Eastern Ontario Business Journal Spring 2022

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POWER PEOPLE

THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES SPECIALISTS WHO SUPPORT EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESSES

EASTERN ONTARIO’S OUTPUT

26 SURPRISING THINGS MADE IN THE REGION

Talent trials Regional employers are getting creative in bids to attract employees and foster growth.

SPRING 2022 Vol. 02, NO. 01

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@obj_news

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International Gateway Bridges to U.S. Port of Johnstown Full Rail Service ___________________ Business & Industrial Parks Serviced Land Unserviced Land _____________________

for Small Business

1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Waterways

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Opportunities

econdev@uclg.on.ca | 613-342-3840 ext. 5365 | 1-800-770-2170


14 POWER PEOPLE

THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES SPECIALISTS WHO SUPPORT EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESSES

EASTERN ONTARIO’S OUTPUT

26 SURPRISING THINGS MADE IN THE REGION

Talent trials Regional employers are getting creative in bids to attract employees and foster growth.

SPRING 2022 Vol. 02, NO. 01

eobj.ca

@obj_news

OBJNews

ottawabizjournal

ottawa-business-journal

11 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

INTRODUCING EOBJ The Eastern Ontario Business Journal is a new sister publication to the Ottawa Business Journal, building on its 25-year history of covering business communities both in the National Capital Region and beyond. The publication contains key data, contacts and industry trends from across Eastern Ontario. Explore the competitive advantages, market opportunities and major employers in various communities across the region on the following pages.

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FOCUS ON THE LABOUR SHORTAGE IN EASTERN ONTARIO AND THE PEOPLE TRYING TO FIX IT

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PRESIDENT Michael Curran, 613-696-9491 publisher@obj.ca PUBLISHER Terry Tyo, 613-601-9734 terry@greatriver.ca EDITOR Jennifer Campbell, 613-291-2901 jenn@jenncampbell.ca

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CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tanya Connolly-Holmes, 613-696-9487 creative@greatriver.ca

Tackling the talent dearth head-on Power people: Seven economic development officers who foster growth and nurture new businesses Power people: Professional services masters provide business support in the region Manufacturing magnet: Surprising things made right here in Eastern Ontario

EASTERN ONTARIO

STAYCATION GUIDE

DESIGN DEPARTMENT Celine Paquette, 613-696-9486 celine@greatriver.ca FINANCE Cheryl Schunk, 613-696-9490 cheryl@greatriver.ca

Eastern Ontario executive business briefs

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PRESIDENT Michael Curran

There’s never been a better time to discover the world-class attractions and can’t-miss events right in your backyard.

close to home

Here are the top things to see and do this spring and summer in Ottawa and the valley and along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

adventure

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Innovation needed to attract talent

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Ask business owners these days about what’s troubling them and you’re almost certain to get the same response: the talent shortage. The cover story of this issue of EOBJ provides ample evidence of that. Identifying, recruiting and retaining talent is a burning issue, but it’s not a new one. The challenge was here long before the pandemic arrived. What’s changed is the sense of urgency — maybe even desperation — for attracting talent. Business owners are able, in this environment, to draw a direct correlation between unfilled jobs, revenues and profits. If Ottawa’s business leaders thought they had it bad, consider the plight of businesses in more outlying communities. From almost every perspective, businesses in communities such as Almonte, Iroquois and Renfrew are dealing with more complex challenges. Demographics (fewer young people), geography (more remote and less likely to attract immigrants), a dearth of new housing (small towns are less likely to attract major subdivisions) and transportation (little to no public transit) are all mixed in a giant human resource cauldron that’s bubbling over. Fear not, not all is lost. Eastern Ontario has its opportunities. First, there are lifestyle advantages: a slower

pace of life, more personal connections with neighbours, clean air and wide open spaces. All of this is alluring to young families and retirees alike. The next opportunity is thanks to the almost ubiquitous high-speed internet access that comes from new low Earth orbit satellites, such as Elon Musk’s Starlink and, hopefully soon, Telesat’s Lightspeed. Simply put, unlimited high-speed internet is a game-changer for outlying communities. It’s comparable to the electrification of rural Ontario in the 1900s. High-speed internet allows for remote work, but also for companies to consider new headquarters outside of urban centres. The final opportunity is immigration. An acute labour shortage is having a direct impact on wage levels. As wages rise in industries ranging from manufacturing to service, this becomes a powerful economic incentive to seek new immigrants. The recent federal budget raised the goal for annual immigration to 450,000 by 2024. While the HR situation is desperate, it’s not insurmountable. Here’s the bottom line. For all the bellyaching about the talent shortage — albeit much of it justified — business owners need

to get serious about how HR fits into their corporate strategy and what innovation they can bring to recruitment and retention. Need ideas? Offer forgivable loans to purchase new homes for employees who reach retention goals. Join with postsecondary institutions to create training programs and directly access graduating students. Use new ride-sharing technology to help rural employees commute. Partner with economic development officials to welcome new immigrants. Invest in art projects and festivals to make small communities even more attractive. Entice seniors to return to work on a part-time basis to supplement retirement savings. Business owners would be wise to embrace more sophisticated HR strategies and get innovative to solve their people problems.

@objpublisher Michael Curran

Launch Lab’s investor synergies:

The regional innovation centre is now working closely with the Southeastern Ontario Angel Network to continue to spark economic growth in the region.

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THE INNOVATION CENTRE LE CENTRE D’INNOVATION


EXECUTIVE BRIEFS Expansions under way BELLEVILLE — Sprague Foods Ltd. and Ontario Truss and Wall Ltd. — both in the Belleville area — have received funding from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund. Sprague Foods, which sells shelf-stable foods in Canada and the U.S., is investing more than $5.6 million to build a new storage facility. The project has received a $500,000 investment from the provincial government and will create 14 jobs. Ontario Truss and Wall, meanwhile, is investing $8.4 million in two new product lines, which will mean building a new 24,000-square-foot facility. It too received $500,000 for the project, which should create 23 jobs. Finally, Kingston’s GreenCentre Canada, a not-for-profit based in Kingston that helps companies with sustainable products and processes, will receive slightly more than $540,000 to continue its work. So far, it has worked with 150 Canadian companies that have raised $980 million in investment and created more than 500 jobs.

From waste to waste-not MCNAB/BRAESIDE — Sustane Technologies, a Nova Scotia company specializing in turning waste into recycled materials and high-value fuels, is expanding to the township of McNab/Braeside in Renfrew County. The current facility in Chester, N.S., turns waste into green energy products such as biomass pellets, biofertilizer, synthetic diesel and recyclable metals and plastics and aims to redirect nearly 90 per cent of garbage from a landfill. The new Ontario property would represent Phase 2 of the company’s growth plan since Sustane needs approximately 70,000 tons of waste to operate sustainably and this municipality can provide that. The company would receive the waste and the government would pay its share for landfill operations.

MOOSE CREEK — After a decision by Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry council, GFL Environmental can now extend existing natural gas infrastructure to its Eastern Ontario Waste Handling Facility in Moose Creek. The project would convert existing landfill gas into a fuel source to produce renewable natural gas (RNG). The company will invest $60 million to build an RNG plant and it plans to expand its landfill operations in the area by 15.1 million cubic metres, which will allow it to continue operations for another 20 years.

Cornwall business park filling up

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CORNWALL — Construction heavyweight Broccolini has snapped up $4 million worth of land at the Cornwall Business Park. Cornwall council approved the sale of 158 acres with Broccolini purchasing 80 acres of fully serviced land. The Montreal-based construction firm knows about Cornwall’s allure as a fulfilment centre after it built a 1.3-million-square-foot warehouse for U.S. big-box retailer Target at the business park a decade ago. Safavieh, a rug and home-furnishing wholesaler, bought 62 acres for a possible distribution centre while others — including Kingland Investment Group and Fairview Garage — bought smaller parcels. Among those already operating at the park are vinyl manufacturer Mobern, Purolator and furniture-maker Ridgewood Industries.

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

A new $60-million RNG plant


EXECUTIVE BRIEFS Cornwall company cultivates cash

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

CORNWALL — Cultivatd, a Cornwallbased ag-tech company, has attracted a US$3-million investment led by Resilient Earth Ventures, a California-based organization that funds smart climate solutions and food security projects. Cultivatd is an “indoor farm brokerage” that helps arrange the sale and purchase of indoor farms, vertical farming systems and other agricultural services, all of which have a strong future because of expected population growth and climate change wreaking havoc on outdoor agriculture. The 11-person startup, which is set to open offices in Austin, Tex., Dubai and Perth, Australia this year, makes its revenue through commissions for brokering deals. Cultivatd opened a new head office in Cornwall’s Cotton Mill District this winter.

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Bus line expanding CASSELMAN — An Ottawa-based passenger bus company has acquired another Eastern Ontario transportation firm as it continues to expand its footprint in the region. Roxborough Bus Lines announced it has bought 417 Bus Line Ltd., a familyowned business based in Casselman, about 55 kilometres southeast of Ottawa. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but 417 Bus Line had 220 employees who helped to run 230 vehicles, including school buses and motor coaches. Roxborough, meanwhile, has acquired several companies over its 63 years of existence and had 820 employees at the time of this acquisition as well as numerous facilities south and east of Ottawa.

Toronto’s Summerhill Resorts buys in Eastern Ontario

COBDEN — A Toronto company has invested in the whitewater rapids and rolling hills of the Ottawa Valley with the purchase of two prominent tourist attractions. Summerhill Resorts has acquired Cobden’s Logos Land and a trailer and campground formerly owned and operated by Wilderness Tours. Logos Land is home to ziplines, rafting, restaurants, a water park, hiking trails, campsites, cottages and a golf course just off Highway 17. The Wilderness Tours property is a 328-acre trailer and camping park at 503 Rafting Rd.

Walmart invests $20 million in warehouse CORNWALL — Walmart Canada has opened a new 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Cornwall, with a state-of-the-art fulfilment system. The $20-million investment will give Walmart employees access to leading-edge technologies and related training, said president and CEO Horacio Barbeito. The Cornwall distribution hub includes two large buildings — the Harmony Distribution Centre and the Regional Distribution Centre, each of which measures 1.5 million square feet. Together, they handle more than 500,000 packages a day. Walmart has had operations in Cornwall for 27 years.


EXECUTIVE BRIEFS Coke investing in Kingston

Arnprior acquisition

KINGSTON — Coca-Cola announced a $1.5-million investment in a new 10,000-square-foot distribution facility in Kingston. The space on Innovation Drive will offer more efficient design and will replace a current workspace on Railway Street. The company currently employs 80 people in Kingston and that number is expected to remain the same with the new facility.

ARNPRIOR — A manufacturer that specializes in precision metal products for customers in the nuclear, aerospace and defence sectors has been sold to a Fortune 500 firm based in Los Angeles. Nu-Tech Precision Metals has been acquired by Reliance Steel & Aluminum, the publicly traded California company announced. Founded in 1960, Nu-Tech posted net sales of $44 million last year. Reliance generated revenues of nearly $9 billion in 2020 and has close to 13,000 employees worldwide. It specializes in metal processing and has more than 125,000 customers. Since going public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1994, Reliance has acquired more than 20 companies.

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VANKLEEK HILL — Beau’s Brewing Co. has been sold to Toronto-based Steam Whistle Brewing in a deal the Vankleek Hill enterprise hopes will help it return to its frothy pre-pandemic heights PERIOD The brewery with the instantly recognizable green tractor logo said Monday that its 129 shareholders — including a mix of original investors and employees who’ve purchased shares in the company over the last five years — voted almost unanimously to approve the acquisition. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close shortly, were not disclosed. Co-owner Steve Beauchesne, pictured (right) with Steam Whistle co-founder and CEO Greg Taylor, said the deal will give his company a new lease on life after a tough two years during the pandemic.

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

Brewing up a deal


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https://www.cornwall.ca/en/do-business/economic-development.aspx

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EXECUTIVE BRIEFS The history of Italian gloves in Prescott PRESCOTT — An Italian glovemaker has been selling its products from a small store in Prescott since 1986 and it’s now opened an in-house museum to chart the company’s history in the area. Portolano Products Inc., a Naples-based company, set up its only factory outlet in Canada in this town. The family was drawn to the location because of the presence of a bridge to the U.S. and a chance to establish a bonded warehouse for distribution across Canada.

KINGSTON — A Kingston software firm has hired Greg Vanclief — a scaleup expert formerly of Wesley Clover — to help it move to the next level. Elentra specializes in an all-in-one platform that helps university health science departments design and manage courses, deliver online exams, track faculty accreditation and schedule activities such as clinical training. Its customers are universities across Canada, the U.S., the Caribbean and Asia. Vanclief says his goal is to “rapidly scale up” the company as it continues to develop its products.

CASSELMAN — Ford Canada will be the anchor tenant in a new 1.1-million-square-foot industrial hub in Casselman. A pair of Quebec-based firms, Rosefellow and Bertone Development, are partnering on the multi-phased development. The project is slated to eventually include three buildings, with work already under way on a $95-million, 531,000-square-foot auto parts distribution centre for Ford that’s expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023. The Ford distribution centre is located on a 1.5-million-square-foot parcel of land just off Hwy. 417.

