Success Stories

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) has helped thousands of projects take root and grow in the North. Collected here is an archive of stories about our proponents and how the NOHFC helped them turn their business ideas into reality.


In today’s economy, you need to have every advantage over the competition to land that first job – just ask Ian Ridsdill. Ian graduated from Laurentian University’s Computer Science program in 2008 and spent a fruitless year job searching before he discovered an NOHFC-sponsored internship that turned into a full-time job as a software developer.

Boreal Birch Syrup Boreal Birch Syrup

If there’s anything Dave Challen, owner/operator of Boreal Birch Syrup, enjoys more than the distinct flavour of his product, it’s the sweet taste of success.

Creative eLearning Design

Since the dawn of modern society, a person’s access to education and training has often been enhanced or impeded by cost, age, language, social standing, gender or distance. Thankfully, learning has become more of a right than a privilege, and advances in 21st century technology are further breaking down learning barriers, enabling students to access courses online for all manner of careers and professions.

Chantal Laurin CYL Yoga & Fitness Studio

Wake-up in the morning with the sudden urge to fold yourself in half and rhythmically breathe?  Probably not, but maybe that’s because you haven’t met Chantal Laurin. She’s the owner, operator and resident motivator of Sudbury’s CYL Yoga & Fitness Studio and her goal is not only to help you achieve an active lifestyle, but to get you addicted to it. Offering a wide variety of exercise classes each week, Chantal has worked hard, inside and outside the studio, to grow her business into a success.

Brittany Mahnke Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve

Graduating from Canadore College’s Business Administration program in 2011, Brittany Mahnke was itching to unleash her talents on the corporate world. There was only one problem; she had no real work experience.  Deciding it would be wise to beef up the ol’ résumé, Brittany applied for an NOHFC supported internship with the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, hoping the experience would look good when she applied for her next job.

Well she was right – if not quite in the way she expected.

Hilltop Dental Hygiene Clinic Hilltop Dental Hygiene Clinic

To operate a successful business, you don’t have to follow the latest trends, invent the newest technology or sell the most inexpensive products – you just have to fill a need. Chantal Pannell, owner and operator of Hilltop Dental Hygiene Clinic, did research into North Bay’s dental service capacity and found a need she could fill – quite successfully we might add.

Honora Bay Riding Stables Honora Bay Riding Stables

Nothing comes easy in life, and certainly not when you have to clean, feed and look after over 30 horses. But if you’re Honora Bay Riding Stables owner Kyla Jansen, you wouldn’t have it any other way. Located on Manitoulin Island, Kyla has worked hard to make her stables some of the most environmentally responsible in Canada, an achievement she received national recognition for in March 2011. Growing her business into the success it is today started with an application to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

Kenora Catholic District School Board Kenora Catholic District School Board

Stimulating youth interest in the local business community and preparing them with skills they can use in the northern job market can often be a challenge. Thankfully, the Kenora Catholic District School Board has come up with an innovative solution that has skilled graduates scooping up positions in high-demand fields and has provided a modern training facility for community and business groups alike.

Lifetime Wellness and Chiropractic Centre Lifetime Wellness and Chiropractic Centre

At the age of 13, Thunder Bay native Steven Fonso suffered a traumatic injury which left him with headaches, vision problems, and difficulty concentrating. After visiting a number of medical doctors and specialists, he turned to a chiropractor. Within three weeks of treatment, his vision was restored, the headaches were gone, and he was able to concentrate at school again.

Lofthouse Lofthouse

What do you do if the economy is in recession, work is slowing and your business is facing cutbacks? If you’re Derek Dobbs, Operations Manager at Lofthouse, you seize an opportunity, partner with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and save jobs. The result has been even better than he expected as Lofthouse emerges from the global recession a stronger, more competitive and productive company.