribution agreements.

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Associated links


Monica Granados
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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