City Initiatives



City of Orillia 150 Initiatives

150 Maple Leaf

Canada150 Tulip

Time Capsule

 Hall of Fame
Banner Project

OOH Exhibit 

Art Park 

150 Maple Leaf 

Orillians invited to sign maple leaf for City's 150 float

150 Maple Leaf

In honour of Canada and Orillia's sesquicentennial, City Council is creating a unique float which will involve citizens in the Canada Day parade.   

In addition to sporting maple leaves signed by students from every elementary and high school in Orillia, the float will include a large one the public is invited to sign leading up to the event. The leaf is on display at the Orillia Public Library until June 29.

Once complete, pictures of the leaves will be included in the 150 time capsule set to be kept on display at the new recreation facility and opened in 25 years. 



Sesquicentennial Time Capsule Project

Share Your Memories with Us

UPDATE: Be sure to visit the City's Time Capsule booth to share your community spirit and make your mark on the 150. The booth will be in Couchiching Beach Park on July 1st from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for visitors to leave a message to future generations of what #myOrillia was like in 2017.


The City of Orillia is inviting residents to share your memories with us for the Sesquicentennial Time Capsule project, which looks to create a digital legacy of 2017 for generations to come. Digitized versions of newspaper clippings, photographs, testimonials and memorabilia are all examples of items we are looking for.

This free initiative is a chance for individuals and organizations to leave their mark and create a legacy of 2017 for generations to come.

Criteria for submissions:

  • Maximum file size is 5MB. Please contact us if you have file sizes larger than 5MB.
  • File formats accepted: AVI, BMP, DOC, DOCX, GIF, MOV, MP3, MPEG, PDF, PNG, WAV, WMA, WMV, XLS. 
  • Only content which meets City of Orillia guidelines will be accepted 
  • Some physical items may be submitted for review at upcoming events (more details on this to follow).
  • Staff are available to assist with submissions and file conversion. 

Click HERE to upload your memories!

For information regarding this initiative please contact Emma Quirt, Cultural Event Coordinator, at equirt@orillia.ca.



Canada 150 Tulip

 Inspired by our nation's flag, the Canada150 tulip will be showcased in thousands of private and community gardens across Canada in honour of the sesquicentennial. Distributed exclusively through Home Hardware, the City of Orillia is proud to partner with our local store to beautify our flower beds with the red and white streaked blooms. 



Orillia Hall of Fame Banner Project

Orillia's Hall of Fame showcases past and present residents who have gone on to do extraordinary things in their field of endeavour. Their hard work has gone on to receive national and international recognition, and place Orillia on the map as a City with amazing residents.

The Commemorative Awards Committee will honour the members of the Orillia Hall of Fame during the Sesquicentennial by installing banners showcasing each member in Orillia's Downtown Core. By highlighting the members of the Hall of Fame, we learn about the history of our community and our neighbours, as well as inspire ourselves to go on and do great things with the talents we possess.

The Committee looks forward to complementing the art and historical installations which will be on display on Orillia's main streets and contributing to the community conversation.

This initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada's 150th, a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Orillia and Area, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.

Cette initiative est rendue possible grâce au Fonds communautaire pour le 150e anniversaire du Canada, qui est une collaboration entre the Community Foundation of Orillia and Area, les fondations communautaires canadiennes, le gouvernement du Canada et des leaders extraordinaires de l'Atlantique au Pacifique à l'Arctique.



OOH Photo Exhibit "A Century of Memories"


For over 117 years, the City has dreamed, laughed, wept and fought inside the Orillia Opera House. Many of the City's defining moments have taken place under its landmark twin spires.

Not long after Orillia became a village, residents began to think about moving the market from its location near the waterfront. After a few years of debate, a landowner named Goldwin Smith agreed to donate a half-acre lot on the northwest corner of Mississaga and West Streets. In return, the Village had to clear Mississaga Street West of stumps so Smith could subdivide another parcel of his land up the street.

Some people in the Village wanted nothing more than a good large shed and a few stalls put up in the market for farmers. But the Village Councillors wanted a new town hall to replace the Temperance Hall and a proper lock-up for the rowdies that plagued their lumber town. Arguments over the building of the hall delayed its opening, and Council finally had its first meeting in the new hall August 7, 1874. This Town Hall and lock-up served well from 1874 to 1877. Council again decided something grander was needed for both the shed and town hall, and after a few false starts, tenders were called for, based on plans prepared by the Toronto architectural firm of Gordon and Halliwell and the Opera House was completed in 1895. It cost taxpayers $25,000 and held the Council Chamber, auditorium, City Hall offices, market stalls and eventually the lock-up.

The Opera House, described as "the finest building for corporation purposes of any town in Ontario", became an immediate source of pride for Orillia. The auditorium had 905 seats with an exquisite wrap around balcony common to the formal Opera Houses of Europe, which might have contributed to its name.

Unfortunately, fire broke out in July 6, 1915 and destroyed most of the building. Construction on a new building was completed in 1917, which has undergone a myriad of renovations and upgrades in subsequent years. These have transformed the Opera House into a world-class venue for the performing arts. Known for its fine acoustics, it has featured such artists as the Marx Brothers, Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, k.d. lang, Mickey Rooney, Dan Hill, Liona Boyd, Blue Rodeo, George Canyon, Paul Brandt, Ron James, Manteca, Lighthouse, The Stampeders and our own hometown boy, Gordon Lightfoot. The 700 seat auditorium was also a movie house from the 20's until the late 50's, making it a favourite place on a Saturday for a kid to spend an afternoon for a quarter.

On January 1, 2017, an exhibit was unveiled honouring this rich heritage. It was installed on the grand staircase on the occasion of the building's 100th anniversary and the City's sesquicentennial. Download the brochure before visiting the site.

Business hours are posted at www.orilliaoperahouse.ca

This project is funded in part by the City of Orillia and Government of Canada.



"Art Park" in Victoria Park

May 20, 2017

11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

(75 Coldwater Rd. W.)

Thank you to all those who participated in Orillia's first Art Parkfeaturing contemporary artists, makers, and performers in Orillia's oldest green space: Victoria Park!

Together we created a friendly and interactive space for artists and the community to gather in celebration of our City's creative past, present and future.


Participating Artists:

  • Patti Agapi
  • Paul Baxter
  • Samantha Dewaele
  • Molly Farquharson
  • Xavier Fernandes
  • Charlene Fiander
  • Harold & Ferne
  • Anne Knegt
  • Beth McKean
  • Cheryl Montague


  • Orillia & District Arts Council (ODAC)
  • Orillia Fine Arts Association (OFAA)
  • Orillia Museum of Art and History
  • Orillia Public Library
  • Vicki Pavis
  • Robyn Rennie
  • Paul Shilling
  • Courtney Thompson
  • Teresa Trainer
  • Hilary Villneff
  • Steph WhalenZephyr Art

stage featuring

​Winnie Brave