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Economic Development Strategy

The Township of Oro-Medonte last undertook an economic development strategic planning exercise in 2017. Since then, the Township has made significant progress, including s​upporting large business investments, obtaining commitments from third-party providers for infrastructure development, in particular high-speed internet, and completing several enabling strategies such as the Employment Land Strategy and Tourism Destination Action Plan. The significant progress was also accompanied by challenges, such as the biggest economic shock in recent history caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, whose effects on supply chains and labour were far-reaching. While many of the goals, objectives, and actions from the 2017 plan remain relevant, given the significant change experienced since that plan was developed, it was critical to revisit the strategy to ensure its content remains focused on the evolving needs of the municipality. ​

In order to effectively update the strategic plan and identify current issues, a community survey, and industry focus groups were conducted. Census data​​​​ and a review of existing relevant documents and strategies were also considered in the development of this updated economic development strategy. These include the Employment Land Strategy and Tourism Destination Action Plan, whose actions have been incorporated in the updated economic development strategy. The following report summarizes key findings from the data, and highlights the updated goals, objectives, and actions proposed for 2023-2027.​

Our Vision for Economic Development

The Township of Oro-Medonte will use a balanced approach to economic development, focused on growing and attracting business, tourism development, and residential growth while being responsive to the needs of the community.

​Objective 1: Explore mechanisms and best practices of how to facilitate third-party infrastructure development, where requi​red and a business case exists.​

Proposed Actions:

  • ​Identify and assess current to 10-year prediction of infrastructure needs for future development.
  • Conduct a thorough environmental scan and evaluation of best practices in infrastructure development for relevant utilities identified in the above action, including current trends, financing, partnerships, the role of government, and the role of the private sector. Once completed a report with recommendations should be prepared for Council.
  • Identify and continue to engage potential partners to monitor, advocate for, and support expansion of infrastructure where required. 
  • Maintain a map of existing natural gas coverage and identify areas of priority for expansion of services. 
  • Remain current on funding opportunities related to infrastructure expansion in priority areas.
  • Apply for funding opportunities for infrastructure development where possible and relevant. 
  • Provide support for infrastructure development applications that benefit the Township.
  • Evaluate need and required resources for Township to invest in service expansion where relevant and feasible.
  • Continue to monitor the provision of high-speed internet in the Township to ensure coverage commitments are realized and resident and business concerns are addressed.
  • Continue to engage potential partners such as the South Western Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) and the County of Simcoe to encourage expansion of high-speed internet services.

​Objective 2: Advocate to other levels of government and the private sector for enhanced provision of required infrastructure from 10-year vision.

Proposed Actions:

  • Conduct a thorough environmental scan and evaluation of best practices in municipal advocacy tactics related to strategic infrastructure needs.
  • Select the best practice with the highest chance of implementation success and report to Council.
  • Identify and continue to engage a range of partners to collaboratively advocate for the expansion of needed infrastructure services.​

​Objective 1: Build the case for tourism growth and management in Oro-Medonte.

Proposed Actions:

  • Formalize working relationship with key tourism organizations.
  • Establish a Tourism Working Group/ Subcommittee of Economic Development (Team Oro-Medonte) Roundtable to advise implementation of the Tourism Destination Action Plan and inform future tourism work.
  • Design, develop, and deliver a tourism awareness and ambassador program that targets both industry and residents.
  • Facilitate identification and sharing of good news stories about tourism assets & benefits

Objective 2: Increase knowledge and understanding about tourism in Oro-Medonte

Proposed Actions:

  • Collect, analyze, and share data about visitors to Oro-Medonte through industry and partner support. 
  • Enhance communications with other Township departments to identify and share tourism information. 
  • Perform bi-annual industry temperature check.
  • Work with partners and Team Oro-Medonte to evolve, finalize and distribute an organizational role & responsibilities information sheet.
  • Create infographics about tourism in Oro-Medonte. 
  • Conduct research to identify viable tourism transportation solutions for Oro-Medonte.
  • Work with partners to support industry networking and learning opportunities.

