Government of Canada investment of over $10 million supports tourism recovery in Bruce Grey and Simcoe
Nearly 120 projects supported to enhance recreational facilities, parks and trails to attract visitors to region
May 25, 2023 – Barrie, Ontario
In Bruce, Grey, and Simcoe, tourism attractions like skiing, hiking, and other recreational activities play a vital role in the region’s economy and cultural identity, promoting the unique heritage and natural beauty of the region. The Government of Canada understands the importance of the tourism sector and is committed to supporting communities as they build towards a strong future from coast to coast to coast.
During Economic Development Week, we are highlighting the important investments that have been made across Ontario to support the tourism industry. Between 2022 and 2023, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) delivered nearly $140 million through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) to help tourism-oriented businesses and organizations across southern Ontario recover from the impacts of the pandemic and safely welcome back visitors.
As part of this investment, more than $11.2 million was delivered to 118 tourism businesses and organizations across Bruce, Grey and Simcoe, providing memorable experiences for visitors and positioning the region for success.
For example, the Orillia Museum of Art and History received a contribution of over $330,000 to develop a public art plan, installing works of public art and signage to draw residents and visitors to different locations across the community.
TRF support also made a difference in the community of Port Elgin, where the Kenorous Campground and RV Resort, a full service campground, received $100,000 to install an additional pool, attracting new visitors and enhancing their experience.
Also as part of this Government of Canada support, Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO 7) provided non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 to tourism businesses and organizations in the region.
This included support for an Elmvale-based paintball park, Wasaga Adventure Park, which received more than $52,000 to create a second speedball arena to host provincial and national paintball tournaments and establish a new themed playing area. This expansion complements the region’s recognition as a year-round Sports Tourism destination.
These investments have been crucial in helping local businesses and organizations welcome more visitors and build stronger, more vibrant communities.
“With an investment of nearly $140 million for the Ontario tourism sector, our government has been making smart investments that put people first and grow local economies that work for everyone. A new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy will keep this industry strong and support the vitality of communities small and large across the country.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“It’s time for Canada’s tourism sector to push past reviving all the way to thriving. Our government’s investments in tourism over the last three years focused on sustaining and rebuilding the tourism ecosystem, promoting what we have and designing for the future. A fully recovered and robust tourism sector is key to our government’s ongoing work to build an economy that works for everyone. Together, we can make sure that Canada’s tourism sector is something that visitors and Canadians alike will celebrate and enjoy for generations to come.”
– The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance
“Orillia is a vibrant, growing city full of arts and cultural opportunities. Public art adds to these opportunities, providing new destinations across the City for the public to explore. I would like to thank the Government of Canada for funding this exciting initiative through the Tourism Relief Fund and the Art in Public Places Committee for all their efforts bringing this project to fruition.”
– His Worship, Don McIsaac, Mayor of Orillia
“We are very thankful for the opportunity to enhance our facilities through the assistance of the Tourism Relief Fund and the Government of Canada. We know this summer will be our best one yet, with the exciting addition of our second pool, where more guests can enjoy the fun and cool off!
– Jason Queenen, President, Kenorus Campground & RV Resort
“The investment through TRF in Wasaga Adventure Park has advanced the Adventure Park to become the paintball enthusiast’s destination of choice across Ontario. The new Woodsball Field has created interest within the paintball community not only in Ontario but Quebec as well. The addition of the new speedball field is the finest in all of Ontario if not Canada and put us as the most desirable place for tournaments.”
– Donna Langman Owner/Operator Wasaga Adventure Park
The mission of the Orillia Museum of Art and History is to provide inclusive space to engage community, inspire creativity and celebrate culture, by exploring art and history.
Featuring a pool, splash pad, basketball court, horseshoe pits and more, the Kenorous Campground and RV Resort offers fully serviced campsites for guests to enjoy.
Located just an hour north of Toronto, Wasaga Adventure Park attracts more than 18,000 visitors each year to participate in recreational activities such as paintball, laser tag, archery tag and more.
FedDev Ontario delivered nearly $140 million of the Tourism Relief Fund across southern Ontario, including $76.5 million in support for southern Ontario’s 11 Regional Tourism Organizations and Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO). As part of this investment, ITO received $3.5 million and has delivered $2 million to support 23 Indigenous-led tourism projects across southern Ontario and fostered connections between Indigenous tourism operators and Regional Tourism Organizations (RTOs) in the region.
In Budget 2023, the Government of Canada proposed a $108-million investment over three years as part of a Federal Tourism Growth Strategy to support growth, investment and stability in Canada’s tourism sector. Subject to parliamentary approval, this support, to be delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies including FedDev Ontario, will help ensure that our tourism industry can continue to be a driver of good jobs and vibrant communities across Canada.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $90 million in more than 170 projects across Bruce, Simcoe, and Grey, estimated to create over 900 jobs and maintain over 3,300 jobs.
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
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