STUFF Made and Built In Eastern Ontario Read the digital edition at stuffmadeandbuilt.ca

PARTNERS

SUPPORTERS

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

Ford moving to Casselman

Scaling up in Elentra’s future

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— SPONSORED CONTENT —

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How BDO Canada helped Lanthier Bakery become the “King of Brioche”

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Blending businesses together is like baking bread: the timing and the chemistry have to be just right. For Alexandria, Ontario-based Lanthier Bakery and France’s La Fournée Dorée, the formula looked very promising in 2015 when the pair decided to merge – an alliance forged with help from accounting and advisory firm BDO Canada. Working closely with Lanthier and La Fournée Dorée, BDO helped the two companies sort through the challenges associated with a multinational merger, ensuring the French corporation could establish itself in Canada. Now, selling various product under the La Fournée Dorée brand, the acquisition has turned Lanthier Bakery into one of the leading brioche bread makers in North America, setting the company up for continued growth. Mathieu St-Denis, BDO’s National Capital and Eastern Ontario tax service line leader, recalls how the bakery buyout started as a typical business referral, then blossomed into a deeper, long-standing relationship with Lanthier Bakery, and BDO. “We’re a bilingual firm and the owners of La Fournée Dorée needed somebody who could speak French and help them navigate the complexities of an international business deal,” said St-Denis. “Ultimately, as the partnership grew, we shared a passion for trying to

do something innovative in the baking industry.” Lanthier Bakery president Marc Lanthier was involved from the outset and immediately felt that his three-generations-old family business was in trustworthy hands. “La Fournée Dorée are full owners of the bakery now but we continue to work with Mathieu and BDO,” said Lanthier. “Mathieu worked with both sides and helped us bridge the gap, especially in understanding taxation. BDO had the right mix of local leadership and national and global expertise to navigate the rules and regulations of [operating and selling] in multiple countries.” The acquisition was only the beginning. BDO has played a key role throughout the company’s growth, assisting in areas such as advisory mandates, seeking financing, liaising with government, legal referrals, and being a trusted advisor

“It’s kind of amazing, for Marc and Lanthier Bakery, selling the business to La Fournée Dorée wasn’t the end of a journey, but rather the beginning of something special,” said StDenis. “And our work with the team evolved way beyond the traditional accounting services people would think about.” Prepping for the future With continued advisory and accounting help from BDO and a revamp of Lanthier’s facilities in Alexandria and Montreal, the modernized bakery was soon ready to introduce innovative new products. From the bread itself, to the way it was marketed, this was a new start for Lanthier. Today, the business solely produces brioche products, including loaves, buns, baguettes, and rolls – with more new items potentially on the way. The popular La Fournée Dorée hamburger buns that suddenly appeared in local Eastern Ontario stores a few years ago are now sold across North America, and the brand

recently achieved $100 million in North American sales after five consecutive years of 100 per cent growth. Bringing the third largest brioche baker in the world to Canada definitely meant access to a different level of buying power, added Lanthier. “We even saw growth during the pandemic,” he noted. “The timing was right for something new and innovative in baking. The baguette wave happened, the wraps, all those waves in bread came over the last 40 years and now we’re riding the top of the brioche wave.” Lanthier Bakery is about to celebrate its 90th anniversary in Alexandria this October. “Ten years ago we were at a crossroads as a traditional bakery,” said Lanthier. “The opportunity to work with an international partner in La Fournée Dorée, and to work with Mathieu and the BDO team to execute on this plan has allowed us to innovate into a company that will be here for another 90 years.”


OVERVIEW

Overcoming

TALENT TRIALS

Eastern Ontario has a lot of job vacancies — it’s just one of many victims in a national-scale talent dearth — but it also has creative entrepreneurs who are working hard to address the labour shortage. Some sound government policy — namely better public transit, enhanced training, affordable housing for younger people and more immigration — would also help.

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Walmart Logistics in Cornwall has recently established a new delivery system that is part automated and part manned by employees, improving efficiency and addressing the problem of a labour shortage. Shown here is Walmart CEO Horacio Barbeito at the Cornwall facility. PHOTO BY BOB PETERS, CHOOSECORNWALL.CA


BY CHARLES ENMAN

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hen Matt Mould tries to find new employees for his Almonte-based company, Sports Systems Canada Inc., the pickings, again and again, have proved slim. “We’ve been trying to hire for more than a year,” says Mould, president of this manufacturer of athletic equipment for school boards, sports facilities operators and other clients. “It’s always been a bit difficult, but the situation lately has gotten much worse. We run ads on social media and on our website and we get very few resumés in response — and most of those are incomplete or otherwise unsatisfactory.” Mould believes his company has lost “hundreds of thousands of dollars of net profit” over the past year because inadequate staffing has slowed the company’s capacity to fill orders. “Last summer, we didn’t have a single student come through the door to sign up for a summer position, where normally we would get probably half a dozen.” Much of this lack of response could have to do with the COVID pandemic, Mould acknowledges. “But not to get anybody coming through the door? That really surprised me.” This problem is not unique to Sports Systems Canada, Mould says. “I’m hearing

TOP: Matt Mould, CEO of Sports Systems Canada, which sells athletic equipment such as the bleachers shown here, has been trying to hire new staff for more than a year. INSET RIGHT: Matt Mould. INSET BOTTOM: Pat Cook, HR manager of Ross Video. complaints every day from my counterparts. Recruitment is a widespread problem. Even our freight carriers sometimes don’t show up because they’ve got staff shortages.” Mould believes part of the problem is that young people don’t value having a job as much as they used to do. “They often don’t show up, and when they do, they may not offer an explanation for their absence. This isn’t the attitude people had when I was young.” In an effort to bolster the company’s recruitment, Sports Systems Canada has raised wages and offered other incentives such as a free tank of gas for people who join staff. Mould has even considered buying or renting accommodation to offer cheap lodging to potential employees, though that notion remains in the planning stages.

ADDRESSING TALENT SHORTAGES Can anything be done? Mould has a few thoughts. Eastern Ontario needs more affordable housing for young workers, for one thing. The region also needs improved public transportation so workers can commute to work easily and at reasonable cost. And

immigration, if properly tweaked, could be a rich source of employment supply. At Ross Video’s manufacturing site in Iroquois, the recruitment situation is also difficult. “Bringing new people onto staff is very challenging,” says HR manager Pat Cook. “It’s especially challenging if you’re looking, as we are, for people with some electrical and technical background.” The manufacturing arm of Ross Video would normally have 200 people on staff. In the current job market, it is roughly 25 employees short of a full roster. “We’re managing with this staff level,” Cook says, “but there’s little doubt that our shortages are having some impact on our business volumes.” Since it can’t find enough qualified employees, Ross Video has created a new position for a staff trainer whose task will be

to bring new recruits, as it finds them, up to the required level of technical expertise. Cook, like Mould, sees a number of ways in which recruitment problems could be ameliorated. Though housing has not, in her view, explained Ross Video’s difficulties in hiring, “there are definitely challenges here that have made things more difficult for a lot of companies in the region.” Cook also believes that Eastern Ontario needs much better public transportation infrastructure. “Workers have to get to work — and if you don’t have a car, the cost of getting to work can be prohibitive.” Better training programs in the region could significantly increase the availability of qualified workers, she says. And finally, as an immigrant from Scotland herself, Cook sees real possibilities of finding excellent workers among the hundreds of thousands of immigrants Canada welcomes every year.


500 JOBS AVAILABLE IN RENFREW CO.

In Eastern Ontario, some of those housing units are being built right now and should begin coming on stream. “Now, it’s striking how few residences we have for sale here in Renfrew County,” Baird said. “Normally, we would have something like 1,100 houses listed, but right now we have only 108. A low supply? Sure. But I assure you, a phenomenal amount of construction is coming on stream right now.”

The problems Mould and Cook are facing are hardly unique to their businesses. As Alastair Baird, the economic development official for Renfrew County, notes, his region’s job board by itself lists roughly 500 jobs available in the county that have simply gone unfilled. There are jobs available, but few potential workers seem interested. Eastern Ontario, like other parts of the province and country, faces twin challenges as it attempts to boost its economic performance — the perennial problems, more serious now, of recruiting workers and finding housing for them to live in. “These problems are found right across Canada — they’re by no means merely problems for Eastern Ontario,” says Baird. “Yes, there are housing shortages here and some employers are having problems fully staffing their operations,” he said. “But we’re actually pretty bullish on our future.”

A HOUSING REBOUND?

HOUSING: A NATIONAL PROBLEM

THE MAGNET OF AN ALLURING LIFESTYLE

advantages accounts for much of the local increase in housing costs, Baird says. According to Statistics Canada, population growth in rural areas in Canada exceeded the growth in metropolitan areas for the first time in the year that ended July 1, 2021. Toronto’s population dropped by nearly 17,000 and Montreal’s fell by nearly 47,000. (There was, however, a small upward nudge in the population of the smaller cities in Toronto’s census metropolitan

areas.) Statscan attributed the drop to the falloff of international migration caused by the pandemic, a logical assumption, since immigrants have long favoured large cities as their destination of choice. Ontario sits at the lower end of the provinces in terms of its per-capita housing stock, the Bank of Nova Scotia reports. To match the national average, some 650,000 additional housing units would have to be built.

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The upward pressure on housing costs in the region reflects a large boost in the demand for housing. And that increased demand, Baird says, is largely because office workers in Ottawa and other centres have found they can work remotely in a rural area with huge lifestyle advantages — a slower pace of life, opportunities for recreation and an ideal setting for raising a family. In fact, the influx of workers seduced by these lifestyle

TOP AND ABOVE: Ross Video, whose employees and working space are pictured here, has been innovative in trying to find more employees. HR manager Pat Cook says better training programs and more immigration would be helpful government policies.

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Housing problems of course are endemic across the country. Bank of Nova Scotia data show that Canada has far less housing for its population than do most members of the G7. To redress that gap, Canada would have to build 1.8 million units of housing. This shortage, significant in itself, exacerbates the increasingly exorbitant cost of housing. Last year alone, that cost grew by 11.7 per cent. Housing prices have risen even faster in Eastern Ontario. In Renfrew, for example, the average price of homes sold in December 2021 was $446,606, a gain of 36.8 per cent over the previous year, more than three times the gain achieved broadly across the country. But the cost of housing in Renfrew and other parts of Eastern Ontario remains a bargain in the national context. In Toronto, for example, the average home price last December was $1,157,849. As Baird says, “Your money buys a lot more house in this region than it would in any of the bigger cities.”

Since early January, Baird said, plans for three new subdivisions have arrived in the Renfrew County planning department for processing. “For the foreseeable future, we will have a continuous new build. As fast as we’re able, we’re going to have new housing, in large quantities, coming on line. “The trend is there — and we don’t see it diminishing at all.” For Baird, this good news has a very simple genesis. “Again, it’s all about communications technology and the power it gives people to work remotely. It’s really fostering a renaissance in our rural area, thank goodness. Distance from a central office just doesn’t matter anymore.” If Baird is right, the housing stock in Eastern Ontario should grow gratifyingly over the coming years. But will there be workers to buy them? The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses examined the issue of the availability of workers across the country in a report released last December titled Labour Shortages are Back with a Vengeance. In November, the federation surveyed its members and the findings suggested all parts of the country are having trouble finding the employees they need. Fifty-five per cent of respondents said they were experiencing labour shortages. Ontario, as it happens, had exactly the same rate. (There were no figures given for Eastern Ontario by itself.) The sectors most lacking in workers included hospitality, construction and transportation. Just 16 per cent of businesses across the country had all the staff they needed, but only at the expense of the wage increases, flexible hours or hiring bonuses that were used to woo new employees. Labour shortages caused 34 per cent of small businesses to turn down sales or contracts and 30 per cent abandoned or delayed some projects. The average job vacancy rate for privatesector employers has been climbing since 2017, well before the pandemic. Of course


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the pandemic had some effect on worker availability. Before the pandemic, 37 per cent of businesses had vacancies. Now, with the pandemic slowly waning, 52 per cent of businesses report vacancies. The report is clear about the main reason for the shortage of workers — demographics. In a summary paragraph, it notes: “Within 30 years, the share of the population aged 65 or over is set to increase by one-third while the population aged 15-64, which represents the labour force, is poised to contract by one-13th.” This direction of movement leaves employers with an ever-dwindling supply of potential workers. Labour shortages often lead employers to increase wages and salaries, but in the current environment, higher pay does not seem to have the allure it once had. Only one in five businesses that have raised their pay levels found the measure any great help, presumably because the supply of potential workers is simply too low. The report says the best solution would be to improve and streamline immigration processes. If domestic applicants for jobs are in short supply, eager workers from other lands could make up the shortfall. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program, in particular, should be of help to businesses facing staffing challenges. Three additional measures are also recommended: “stimulating automation through programs or tax credits; providing tax relief for seniors to encourage them to remain in the workforce instead of retiring; and enhancing training programs to equip people for certain jobs, especially racialized minorities, people with disabilities and others who may currently find entry into the workforce difficult.” “Of these four factors,” the report notes, investment in automation and use of the TFW program are “the most promising actions.”

SURPRISING STRENGTH Whatever the province-wide difficulties in recruiting new workers and finding housing for them, the situation in Cornwall appears quite positive, according to Bob Peters, head of economic development in Cornwall. “Many of Cornwall’s largest employers are expanding operations, and at the same time, the city is welcoming new companies,” he says. “This growth phase has been occurring for number of years and shows little sign of slowing down.”

TOP AND RIGHT: Local Immigration Partnerships, participants of which are shown here, help integrate and serve newcomers to Canada and have chapters in Eastern Ontario. Of course, Peters acknowledges that the city faces many challenges. “On the supply side of the equation, we are aware that many workers are reaching retirement age — and we therefore need to attract new residents to fill those positions.” In February 2022, there were roughly 500 jobs available in the Cornwall region. Why? Often it’s the result of a mismatch between the skills a potential employee has and the skills required by specific jobs. To address this problem, people seeking work have many places they can go to upgrade their skills, Peters says. Among them are St. Lawrence College, Job Zone d’emploi and the Eastern Ontario Training Board.