Objective 3: Support and positively influence the development of new and existing four-season tourism products in the Township.

Proposed Actions:

  • Create a prospectus for potential investors in Oro-Medonte as a tourism destination, based on existing tourism needs/gaps.
  • Support community-based opportunities to activate arts, cultural and heritage assets.
  • Maintain and expand partnerships related to tourism marketing and product development at the local and regional levels.
  • Work with partners to provide packaging support for local and regional tourism operators, where feasible and relevant, to increase overnight tourism visits. 
  • Work with partners to implement the tourism communications plan when completed to promote the Township’s tourism assets outside of the municipality.
  • Develop responsible visitation guidelines and related communications.

Objective 4: Maintain and enhance tourism/recreational infrastructure in the Township to ensure long-term sustainability of assets.

Proposed Actions:

  • Work collaboratively with internal partners to ensure on-going consultation with the community and key stakeholders regarding recreational and tourism asset management to ensure on-going sustainability of the sector and assets.
  • Assess and support alignments between the Tourism Gap Analysis and Parks and Recreation Master Plan to maintain and/or expand tourism/recreational assets. 
  • Work collaboratively to implement the Wayfinding Strategy.
  • Explore and implement ways to connect natural tourism/recreational assets to spending opportunities in the Township. 
Objective 5: Support the development and enhancement of communications to visitors in Oro-Medonte.

Proposed Actions: 

  • Ensure that Oro-Medonte and its tourism assets are adequately represented in partners’ visitor-facing resources (e.g., visitor-facing websites).
  • Identify and clearly communicate appropriate lake access, including beaches, and supporting infrastructure.
  • Develop responsible visitation guidelines for destination marketing activities to facilitate more respectful tourism visitation​

​Objective 1: Provide Township-based businesses with support and connections to regional resources to start, maintain, and grow their business.

Proposed Actions:

  • Update and maintain economic development pages on the Township website to provide key information to incoming and existing businesses and workforce. 
  • Implement communication strategy to share information and opportunities with the business community.
  • Maintain and enhance the Township’s partnership with local and regional business development organizations. 
  • Participate with partners to develop and deliver resources to the business community, including supporting the attraction and retention of workforce. 
  • Create a resource for businesses to support tourism and its growth in Oro-Medonte.

Objective 2: Work with partners to alleviate workforce shortages now and into the future.​

Proposed Actions: 

  • Advocate for regulations at all levels that support the development of affordable and attainable housing in Oro-Medonte.
  • Advocate for employee-centric transportation solutions when public and private partners are expanding transit options.
  • Work with partners to promote local career opportunities to local students. 
Objective 3: Support the long-term sustainability of the agricultural sector.
Proposed Actions: 
  • Establish a committee to support the development of planning policy and advocacy related to the protection of agricultural land.
  • Support advocacy efforts and implementation, if relevant, related to the committee’s work.
  • Explore mechanisms to better facilitate on-farm diversification and value-added activities for the agricultural sector.
  • Continue to recognize and facilitate opportunities for agricultural-related industrial and commercial uses permitted in agricultural areas subject to O.P. policies and, where applicable, the Guidelines on Permitted Uses in Ontario’s Prime Agricultural Areas.​

​Objective 1: Engage with other levels of government to advocate for policies and support that will enable and encourage private investment.

Proposed Actions: 

  • Consult with key stakeholders and leverage existing research to understand and monitor the full scope of potential barriers to investing in Oro-Medonte, including local, regional, provincial, and national issues of concern.
  • Identify potential partners to align with in both the public and private sectors to develop solutions to identified barriers and implement, where possible. 
  • Advocate for policy changes that address identified barriers where relevant.
  • Continue to work with internal departments to ensure Township employment lands and the needs of businesses are accommodated in updated municipal plans (Official Plans, Zoning By-Laws, Master Plans) in accordance with Provincial and or County policies.

Objective 2: Facilitate the development of industrial, private recreation and commercial zoned lands and buildings.

