Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

PARRY SOUND-MUSKOKA — Federal loans and grants for 10 regional public and private tourism initiatives in 2022 include sewer lines for Santa’s Village and trail grooming for snowmobile trails and money to expand vacant lands at Muskoka Wharf.

The more than $2 million comes at the end of National Tourism Week, May 29 to June 4, and is from Canada’s Tourism Relief Fund (TRF).

Santa’s Village, Bracebridge, $100,000

  • A summer-season anchor attraction in the Muskoka region for almost seven decades, Santa’s Village is receiving a non-repayable TRF contribution of $100,000 to support a major infrastructure project that is needed to support expansion plans. Specifically, the funding will be used to help Santa’s Village install a sanitary line along five kilometres of Santa’s Village Road, enabling the theme park and campground to reclaim land being used as a septic bed, allowing for expansion as well as future growth into the shoulder and winter seasons. This initiative will help Santa’s Village expand its offerings and increase the number of visitors, welcoming a new generation of travellers to the region. With its expansion, the theme park is expected to create more than 20 new jobs in the short term, with continued plans to grow in future years.
Santa’s Village in Bracebridge, which recently opened for the summer, expects to add 20 jobs as part of its FedNor investment in sewer lines to the property west of town.

Patterson Kaye Resort, $500,000

  • With a repayable FedNor investment of $500,000 through the TRF, Patterson Kaye Resort is constructing four new cottages and refurbishing 11 existing cottages to help ensure the operator remains a vital part of the Muskoka tourism industry moving forward. The project will help this four-season Bracebridge resort modernize its tourism offerings and increase profitability, while attracting new tourists to the region. Specifically, the funding will support construction costs at all stages. The project is expected to create    30 jobs during the construction phase, 10 new seasonal, full-time jobs while maintaining 49 more.

Township of Muskoka Lakes, $162,000

  • A non-repayable FedNor investment of $162,000 through TRF is helping the Township of Muskoka Lakes remove and replace the existing municipal dock, which was decommissioned due to flood damage in the spring of 2019. The new dock will create a Southern access point by water to Bala, paving the way for more boaters to visit the community and the 75 small businesses and services located in the downtown core. Identified as a local priority, this strategic initiative is expected to create five jobs during the construction phase of the project.

Town of Gravenhurst, $357,500

  • The Town of Gravenhurst is receiving a non-repayable FedNor investment of $357,500 to enhance the Muskoka Wharf and create new product offerings at the waterfront in Gravenhurst. Identified as strategic priority in the community’s Wharf Revitalization Plan, the project will include establishing retail spaces on vacant land around Wharf to attract small businesses, developing pedestrian way-finding, as well as landscaping and shoreline upgrades to ensure environmentally sustainability. The funding will also be used to replace five of the existing docks and complete accessibility and boat launch upgrades to enhance the user experience. As part of the project, the Town of Gravenhurst will also revitalize five waterfront facilities including the sports services building, two sets of public washrooms, a public picnic shelter and the Muskoka Discovery Centre. Once complete, this project is expected to support 28 businesses, attract more events to the region, while creating 30 local jobs and help maintain over 180 more.

Town of Parry Sound, $494,250

  • The Town of Parry Sound is receiving a non-repayable investment of $494,250 through the TRF to complete a re-design of the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame’s exhibit space in time to coincide with the facility’s 20th anniversary in 2023. The project will result in a new visitor experience with the creation of a more flexible exhibition area that will serve to re-interpret Parry Sound’s sport heritage. The new energy-efficient space will feature inductees into the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame and will also honour the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action to tell the story of Aboriginal athletes in Canadian history. In addition, a new science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) gallery will allow for the expansion of educational program offerings, and a new exhibit in partnership with the Georgian Bay Biosphere will serve as a place where people can learn about the region and its ecological significance. This initiative is expected to generate eight jobs during planning and construction, and another five permanent jobs, while maintaining five more.

Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, $305,555

  • Thanks to a non-repayable FedNor investment of $305,555, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs will purchase five Mogul Master and two SUR TRAC drags. This new equipment will help enhance the snow trail riding experience across Northern Ontario by providing smooth surfaces and complement Destination Northern Ontario’s World’s Best Snowmobile Destination project by attracting more visitors to the area. In addition to infrastructure upgrades, smooth and wider trails would help bring more outdoor enthusiasts to the area, which will provide a much-needed boost to business in many communities during the slower winter tourist season.

Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, $159,871

  • A non-repayable FedNor contribution of $159,871 is helping the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve develop sustainable eco-adventure and cultural tourism products aimed at creating value-added experiences for tourists with a special focus on Viking’s Great Lake Cruise liners. The not-for-profit organization is coordinating shoreline excursions for guests from May to September 2022. The funding is being used to develop capacity to offer this service for Parry Sound and build the experience to support future and expanded cruise ship tourism. This project will create two new full-time equivalent jobs and up to 12 part-time positions in direct support of servicing new tourism experiences.

Park to Park Trail Association, Parry Sound-Muskoka, $102,500

  • The Park to Park Trail Association, which has worked to develop, build and maintain trails across the 10 municipalities between Killbear and Algonquin Provincial Parks, is benefiting from a non-repayable FedNor contribution of $102,500. The funding will support the development of an interpretive signage and associated digital interpretive program to enhance the tourism experience in the regions of Parry Sound, Muskoka, Almaguin Highlands, and Algonquin Park. The project will create and support innovative tourism offerings attractive to local, domestic and international visitors by supporting the development and implementation of interpretive signage integrated into digital storytelling for self-guided, outdoor, interactive experiences. One part-time job will be created during the development and implementation of the project.

Forest Rock Cottage Resort, Utterson, $100,000

  • Forest Rock Cottage Resort is receiving a non-repayable FedNor contribution of $100,000 to modernize its operations and create new tourism experiences. Designed to increase revenue and expand tourism offerings, the project will include transforming an existing barn into a commercial lodge and event venue for up to 80 people. The funding will also be used to complete accessibility enhancements, upgrade the swimming area, install floating docks, construct up to eight new RV sites and create scenic walking trails, mini putt area and playground, as well as a sports court. Once complete, this project is expected to help the business attract more visitors and increase revenue, while creating five jobs during the construction phase of the project.

Moon Basin Marina and Cottages, MacTier, $36,040

  • With a $36,040 non-repayable FedNor contribution, Moon Basin Marina and Cottages (MBMC) will expand its operations and complete eco-friendly upgrades at their tourism venue in MacTier. Specifically, the funding will be used to construct five new glamping units and complete upgrades to the main facility such as installing biodegradable toilets and solar panels, common showers and morning breakfast area. As a result of this initiative, MBMC will be able to maintain two jobs and create two more by accommodating more guests, increasing revenue and attracting more tourists.

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