HELPING NEWCOMERS THRIVE Immigrants and refugees, as noted in the CFIB report, are prime candidates to fill many of the jobs that currently go unfilled in the region. A number of organizations help in the resettlement of immigrants and refugees, and in linking them up with potential employers. Among them are ACCFutures, the Eastern Ontario Training Board and the Chamber of Commerce. Lesley Thompson, executive director of ACCFutures, says her organization,

among other things, helps refugees create profiles that are searchable in a database so employers can easily find candidates with the skillset their company needs. “Refugees, on the whole, are people who are very willing to work hard,” Thompson says. “They are so grateful for the opportunities their admission to Canada gives them — and they are eager to build a good life.” Local Immigration Partnerships, of which there are 35 in Ontario, help communities integrate and serve newcomers to Canada. Jodi Bucholtz, manager of the Local Immigration Partnership in Lanark and Renfrew, says, “We try to develop welcoming communities where the benefits of attracting newcomers are appreciated and newcomers are given assistance in

integrating into the communities they now call home.” To that end, Bucholtz’s team conducts research to identify challenges that are preventing newcomers from fully participating in the economic, social, cultural and recreational life of the community. Shehzad Ghani, an LIP research officer, is an immigrant from Saudi Arabia who arrived in Canada in 2011. He and his family came on a visa, but the family’s adaptation to Canadian life was difficult because there was no one helping them integrate into the community. “Where do you shop for groceries?” Ghani asks. “How do you apply for a driver’s licence? There were all sorts of questions like that. We were confused. We had no friends to help us.”


Ghani believes newcomers, thanks to his group and many others, have a much easier time now. “Agencies like the LIP and others provide very useful help so that people can learn the ropes of living in Canada quickly.” There are even organizations that can help newcomers find housing. In April, KI Industries in Pembroke will be welcoming six workers from the Philippines who will be admitted to Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Those workers will know they have a place to stay because Group NB, the company that brought them over, will also find accommodation for them. Group NB specializes in recruitment services for the transportation, logistics and supply-chain industries. If a company manages to recruit a new employee, that employee will need daily transportation to the workplace. Immigrants, refugees and some less advantaged Canadian workers often do not have the means to own a car, a virtual necessity to work in Eastern Ontario. Fortunately, ride-sharing service RideShark, an Ottawa-based company,

We have challenges, but I’m actually optimistic... It feels hopeful to me. — Matt Mould, CEO of Sports Systems Canada helps employees find reliable conveyance to the workplace. “We’re basically focused on commute trips to work, though the service is available for anyone,” says RideShark CEO Sharon Lewinson. “This particularly serves people in rural areas who just don’t have a public transit option to get to work, to go to appointments, to do all sorts of things.” The service has been available for two years.

THE MACHINE SCENE For some jobs, particularly in manufacturing, there is another, perhaps more definitive solution to the problems of recruiting workers and housing them. That solution is automation. Walmart Logistics in Cornwall has recently established a new delivery system that is part automated

and part manned by employees. Walmart claims the system is not only less labourintensive but more efficient. And the machines have no need for housing. Many companies see promise in automating jobs, and economists at MIT and Boston University have recently predicted that two million workers in U.S. manufacturing could be replaced by robots by 2025. On past experience, one would expect, in time, to see roughly similar changes north of the 49th parallel. Many businesses, of course, depending on what they are doing, would not be candidates for an automated streamlining of their operations. Workforce and housing challenges are perennial — one can’t banish them, but one can try to deal with them as optimally

as possible. And on that score, Eastern Ontario seems to be doing well. Its advantages are abundant: a restful and nature-oriented lifestyle, the greater reach that technology gives a telecommuting employee, the regional opportunities of upgrading education and training, perhaps a springtime upturn in housing starts, as seen in Cornwall, an openness to workers from other lands and a native resilience that challenges have always brought out in people who live in the region. While the plural of anecdote may not be data, it’s interesting what Sports Systems Canada’s Matt Mould said to close out his interview. “We have challenges, but I’m actually optimistic. In fact, there’ve been a few hopeful signs, if you look just at the last three weeks.” Over that period, he had found three new employees to bring on staff. And he sensed that there were more viable nibbles than before to these latest job advertisements. “Maybe it’s a blip. Or maybe it’s a trend,” Mould says. “But it feels hopeful to me.”

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

COME DISCOVER YOUR NEXT JOB IN SDG Live and work where the quality of life is high, and the cost of living is some of the most affordable in the province. Our job options are bountiful. Come discover SDG Counties.

Looking to invest or start a new business, contact: Tara Kirkpatrick, SDG Counties, Manager of Economic Development tkirkpatrick@sdgcounties.ca

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For more info go to www.discoversdg.ca


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Successful partners in regional economic development for more than 30 years From the borders of the sprawling GTA to the charms of small town Bobcaygeon and Alexandria; from the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River through breathtaking forests and fields, lakes and waterways of Haliburton and Ottawa Valley, to thriving urban centres like Kingston and Peterborough, the landscape of Ontario East is not only a spectacular place to visit and live, but also a burgeoning locale for innovative, diverse, and profitable economic development. Our Mission The mission of the Ontario East Economic Development Commission (Ontario East EDC)

for more than 30 years has been to let the world know about this relatively untapped jewel, located in the heart of the nation’s economic engine, between Toronto and Montreal. Comprised of economic development professionals from both upper and lower-tier municipalities throughout eastern Ontario, the Ontario East EDC has used its combined knowledge and expertise to leverage resources, share information, and promote the unique nature of Ontario East’s potential for growth, its market access, affordable business costs, excellent workforce, and more. In a landscape that is a mix of rural and small to medium urban, the Ontario East EDC membership

has dedicated itself to showing the rest of the province, country, and the world, that Ontario East, is much more than it seems. Utilizing a comprehensive and forward-thinking strategy and the latest in virtual technology, Ontario East EDC officials are in constant contact with corporations and influencers around the globe, selling them on the virtues of the people, communities, and infrastructure of the region.

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Ontario East Regional Marketing Committee (RMC) The Regional Marketing Committee consists of Ontario East community members and economic development leaders who are actively involved in various investment attraction and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) activities. In conjunction with Ontario East EDC staff, RMC members facilitate confidential investment enquiries and co-ordinate client calls for proposals, property, and other information, providing a seamless, single point of contact for potential investors. With a definitive focus on the key sectors of advanced manufacturing and technology, food and beverage, and logistics and transportation, the RMC uses its marketing effectiveness to extol the virtues of investors to make substantial investments to the region, with the ultimate goal of anchoring these wealth-generating employers in the Ontario East supply chain, improving the overall health of the regional economy, and the quality of life of all those who live here. Representatives from the Ontario East EDC regularly attend various targeted trade shows and conferences, using these platforms for networking and investment attraction purposes. As well, for as long as it has been in existence, the organization has also hosted the annual Ontario East Municipal Conference (OEMC), bringing together municipal officials, suppliers, community development and economic development organizations, and provincial ministries, agencies, and others to share information and resources, make contacts and deliver a message that underlines the importance of collective co-operation for the enrichment of all in the region. The Ontario East Advantage The numbers don’t lie. If larger scale enterprises make Ontario East their new home, anywhere from 20 to 200 local suppliers from throughout the entire region


will benefit as they contribute to ensure their smooth business operation. While one municipality may derive the direct benefit of this investment by playing host to it on the ground, businesses that fulfill the practical supply needs for the business attracted, regardless of where they are located in Ontario East, will also be rewarded with increased regular business. On a practical level, the Ontario East EDC website https://www. ontarioeast.ca also features a real-time inventory of lands and buildings available for development within each municipality and will also facilitate discussion with the individual municipalities of interest to help find the most suitable properties and offering incentives to help sweeten the deal. The Ontario East EDC offers a compelling and mutually beneficial message that continues to bear fruit, even during the challenges of recent times. Prospective investors and firms come to understand the benefits of Ontario East, most significantly the cost of doing businesses. Compared to larger urban centers, not only is

there much more available land, much of it already designated as ‘employment lands’ but it is less expensive. And being outside of these larger centers is not detrimental in terms of access to larger markets, as the Ontario East EDC enthusiastically promotes the extensive and efficient road and rail network, as well as access to and from New York state through four non-congested border crossings. There are also two deep-water seaports, one near Prescott and one just outside of Picton. Another key aspect of the messaging being broadcast by the Ontario East EDC is about the workforce within the region. Research has shown that residents in the various Ontario East communities are more likely to stay within their communities and their employers, as they tend to put a premium on their pace and quality of life. Ontario East has seen an influx of individuals and families moving into the region from large urban areas because of both the lower cost of living, and the generally more placid pace of life.

The employees and entrepreneurs of the future in Ontario East are also blessed with world-class post-secondary institutions, where they can acquire the knowledge and skills needed to ensure recruiters for the larger companies don’t have to cast their nets wide to seek qualified workers. Other students will be inspired to use their talents to open their own businesses, ones that could be plugged into the broader and growing regional supply chain, buttressing the regional economy even further. Schools such as Trent University, Queen’s University, Fleming College, Loyalist College, and St. Lawrence College have developed programs attuned to the needs of the 21st century interconnected global economy and provide opportunities for students in eastern Ontario to study closer to home, and closer to the local job market. With the ever-changing nature of the global economy, the Ontario East EDC has consistently been able to pivot and adapt to meet the challenging new

circumstances, with the ultimate goal always being to generate significant investment into the communities that comprise Ontario East. What does not change, are the measurable advantages of location, cost and workforce consistency and viability that are the hallmarks of eastern Ontario. What also remains firm is the Ontario East Economic Development Commission’s mandate and dedication to supporting workforce development through investment attraction and retention for both new and existing employers, and also supporting our municipal partners in their various individual business development endeavours. Discover the Ontario East advantage today by visiting ontarioeast.ca.

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

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SOUTH DUNDAS EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

Where You Belong

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New housing development: 185 Unit Dutch Meadows subdivision.

Industrial/commercial growth and unique manufacturers: Ross Video, Craig Packaging, Evonik.

No development charges and low tax rates

Availability of land: New fully serviced industrial park, land cost $24,000 per acre.

Strategic location with three Highway #401 interchanges

South Dundas Economic Development Services • www.southdundas.com Email: rhunter@southdundas.com • Phone #613-543-2673

SOUTH DUNDAS


To address talent shortages and training needs, Ann Weir, economic development manager for Leeds and Grenville, established a new workforce task team. PHOTO BY ANDREW KIZELL

THE CATALYSTS FOR GROWTH BY PAULA ROY

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Many of Eastern Ontario’s new and expanding businesses owe a debt of gratitude to the region’s multiple economic development teams. Economic development officers, managers and directors play a vital role at all levels. Their daily tasks are diverse, including helping existing businesses secure grants or financing to grow their operations or helping them find suitable locations.

Equally important to them is nurturing their regions’ overall economic well-being and quality of life. Often leveraging previous experience in a range of industries, economic development professionals also serve as ambassadors for their regions by liaising with governments and entrepreneurs seeking the perfect location for a new enterprise or an already-operational firm. This work can involve local, national or international businesses that are looking to put down roots in Eastern Ontario. The challenges these professionals help companies overcome are myriad, from labour and locations to land and infrastructure. As the profiles of these seven pros indicate, their perseverance and passion are paying big dividends for their respective regions.

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TARA KIRKPATRICK

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICER FOR THE UNITED COUNTIES OF STORMONT, DUNDAS AND GLENGARRY

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A decade as a journalist plus four years of experience in economic development for the Township of North Glengarry prepared Tara Kirkpatrick well when she took on her current role at the county level last year. Describing herself as a “concierge,” she connects business owners with local organizations that will help establish or expand their businesses. With a regional incentives program, she oversees applications for grants of up to $50,000. The program’s most recent round of funding distributed $173,000, leading to more than $1.5 million in construction expenditures to improve vacant or underutilized spaces. Filling available vacancies in highpaying jobs is an ongoing challenge, but she works closely with employment agencies and post-secondary institutions to address labour needs. She is also working on brand recognition for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. She’s planning a video campaign for this year that will showcase the region as well as a talent-attraction contest later this year. Kirkpatrick is excited to be leading numerous projects on behalf of the counties, which are currently experiencing double-digit employment growth in multiple sectors, including warehousing and storage, rail transportation and manufacturing. Agriculture, agri-food and construction continue to be key, with several multimillion-dollar projects under way this year, including the Long Sault Logistics Village, a 680-acre logistics centre and rail yard with 70 new jobs in the first phase.

SHELLEY HIRSTWOOD

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FOR THE KINGSTON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION Passionate about community improvement and project management, Shelley Hirstwood began working in business development, first in Saskatchewan and then Gananoque. Having been in Kingston for three years, she feels fortunate to work with innovators, educators and dreamers across all sectors. Key to her team’s success is an integrated strategy created in 2020 to support business growth and expansion. Hirstwood and multiple stakeholders identified several areas of focus, including artificial intelligence, which transects every sector; sustainable manufacturing, including electric vehicle batteries, clean technology and advanced manufacturing; and others. Health innovation, including data, biotechnology and healthy aging, is yet another. Kingston is well-positioned for leadership here, with strong research capabilities and a fully integrated health-care system that functions as a living lab. Hirstwood’s office, together with GreenCentre Canada and Kingston Process Metallurgy, provided critical support to Li-Cycle, an EV battery recycling company that was listed on the New York Stock Exchange last August at a value of $1.5 billion. Local company BGM Metalworks is now constructing modular units for every Li-Cycle building as it embarks on global expansion. To address ongoing demand from companies such as Portugal’s Frulact, which recently invested $22 million to expand, Hirstwood has been focusing on underrepresented workforce groups to complement the municipal and regional labour pools, driving not just Kingston, but all of Eastern Ontario forward.

