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Approximately $125,000 in Downtown Orillia Grant funds still available in 2017

Posted on Friday March 24, 2017
Business owners standing outside their shop

Orillia Today

A brewery-to-be is among the first batch of businesses to benefit from a city initiative aimed at boosting Orillia’s core.

Five projects shared in approximately $60,000 in grants through the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan grant program.

Of that pie, Orillia Brewing Company Inc. received a slice worth approximately $24,000.

“We always wanted to be an active part of the downtown core, and to have an opportunity to really contribute to Orillia’s downtown is just fantastic,” said Rob Meeder, one of eight partners in a venture that will see a micro brewery/restaurant established in a building at 162 Mississaga St. E. “It’s a big investment, so having a grant like this made available to us is good for us and very gratifying.”

“We look forward to assisting other businesses with their development plans over the course of the next two program intakes": Laura Thompson

Launched in January, the municipality’s community improvement program includes financial incentives designed to stimulate development in the downtown.

“Council is making a number of strategic investments in the downtown waterfront area, and we want to help small businesses do the same,” Mayor Steve Clarke said during a March 20 presentation at city hall. “Working together with our local businesses will result in a stronger, more vibrant downtown that will ultimately attract new residents, visitors and businesses to the area.”

Other early beneficiaries of the program include Impression House ($4,245 for stair replacement and façade improvement); Crossroads Staffing ($601 for signage and façade repairs); Enertest Corporation ($9,600 for renovations of an Andrew Street building, including façade improvements); and Mariano Tulipano ($20,570 for rehabilitation of a unit previously occupied by Marvel Beauty School).

Approximately $125,000 in funding remains available for 2017.

“The economic development department is extremely pleased that the first intake of the … program is able to support such a diverse range of projects,” said Laura Thompson, manager of real estate and commercial development. “We look forward to assisting other businesses with their development plans over the course of the next two program intakes.”

The deadlines for the second and third rounds of grants are April 30 and Oct. 31 respectively.

Pre-consultations with the economic development department are required, and businesses are encouraged to apply early, as funds are limited.

For more information, call 705-325-4900, or visit