Ontario Supporting Extension of Snowmobile Season in Northwestern Ontario

Posted on November 08, 2023

KENORA – The Ontario government is providing $76,823 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to the Sunset Trail Riders Snowmobile Club in Kenora. This investment will extend the winter season for snowmobilers and boost travel and tourism in the Northwest.

"With our government’s investment of nearly $77,000, members of the Sunset Trail Riders Snowmobile Club can start grooming snowmobile trails in our area earlier and later in the season, resulting in an extended season for locals and tourists alike," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Member of Provincial Parliament for Kenora-Rainy River. "Today is another example of our government supporting projects that strengthen tourism and economic development opportunities in and around Kenora."

Sunset Trail Riders Snowmobile Club, a non-profit organization, maintains 623 kilometres of groomed trails. The club is using NOHFC funding to purchase equipment and renovate its storage facility. The project will lengthen the region’s snowmobile season by approximately two weeks by allowing new, lighter trail grooming equipment to safely groom over 10 inches of ice, instead of the 16 inches of ice currently required by the club’s older equipment.

“The Sunset Trail Riders Snowmobile Club faces yearly challenges putting in snowmobile trails because our current grooming equipment requires 16 inches of ice,” said Rick Vincent, Director, and Connie Gilbertson, Volunteer, Sunset Trail Riders Snowmobile Club. “The opportunity to purchase lightweight grooming equipment that only requires 10 inches of ice allows for earlier trail availability and extends the snowmobile and winter tourism season. An early, more consistent season compliments the City of Kenora’s five-year economic development and tourism strategy. With this wonderful support from our provincial government, we anticipate great results.”

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 $717 million in 5,875 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $2.3 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 9,260 jobs.

Quick Fact

  • 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

  • The NOHFC’s Community Enhancement Program builds strong and resilient northern communities through targeted investments in critical infrastructure.

Media Contacts

Curtis Lindsay, Minister’s Office -- 437-240-7317 -- curtis.lindsay@ontario.ca

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