ALASTAIR BAIRD

MANAGER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM FOR THE COUNTY OF RENFREW Alastair Baird worked in many different sectors prior to economic development, including outdoor adventure, automobile manufacturing and building supplies. Then he started working to help such companies, first with the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton (before amalgamation in 2000) and then Renfrew County, where he’s worked for almost 20 years. Describing his job as dynamic and exciting, he appreciates being an ambassador for the region and getting to meet people from all over the world, across so many different business sectors. Several of the region’s key industries and organizations have been dominant for the last 50 years or more, including Canadian Nuclear Laboratories in Chalk River and the military garrison in Petawawa, both of which are major employers. The forestry sector remains strong, as does agri-business and advanced manufacturing, including aerospace. Defence and security, metal office furniture, wood products and tourism also play prominent roles. Having a diversified economy has long helped the county weather economic crises. A recent initiative with which Baird and his team were involved was the reopening of the large medium-density fibreboard plant with new owners Roseburg Forest Products. Although he finds helping solo entrepreneurs as satisfying as liaising with large multinationals, Baird is particularly excited about a collection of German firms coming to Renfrew County soon to manufacture prefabricated building components, agricultural equipment and windows. Pluses for the region he helps represent are commercial and industrial land availability as well as access to a loyal workforce.


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOB PETERS

CAROLE LAVIGNE

DIVISION MANAGER FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR THE CITY OF CORNWALL

DIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM FOR THE UNITED COUNTIES OF PRESCOTT AND RUSSELL Dairy farmer, accountant, entrepreneurship consultant and co-founder of Eastern Ontario’s first winery: Carole Lavigne wore many hats prior to starting her career in economic development in 2006. Having worked her way up to her current role as director, she relishes creating new opportunities for the business community and the region. To support the agriculture and agri-food sectors, a new local food hub will provide much-needed services. Lavigne also helped establish the Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network, a non-profit organization that co-ordinates development across multiple regions. Manufacturing, tourism and logistics are other elements of Prescott and Russell’s increasingly diversified economy, which includes DART Aerospace, Calypso Theme Waterpark and a new Ford distribution centre. A recently completed inventory of all public and private industrial and commercial land available for sale is garnering attention for the counties from other industries. During Lavigne’s tenure, more than $17 million has been invested in the 417 Industrial Park, located not far from the town of Russell, which was named by MoneySense magazine in 2018 as the third-best place to live in Canada. As elsewhere, labour is a challenge, but having a workforce that’s 70 per cent bilingual is an advantage, as is easy access to Ottawa and Montreal, putting 4.7 million residents with an hour’s drive.

ANN WEIR

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MANAGER FOR THE UNITED COUNTIES OF LEEDS AND GRENVILLE

RICHARD ALLEN

MANAGER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR FRONTENAC COUNTY

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Richard Allen has been a Kingston city councillor, a producer and project manager at a film and video production house and a program manager for Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business. He says all of those roles have helped him for the past five years as Frontenac County’s manager of economic development, particularly having learned from politics about how municipalities work, and the complex factors that are involved in economic, business and community development. He’s applying those lessons to strengthening the community, which includes a roster of more than 400 businesses. With building permits up 40 per cent over 2019, construction and the trades are major sectors, as are tourism and agriculture. One of Allen’s achievements was establishing the Frontenac ambassador program for business connections and collaboration. He proudly points to businesses that have pivoted and grown during the pandemic. The Wolfe Island Hopyard now grows top-quality hops for craft breweries in Eastern and Southern Ontario and the neighbouring Hotel Wolfe Island is being transformed, with advice from well-known social entrepreneur Zita Cobb, into a hub for farm-to-table food and live music. In 2022, Allen will be working to begin evaluating the types of investment and businesses he would like to recruit over the next 12 to 36 months, to fill gaps while preserving the region’s unique rural character.

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

Leveraging a degree in business and finance, plus experience as the manager for Brockville Tourism, Ann Weir has enjoyed more than 13 years in her role with Leeds and Grenville. During the pandemic, she and her team have focused on business sustainability by supporting established companies, whether they needed more labour or other resources. Weir spearheaded a business support working group, which brought together employment agencies, the region’s municipalities and chambers of commerce plus other stakeholders. Monthly meetings keep everyone apprised of each other’s programming and how to better support business. To address training and talent attraction, she helped establish a new workforce task team as part of the working group; its priorities are making businesses aware of the employment and workforce support agencies that exist, as well as engaging with education partners for youth apprenticeship programs, post-secondary training and more. The leading industries in Leeds Grenville are health care, retail, manufacturing, construction, transportation and warehousing, with growth in all sectors. Recent success stories for Weir and her team include the new Giant Tiger distribution centre plus expansions for Greenfield Global Inc., Canada’s largest ethanol producer, and Canadian Rail Equipment Works and Services Inc., which provides key freight rail services that benefit all of Eastern Ontario.

Having worked for the City of Cornwall on and off for many years, Bob Peters became its manager of economic development five years ago. It’s a job he loves because it combines his two passions — marketing and geography. Cornwall’s diverse economy is anchored by logistics, food processing and manufacturing, with the first two sectors leading the way in terms of investment and new job creation. Peters has been actively involved in the expansion of the Cornwall Business Park and the recent sale of more than 150 acres to new businesses that have yet to arrive. Major employers that have made significant investments for upgrades or expansion include Walmart, Loblaws, Olymel, SigmaPoint and Leclerc Group. Farm Boy and the Benson Group are additional homegrown success stories. Having identified labour as a challenge earlier than their counterparts in many other jurisdictions, Peters and his team have been active in workforce development and resident attraction for more than 10 years, participating in national job fairs as well as post-secondary career fairs, with the support of local employers. Peters is proud that his team has created a consolidated job board on its website to make it easy for people to look at the many available jobs in Cornwall.


MANUFACTURING CERTIFICATIONS LEADERSHIP

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

Designed to enhance leadership in manufacturing and increase performance of the workforce.

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Leadership is an essential component of a manufacturing organization’s success, but managing teams of wildly-differing personalities can often be a challenge. This course provides participants with a broad range of knowledge on leadership in every department, and discusses how to facilitate company cultures of continuous innovation, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Starting - May 4th

PRODUCTIVITY & CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

Developed for high potential (promotable) employees, existing support staff and leaders of all levels. Continuously iterating upon existing production processes is key to innovation and success in the manufacturing sector. In this course, participants learn about how to consistently develop their manufacturing activities in a productive, efficient way, and analyze the impact that continuous improvement has on all aspects of their enterprise.

Starting - May 5th

To Register Contact EMC’s Learning Centre; Amy Edwards Training Manager aedwards@emccanada.org 1-866-323-4362


Andrew Melchers, president of IN Engineering in Brockville, has added 25 new employees to address the COVID-related construction boom.

NECESSARY SUPPORTS

BY SARAH MACFARLANE

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If the 2021 pandemic showed Ontario businesses anything, it was the importance of supportive and resilient professional services. From law firms engaging in civil lawsuits and real estate agents battling the housing market to human resources teams supporting businesses, professional services provided the necessary framework for transitions to online work, changing workforces, employee layoffs, and ever-changing regulations for companies. Professional services across Eastern Ontario stepped up to adjust to COVID-19 and provide support throughout the numerous small municipalities and counties, supporting small businesses and large corporations. In Peterborough, a human resources firm began offering free workshops for small businesses, helping companies come up with innovative ways to handle their talent shortages and other competitive challenges. Office and retail spaces suffered through seemingly endless shutdowns and remote work alternatives, resulting in an influx of cancelled leases and decreased revenue. Large residential developments broke ground across the region and the housing market boomed. Through it all, professional services kept their clients on track.

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES


PRO SERVICES TAYLOR DEVEAU

FOUNDER AND CEO OF DEVEAU LAW IN FRONTENAC Taylor Deveau has built her law firm to cater specifically to the business needs in her community — and her biggest passions. Deveau’s firm in Kingston meshes human resources consulting with legal services for a fully integrated approach to supporting local business owners. Deveau Law is driven by its founder’s background in gender equality, legal studies and human resources and its penchant for working with women-owned businesses. While in school, Deveau researched feminist legal studies and gender equality in the workplace. Her experiences working for other firms also reaffirmed these findings. As Deveau says, “Lawyers make great lawyers, but they aren’t always great people managers. I wanted to bridge that gap and not only be a great manager, but help other [companies] get their HR businesses up to speed.” Deveau says she has always seen a lack of customer service-oriented operations and mindsets within law firms, a gap she is working to breach by adding to her team in the coming months. In spite of increasing demand, Deveau is committed to offering responsive flexible service. Despite concerns over her young age and one-woman-team operations, Deveau says she is establishing a name for herself.

KATHRYN JOHNSON

REAL ESTATE AGENT, COLDWELL BANKER REAL ESTATE IN KAWARTHA LAKES Starting out as a realtor’s assistant was enough for Kathryn Johnson to learn in her early 20s that she did not want to work for anyone but herself. Now, Johnson is entering her 30th year as a self-employed, full-time realtor, doing what she loves and connecting people to Kawartha Lakes. Through all the trials and triumphs, Johnson most values the intimate relationships and bonds she has forged with clients. She has helped first-time homebuyers through that exciting journey and is now helping the same clients find a home to start a family or retire. She lives and works in the community where she practises, has served twice as president of the Kawartha Lakes Real Estate Association, donates her money and time to the community and has sat on community and bylaw committees throughout her career. Johnson also organized a golf tournament with the Ontario Realtors Care Foundation, which designates funds to satisfy the community’s social needs. At the beginning of the pandemic, when items such as bathroom tissue were in short supply, Johnson bought bulk boxes of toilet paper to deliver to local women’s shelters, ensuring they had the basic supplies they needed. Johnson says she feels privileged to be involved in her clients’ biggest life decisions and to forge meaningful relationships in the community along the way.

MATTHEW BRADLEY EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

PRESIDENT OF BRADLEY LAW IN RENFREW

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Overseeing offices in Pembroke, Barry’s Bay and Deep River, Matthew Bradley is the face and founder of Bradley Law. As he adjusts to remote work, health protocols and the everchanging COVID-19 regulations, Bradley is also active with community services and programs that support businesses across the entire county. Bradley was among the founders of the Pembroke Petawawa District Community Foundation and holds a volunteer position as chair, ensuring that charitable dollars meet the social needs of the community. At his law firm, Bradley has emphasized respect and mindfulness towards co-workers and clients as everyone navigates the pandemic. The firm provides services ranging from corporate and family law to real estate law. However, Bradley is also involved in the Starter Company Plus program, an initiative undertaken by the county to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with legal advice on how to incorporate, asset-share or purchase, restructure and plan strategically with his 24-person team. Bradley’s role involves outlining the dos and don’ts of business from a legal perspective for business owners.

STEVE GRIEVESON

CEO OF IHA CANADA, STORMONT, DUNDAS AND GLENGARRY

The pandemic has revealed gaping holes in Ontario’s long-term care facilities, and that caught the attention of Steve Grieveson. Grieveson is the CEO of IHA Canada, a corporation that builds affordable housing solutions, and its next step is to build an integrated village and facility for seniors in the counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. Having been an executive with corporations such as Ontario Hydro, Trimark and Brookfield, Grieveson was consulting and entering semi-retirement when he took on this role as CEO. His goal is to build affordable seniors’ housing. The seniors’ complex will be operated by the Glengarry Memorial Hospital’s staff members, who will do their best to make it less institutional than traditional seniors’ homes. Grieveson says he has always felt a strong social responsibility and was inspired by the opportunity to build a better future for seniors across Canada — SD&G is just the first step. Thanks to the support Grieveson has received from seniors and investors alike, he wants to quickly replicate this project elsewhere. In his spare time, he volunteers as a board member for OttawaCarleton Lifeskills, an agency that provides support and services to adults with disabilities.


PRO SERVICES MATTHEW SAVINO

ANDREW MELCHERS

If he won the lottery tomorrow, Matthew Savino said he would keep offering his professional services, but he’d do it free of cost. Just as he has for 25 years, Savino would provide small to medium-sized businesses with the tools, support and resources they need to succeed. After decades working in human resources, Savino started his own consulting practice, Savino Human Resources Partners, in 2008. Savino recognized a gap in HR for small businesses across the region that don’t always have the budget or need for a full HR department, and he chose to focus exclusively on small to medium businesses. Savino has identified a need for support more than ever before as every level of government continues to release new COVID-19 protocols and businesses fight to stay afloat. As such, he started offering free workshops, seminars and resources to small businesses. Not everyone can afford his consulting services, but he is determined that they still deserve them. From providing advice on vaccination policies to helping firms decide on safety precautions, Savino has been offering his eight-person team’s services for free in an effort to see small business thrive. He has also started offering free recruiting and employer workshops for businesses just starting up in Ontario as well as free resources and manuals for not-for-profits and local shelters.

After completing two degrees and spending more than a decade gaining leadership skills as an infantry officer with the Canadian Armed Forces, Andrew Melchers knew he wanted to start his own business. As the president and structural engineer for IN Engineering+ Surveying in Brockville, Melchers has added 25 new employees for a total of 30 and quadrupled his company’s revenue thanks to the construction boom COVID-19 created. His team offers fully integrated engineering and design services — from traditional and topographic surveys to site plans and structural engineering. While completing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil and structural engineering at Carleton University and his architecture diploma at Athabasca University, Melchers worked for engineering firms that taught him how he would do things differently at his own company. Melchers serves his community through the Brockville Rifles reserves and has offered IN Engineering’s services for community projects. The company has helped by building structures for an outdoor rink and assisting with the Five Mile Light restoration project, which rebuilt one of the oldest lighthouses in Brockville.

