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Downtown Revitalization

The City of Kawartha Lakes is working with local communities to improve their downtowns. There are four projects:

  • Coboconk-Norland
  • Fenelon Falls
  • Lindsay
  • Omemee

Downtown Revitalization Advisory Committees created action plans for each community. These plans were approved by Council in March 2017. The action plans are based on research, including:

  • local business mix analysis
  • streetscape and façade design guidelines
  • trade area analysis
  • visitor, resident and business owner surveys

We are now working with communities to implement these plans. You can access full reports and see detailed plans for each community.

Coboconk-Norland

fountain in coboconk norlandThe study area for the Downtown Revitalization project in Coboconk includes properties on Highway 35, between Nightingale Road and Shadow Lake Road 53.  It extends along of South Water Street, North Water Street and Albert Street to Nipissing Street.

The study area in Norland includes properties on Highway 35 between Government Dock Road and Monck Street.  It also includes properties on the southwest side of Monck Road as far as Cockburn Street.

The Coboconk and Norland Downtown Revitalization program works to develop the proper mix of public space and social uses combined with bustling commercial activity to create a vibrant and engaging environment for residents and visitors alike. Strengthening local businesses, investing in built-environment, designing public spaces that encourage civic activities and providing work and living opportunities are some of the initiatives involved in improving the social, economic and physical health of our downtowns.

You can read the draft action plan here.

Business survey

The business survey received 29 responses.

According to the business survey, Friday and Saturday are the busiest days for businesses. July and August are the busiest months.

Respondents say the most beneficial assets to local businesses are the Trent Severn Waterway, public park areas and festivals and fairs. They also say they would be interested in social media marketing and staff development workshops.

By the numbers

  • 50% of businesses in Norland have operated for 1-5 years
  • 38% of businesses in Coboconk have operated for more than 10 years
  • 96% of businesses owners in Coboconk are involved in front line operations.
  • 75% of businesses owners in Coboconk are involved in front line operations.
  • 50% of businesses are owner-operated or employ 1-4 people.
  • Foot traffic provides the primary source of revenue

Doing business in Coboconk and Norland

Of the 29 responses, 47% indicated Coboconk was a good place to do business, 41% indicated it was a fair place to do business, 6% indicated it was an excellent place to do business and 6% indicated they had a poor impression of Coboconk as a place to do business.

With respect to Norland, 50% indicated the community was a good place to do business, 25% indicated it was a fair place to do business and 25% indicated it was an excellent place to do business.

Respondents say downtown Coboconk and Norland have the competitive advantage of customer service and location. They also say the downtowns need gas stations and clothing retailers.

According to the survey, the best ways to improve the downtown business environment would be to repair eyesore and derelict buildings, increase boat docking and amenities, and increase parking options.

Resident survey

According to the resident survey, to which 500 people responded, people generally spend time in their downtown at least twice per week. In contrast, they shop in Lindsay, Orillia or Peterborough approximately once per month.

In Norland, 64% of residents try to shop downtown whenever possible. In Coboconk, 81% of residents do the same.

People like to eat where they shop so the restaurant and retail mix is beneficial.

Local availability is the most important factor when deciding to purchase most products. Quality is the most important factor when it comes to restaurants, clothing and footwear.

The top three reasons residents spend money outside of the downtown are:

  1. product and service selection
  2. price
  3. hours of operation

If businesses were to offer extended hours, 45% of residents would prefer longer hours on Fridays after 6pm.

According to the survey, residents feel very safe in their communities and think parking is easy to use.

If offered, residents say they would attend farmers markets, food festivals and music and outdoor performances. Additionally, residents would like to see outdoor cafes, live music and outdoor performances, and more attractive lighting and street furniture in their downtown.

Respondents say price/product/selection wis the most important to improve their downtown, followed by buildings and vacancies as well as infrastructure and streetscape.

"We have wonderful friendly businesses and committed volunteers," said one resident.

Another resident said: "Love the planters, love the flags, love the snow and skate signs.  Love the fresh greenery, very festive. Summit is great event to bring people into town. Chamber is doing wonderful things, looking forward to seeing what's in store, keep up the great work!"