Proposed Actions:

  • ​Support the update of the zoning by-law to align with O.P. mapping and policies. Specifically, the lands zoned for employment should align with those lands designated for employment in the Township’s O.P. 
  • Support the implementation of the Public Realm and Urban Design recommendations from the Craighurst Secondary Plan. Explore the development of a related placemaking strategy, if feasible.
  • Work with the County to examine the current and long-term future use of the L.S.R.A. airport lands, including surrounding lands and consider the overall economic benefit of the L.S.R.A. to the County and the Township, and the role of the airport as a significant asset to enhance regional economic development potential. 
  • Continue to work closely with the County and Province to coordinate plans for development of the new employment lands, as identified in the Employment Lands Strategy.
  • Maintain a complete map of industrial and commercial zoned plots of land and monitor the status of available land on an on-going basis. Accuracy should be reviewed on an annual basis.
  • Engage in scheduled check-ins (e.g. annually) with landowners of current large parcels (e.g. over 5 ha) within and surrounding existing Employment Areas, as identified in the Employment Land Strategy, to assess interest in developing the lands and assessing feasibility of development or redevelopment. Within the check-in program, explore public-private partnerships to encourage intensification and infill development opportunities within employment lands. 
  • Support the development of a master servicing plan for Oro Centre.
  • Support strategic commercial development in identified growth areas that seek to preserve and enhance Oro-Medonte’s rural character, including exploring the development of Community Improvement Plan(s), where relevant.
  • Support to expansion plans of existing Oro-Medonte businesses.
  • Consider improving the marketability and feasibility of developing vacant employment lands by undertaking necessary pre-screening studies and assessments at the expense of the Township. These may include but are not limited to: servicing strategies, environmental studies, water protection requirements, or archaeological assessment studies. The Township may make use of provincial programs such as the Investment Ready Certified Site Designation for achieving this.

Objective 3: Enhance the Township's readiness to attract and retain new investment.

Proposed Actions:

  • ​Update and maintain the Community Profile with relevant information for new and existing businesses. 
  • Consider a range of promotional tools to inform prospective industries about Oro-Medonte and its communities. These could include social media campaigns or direct marketing campaigns to speak with existing and interested businesses, and real estate network connections.
  • Work with landowners and developers to understand status of their land and if they want investment attraction assistance from Oro-Medonte. Identify specific community needs, target markets, and sectors in preparation for when land or buildings become available. This may include a retail/service-gap analysis, if relevant.
  • Work with regional partners to develop and implement an investment attraction strategy for existing land and building opportunities.
  • Review municipal By-laws and zoning to facilitate home-based businesses.
  • Market home-based business opportunities.

Objective 4: Become a resource hub to guide businesses through Township processes.

Proposed Actions:

  • ​Support the development and implementation of an on-going feedback mechanism for businesses to assess municipal processes.
  • Continue to enhance relationship between internal departments economic development by formalizing interaction/communication process between departments.
  • Work with Planning and Building staff to create a guide to planning and development processes.
  • Understand the challenges businesses have with municipal processes.
  • Research best practices on developing a ‘concierge service’ to guide businesses through internal processes.
  • Collaborate with internal departments to develop the concierge service that will assist businesses and streamline processes.
  • Communicate the concierge service to the business community.

Objective 5: As per the Employment Land Strategy, undertake a program that supports increased intensification in underutilized employment lands.

Proposed Actions:

  • Explore opportunities for infill and redevelopment in mature industrial areas.
  • Following check in calls with landowners, respond to interested developers or employers to discuss any suitable fits for identified opportunities.
  • Explore opportunities to establish incubator facilities to promote and encourage the development of start-up industries, particularly related to knowledge-based sectors and other export-based emerging industry clusters.​​

For more information about the Township’s economic development strategy and activities, please email the Township’s Economic Development staff at or call (705) 487-2171.

Contact Us

Township of Oro-Medonte Administration Centre
148 Line 7 South
Oro-Medonte, ON L0L 2E0

Phone: (705) 487-2171
Fax: (705) 487-0133

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