PRINCIPAL, FOUNDER AND SENIOR CONSULTANT WITH SAVINO HUMAN RESOURCES PARTNERS IN PETERBOROUGH

PRESIDENT AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEER AT IN ENGINEERING + SURVEYING IN LEEDS & GRENVILLE (BROCKVILLE)

PAUL DESNOYERS

PARTNER AND BUSINESS ADVISER AT MNP IN CORNWALL

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Paul Desnoyers is a Cornwall-based accountant at one of the country’s largest firms, but he also belongs to Team Cornwall, a network of business people who promote the city in an effort to attract more businesses. “We’ve had a strong presence at trade shows,” Desnoyers says of the 400-member group. “It’s helped to bring leads to Cornwall and quite a few have panned out.” Desnoyers’ accounting job started with Craig Keen Despatie Markell LLP, a firm that had been in Cornwall for more than 65 years under various partners’ names and merged with MNP in 2018. “That’s given us access to resources we didn’t have as a smaller local firm,” Desnoyers says. The company prepares personal tax returns and services everything from small- and medium-sized enterprises, not-for-profits and several municipalities in the area. Desnoyers himself does several hundred personal tax returns a year and works with SMEs and not-for-profits. “We try to operate in niches,” he says. “One of mine is car dealerships and the transportation sector — from moving people to moving goods. I also focus on succession planning.” Desnoyers, a Cornwall native, has always seen the benefits of living there. The married father of two is treasurer for Team Cornwall and volunteered with the chamber of commerce for five years. He currently serves as chair of the board for St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre and an adviser to St. Lawrence College’s business program advisory committee.

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

[Team Cornwall has] had a strong presence at trade shows. It’s helped bring leads to Cornwall and quite a few have panned out.” — Paul Desnoyers, partner and business adviser at MNP in Cornwall


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R TNEC NO I TAV OITAVO ON N I E NNI’D E HT R TNEC EL EASTERN XXXXXX 2021 ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

THE INNOVATION CENTRE LE CENTRE D’INNOVATION

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Launch Lab’s investor synergies

The regional innovation centre is now working closely with the Southeastern Ontario Angel Network to continue to spark economic growth in the region.

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obin Vincent is the brains behind Canobi, an agri-tech company that builds indoor farm management systems and Bob Huggins is a Launch Lab entrepreneur-in-residence who has been providing business mentorship to Vincent. Today, with Launch Lab’s help, Canobi has an angel investment and contracts across Canada and the U.S. as well as Portugal, Uzbekistan, the Middle East and Africa.

Canobi is a perfect example of how Launch Lab’s Amplify program and its partnership with the Southeastern Ontario Angel Network (SOAN) are working together to help companies with high growth potential scale their operations. Launch Lab is a regional innovation centre that supports growth companies with whatever business advice they may need. CEO Scott Runte describes the Amplify program as

Launch Lab’s “deeper-dive mentorship program” and it’s where the centre commits a significant amount of its resources, by supporting clients in their growth strategies. “In many cases, these are companies that have more than $1 million in revenue and they’re trying to accelerate their growth,” Runte says. “or they are earlystage technology companies that are approaching equity investors or angels to

raise capital to really begin to fuel their growth.” Launch Lab has been making its relationship with SOAN a strategic focus as it works to catalyze innovation in Eastern Ontario. After all, Launch Lab brings the mentorship strength to the table while SOAN offers access to investors who are open to making investments in early-stage growth companies.


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Canobi is an example of a company that got the benefit of our Amplify program as it was getting ready to raise capital. –Scott Runte, CEO of Launch Lab

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Launch Lab will prepare the companies to present their pitches and get ready to raise the capital they need. “We look at honing their pitch, understanding what it means and helping them negotiate the deal once investors show interest,” Runte says. “We provide in-depth mentorship to help them be successful in raising that capital.” The mentorship Launch Lab provides is in the form of seasoned entrepreneurs-in-residence who have been in their shoes many times before and can help keep them from making mistakes at any stage, particularly in the capital-raising process. “And if the companies want the continued support, we’re there to support them after they’ve raised capital,” Runte says. “We believe that once you’ve raised the capital, that is the most important time to make sure you’re deploying it in an efficient way, giving yourself the greatest chance to be successful.” The angel investors are also made aware of the fact that should they invest, the company they’re investing in has access to further business support from Launch Lab after the investment is made. The SOAN partnership has broadened the angel playing field for companies looking for capital. The introduction of the SOAN chapter model has allowed companies to physically pitch to investors in one location and have that pitch be live simulcast to investors in other chapters. “The hybrid model of conducting meetings that we have all become used to during the pandemic is benefiting investors and companies seeking capital here in Eastern Ontario, thanks to the chapter model that SOAN has deployed.” Runte says.


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Angels from Eastern Ontario The South Eastern Ontario Angel Network has partnered with Launch Lab

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to create a powerhouse of possibilities for high-potential startups.

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osaic Manufacturing, a company started by three Queen’s University graduates, has raised $6 million in capital, sold more than 10,000 of its 3D printing units in 70 different countries and has agents across Europe and Asia who continue to sell its products — the Palette and Array. And Chris Labelle, co-founder and COO, says he and his co-founders couldn’t have done any of it without the advisory support of Launch Lab and the investment support of the Southeastern Ontario Angel Network (SOAN), which, along with Founder Fuel from Montreal, gave them their first cash injections back in 2015. Palette takes different materials and feeds them into a printer and is now the most widely used technology in the world for multi-material 3D printing. Array is an automated 3D printing system, with an automated robotics system and material switching at the back end. “It cuts the cost of printing down by up to 95 per cent and one operator can run 250 machines instead of 15,” Labelle says. “Array is a way for people to allow or achieve scalable 3D printing.”

The company now has 50 staff SOAN investors have been friendly members and is about to start to work with, understanding and another round of funding. supportive. We’ve had times And its three founders still when things aren’t going so rely on the mentors and well and they’ve supported us investors who gave them through that.” their start. “It was through the advisory SOAN’S CHAPTER MODEL Mike Amos relationship with Launch Lab SOAN describes itself as a “group of where we got connected to SOAN,” Labelle passionate, early-stage investors” that says. “We have a really good relationship invests in “companies across Eastern with some of our SOAN angels and getting Ontario with the potential to grow and their advice on businesses they’ve scaled build a successful business, creating local has helped tremendously. At SOAN, some employment and changing the world, one of the investors are running companies company at a time.” that have the same problems as us, or Mike Amos is the managing director of have problems that our products can help the group and manages it in partnership solve.” with Launch Lab. Until recently, the Labelle says SOAN has been supportive network has been centered in Kingston from the start. and included 140-plus angel investors “For us, the value of SOAN has been that from Belleville to the Quebec border. they’ve been really supportive investors,” “We were quite Kingston-centric in he says. “It’s about building really good nature,” Amos says of the group’s origin. long-term relationships. Back then, we “Geography was playing a big part in that, were three students in a room and we so we developed this chapter model. We were very much a gamble. I don’t think have one centre for administration and we could have gotten to where we are shared services and then local chapters.” without the support of Launch Lab and Through video calls, the chapters can that first break that SOAN gave us. The hold meetings on the same nights and

connect both audiences and pitchers to each other. A company presenting in person in Kingston can also reach investors in Cornwall when the Cornwall investors tune in remotely from their inperson meeting, and vice-versa. “It’s an interesting group,” Amos says. “Most of our members are very excited about helping their communities become future-proofed. They want to help create something for future generations.” Working with Launch Lab has been a great partnership, Amos says. “We’ve done a really nice job of working together as a unit,” he says. “We can provide capital and Launch Lab can provide capability,” he says. Scott Runte, CEO of Launch Lab, agrees that the partnership has been a good one. “Companies are getting access to capital and high-quality mentorship,” Runte says. “We believe these are two key ingredients to help companies at this critical time.” Amos says the group has helped a lot of people “make their dreams come true” — from microbreweries such as Spearhead Brewing Company to deep-tech operations such as Spectra Plasmonics. “Once you tap into mom, dad and your aunt and uncle, where else do you go? With our angels, they roll up their sleeves and get involved. It’s all you can do not to get involved.”


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Adapting power and the business plan

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Innovation office. “They suggested I should talk to Launch Lab,” Liu says. “That was in November 2021.” Since then, he’s met with Scott Runte, CEO of Launch Lab, and Jacques Pilon, an entrepreneur-in-residence. “Launch Lab has helped me to focus on the problem we’re trying to solve, from the aspects of product definition and competitive advantages, such as why [a customer] should buy our adaptor instead of someone else’s,” Liu says. “They have also helped us with business, helping us to build a solid financial cash-flow model and financial forecasts.” Pilon says Launch Lab has helped Liu define his value proposition, competitive advantage and his pitch to angel investors. “DigiQ is also trying to raise some angel investment and we’ve been helping with Yan-Fei’s investor presentations,” Pilon says. “We’ve been helping to get them to the point where investors can understand them. We’ve had quite a bit of success and there’s a lot of interest in investing.” In addition, the company has received a significant loan from Business Development Bank of Canada to help jumpstart its sales and marketing initiatives — the next big priorities.

Yan-Fei Liu

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warehouse management and harvest obin Vincent kind of fell into his management. current business, now a going Vincent came to the business idea after concern with projects across the dabbling in aquarium science in a semiglobe — from Portugal to Uzbekistan and commercial way and using data to the Middle East to Malawi as well reduce the mortality rates of as clients across Canada and some of the most sought-after the U.S. aquatic creatures. Then he And he credits realized he could probably do Launch Lab, a regional the same for indoor farming. innovation centre, and the “I wanted to reduce the Southeastern Ontario Angel field-to-plate process,” Vincent Network (SOAN), with some says. “It’s crazy that in Canada, Robin Vincent of his success. we import 70 per cent of our food.” “My interactions with Launch Lab His first customers were in the medical have been fantastic,” says Vincent, CEO cannabis field, but now he’s expanded to and founder of Canobi AgTech. “One of all manner of indoor farms. the things about being an entrepreneur Launch Lab adviser Bob Huggins has is it’s lonely. Having a resource you can worked with many companies over the reach out to and get an opinion on is years. essential.” “This really caught my eye,” he says. And when it came to raising capital, “Robin is a brilliant guy. With very little the SOAN angel investors were also fanfare, he’s getting a lot of attention and invaluable. we’re targeting $1 million in sales this “I wasn’t interested in debt without a year. I often tell entrepreneurs, ‘Just listen plan,” Vincent says, having bootstrapped to the advice. We can often save you time the company to that point. He had been and effort.’” working with his Launch Lab advisers Huggins liked the idea of helping on how to scale, secure and negotiate Canadian companies to grow good food investments. The introduction to SOAN locally, and year-round. came at just the right time. “We’ve got some really interesting Canobi provides all of the technologies conversations going on with companies an indoor farm or greenhouse requires to that have deep pockets,” he says. “You’re operate, including tools for monitoring, going to see a propagation. We’re very automation and business practices. pleased to be involved.” “We deal directly with farms so we’ll Vincent, with the support of Launch supply them all of the sensors they need Lab, has completed a six-figure to monitor every aspect of their grow convertible debenture and plans to room, including air and nutrient quality, pursue a series-A round. With a potential and we provide the automation gear that lead investor in California, everything is takes the sensor data and makes decisions accelerating. about controlling air conditioning and Launch Lab CEO Scott Runte couldn’t CO2,” Vincent says. be happier. All of that data flows into Canobi’s “Canobi is an example of a company SaaS business tools that give clients that got the benefit of our Amplify a full-blown enterprise resource program as it was getting ready to raise planning toolkit they can use for project capital,” Runte says. management, accounting, purchasing,

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igiQ Power has yet to go to market, and yet, it already has revenue through pre-orders. It’s the kind of thing that would make a Dragon on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den offer an appreciative dull roar. And company founder Yan-Fei Liu gives some of the credit for the success his fledgling company has already seen to Launch Lab and its advisers. “Launch Lab played a critical role in this,” Liu says. “If I were to do it myself, it would grow very slowly. To grow faster and secure investments, I couldn’t do it without Launch Lab.” The startup spun out of Queen’s University in Kingston and commercializes technology developed in the lab, where Liu works as a professor of electrical and computer engineering. The company develops miniature power supplies for AC-toDC applications and sells customized micro-controllers. It has more than 15 U.S. and international patents through Queen’s. “Every gadget we are using today requires smaller, lighter and more costeffective power adapters and companies like Apple and HP need to manufacture these power adapters,” Liu explains. The company has “cutting-edge and industry-leading” power adaptors for cellphone and notebook computer chargers, which are launching this month, after which it will move on to adaptors for monitors, e-bikes and rechargeable handheld tools. The first product line, for cellphones and notebooks, will be released in April and on its heels, DigiQ will release adaptors for portable power stations, items one might take camping and use to charge a cellphone, heater or coffeemaker. The Launch Lab relationship came about on the advice of Queen’s University’s Partnerships and

Propagating an indoor farming business


STUFF MADE AND BUILT

Manufacturing madness Eastern Ontario is a beacon for manufacturers. Our list includes dozens of innovative things made in our own backyards. and we’re expecting to use it,” says Denis Leclerc, president and CEO. Leclerc acquired the 790,000-square-foot plant formerly owned by Procter & Gamble in Brockville and will invest more than $100 million in the facility over the next five years, $1.5 million of which will come from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund. It expects to be in operation this summer and at full capacity in early 2023.