 Potential business opportunities identified through the program

  • unique shops, boutiques and artisan jewellery
  • physician
  • dentist
  • women's clothing
  • miscellaneous health and personal care
  • niche furniture
  • sporting goods
  • lawyer
  • sports and recreation instruction
  • property maintenance
  • home brew beer and wine
  • day care options (though there aren't many children in the market area)
  • auto body paint and repair
  • antiques
  • seniors residence/assisted living
  • shipping and warehousing
  • paddle board, boat and recreational rentals, an "outfitter" or "trading post" business model
  • gas station
  • coffee shop and seasonal food
  • boat tours
  • light industrial
  • pets and pet care
  • tourism related businesses

 Specific expenditure focuses within the trade area

  • health care
  • transportation
  • games of chance
  • recreational spending
  • insurance & mortgage appraisals/
  • surveying
  • home repairs & maintenance
  • traveller accommodation
  • vacation homes & costs
  • pets, pet care
  • gardening
  • home & workshop tools
  • lawn, garden tools, equipment & power equipment
  • snow removal
  • clothing material, yarn, thread etc.
  • footwear
  • trucks & accessories
  • health care supplies
  • prescribed medicinal & pharmaceutical products
  • deodorants/soaps & personal supplies
  • health insurance premiums
  • parts & supplies for recreational equipment
  • recreation vehicles, supplies, parts & operation
  • boats
  • rental of satellite services
  • maintenance/repair of audio, video & computer equipment
  • make-your-own alcohol

Fenelon Falls

Fenelon FallsThe Fenelon Falls Downtown Revitalization project includes properties located on Lindsay Street and Colborne Street, between Bond Street to the north and just past West Street to the south. The boundaries extend westward to include Water Street, May Street, Market Street and Francis Street locations.

The Fenelon Falls Downtown Revitalization program works to develop the proper mix of public space and social uses combined with bustling commercial activity to create a vibrant and engaging environment for residents and visitors alike. Strengthening local business, investing in built-environment, designing public spaces that encourage civic activities and providing work and living opportunities are some of the initiatives involved in improving the social, economic and physical health of our Downtowns.

You can read the draft action plan here.

Business survey 

The business survey received 47 responses.

According to the business survey, Tuesday and Saturday are the busiest days for businesses. July and August are the busiest months. Respondents say the highest percentage of revenues come from residents living within a 10 to 30-minute drive.

Business owners say they would be interested in workshops relating to evaluating market opportunities, marketing and customer service.

By the numbers

  • 86% of business owners are involved in the front line operation of the business;
  • 71% of business owners are also residents of Fenelon Falls;
  • 44% of businesses have been operating in Downtown Fenelon Falls for more than 10 years;
  • 33% of businesses have been operating in downtown Fenelon Falls for 1-5 years;
  • 86% of owners are involved in front-line operations;
  • 71% of business owners live in Fenelon Falls;
  • 95% of businesses operate year-round, though 57% have varying hours depending on the season.

Doing business in Fenelon Falls

Businesses are most satisfied with the organization of special events, customer service, visual identity of the area and public safety.

Respondents say downtown Fenelon Falls has the competitive advantage of customer service and local availability.

According to the survey, the top initiatives that could benefit businesses in Fenelon Falls include by-laws for landlords regarding the conditions of properties and property standards, better signage, marketing, promotion and attraction, and improved parking amenities.

Resident survey

According to the resident survey, to which 510 people responded, 77% of people spend time in their downtown at least twice per week. In contrast, they shop in Lindsay once a week or twice a month.

Fenelon Falls residents say Bobcaygeon is a popular shopping destination. Furthermore, Lindsay is a popular choice for clothing footwear, gifts, restaurants, culture and entertainment, and Peterborough is a popular destination for clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics and restaurants.

Local availability is the most important factor when deciding to purchase most products. Quality is the most important factor when it comes to clothing, footwear, sporting goods, furniture, appliances and electronics. Price is the most important when it comes to gas and convenience.

The top three reasons residents spend money outside of the downtown are:

  1. product and service selection
  2. price
  3. hours of operation

If businesses were to offer extended hours, 61% of residents would prefer longer hours on Fridays after 6pm.

According to the survey, residents feel very strongly that the heritage buildings in downtown Fenelon Falls add character and 96% of residents feel safe in downtown Fenelon Falls, even at night.

If offered, respondents would attend food festivals, outdoor live performances, sporting events and arts festivals and tours. Additionally, residents would like to see outdoor cafes and restaurants, live music and outdoor performances, a pedestrian-friendly environment and more attractive lighting and street furniture.

Respondents say improving buildings and infrastructure, vacancies and streetscape, parking, sidwalks and road, and price product and store selection are the best ways to improve their downtown.

"I love downtown Fenelon Falls and want to see it flourish," said one resident.

Another resident said: "Fenelon is a beautiful water front town with rich history and culture."

