Ontario Strengthening Tourism Sector in the North

Posted on November 21, 2022

THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is providing $4.9 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to 24 tourism projects in Northern Ontario. This investment will help create jobs, expand business operations, stimulate economic development and attract visitors to the north.

Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, made the announcement today at the Northern Ontario Tourism Summit.

"Northern Ontario is an incredibly scenic region, with limitless potential for tourism," said Minister Rickford. "These investments will help northern tourism operations expand their offerings, create jobs and promote regional prosperity, while showcasing this beautiful part of Ontario to visitors from across the province and around the world."

The following projects are receiving NOHFC funding:

  • $500,000 for the Town of Blind River to renovate Marina Park
  • $419,465 for Veilleux Camping & Marina – a resort in Hearst – to purchase equipment and build new facilities, including campsites and fishing huts
  • $369,550 for the Municipality of Red Lake to hire an engineering firm to produce technical drawings of Red Lake Events Centre
  • $319,114 for the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands to refurbish Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands Recreation Centre
  • $317,224 for Kapuskasing Golf Club to revamp its clubhouse
  • $300,000 for Destination Northern Ontario to transition the delivery of its training services to an online platform in response to COVID-19
  • $253,239 for the Township of St. Joseph to rehabilitate Richards Landing Municipal Marina
  • $251,700 for Blind River Curling Club to repair its roof
  • $200,000 for Lakehouse Marina to establish a waterfront resort and event centre in Echo Bay
  • $200,000 for Silver Islet General Store – a historic former general store and tearoom in Silver Islet – to reopen and become a retail, food and educational tourist destination
  • $199,851 for Lakeside Campground Inc. – a campground in Moonbeam – to purchase equipment and build RV lots and a garage
  • $199,350 for Blind River Development Corporation to renovate Blind River Visitor Information Centre
  • $198,500 for JMB Project Management Inc. to establish an RV Park in Matheson
  • $177,220 for the Town of Thessalon to update Lakeside Park washroom facilities
  • $162,000 for Gore Bay Museum to restore its glass canopy and replace its roof
  • $134,762 for Destination Northern Ontario to develop a plan to turn Northeastern Ontario into a world-class snowmobile destination
  • $131,150 for the Town of Thessalon to revamp Thessalon Marina
  • $110,520 for the Local Services Board of Lac St-Thérèse to refurbish a dock and boat launch
  • $104,326 for North 49 Powersports Inc. – a retailer of motorized sports vehicles and trailers in Kapuskasing – to develop a tourism business offering guided ATV and snowmobile excursions
  • $94,347 for the Township of Assiginack to purchase a new ice resurfacer and additional change room floor matting for Assiginack Arena
  • $90,742 for Garden River First Nation to expand Ojibway Park trails and connect them to the Trans-Canada Trail
  • $76,845 for the Township of The North Shore to rehabilitate its causeway and refurbish two boat launch facilities
  • $70,000 for Destination Northern Ontario to create francophone travel itineraries that showcase eight partner communities – Cochrane and Timmins; Hearst and Kapuskasing; Kenora; North Bay; Sault Ste. Marie; Sudbury; Temiskaming Shores; Thunder Bay – participating in the project
  • $59,605 for the Municipality of Huron Shores to renovate Iron Bridge Recreation Centre.

“Through the NOHFC, our government is supporting unique and innovative tourism projects that will bring people together – while maximizing the growth potential and competitiveness of Northern Ontario’s tourism sector,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “This funding will encourage visitors from near and far to visit Northern Ontario and discover its breathtaking landscapes and the endless opportunities for recreation and leisure its local communities have to offer.”

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $575 million in 4,835 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.86 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 7,770 jobs.

Quick Facts

  • In 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the north.
  • The Northern Ontario Tourism Summit is taking place November 21-23, 2022, at the Valhalla Hotel and Conference Centre in Thunder Bay. The summit was developed as a partnership event between Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario and Destination Northern Ontario to bring together tourism businesses, organizations and suppliers as well as all levels of government to find solutions to challenges facing the northern tourism industry.

Additional Resources


“With the Ontario government’s significant investment into the World’s Best Snowmobile Destination project, Destination Northern Ontario was able to successfully create a fully realized brand and suite of tools and training modules that will be the basis of several snowmobile loops and itineraries in Northeastern Ontario. Without the support from our government partners, travel associations and destination marketing organizations, this project would not have gotten off the ground. We are grateful for this investment from NOHFC and look forward to continue growing snowmobile visitation in our region.” – David MacLachlan, Executive Director, Destination Northern Ontario

“Municipalities were faced with unprecedented challenges over the past two years. Blind River’s Council, leadership, and staff did not shy away from its mission to carry out goals of its Strategic Plan and Economic Development Strategy; a document designed by our residents. Thanks to NOHFC’s programming that is specifically designed to assist rural communities, we were able to rejuvenate failing infrastructure at our main tourist site for the next 50+ years. Thank you for choosing Blind River’s project, NOHFC.” – Sally Hagman, Mayor of Blind River

“Building a tourism-based business and creating employment opportunity in an off-grid community during the most difficult of times was made possible with the vision of our government leaders and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. This support has enabled the Silver Islet General Store to navigate its unique challenges, and in turn, has greatly assisted the business in providing an exceptional cultural and visitor experience to both residents of Northwestern Ontario and travellers from across the world.” – Jeff and Sandy Korkola, Owners, Silver Islet General Store

“The Town of Thessalon is extremely grateful for the support from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. This project funding will enhance our existing park facilities and position the Town to grow as a tourism destination as well as support the maintenance of legacy events such as our community days events which have been welcoming many people to Thessalon for over 45 years.” – Tracey Cooke, Councillor, Town of Thessalon

Media Contacts

Erika Robson, Minister’s Office, 416-450-1309, Erika.Robson@ontario.ca

Media Desk, Communications Branch, mediadesk.ndm@ontario.ca