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

MEDICAL TUBING THAT TOURS THE WORLD

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LECLERC’S SWEET STORY Pop quiz: What’s the best-selling cookie in Canada? It might not be what you think. It’s the butter-based cookie with a moulded piece of chocolate covering it and it’s made right here in Eastern Ontario. In 1905 — a full 117 years ago — Francois Leclerc started making cookies in a small back room in his home on Arago Street in Quebec City. Today, the company employs 1,200 people and has facilities in Saint-Augustin-deDesmaures, Que., Hawkesbury, Cornwall and Brockville, Pennsylvania, Phoenix and two in Tennessee. Still familyowned, the company sells its cookies sell in 45 other countries. In Canada, it sells in grocery stores such as Loblaws, Independent, Sobeys and Farm Boy. At its latest facility in Brockville, it will start with 100 employees and grow from there. “There’s a lot of room in that place

Global Med Inc. in Trenton develops and produces topgrade medical tubing and fittings in Trenton that are exported to 34 countries. Many products are proprietary and cannot be disclosed. However, the team did tell us about two recent ones. First, there’s a tube used with a surgical cautery pencil. The tube is part of a system that evacuates any smoke plume that may contain carcinogens. Second, a ventilator hose with integrated heating warms the patient’s airway and prevents unwanted condensation in the hose.

KEEPING THE WEEDS AT BAY Since 1987, Premier Tech Home & Garden in Brighton has been developing and producing a variety of well-known lawn and garden care products from its 55,000-square-foot facility. These retail at hardware and home improvement stores across Canada. Under the Wilson brand, these include weed and pest control products AntOut, WipeOut and Weedout. As the lawn and garden industry has evolved, Premier Tech has continued to evolve its formulations, to provide

consumers with innovative products that are greener, yet still effective.

CUSTOM CHAIRS, SUSTAINABLY SOURCED

when you wave at a VIA engineer, he or she will wave back through a window built in Belleville.

“Best chairs on the planet.” Francois Bruneau and his family have been crafting fine Adirondack-style furniture since 1955 at DFC Woodworks Inc. in Kemptville. Each chair is built to order and customers can select the size, style, material, colour and stain that suits them best. Wood products are backed with an industry-leading 10-year guarantee. Today, the “Best Adirondack Chair” is a global success, with sales throughout the United States and Canada, and as far away as England, Australia and Dubai. DFC also makes sure its lumber is responsibly sourced, using only suppliers that are Forest Stewardship Council-certified.

THROUGH THE LOCOMOTIVE GLASS Since 1912, Beclawat Manufacturing Inc. has been renowned for its window and door solutions used in the marine, rail, transit and defence industries. One product from this Belleville producer is the Emergency Escape Hinged Locomotive Cab Window, for VIA Rail’s new fleet of 32 trainsets. This window helps improve safety for the engineer by providing an additional means of egress in the event of an emergency. These trains will travel throughout Quebec and Ontario, beginning in 2022. So, starting this year,

EXACT AND ESSENTIAL Foxboro’s Donmac Precision Machining Inc. specializes in mission critical components that could be used in a surgery bay or overseas to defend world peace. Each machined part or assembly is treated like someone’s life may depend on it. Customers span the defence, aerospace, medical and electronics sectors. Beyond that, the sensitive nature of Donmac’s work means its products must remain confidential. Pictured is one such custom product with complex features and extremely tight tolerances. Donmac’s advanced Swiss CNC lathe can produce this part from a piece of raw steel in just over a minute.


STUFF MADE AND BUILT THE SCIENCE OF BREEDING BOVINES EastGen’s hightech Kemptville lab lies at the heart of a $100-million industry that works to increase productivity within the global livestock sector. The lab is a “cornerstone” of a global alliance that markets more than 11 million doses of bovine semen across Canada and around the world. It’s all about advances in genetics research, to breed animals that are healthier and more resistant to disease. Livestock farmers can access low-cost genomic testing that allows them to quickly analyze an animals’ genetic potential and make more informed decisions on breeding programs.

A MANUFACTURER’S MANUFACTURER

3M: NOT JUST ADHESIVES

Perth’s Cord King builds heavy-duty commercial firewood processors powered by turbo diesel power plants. From concept to completed product, the company’s team of highly skilled workers builds each machine from scratch in Perth, starting with raw metal and fashioning it into heavy-duty components. The Cord King CS-Series models have the highest production rates on the planet today, capable of producing up to 10 full cords of firewood per hour. Over 40-plus years, Cord King has built and sold thousands of machines in more than 16 countries.

DIY FOR BOATERS The Sideshift team prides itself on doing one thing and doing it well — producing a range of retractable side thrusters that take the stress out of docking your boat. The company’s revolutionary bow and stern thruster technology sets the standard for affordable, powerful and easy-to-install thruster solutions for

CORNERING THE HOCKEY TAPE MARKET Quality hockey tape made in a small town. It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that. All of Renfrew Pro Hockey Tape’s products are manufactured in Renfrew — a town that played a role in the origin of the NHL. Renfrew Pro is the official tape for most professional hockey teams in North America and has been in the dressing room of every Stanley Cup championship team for more than 20 years. Today, the company is part of diversified health-care and industrial products group Scapa, but the focus on that rich, small-town heritage continues.

A CARPET CARETAKER In operation since 1966, Nylene Canada Inc.’s Arnprior facility offers a variety of quality nylon polymers (plastics) for the compounding market. This includes its own compounded nylon polymers for use in the wire and cable industry. If you have carpet, Nylene Canada also produces deep, regular, cationic and specialty cationic dye resin with builtin enhanced acid stain resistance for carpet production. The Arnprior plant also has another distinction — it can produce high-quality polymers and yarns by recycling common nylon 6, thereby diverting plastic waste from landfill.

SMOKIN’ THINGS UP Ensyn Technologies is known for its biocrude produced from forest and agricultural residues. An interesting sideline of Ensyn’s signature process is smoke flavourings for food. Two years ago, food conglomerate Kerry Group of Ireland purchased Ensyn’s Rapid Thermal Pyrolysis (RTP) facility in Renfrew. Kerry is the largest producer of liquid smoke in the world and most of that supply now comes from the Renfrew site. This flavouring is used in a wide variety of foods, from bacon, sausage and ham to BBQ sauces and potato chips.

FUELLING NUCLEAR REACTORS EIP Manufacturing is a custom precision machine shop that makes some unique items. One of these is a radioactive tube piercer. Canadian Nuclear Laboratories uses these piercers at sites across Ontario and the Pembroke machine shop even exports them to reactor installations overseas. Designed to function inside the fuel and materials cells of a nuclear reactor, a piercing machine is operated from a safe location using mechanical manipulator arms. The machine is used to cut a small piece, or coupon, of material from a radioactive reactor pressure tube sample. These coupons then undergo detailed examination to ensure continued safe operation of the reactor.

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3M is a multinational conglomerate that makes more than 60,000 products under several brands. The company’s Brockville plant made headlines in August 2020 when it announced it would be making N95 respirators. The first shipments rolled out in April 2021 and marked the first madein-Canada shipment of this vital personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic. Making this happen was a joint effort between the provincial and federal governments, to produce 55 million N95

KING OF THE CORDS

all types of boats, including monohull, pontoon and houseboats. Since introducing the industry’s first external bow thruster in 2001, Sideshift has exported its products to more than 50 countries. The company’s products are designed for DIY installation, saving boaters time and money.

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

Jae Automation is in business to help other manufacturers be more innovative and productive. The Kemptville company harnesses new technologies, sensors, data and analytics, and advanced robotics to lower its customers’ costs, improve product quality and increase operational efficiencies. For example, it recently designed a complete robotic palletizing and case-conveying system for a local manufacturer. The system receives cased material from four packaging lines, puts the cases onto four individual pallets, then stretch-wraps each pallet.

respirators a year for the next five years, for health-care workers, first responders and other essential workers across Canada. Brockville isn’t 3M’s only Eastern Ontario factory. The company also has two manufacturing plants in Perth. The first produces tape, ranging from its ubiquitous Scotch Tape to high-quality tapes used for more demanding applications in markets such as aerospace and construction. The second plant produces cleaning sponges, including the green and yellow ScotchBrite brand heavy-duty scrub sponge. Every Scotch-Brite product sold in Canada is made in Perth.


STUFF MADE AND BUILT KEEPING VEHICLES MOTORING METEC Metal Technology Inc. offers precision machining, fabrication, manufacturing and assembly services as well as custom prototyping, design and an apprentice training school. The Vankleek Hill company’s products, made in Eastern Ontario and sold across North America, include a variety of vehicle maintenance attachments — sweepers, snow blowers, spreaders and plows. These include its single-auger blower — a box blower that ensures efficient snow removal, combined with easy usability and safe operation. The blower’s direct-drive chute reduces the number of moving parts, for lower maintenance and long-lasting performance.

SAFE SUITS FOR MILITARY MEMBERS

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

Tulmar Safety Systems, of Hawkesbury, designs and manufactures engineered protective textiles and survivability and

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safety products for the aerospace, defence and public security industries. The company’s manufacturing facility features equipment ranging from computerized cutting tables, stitching machines, radio frequency welding and heat-sealing equipment to highly sophisticated testing and certification equipment. In July, Tulmar announced a contract renewal with the Royal Canadian Navy worth $3 million for Hazardous Duty and Maritime Pouch Life Preservers. In May, Tulmar acquired Icarus Training Systems of the United Kingdom — a maker of inflatable training equipment for aircraft cabin crew training.

WOMAN OF STEEL Ivaco Rolling Mills is a world-class producer and global exporter of hot-rolled wire rod and steel billets. Billets are used as raw material by other manufacturers for a variety of steel products. Achieving the highest quality in a billet’s manufacture is critical to the success of any downstream

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product that is made from it. Ivaco produces 900,000 tonnes of product per year. The company is a WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) business. This distinction recognizes Ivaco, based in L’Orignal, as a women-owned business by virtue of its parent company, The Heico Companies, which is chaired by Emily Heisley Stoeckel.

A SMALL BIG CHEESE Cheesemaking has long been big business in Eastern Ontario. Popular consumer brands such as Cracker Barrel, P’tit Québec, and aMOOza! are produced at plants in Winchester and Ingleside. These plants today are owned and operated by Lactalis Canada, a subsidiary of the world’s largest dairy conglomerate, Groupe Lactalis of France. But Eastern Ontario boasts another big name in cheese, one that retains its local ownership. Fromagerie St-Albert, the St-Albert Cheese Co-operative, is one of the oldest co-operatives in Canada and is known for its cheddar and poutine curds. St-Albert has earned Grand Champion titles at international cheese shows. It all began in 1894, when a group of FrancoOntarian cheesemakers gathered to launch a co-operative. After a devastating fire in 2013, St-Albert rebuilt and resumed production in 2014.

DR. ROBOT Drawing on its neuroscience roots in clinical research, Kingston’s Kinarm develops and exports interactive robotics platforms. This advanced instrumentation is used by researchers studying the brain, to help patients recover from stroke, concussion or other traumatic brain injury, and to study neurological dysfunction due to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s. One flagship product is the Kinarm Exoskeleton Lab. This sophisticated robotic platform can monitor and manipulate a patient’s arm, providing a broad range of hand- and joint-based kinesiological information.

ANCHORING THE SAILING INDUSTRY Kingston Anchors’ stainless steel anchors, bow rollers and other marine products are installed by recreational and commercial boat builders across North America and beyond. It all began when Montreal hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics. The Games may have been awarded to Montreal, but the waters off the shores of Kingston were deemed best for the sailing events. Subsequently, the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour was constructed, which sparked a sailing boom. Ed Petersen, a local sailor and entrepreneur, seized this opportunity and launched Kingston Anchors in 1977.


STUFF MADE AND BUILT BUILDING BETTER BUILDINGS Build stronger and faster, with less waste and lower construction labour costs, and avoid much of the maintenance over time that is typical of conventional “stickbuilt” structures. Feris’s Harmonic line is a high-performance building system that combines structure, insulation and vapour barrier in a single panel. Everything is custom engineered and fabricated in Kingston using Canadian steel and expanded polystyrene (EPS). This produces a building envelope that is mould/mildew and vermin resistant, and able to achieve high environmental ratings such as net zero. Feris ships to customers worldwide and is popular with architects, contractors and developers.

with more than 400 barges on the water. These modular vessels are designed to be easily transported and can be configured and customized in numerous ways, using a unique pinning system.

SODA GETS ITS START WITH STRAWBERRIES

MAKING PACKING A BREEZE Laminacorr is the only Canadian-owned independent manufacturer of corrugated plastic. Since its founding in Cornwall in

BEST IN THE VINYL BIZ

1998, it has grown into the largest independent manufacturer of these plastics in North America. Laminacorr’s products are used for signage and display, and for packaging in a variety of industries. These industries include automotive, agriculture, construction and medical, for the transportation of blood and other organic tissues. Laminacorr also supports its local community with a bursary program for business-minded women students.

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Drake Cartier, always intrigued by tugboats and heavy equipment as a youngster, joined the marine construction industry with his first job at age 15. This eventually led him to found his own company, to produce a quality product, at a reasonable price, on Canadian soil — specifically Cornwall soil. Today, Canadian Barge Builders bills itself as the country’s No.1 barge-building company,

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CANADA’S BIGGEST BARGE BUILDER

Morbern is North America’s leading designer and manufacturer of decorative vinyl upholstery and has been in operation since 1965. Its Cornwall headquarters is one of the company’s nine manufacturing and distribution centres across the continent. Morben creates innovative vinyls that meet the challenges of the design and engineering communities, balancing performance, durability and style. These products are used in the contract, health-care, hospitality, automotive, trucking, transportation and marine markets. Morbern was named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for two years running.

