Ontario Bringing Economic Development Opportunities to the Northwest

Posted on March 10, 2023

RED LAKE – The Ontario government is providing more than $1.8 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to nine economic development projects in Northwestern Ontario. This investment will create jobs, expand business operations and improve municipal infrastructure.

"Our government is making investments to ensure a high quality of life in communities across Northwestern Ontario," said Dave Smith, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Northern Development. "This funding is creating economic growth and prosperity opportunities for northerners."

The NOHFC is funding the following projects:

  • $975,000 for the Municipality of Sioux Lookout to upgrade a booster station and extend municipal services to the Bigwood Lake area, $67,636 to complete development studies for the Bigwood Lake area, plus $33,750 to update the municipal Economic Development Strategy
  • $273,075 for the Municipality of Red Lake to update existing exhibits and develop two new exhibits at the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre, and $38,797 to build an off-leash dog park
  • $270,000 for High Tech Industries – a timber harvesting company in Ear Falls – to purchase two harvesters, as well as $129,200 to purchase additional equipment
  • $20,526 for the Township of Ear Falls to develop a feasibility plan to increase broadband capacity throughout the community
  • $7,875 for the Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital to build the outdoor Fire Circle Gathering Area – a space for gathering and traditional healing practices.

“Through targeted investments, our government is building strong, resilient and prosperous communities and businesses in the North,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development. “By working together with our many northern partners, we are keeping Northwestern Ontario competitive and current.”

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 $608 million in 5,070 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.93 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 8,100 jobs.

Quick Facts

  • 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.

Additional Resources


“NOHFC funding enabled the municipality to complete a number of studies, as well as upgrade our water pumping station and extend water service to support the development of the 63-acre Bigwood Lake property. This critical development will assist the municipality in attaining its goal of providing serviced lands for commercial growth and expansion.” – Doug Lawrance, Mayor, Municipality of Sioux Lookout

“A disaster rocked Red Lake’s heritage sector in 2019, and was quickly followed by fires, flooding and the COVID pandemic. With the assistance of the NOHFC, the Municipality of Red Lake has been able to turn a series of disasters into a positive project where renewal is key. The project has allowed the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre to create an inclusive and exciting series of exhibits that will help to reignite the tourism and culture industry within the Red Lake District.” – Trevor Osmond, Director, Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre

“The completion of the Broadband Feasibility Study helped determine the best way to increase broadband capacity to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission standards, and the cost to do so. This will support business retention and attraction and enable businesses to fully participate in the digital economy.” – Kevin Kahoot, Mayor, Township of Ear Falls

“The Hospital Indigenous Patient Experience Working Group of the Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital and the Red Lake Friendship Centre collaborated on the development of the Fire Circle Gathering Area. The new area will provide a safe space for gathering and traditional healing practices at the hospital. We are grateful for the support of the NOHFC.” – Angela Bishop, Interim CEO, Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital

Media Contacts

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

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