North Dundas township in eastern Ontario has seen unprecedented growth in the last five years.
The township, about 50 km east of Ottawa, includes several villages and hamlets including Cannamore, Chesterville, Hallville, Harmony, Inkerman, Morewood, Mountain, Ormond, South Mountain and Winchester, with a mix of rural and urban lifestyles.
“More than $45 million dollars in industrial/commercial investments have created more than 100 new well paying full-time jobs,” said economic development officer Rob Hunter.
For example, Parmalat, an international corporation in Winchester with Canada’s largest dairy processing facility, has made a significant investment. The company produces award-winning ‘Balderson’ cheese.
He says North Dundas has one of the largest agri-food clusters east of Toronto. It is home to Natunola, Sevita, Horst Equipment, Advanced Drainage Systems, SynAgri, Tri-County Protein, Agri-Partners as well as large farm equipment dealers selling Massey Ferguson, CASE IH, New Holland, John Deere and other brands.
In addition, there are several grain elevators and numerous other agri-food related companies, he said.
“Businesses here benefit from North Dundas’ sophisticated distribution, labour, communications infrastructures, its low cost environment and proximity to Ottawa,” Hunter said. “County Rd. 31 connects North Dundas to Ottawa by Highways 401, 416 and 417 which are only a short drive away.”
Hunter says his office works closely with the local chamber of commerce, as well as Cornwall’s Business Enterprise Centre (CBEC). “We support their joint business breakfast series and make office space available so CBEC representatives can come here to meet with local business owners closer to home.”
On a broader scale, North Dundas is a member of the Ontario East Economic Development Corporation. Stretching from Port Hope east to the Quebec border, this group promotes Eastern Ontario as a destination of business investment.
The township also has 19 subdivisions currently under development, providing several housing options “North Dundas is a vibrant community with many churches, service clubs, a historical society and amateur theatre group. There are many opportunities to get involved, participate in the community and pursue your interests.”
Recreation and leisure destinations in the area include live music and movies at the Old Town Hall Theatre; Cannamore Orchards, famous for its spooky wagon ride; Winchester’s Dairyfest and Chesterville and South Mountain’s Fairs. The region’s Art on the Waterfront festival and Fall Studio Tours attracts visitors from around the province.
Hunter says one of the biggest draws as a residential community is a laid-back lifestyle void of big city issues like traffic congestion. “People can enjoy our community parks, view a movie under the stars or meander along the recently revitalized waterfront in the scenic Village of Chesterville.”
Hunter says the township has undertaken a community improvement initiative to improve key downtown areas. To date 20 commercial buildings have received face lifts and upgrades.
Water enthusiasts take full advantage of opportunities to relaxing on the water through fishing, kayaking or canoeing on the South Nation River, he said.