 Potential business opportunities identified through the program

  • conference centre fronting on the water
  • bakery
  • pet related business
  • recreational Vehicles
  • boat, canoe & paddle boart rentals
  • antiques
  • grocery gateway
  • medical practitioners
  • lifelong learning
  • small department store
  • entertainment co-ordination & booking
  • trades service business - home/cottage care - transportation services
  • children's & infants clothing store
  • physicians' offices within the trade area
  • dentists' offices
  • web site development & management
  • event - Expand Santa Day to a few other dates - i.e. "Christmas in July"

 Specific expenditure focuses within the trade area

  • household operations
  • transportation
  • health care
  • recreation
  • pet related
  • tobacco & alcoholic beverages
  • games of chancen
  • miscellaneous expenditures
  • garden supplies & services
  • horticultural products & services including snow & garbage removal
  • antiques
  • maintaining & fixing furniture
  • clothing gifts to non-household members
  • clothing material, yarn, thread & other notions (excluding household textiles)
  • supplies & parts for recreational equipment
  • recreational vehicles
  • rental of satellite services
  • blank audio & video tapes, CDs, & DVDs
  • maintenance & repair of audio, video, computer & communications equipment
  • other tobacco products & smokers' supplies
  • self-made alcoholic beverages
  • personal care
  • unique clothing
  • education (50% lower than the Province)

Lindsay

Businesses in LindsayThe study area for the Lindsay Downtown Revitalization project includes all properties within the Lindsay Downtown Business Improvement Area (LDBIA) with an extension to the north side of Peel Street, the south side of Russell Street West, the east side of Sussex Street and the west side of Mill Street.

The Lindsay Downtown Revitalization program works to develop the proper mix of public space and social uses combined with bustling commercial activity to create a vibrant and engaging environment for residents and visitors alike. Strengthening local business, investing in built-environment, designing public spaces that encourage civic activities and providing work and living opportunities are some of the initiatives involved in improving the social, economic and physical health of our Downtowns.

You can read the draft action plan here.

 Business survey

The business survey received 65 responses.

According to the business survey, Friday and Monday are the busiest days for businesses; Sunday is the least busy. December and July are the busiest months. Holiday season is busier than tourist season.

By the numbers

  • 81% of businesses were locally owned with one or more locations;
  • 95% of businesses have a local or regional primary market;
  • 35% of business have a more positive impression of doing business in Lindsay over the last three years;
  • 71% of businesses are satisfied with the Lindsay DBIA.

Doing business in Lindsay

Of the 65 responses, 61% indicated Lindsay was a good place to do business, 20% indicated it was a fair place to do business, 14% indicated it was an excellent place to do business and 3% indicated they thought Lindsay had a poor business climate.

Respondents say Lindsay businesses are different because they offer unique or custom products or services, friendly customer service and knowledgable and quality staff.

According to the survey, opportunities for further development include the Farmers Market and additional events.

Resident survey

According to the resident survey, to which 724 people responded, 55% of people shop in their downtown at least twice per week. In comparison, 45% of residents shop online twice per week.

In Lindsay, 66% of residents try to shop downtown whenever possible.

Customer service is the most important factor when deciding to purchase most products. Other important factors include brand names, quality and price.

The top three reasons residents spend money outside of the downtown are:

  1. product and service selection
  2. price
  3. hours of operation

If businesses were to offer extended hours, 59% of residents would prefer longer hours on Fridays after 6pm.

Repondents feel very strongly that the heritage buildings in downtown Lindsay add character. 

If offered, residents say they would attend farmers markets, food festivals, outdoor live performances, sporting events and music events. Additionally, 69% of residents would like to see outdoor cafes, 68% of residents would like to see live music and outdoor performances, and 58% would like more attractive lighting and street furniture.

Respondents say improving buildings and infrastructure, vacancies and streetscape is the most important step to improving the downtown, followed by price, product and store selection.

"A vibrant downtown means a full downtown," said one resident.

Another resident said: "Shopping downtown is such a warm, welcoming experience for me.  The shopkeepers know me by name and know which products I prefer.  I feel spoiled to have such a great downtown community."

Potential business opportunities identified through the program

  • internet access services
  • department store type business
  • rugs, mats & under-padding business
  • retail & rental opportunities for Art, carvings, etc.
  • camera sales & service & photo printing business
  • heated storage space (convert existing vacant space)
  • boutique hotel
  • bed & breakfast establishments
  • engineering & architectural services - buildings related
  • employment placement agencies
  • certified public accountants offices
  • parking structure business
  • furniture & upholstery repair business
  • pet care - In home services & potential mobile opportunity
  • other personal care business
  • commercial banking
  • accessibility retrofit supply & services business
  • education - potential to offer university/college interest courses to seniors

Specific expenditure focuses within the trade area

  • health care supplies & pharmaceutical products
  • recreational vehicles
    • motorcycles
    • boats
    • campers/Camper Trailers
    • ATVs
    • motorhomes
  • recreational vehicle accessories, supplies & parts
  • trucks
  • accessories for all types of
  • vehicles
  • sewing materials
  • knitting yarns
  • camera expenditures
  • pet food & pet expenses
  • gardening related products & services
  • lawn maintenance & snow removal
  • cigarettes
  • other tobacco products & supplies
  • self-made alcoholic beverages
  • moving, storage, & delivery services
  • water, fuel, & electricity
  • telephones & related equipment
  • satellite services
  • games of chance

Omemee

Bridge in omemeeThe study area for the Omemee Downtown Revitalization project includes properties along King Street, east of the bridge and west of Sibley Avenue North.

