We are a citizen group dedicated to North Kawartha’s economic development.

We provide:

🔸A public forum to identify issues,

🔸A creative membership to develop solutions,

🔸and Community influence to make them happen

What is Economic Development?

Economic Development is the process of…….fostering an environment …..that results in the creation of wealth and well-being…… for the benefit of the community.

Our community is North Kawartha, one of 8 Townships in Peterborough County.  We are ‘cottage-country’, with eight large lakes, access to the Trent-Severn system, and two Provincial Parks.  Apsley is a full-service village, along with several other shopping areas.  80% of the Township residences are seasonal, with a strong year-round community that is growing each year.

Our strengths are the natural environment, our infrastructure (School/daycare, community centres, Arena, Libraries, Medical Centre), full-range retail businesses, a strong arts culture and many volunteer organizations. Our Challenges are to improve Internet capacity and coverage, increase affordable housing and labour force training, and building support for business and residential development.

Our Economy can be seen as a bucket, with money coming into and leaving our Community.

To grow our Economy we can Bring In More Money, by encouraging visitors to spend more, people to move here, and new businesses to form.

And, to grow our Economy, we can Plug The Leaks, with ‘Buy Local’ programs, retain/expand existing businesses, and facilitate local development.

Our Economy is largely based on our cottagers.  Award-winning design/build contractors who renovate and construct vacation properties.  Landscaping contractors who provide access and beauty to our properties. A full service building material supplier has all kinds of home improvement products.  Marinas bring services to our lakes and provide marine vehicles and service.  Grocery and liquor retailers operate year-round, and staff up for summer.  Many artisans make original artwork and are the Studio Tour.  Many businesses provide restaurant meals, automotive and appliance repair, beauty care, golf, and real estate sales.

Where to start in Economic Development depends on how ready the community is and what has been done so far.

Investment Attraction requires the most preparation, spending, and lead-time.  By definition, it takes the longest to return its investment.

Business Retention and Expansion is less expensive and  returns its investment more quickly.

The Community Development base of this triangle is the lowest cost and provides the highest return on investment.

Community Development is where the process of Economic Development began in North Kawartha.

Medical Centre

In early 2000’s Council and citizen groups rebuilt the medical centre and recruited a Nurse Practitioner. Another citizen group built planters, helped start public markets, and made delegations to Council to increase awareness of economic development.

Community Centre

Beginning in 2005, NK Council rebuilt almost all Township infrastructure using Federal, Provincial and Municipal funding. 


This included the NKCC arena/Community Centre, Fire Halls, Libraries, Roads garage, and Township Office. 

Public School

At the same time, the Public School  was rebuilt and, with Council support, full Day Care facilities

Hanging Baskets

In 2010 NK Council sponsored First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE), which showed the benefits of consistent signage, hanging baskets/banners on Burleigh St, and developing a  business directory.  Council instituted those as municipal operations, with the Library developing the directory and also making internet wifi publicly available. 


In 2019, NK Council implemented a  Community Improvement Plan with $20,000 1st year funding to support business improvements.

In 2019,  The Economic Development Cooperative of North Kawartha was formed by local citizens interested in pursuing Community Economic Development initiatives.  Possible activities include community needs survey, Economic Development training, newcomer attraction, residential development, and Strategic Plan input. 

Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) requires a more sophisticated approach, with increasing community resources.  The addition of dedicated resouces (eg Rural Economic Development Officer) signals strong emphasis to build on progress already made.

An important step is to conduct a business survey to update status, and determine what  businesses need.  Other possible activities include business recognition and support, labour force development, Job Fairs, mentorship and business counselling, and business incubators. 

Investment Attraction involves broader programs and up-front investments.  This can include land use planning to facilitate business attraction, site certification, cutting red tape, regional economic development activites, Community Profile, and trade shows.

Missions & Accomplishments

Our Missions

1. Provide an open Forum for residents and businesses to exchange/develop ideas for community economic development.

2. Liaise closely with North Kawartha Council to recommend specific economic development initiatives.

3. Undertake initiatives to raise public awareness and participation.

Our Accomplishments

1. Recognition by North Kawartha Council and appointment of a Council Liaison

2. Constitution and Bylaws – Executive members elected

3. Community Survey to determine elements which would encourage new residents to move here and existing residents to use more local services

4. Internet/Cell Survey and lobbied NK Council and Peterborough County for upgraded internet/cell

5.  North Kawartha named 1 of 7 Ontario communities to receive enhanced internet services – Bell Wireless To The Home (WTTH)

6. Monthly meetings at Legion since Feb 2019 and then Zoom meetings during COVID period

Current Projects

Our primary role is to provide an open forum for ideas from anyone and to develop them into viable projects.   Based on the level of support at that monthly meeting, a Director takes responsibility for developing a particular idea and presenting it to the regular meeting for further action.  These projects are active:

Economic Development Officer (EDO)

Recommendation to 2020 Council budget to add contract EDO Position  2 yr contract to begin May 2020

Position approved for 2 yr contract to begin May 2020

Support EDO to facilitate development, business surveys, job fair, Economic Development Strategic Plan

Affordable and Rental Housing

Insufficient short-tern housing for seasonal labour and new arrivals

Secondary Dwelling Units permitted in rural and hamlet zone

Provisions for multi-unit residential buildings need emphasis / updating

Develop EDC Website

Provide Economic Development Information

Update the community on project status

Provide for membership and access to EDC Facebook site

Facilitate Snowmobile Access to Apsley Businesses

Develop snowmobile routes in conjunction with Township Roads Department

Work with local businesses to promote access via snowmobile clubs

Develop Business Sector program

Liaise with local business websites

Get EDC membership in Chamber of Commerce

Develop business specific promotions

Develop Contractor Sector Program

Develop survey of local contractors & effect of COVID

Plan for Contractor Day late Fall ’20

EDC Executive Members

Chair – Barry Rand – 11 years on NK Council, Chair Glen Alda Seniors

Vice-Chair – Gillian James- Nut-Free Gourmet and Apsley Auctions

Treasurer – RuthAnne McIlmoyl – financial professional and long term resident

Director – Ian Church – Owner of Haultain Service and Stoney Lake Snowriders Chair

Director – Doug Hutton – previous role as Deputy Mayor NK Council, many volunteer positions 

Director – Sarah Robertson – Jack Lake Film Festival Director, Former JLA (Jack Lake Association) President, Independent School Manager 

Director – Paul Tucker – Apsley Dog Sled Races organizer and long-time Lions member

Director-Alan Bird – Current CLPOA (Chandos Lake Property Owners Association) President and long time seasonal resident

Director- Alan Leun- Principal of Toronto Architectural and Interior Design Company- Residential and Boutique Commercial

Director-Doug Wellman- President North Kawartha Lakes Association (NORKLA) & President Anstruther Lake Cottagers’ Association 


ACTION ITEMS! Useful Contacts & Links

North Kawartha Business Development

Peterborough & Kawarthas Economic Development

Discover how YOUR BUSINESS could improve!


Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

Grow your business through networking


North Kawartha Township

Find out How to make your Business Dreams come true


North Kawartha Business Directory

If you'd like to get involved, please join us! It's only $20/ year.

If you have any comments or think we could assist you, please send us a message below.