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Economic Development Strategy

Millier Dickinson Blais was contracted by the City of Orillia to prepare an economic development strategy that would guide the economic development activities of the City to the year 2013. The strategy addresses the need for an overall vision mission statement and clearly articulates the role of the City in the delivery of economic development services. The overall objectives for the City's strategic planning process were:

  • To provide the City of Orillia with clear strategic direction that will enable the community to realize a common and achievable economic vision
  • To provide the City of Orillia with a detailed implementation plan that will enable the City to take advantage of local, regional and national opportunities that will attract and retain business investment, create employment, diversify the economy and broaden the tax base.

View Orillia's Economic Development Strategy.

Economic Development Strategy Goals

The City of Orillia's Economic Development Strategy is underpinned by five high level goals, intended to anchor and qualify all strategic initiatives or ensuing actions on the part of the City. These goals also support the overall vision and desired outcomes of the economic development planning process and encourage prosperity and opportunity for the city and its residents.

The five goals are summarized below.

  • Capitalize on our Educational Institutions - The benefit of higher education extends beyond the economic impact of the institution; it can also deliver other important changes to the community. It can be instrumental in improving educational standards and enable more local residents to participate in the opportunities associated with a changing global economy.
  • Place an Emphasis on Lifestyle - Urban quality has become increasingly important in attracting both the educated worker as well as business investment regardless of the size of the community. The quality of the built environment and public spaces, recreational amenities, the vibrancy of its commercial districts, the condition of the road network and transportation system, telecommunications infrastructure - all of these are essential and fundamental to attracting and retaining a talented workforce and creating a desirable place to live.
  • Target Strategic Growth - In targeting economic growth for the City of Orillia, consideration must be given to the prevailing trends in both the local economy and the broader economic region and how best to capitalize on this opportunity. The shift towards a more serviced-based economy that is both skilled and unskilled is transforming communities across North America. So, too, is the societal and economic impact that the emerging creative class of worker is having.
  • Strengthen our Business Community - Given the level of entrepreneurialism in the community, the City needs to work with its business community and its educational institutions to foster an entrepreneurial culture that ensures existing and start-up businesses are being adequately supported on an ongoing basis and positioned as a key to the City's economic growth in the future.
  • Effective Marketing and Promotion - A clear and distinctive identity is essential in the attraction of both people and investment to a city. The impact of global markets and regional competition means that cities must be proactive in responding to the growing trend of international migration, rising levels of education worldwide, the growth of information and technology and the heightened flow of financial investment into foreign markets by investing in sophisticated product development and promotion to gain and maintain their market share. To achieve the vision, the community must see the strategy as a series of inter-connected steps, each with a key role to play in shaping the future of the City of Orillia. It is also important to recognize that the implementation of this strategy does not happen in isolation of other strategic initiatives undertaken by the City or its community stakeholders.

For more information contact the Economic Development Office at 705-325-4900 or by emailing


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