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Ontario Supporting Tourism, Job Growth in the North

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Ontario Supporting Tourism, Job Growth in the North

Investments to Bring More Visitors to the North While Boosting the Economy

Ontario is helping communities create jobs and boost economic growth by supporting projects that will revitalize, expand and increase accessibility in the province's Northern tourism sector.

Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, was in Thunder Bay today on behalf of Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, to announce new provincial funding for tourism projects across the North. These investments are being delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).

The Wilderness Discovery Handi-Capable Centre is receiving funds for much needed upgrades to electrical, plumbing and other systems and for construction of new facilities to accommodate staff and other upgrades such as a new gazebo and playground. The centre is the only resort of its kind in Northern Ontario, offering a fully accessible wilderness experience to individuals with a physical disability and their families.

This project is one of 14 across the North receiving funding to revitalize, expand and increase accessibility in the tourism sector. Other projects include upgrades to Mississagi Park in Elliott Lake, support for a new wilderness outfitter on Sesekinika Lake and funding to implement a traditional hunting and fishing guide training program in Eabametoong First Nation.

These investments allow for improvements to be made ahead of the busy summer tourist season and will help bring more visitors to Northern Ontario while creating jobs.

Strengthening the North's tourism sector is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and easier access to affordable child care.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) is investing more than $2.2 million in tourism projects that will increase the number of visitors to the North while boosting economic growth.
  • The Wilderness Discovery Handi-Capable Centre in Thunder Bay is receiving $400,000 to revitalize their existing facilities and expand their operations.
  • These investments support 14 projects that will create 16 full time jobs and dozens of indirect jobs.
  • Since 2013, the province has invested more than $654 million through the NOHFC in over 4,000 projects, leveraging more than $2.3 billion in direct economic activity and creating or sustaining over 15,200 jobs in Northern Ontario.
  • Through the 2018 budget, Ontario is continuing to promote growth in Northern Ontario by gradually increasing NOHFC funding over the next three years to $150 million by 2020-21.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“I am extremely proud of all that our Government has done to make the reopening of the Wilderness Discovery Camp for the disabled a reality. With today’s announcement of NOHFC funding of $400,000 for renovations the camp will be able to make the necessary upgrades to be ready for Campers in 2019. We can all be proud that this model of accessibility and inclusiveness is located here in Northwestern Ontario. Congratulations, and thank you, to the service clubs from our community who recognized not only a real need, but also a wonderful opportunity for everyone living in our region.”

Bill Mauro

MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“Our government understands that revitalizing and expanding our local tourist destinations is vital to the long term economic prosperity of communities across Northern Ontario. By providing support to these projects, we are in turn creating good jobs right here in Thunder Bay and across the North.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development and Mines, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North and Chair of the NOHFC

“Today’s announcement of incredible funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund is the final piece of the puzzle in ensuring the rebuild of the Wilderness Discovery Camp and it’s reopening in 2019 will happen. This funding will allow those with any kind of disability or challenge to do what most of us take for granted, to live a life without limits. Not only have we done things right, we have done the right thing. Today, the province, the service clubs & citizens of this community walk on the side of the angels in the creation of this life-without-limits opportunity for the disabled, which includes veterans, our seniors and our youth.”

Bob Hookum

President Rotary Club of Thunder Bay (Fort William)

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