Government of Canada invests nearly $14 million to grow the economy in Barrie and surrounding region

News release

FedDev Ontario supports 45 projects in Barrie and surrounding Bruce, Grey and Simcoe counties to attract visitors and enhance public spaces 

January 23, 2023 – Barrie, Ontario

Barrie and the surrounding communities of Bruce, Grey and Simcoe attract millions of visitors each year to the area’s four-season tourist attractions, which is why investing in tourism and welcoming public spaces is so important. With investments from the Government of Canada, communities are working to rebound from the pandemic and position themselves for a strong future.

Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a total investment of nearly $14 million for 45 projects in Barrie and surrounding Bruce, Grey and Simcoe counties. These investments, through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) and the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF), will enhance tourism attractions to welcome more visitors, and improve public spaces to build stronger communities. Together, these investments will create jobs, grow local economies and provide accessible, public community spaces for all to enjoy.

The announcement took place at the Peggy Hill Team Community Centre and was hosted by the Corporation of the City of Barrie, which received an investment of $110,000 to partner with Tourism Barrie to create a Sport Tourism Strategy, which will provide essential information and recommendations to attract sports events to the city.

The City of Barrie also received an investment of more than $1.4 million to revitalize and construct play courts and playgrounds; install new energy-efficient lighting throughout the city; rehabilitate the landscape at John Edwin Coupe Park; and renew the streetscaping around the Barrie Public Library in the downtown core.

Also highlighted during the announcement was Hardwood Ski and Bike Inc., in Oro-Medonte, Ontario, which received an contribution of up to $100,000 to purchase and retrofit a modular trailer with industrial kitchen equipment. This investment will help to create a full-service food facility that will enhance the visitor experience at the resort.   

An additional 41 tourism and communty infrastructure projects are receiving support to aide in recovery from the pandemic, safely welcome back visitors, and strengthen communities. For more information about the projects, please see the backgrounder


“As we move past the acute phase of the pandemic, Canada’s tourism sector is showing strong signs of growth. The Government of Canada’s investments in tourism over the last two years focused on the survival of our visitor economy. As we move to revival and growth, we continue to provide targeted support to businesses and communities so they can deliver unforgettable experiences as well as make significant investments in resilient public infrastructure. A robust tourism sector and vibrant community spaces are key to our government’s ongoing work in building an economy that works for all Canadians.”
– The Honourable Minister Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance  

“Today’s announcement for the tourism sector and community infrastructure in Barrie and surrounding regions will help to bring back visitors, drive tourism and support communities so they are well positioned for a strong future. Our government is committed to making smart investments that put people first, improve public spaces and grow local economies that work for everyone.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario 

“There is ample opportunity in Barrie, which is what attracts folks to our area. This funding is not only going to help our community bounce back post-pandemic but support the growth and development of our local economy in a substantial way.”
– His Worship Alex Nuttall, Mayor of Barrie

“Our motivation is to keep a great outdoor facility alive for families to enjoy for generations to come. Thanks to this support through the Tourism Relief Fund delivered by FedDev Ontario in southern Ontario, we have been able to build a new food service facility and improve the experience of visitors to the resort.”
– Gareth Houben, President, Hardwood Ski and Bike Inc. 

Quick facts

  • As a four-season destination, the City of Barrie relies on tourism as an important economic driver. In 2019, over 2 million domestic visitors to Barrie contributed $300 million to the local economy and supported over 8,000 jobs in Barrie. An additional 85,000 international visitors spent almost $36 million that year.

  • Hardwood Ski and Bike is a four-season resort that offers rentals, lessons, and kilometers of beautiful, rolling trails through hardwood and pine forests for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, trail running, and hiking, attracting more than 50,000 visitors each year. 

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Since 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $90 million in more than 160 projects in Bruce, Grey and Simcoe counties estimated to create over 800 jobs and maintain over 3,000 jobs.

Associated links


Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

FedDev Ontario
Media Relations

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