The Omemee Downtown Revitalization program works to develop the proper mix of public space and social uses combined with bustling commercial activity to create a vibrant and engaging environment for residents and visitors alike. Strengthening local business, investing in built-environment, designing public spaces that encourage civic activities and providing work and living opportunities are some of the initiatives involved in improving the social, economic and physical health of our Downtowns.

You can read the draft action plan here.

Business survey

The business survey received 17 responses.

According to the business survey, Mondays are the busiest days for businesses and May is the busiest month. Respondents say the highest percentage of revenues come from residents living within a 10 to 30-minute drive.

Business owners say they would be interested in workshops relating to marketing and social media marketing, evaluating market opportunities, and dealing with competition.

By the numbers

  • 68% of businesses have operated in Omemee for more than 10 years;
  • 90% of businesses would support having a local Business Improvement Area (BIA);
  • 56% of business owners are also residents of Omemee;
  • 73% of businesses are owner-operated or employ 1-4 people;
  • Foot traffic provides the primary source of revenue.

Doing business in Omemee

Of the 65 responses, 31% indicated Omemee was a good place to do business, 25% indicated it was a fair place to do business, 6% indicated it was an excellent place to do business and 38% indicated they thought Omemee had a poor business climate.

Respondents say Omemee businesses offer the competitive advantage of local availability and customer service.

According to the survey, opportunities for further development include improving the appearance of streets and sidewalks, addressing buildings in poor condition and enforcing property standards.

Resident survey

According to the resident survey, to which 310 people responded, 47% of residents shop in their downtown at least twice per week. In comparison, 54% shop online twice weekly.

In Omemee, 24% of residents try to shop downtown whenever possible. In Coboconk, 81% of residents do the same.

Local availability is the most important factor when deciding to purchase most products, followed by price.

The top three reasons residents spend money outside of the downtown are:

  1. product and service selection
  2. price
  3. hours of operation

Omemee residents travel to Peterborough to purchase a majority of products.

If businesses were to offer extended hours, 49% of residents would prefer longer hours on Fridays after 6pm.

If offered, residents say they would attend food festivals, farmers markets and art festivals and tours. Additionally, 74 % of residents would like to see outdoor cafes, 59% would like to see live music and outdoor performances, and 52% would like more attractive lighting and street furniture in their downtown.

Respondents say improving buildings and infrastructure, vacancies and streetscape is the most important step to improving the downtown, followed by price, product and store selection.

"Let's bring the beautiful old buildings back, clean up the downtown and attract business that would thrive," said one resident.

Potential business opportunities identified through the program

  • hardware store
  • women's clothing
  • shoe store
  • florist
  • jewelry
  • gift/novelty
  • dentist
  • family restaurant (with a good all-day breakfast, but also licensed for alcohol)
  • physician (currently room for one more in medical centre)
  • gas station
  • beauty salon/pedi/mani
  • pet care & pet daycare
  • bakery
  • coffee shop
  • bait/tackle & outdoor recreation
  • products
  • general Store
  • crafts
  • unique boutiques/shops

Specific expenditure focuses within the trade area

  • transportation
  • household operation
  • healthcare
  • tobacco/alcohol
  • education
  • electricity costs are high
  • "other fuel" costs higher
  • pet food/expenses
  • cleaning supplies
  • lawn care /snow removal /garbage
  • gardening
  • power lawn/garden/snow removal
  • lawn/garden/snow removal tools & equipment
  • high expenditures on all types of footwear
  • high expenditures for trucks/vans
  • hospital care & healthcare supplies
  • health insurance premiums
  • hair care products
  • average or slightly-higher overall
  • spending on personal care
  • computer supplies & other equipment, but lower expenditures on software
  • artists' materials, handicraft & hobby craft kits & materials
  • musical instruments
  • playground equipment
  • camping, picnic equipment, & accessories (excluding BBQ's)
  • supplies & parts for recreation equipment
  • toys/children's vehicles & video games
  • boats
  • gas & other fuels
  • recreation supplies & parts
  • registration fees/licenses
  • rental of satellite services
  • admission to museums
  • recreation services
  • home entertainment -- especially rental of home entertainment, computer & communications equipment & other services
  • maintenance and repair of audio, video, computer & communications equipment
  • educational supplies for kindergarten, nursery, elementary & secondary, but also post-secondary
  • magazines/newspapers/periodicals
  • tuition fees for secondary school and below
  • tobacco products & smokers' supplies
  • self-made alcoholic beverages

Background information about the Downtown Revitalization program, supported by Kawartha Lakes and the Government of Ontario, is available on the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs website.

 

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