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

Hand-crafted farm-to-glass sodas that are all natural, low in sugar and made with locally grown fruits — in a weird and wonderful variety of flavours. Within just a few years, Napanee’s County Bounty Artisanal Soda Co. has grown to ship and retail its drinks across Canada. It all began when founder Dodie Ellenbogen wanted to try something different to preserve a large flat of strawberries before they spoiled. Instead of making jam, she used a recipe for cordials — syrups which you can add to sparkling water to make your own soda.


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Innovative agri-business turns to PPRC for reliable staff to support growth

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Just down the road from Ottawa in Cornwall, a new kind of farm is working to ensure we have fresh leafy greens at any time of year … without having to truck them all in from south of the border. Fieldless Farms uses Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) to grow all of its produce indoors. The ideal climate can be had year around, despite our Canadian weather. The farm also uses renewable energy and automated systems to ensure the perfect growing and harvesting environments for its crops. The shelves of Farm Boy are among the destinations for its products. Consumers have come to realize just how important domestic food security is to keep grocery store shelves stocked, at reasonable prices. The latest agricultural tech still needs human intervention to get product picked, quality-checked, packed and shipped. Fieldless Farms, like many businesses, has faced its challenges to attract and retain staff during the pandemic. From the very start of its commercial operations two years ago, the business realized it needed to be more open-minded and inclusive to find the reliable staff that it needed. “We made sure to talk to all the local organizations that could assist with staff recruitment, training and retention,” said Patrick Knowles, the farm’s director of market development

and strategy. “Today, about 20 per cent of our workforce identify as having a disability.” Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care fills the gap Ottawa’s PPRC is a bilingual rehabilitation company that serves as coach, facilitator and trainer for both employer and job seeker. Director of Rehabilitation Linda Simpson and the entire PPRC team, which includes a growing number of persons with disabilities, are masters at matchmaking. They want to ensure sustainable win-wins for all involved. “From the very start, Linda and her team have always made a sincere effort to truly understand our business – they walk the site to get a real sense of the roles and responsibilities which we are looking to fill,” Knowles said. “They will not put forward someone whom they are not certain will be a good fit for the job.” With PPRC’s candidates, Fieldless Farms doesn’t face the challenges it does with other prospective hires who just don’t show up or stick with the job. “It really helps our business to have a partner like PPRC who will help us recruit reliable people who will stay with us,” Knowles added. “PPRC knows its clients and their capabilities. That makes it easy for a small business like ours without a large HR program to successfully tap into this part of

Linda Simpson from PPRC was pleased to recognize Patrick Knowles from Fieldless Farms Inc. for his commitment to MentorAbility and his inclusive hiring practices in Cornwall. Photo by PPRC

the labour force.” It’s all about finding the right fit for employer and jobseeker, and that both parties are prepared and confident about their new relationship, Simpson said. Supporting businesses with the education that will make them more informed about disabilities, removing barriers in the workplace and addressing any other concerns an employer may have. “The most important thing is to treat others how you want to be treated – with respect and dignity,” said Simpson. “Listen and inquire about their accommodation needs and collaborate with that individual. We’ve learned that over time,

collaboration with the person with a disability is the key to success, so we can source out what that person needs. In most cases, there’s very few costs related to accommodation in the workplace.” The relationship and support, for everyone involved, continues long after the hire, Knowles added: “We are really excited to keep working with PPRC as our business grows.” For more information on PPRC, or to learn about the fee-based Disability Awareness and Etiquette Training it provides, visit www.pprc.ca.


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EASTERN ONTARIO

STAYCATION GUIDE

close to home

Here are the top things to see and do this spring and summer in Ottawa and the valley and along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

adventure

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There’s never been a better time to discover the world-class attractions and can’t-miss events right in your backyard.

EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS JOURNAL SPRING 2022

There’s a world of


STAYCATION

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Local travel more appealing than ever

Ontario ‘Staycation Tax Credit’ bolstering our tourism industry

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his special travel guide is inspired by a new provincial initiative designed to boost the tourism and hospitality sectors, which have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. For 2022, the Ontario government has introduced a tax credit to encourage residents to take short-term trips within the province.

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Destinations across Eastern Ontario are eager to welcome travellers and show them all the sights, sounds and flavours of their regions. Over the past several years, some tourism groups, regional governments and economic development offices have worked in tandem to launch new programs within their respective areas to support

and promote the establishment of new businesses or the expansion of existing ones, making the regions showcased here more appealing than ever. So how does the tax credit work? For travel occurring between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022, residents can claim 20 per cent of their accommodation such as a hotel,

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motel, resort, lodge, bed-and-breakfast, Airbnb, cottage or campground on their personal income tax return. The accommodation’s proprietor must be registered for HST/GST and the claim must be related to leisure travel, not business. Furthermore, the tax credit is not applicable for timeshare agreements,


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or for the rental of a recreational vehicle, boat or other vehicle that can be self-propelled. Ontarians are eligible to claim up to a maximum of $1,000 as an individual or $2,000 for those with a spouse/commonlaw partner or children, meaning returns of $200 or $400, respectively. Claims can be made for an individual trip or multiple trips and each stay must be under a month. For the accommodation expenses, a detailed receipt must indicate it was paid by the person filing the claim on their taxes (or by their spouse, common-law partner or eligible child), include GST/ HST, detail the date(s) of the stay as well as the location of the accommodation and include a reasonable amount for the accommodation portion if it was a package deal. Claims cannot be made for

accommodation expenses which have been reimbursed by a friend or employer. The eligibility criteria are stated as follows: You are eligible to claim the credit if you are an Ontario resident on Dec. 31, 2022. Only one individual per family can claim the credit for the year. Your claim can include the eligible expenses of your spouse or common-law partner and your eligible children. An eligible child is not entitled to claim the credit. When announcing the credit earlier this year, the provincial government said this tax credit will help the tourism and hospitality sectors recover and encourage Ontarians to explore the province. It is believed the credit could provide an estimated $270 million to support over one-and-a-half-million families to discover Ontario.

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For complete details on the tax credit, visit

www.ontario.ca/page/ontario-staycation-tax-credit. This guide should serve as a great starting point as you look forward to some close-to-home adventures this year. Be sure to check the tourism websites of the Eastern Ontario regions you plan to explore this year for full information on recreational activities, special events, accommodations and more. Pub-Broue&Chew-EOBJ Staycation-final production.pdf 1 2022-03-02 8:16:45 AM

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Adventure Weekend East of Ottawa

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Beautiful Brockville beckons Prepare to be charmed by this year-round playground There’s more to Brockville than meets the eye. Between its warm vibes, clean air and zero traffic jams, it won’t take you long to realize that in addition to its expansive waterfront vistas and abundant parks, Brockville is a small yet complete city where everything you need is close at hand. As a bonus, you’ll find that the people are personable and welcoming, ready to help make your visit memorable. Brockville is ideally situated between two international bridges to the United States, an hour’s drive from Ottawa and midway between Toronto and Montreal. It’s accessible by car, boat, train or even plane — the latter thanks to the Brockville-1000 Islands Regional Tackaberry Airport. Whether you’re exploring for the first time or you’ve become a frequent visitor, you’ll be charmed by the ease of life here. Enjoy all the amenities including abundant accommodation options while revelling in Brockville’s proximity to nature, which makes it a true four-season playground full of possibilities.

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The river is calling

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1000 Islands & Seaway Cruises offers leisurely tours and high-speed Wildcat excursions. Alternatively, set off in your own boat from one of two city-owned boat launches or rent a motor boat, canoe, kayak or paddleboard. Enjoy amazing fishing and if camping’s your thing, sites are available in Thousand Islands National Park.

Go deeper

In one of the world’s best freshwater scubadiving locations, explore century-old shipwrecks and the city’s underwater sculpture park. The Brockville Railway Tunnel offers another immersive experience with its accessible pathway and mesmerizing LED light and sound display. A deeper dive into nature awaits at the UNESCO-designated Frontenac Arch Biosphere surrounding the city.

Tee time

The Brockville area is a mecca for golfers, with six courses. Switch things up with a round of soccer-inspired foot golf at Sunnidell Golf or play disc golf at the Flyboy Canada One course. Get the whole family into the swing of things at the 1000 Island Miniature Golf Centre & Driving Range.

Active adventures

Hikers, walkers and cyclists all love the Brock Trail, which stretches throughout the city from Centeen Park through to the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area with its five additional trails. There’s also great hiking in Thousand Islands National Park, including at Jones Creek and Landon Bay or the Blue Mountain trail in Charleston Lake Provincial Park.

Family fun

The Aquatarium interactive learning centre includes replica ships, playful creatures and the impressive Power of Water exhibit. Treetop Trekking, formerly Skywood Eco Adventure, offers

zip lines, canopy tours and more. Visit local parks to picnic, swim or enjoy playgrounds, pump tracks and splash pads. On Saturday nights from May to September, you can take in the action at the local speedway.

Theatre, music and visual arts

The historic Brockville Arts Centre is home to community theatre companies and welcomes many touring performances, with an inspiring art gallery found in the lobby. Free live concerts are held Sundays through July and August in Hardy Park. Find the Marianne Van Silfhout Gallery — a hub for the area’s art community — at St. Lawrence College.

Step back in time

Brockville is a place steeped in history. Savour tales of lavish lifestyles and maybe a ghost story or two at the opulent Fulford Place mansion, built over 100 years ago by Senator George T. Fulford, who made a fortune with his ‘Pink Pills for Pale People’. Head to the historic town square to visit the courthouse, a National Historic Site, then proceed to the Brockville Museum to learn about the city’s important industrial past and select a tour that suits your interests.


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Nature lovers’ itinerary • Hike in the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area. • Pick up a picnic lunch at Brockberry Café. • Hit the water on a rented kayak, canoe or paddleboard. • Relax on a 1000 Islands Cruise. • Enjoy dinner at Moose McGuire’s, overlooking the river.

Fun facts • Known as the ‘city of the 1000 Islands,’ Brockville owns 18 islands available for day use as well as camping.

• Brockville became Ontario’s first incorporated self-governing town on Jan. 28, 1832, two years before Toronto.

Eat, drink and be merry

From family-run favourites to familiar chains, quality dining and top-notch takeout is close at hand. The region’s hospitality scene is enhanced by craft breweries, wineries and even a new cidery.

Festivals and events

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Kicking things off is the Brockville Tall Ships Festival from June 24 to 26. Also on the calendar are the 1000 Islands Regatta, featuring hydroplane racing and live music on Canada Day weekend, the Automotion car show and Poker Run in July and RibFest, the TIKO Dog Show and the Thousand Islands Triathlon & Duathlon in August.

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• Originally called Elizabethtown, the settlement was renamed in honour of Major-General Isaac Brock, a hero of the War of 1812.


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Ingenium’s three museums: popular places where there’s always something to learn

Celebrating creativity, discovery and human ingenuity is the essence of the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Canada Science and Technology Museum. United under the Ingenium brand, each museum represents a collaborative space that tells the stories of people who test the limits, honouring those who have shaped history and who inspire the next generation. With unique sensory experiences appealing to all ages, these museums showcase the countless ways science and innovation connect with Canadians’ everyday lives. No matter how often you visit, you’re sure to discover something new each time.

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Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

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As the world’s only working farm in the heart of a capital city, this is the place to see, up close, scores of farm animals and learn about their care and role in our daily lives. The barns are home to many breeds of dairy and beef cattle, pigs, sheep, horses, poultry, goats and rabbits; they’re complemented by the many educational programs, hands-on demonstrations and exhibits showcasing Canada’s impressive agricultural heritage and contemporary innovations towards sustainable agriculture and food security. As the season for renewal, spring is an especially fun time to visit ‘the farm’, as it is often referred to by Ottawans. Enjoy the baby animals and fresh plantings, the outdoor play spaces, plus the barns and indoor displays. Seasonal events will be returning and a new exhibit, Aquaculture: Farming the Waters, launches soon. Embark on a journey to discover how Canadian farmers on the coasts and across the country produce seafood. Check out the ‘Articulture’ workshops for kids and adults, to learn from award-winning illustrators how to draw and paint farm animals. It’s a great way to round out your fresh-air adventure at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum!

Delicious innovation now on the menu at Ingenium

Food and beverage services have stepped into a new era thanks to Ingenium’s partnership with local purveyor The Urban Element. At the Canada Science and Technology Museum, a new onsite café has launched, offering fresh, innovative cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. The concept will be rolled out soon at the other museums, plus catering, culinary education programs and more.

Membership and more

Membership offers great value to enjoy all three museums, as often as you’d like. This year, summer camps are back as part of the exciting return to normalcy. And all three museums provide a wealth of online resources including some games and apps that blend science or history with your child’s gaming habits, available at https://ingeniumcanada.org/online-resources-for-science-at-home.


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Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Considered one of the finest aviation museums in the world, this fascinating facility focuses on more than 120 years of aviation in Canada, as well as Canada’s contributions to global aerospace technology. The museum’s impressive collection includes more than 130 civil and military aircraft and artifacts. Braille binders, which present self-guided tours of a number of exhibitions, are available as part of the museum’s ongoing commitment to accessibility. Marvel at such treasures as the largest surviving pieces of the famous Avro Arrow, the original Canadarm used on Space Shuttle Endeavour, a massive Second World War Avro Lancaster bomber and Life in Orbit: The International Space Station. New this year is a stellar exhibition called Eyes on the Skies – a hands-on experience exploring air traffic management, and the people, technologies and innovations that keep our skies safe. As the second-most-popular place in the National Capital Region on Canada Day, the museum offers free admission plus a full slate of indoor and outdoor activities; biplane and helicopter rides are also available (check website for cost and timing.) No matter when you visit, let your imagination take flight at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum!

