Six local projects received an early Valentine’s Day gift from the federal government.
Two Town of Midland projects will split nearly $700,000 for two projects as part of a funding announcement Monday in Barrie where the federal government outlined plans to dole out $14 million for 45 projects throughout the region.
Royal Canadian Legion branch 545 in Port McNicoll will receive $243,750 through the federal government’s community revitalization fund for interior and exterior building improvements.
The Southern Georgian Bay Chamber of Commerce will get $120,000 from the same fund to renovate and expand its community information centre with accessibility features including ramps, automatic door openers and large print signage, as well as a digital booking kiosk and new canopy structures to host seasonal markets.
Midland, meanwhile, will receive $500,000 through the federal government’s tourism relief fund to “enhance the shoreline with repaired walkways, new lighting, air conditioning, public art and a welcome centre.“
The town will also get an additional Improve $198,750 through the feds’ community revitalization fund. That money is available to improve pedestrian access and expand Little Lake Park trails and amenities, including accessible ramps, an accessibility beach pathway and signage.
"As a vital economic, social, and tourism hub for the entire North Simcoe area, we continually strive to ensure that Midland is a safe and beautiful place for people to live, gather, work and play, 'in pursuit of quality of life'" Midland Mayor Bill Gordon said.
"Receiving funding through programs provided by Fed Dev Ontario helps us to realize these objectives."
Tiny Township will receive $30,000 as part of the community revitalization fund to create an accessible entrance, parking area and pathways at the Simcoe community park and an additional $93,000 to repair the trail bridge on the Tiny Trail.
As well, the Karma Project Community Food Co. will receive $60,000 to improve the community garden space at Talbot Park in Port McNicoll by installing bike racks, raised garden beds, accessible pathways and other features.
The county will get $564,000 to create a destination site called Wiidookdaadiwin, which will "provide First Nations education with a viewing deck, and gathering spaces, accessible pathways, interpretive signage, Indigenous plantings and sculpture."
Some of the other projects receiving funds in the region include Hardwood Ski and Bike in Oro-Medonte Township, which will get as much as $100,000 to purchase and retrofit a modular trailer with industrial kitchen equipment. This investment will help to create a full-service food facility.
“Tourism is big business,” Randy Boissonnault, minister of tourism and associate minister of finance, said during the announcement at a Barrie community centre.
“As we move past the acute phase of the pandemic, Canada’s tourism sector is showing strong signs of growth.
“As we move to revival and growth, we continue to provide targeted support to businesses and communities so they can deliver unforgettable experiences as well as make significant investments in resilient public infrastructure.”
The $500-million Tourism Relief Fund is designed to help tourism-oriented businesses and organizations recover from the pandemic and prepare for future growth, with a minimum of $50 million of the fund allocated to supporting Indigenous-led projects or Indigenous-focused projects.
FedDev Ontario is contributing nearly $120 million of the funding across southern Ontario.
With a two-year national investment of $500 million, the community revitalization fund supports projects that build new community infrastructure and revitalize existing assets, bring people back to public spaces safely and stimulate local economies. This includes $139 million for projects in southern Ontario, delivered by FedDev Ontario.
-With files from Bob Bruton