Canada Science and Technology Museum

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There’s never been a better time to go to the Canada Science and Technology Museum. In an expanded and completely redesigned space, it offers everything visitors liked about the previous incarnation – particularly the locomotives and the Crazy Kitchen – plus more artifacts and interactives that will surely become new favourites. Learn about Canada’s science and technology achievements and stories about some of our greatest innovators in an immersive, educational and fun way. Younger children will enjoy the ZOOOM gallery or tinkering in the Exploratek space, which celebrates their natural curiosity as they investigate, experiment and exercise their creativity in a space filled with elements of surprise. In addition to its popular daily stage demos, the museum has created a new series of short 10-minute demos that explore unique topics like physics, including a hypnotic pendulum wave or the soothing ‘clickety-clack’ sound of a string of beads falling from a vase in a chain fountain. With more than half a dozen permanent exhibitions as well as special events, the Canada Science and Technology Museum offers so much to spark the imagination and encourage further exploration. Visit and be inspired!


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Explore Cornwall A nearby location for a charming getaway

Spring is the perfect time to take a fresh look at the riverside destination of Cornwall. Located a little more than an hour’s drive southeast of the nation’s capital, Cornwall offers all the amenities of a medium-sized city, but it’s also brimming with small-town charm. At every turn you’ll discover fascinating history, picturesque parks, comforting food and people who are supremely friendly and welcoming. Although it’s easy to plan your visit ahead of time thanks to the comprehensive resources available at CornwallTourism.com, be prepared to have locals offering you tips and stories to help make your time in Cornwall even more enjoyable than expected. Whether you’re looking for a getaway that’s relaxing, inspiring, educational or invigorating, you’ll find everything you need in this clean, green city that’s home to world-class events, award-winning inns and so much more.

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Take to the trails

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The Riverside Trail is one of Cornwall’s mostvisited attractions, beloved by walkers, runners and cyclists alike. Running the entire length of the city, it offers amazing views from Gray’s Creek, through Lamoureux Park and on to Guindon Park. There’s free cyclist parking at the conveniently located Cornwall Civic Complex right beside the Riverside Trail. Planning a cycling trip to Cornwall has never been easier. Ottawa’s Escape Bicycle Tours is now offering guided and self-guided multi-day bike tours in Cornwall! Check out escapebicycletours.ca for details.

World-class waters

of items ranging from whimsical to practical. Mrs. B’s Gifts & Home Decor is another favourite, with collectibles, outdoor décor and much more.

Fabulous festivals

This season, check out the Rock the River festival’s beer edition on May 21 featuring craft breweries, live music, local food and local non-beer beverages. Other popular events include the St. Lawrence Marathon (April 30), Cornwall Ribfest (July 21-24), Poutine Feast (August 4-7) and Waterfest (August 13).

Food and drink

From sport fishing to kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle-boarding, the Cornwall area is a mecca for those who love to play on or in the water. An angler’s haven with trophy fish of all types, Cornwall offers two public boat launches in Lamoureux and Guindon Parks.

Cornwall’s thriving culinary and beverage scenes offer something for every taste and budget, showcasing farm-fresh local ingredients infused with global influences. Scores of eateries — many with patios — are available across the city. Gather your own delicious local harvest at seasonal farmers’ markets as well.

Satisfying shopping

Cultural connections

Cruise downtown to visit Cornwall’s many oneof-a-kind boutiques and don’t miss Laura’s — one of the largest gift shops of its kind in Eastern Ontario, packed with a carefully curated selection

Explore Indigenous culture at the Native North American Travelling College on Cornwall Island, which has been instrumental in preserving and maintaining the Mohawk culture, history and

language. Feast your eyes on visual art at the Cline House Gallery and check out events like Art Walk on June 24 and August 26 in downtown Cornwall.

A community steeped in history

The self-guided Cornwall Historic Walking Tour showcases the city’s rich past via several dozen artistic plaques. There’s a lot to learn about the region in the Cornwall Community Museum, as well as at the city’s many old churches, the former cotton mill district and the Saunders Hydro Dam Visitor Centre.

Where to stay

Options for accommodations are numerous — including hotels, motels, Airbnb spots and quaint bed and breakfasts, such as the historic Auberge Chesley’s Inn. Ontario’s oldest inn, it has been recognized as one of the province’s best bicyclefriendly businesses. Ramada, Best Western and Comfort Inn are comfortable and convenient options as well.


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Planning a visit to Cornwall? Cornwall Tourism is always available to help! Call or text 613-938-4748 or send us an email to info@cornwalltourism.com for one-on-one assistance and to request a complimentary copy of our 2022 Explore Cornwall Visitor Guide.

Day trip ideas • Sample some of the best bites in Cornwall and learn a bit about the city with Cornwall Food Tours (www.cornwallfoodtours.com to book). • Expand your cultural horizons with a tour of the Native North American Travelling College.

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• Bliss out with some pampering at one of the city’s spas. 2022_EXPLORE

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• Complete your day with some retail therapy and dinner downtown, followed by a visit to Cornwall’s popular escape room, Rush Hour Escapes (book a time at rushhourescapes.ca).

Check out

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for information on upcoming festivals and events, activities, experiences and more!

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• Rent bikes from Marina 200 (call 613-932-8301 to book) or book a pedicab tour (waterfronttours.ca) and explore Cornwall’s beautiful waterfront.

• Stroll through Memorial Park or the Rotary Eco Gardens in Lamoureux Park to admire the spring blooms.

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Plan your visit!


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Experience the magic of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry

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For centuries, people have wandered off the beaten path to come to the counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG). Fish-full rivers, fertile soil, rich forests, abundant wildlife and big, beautiful open skies lured them here. Their ingenuity and determination created places that continue to flourish. SDG is chock-full of spots where the welcome mat gets rolled out every day. Visit and take delight in rural fairs, pick fruit at a local orchard, paddle down a river, explore a museum, play on a fairway, cycle a country lane and learn from a rich trove of stories. You’ll discover a place where history comes alive every day. A place that instantly feels like home — so much so that after you visit, you might even want to make it your home. It’s a region where the pulse of life beats a little stronger. From the buzz of vibrant nature to the hum of busy, welcoming communities, you’re sure to be amazed at how inspiring and refreshing a trip to SDG can be. For a staycation like no other, venture off the open road and discover the place Where Ontario Began.

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Active exploration

With water flowing throughout the counties, you’ll enjoy abundant opportunities for boating, beaching, paddling, camping and fishing, whether on smaller rivers and lakes or on the mighty St. Lawrence, which also offers incredible scuba diving, including in the Lost Villages. Hike through pristine forests and cycle — whether on quiet rural roads alongside immaculate farm fields or along the impressive Waterfront Trail connecting SDG along the St. Lawrence River.

For a blooming good time

Looking for some Insta-perfect moments and a chance to revel in natural beauty? Check out the sunflower-studded Fields of Gold farm, expanding this year to offer 40 acres of sunflowers, a fresh flower u-pick area plus corn maze and pumpkin patch. Loulou Lavender in Williamstown showcases the sights, smells and healing properties of lavender. People are also buzzing about the pollinator fields planted at Smirlholm Farms, where you can enjoy the flowers, have a tour and take home some honey.

History comes alive

Immerse yourself in the world-class living museum that is Upper Canada Village and step back into Ontario’s formative years. Be enchanted by the St. Raphael’s Ruins, a National Historic site. Witness salvaged history at South Stormont’s Lost Villages or unlock the past at

the historic SDG Jail, which offers guided tours and special events.

Tastes and tipples

Local flavours play a starring role here. From award-winning cheesemakers to pubs, breweries, berry farms, cafés, pizzerias, farmers’ markets, ice cream shops, orchards, chip trucks, cideries, bakeries, bistros, wineries and general stores, it’s safe to say that almost every culinary or beverage craving can be satisfied in the towns and villages of SDG.

Get cultured

Unique cultural and artistic experiences abound in SDG. Take in a performance at one of several playhouses, visit artists’ studios or enjoy live music. Expand your knowledge of Scottish culture and heritage by attending Maxville’s popular Glengarry Highland Games in August or by visiting the Glengarry Celtic Music Hall of Fame in Williamstown.


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County fairs

Unique accommodations

Do your tastes run to a cozy bed and breakfast or a familiar chain hotel? Perhaps staying in a riverside cottage, on a farm, in a treehouse at the Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary or glamping in a yurt is more your style? From backwoods camping right up to luxurious, historic inns, you’ll find lots of options for sweet dreams throughout SDG.

Fun facts • The world-famous McIntosh apple originated in Dundas County. • SDG has a distinct multicultural flair with Mohawk, Iroquois, Ojibwe, FrenchCanadians, American Loyalists, Acadians, Scots, Irish and Eastern Europeans all part of its history. • Glengarry is the birthplace of John Sandfield Macdonald, Ontario’s first premier.

www.whereontariobegan.ca

Sample itinerary: A tour for the adventurer • Rent diving gear at Deco Stop Outdoor Centre in Lancaster and spend the day exploring local dive sites. • Stop for lunch at The Blue Anchor. • Hop on your bike to discover hidden treasures along the Long Sault Parkway. See the impact of flooding during the 1950s Seaway construction, including the remains of lost villages visible just below the river waters. • Feast on Mediterranean cuisine at Nautica Grill & Wine in Long Sault. • Rent a cabin or pitch your tent at the Long Sault Parkway Campgrounds and enjoy a relaxing bonfire.

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Check out our video HERE

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STAYCATION GUIDE • EASTERN ONTARIO BUSINESS BUSINESS JOURNAL JOURNALSPRING SPRING2022 2022

The season begins with the longstanding Avonmore Fair in July and the Winchester Dairyfest in early August. Another big draw is the Williamstown Fair in South Glengarry. Established in 1812, it’s the oldest annual fair in Canada and it also takes place in early August. Next up is the South Mountain Fair in mid-August, then the Chesterville & District Agricultural Society’s fair later that month. Extend your fun at the Stormont County Fair, which has been hosting a fun-filled Labour Day weekend since Confederation.


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Exciting discoveries await at the Canadian Museum of Nature

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This interactive museum is the National Capital Region’s go-to destination for inspiring experiences and memorable engagement with nature’s past, present and future. First-time and frequent visitors alike will relish all the brand new elements and experiences now available. Below are just a few of the enticing current offerings that will delight and amaze you on your next visit.

Planet Ice: Mysteries of the Ice Ages

Explore the power of ice and cold in shaping the world in which we live. Produced by the Canadian Museum of Nature, Planet Ice is a spectacular exhibition that features more than 120 real specimens, models and artifacts. Meet animals adapted for cold; some long extinct – such as the iconic Woolly Mammoth or sabre-toothed Smilodon – others still alive today. Discover lost lands under the world’s oceans and contemplate our relationship to our planet, past, present and future. This remarkable journey takes you through more than 80,000 years of Earth’s history. Opening May 20, 2022, the exhibition runs through to Labour Day.

New at the Museum: Owls, sea creatures, bugs and more!

Owls Rendezvous is a live owl exhibition featuring five owls and a bald eagle. Come face to face with these majestic and mysterious birds of prey in this outdoor mini-exhibition (included with admission). Dive into an exploration of tide-pool life with the new Pacific Discovery Tank, filled with live creatures, including anemones, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. Visitors are invited to touch the animals when staff are present. Enjoy Shadowland - 15 unique works that reveal the shadows cast by the preserved remains of animals, including polar bears, narwhals and bison, by Montreal artist, Lorraine Simms. And no

visit is complete with a stop at Bugs Alive! Newly renovated, the space features an exciting array of creepy critters, including leaf cutter ants. Of course, favourite spaces including the Mammal, Earth, Fossil and Arctic galleries are available as well. You’ll find hours of enjoyment here.

More discoveries await you!

After your visit to the Canadian Museum of Nature, explore the many engaging activities to be enjoyed at home, available at https://nature.ca/en/explore-nature/ blogs-videos-more .


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ICE AGES, like the one we’re living in, have shaped our planet and life on it. Come face to face with fantastical creatures of the past. Discover the cool facts about why we need teeth-chattering temperatures to preserve our planet. Made in Ottawa by the Canadian Museum of Nature.

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Live, work, play, invest in Renfrew County Living in the Ottawa Valley is the life-changing opportunity you’ve been looking for. Live and work in an inspirational environment with a limitless backyard at a very affordable cost of living. Commercial real estate and manufacturing investors will find growing municipalities, rapidly expanding multi-lane highways and a broad range of properties and business opportunities. Recent investments include Rogers 5G Network expansion into the region and MetaLigna’s — a manufacturer specializing in CFS modular construction of cottages and tiny homes, mobile medical units and community housing — recent purchase and expansion of a manufacturing facility.

Choosing to locate our new manufacturing facility in Renfrew County was an easy choice, offering great value for such a large facility, a skilled local workforce and all easily close and accessible to supply chains and routes.

- Domenic Idone, President MetaLigna

Come for a visit to see and experience what Renfrew County has to offer for you. There are many great opportunities to start, buy or invest in new businesses, careers and in your quality of life. Find out more at InvestRenfrewCounty.com

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48 Check out The Water and Dirt Festival, presented by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories August 4-14, 2022. www.wateranddirt.ca