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Key Sectors and Major Employers

Kawartha Lakes is home to over 6,867 businesses ranging from home based enterprises to international manufacturers. Between 2011 and 2016, the number of jobs in Kawartha Lakes grew by 10% or 2,550.

Find more detailed information on the Kawartha Lakes economy, major employers and labour force visit our Labour Force page.

Key sectors


Manufacturing is a key sector in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Between 2011 and 2016, the number of manufacturing jobs grew by 34 %. The industrial base is diverse and includes growing numbers of "niche" market manufacturers including steel fabrication, woodworking and automotive. Companies such as Crayola; Kawartha Dairy; Mariposa Dairy; Pickseed Canada Inc., known internationally for its forage and grass seeds and hybrid corn; Armada Toolworks, an automotive parts supplier; and T. S. Manufacturing Ltd. which produces wood and other materials handling equipment are a few of the exceptional companies in Kawartha Lakes. Competitive advantages of manufacturing in Kawartha Lakes include:

  • lower labour costs in the City of Kawartha Lakes compared to our larger metropolitan neighbours
  • lower construction and occupancy costs than the Greater Toronto Area
  • availability of skilled labour
  • the availability of telecommunications infrastructure needed to successfully operate a thriving commercial enterprise 

If you're interested in establishing or relocating a manufacturing business in Kawartha lakes please contact our Economic Development Officer.


Agriculture is a dominant land use and economic force in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Agriculture and agriculturally related businesses generate significant economic activity through direct and indirect employment and through the buying and selling of products, goods and services. The major commodity groups, based on percentage of total gross farm receipts, include cattle (beef & dairy), wheat/grain and oilseed and sheep. 

Arts, Culture and Heritage

Kawartha Lakes has a vibrant arts, culture and heritage sector. Our cultural assets are central to our quality of life, and they attract people and investment to our communities. We have an impressive number of heritage buildings, historic sites, museums, theatres and art galleries, and Kawartha Lakes is home to many talented artists, musicians and performers.

In June 2016, City Council adopted the implementation plans for the Cultural Master Plan and the Heritage Master Plan and introduced a position in Economic Development to lead and support the development of a vibrant arts, culture and heritage sector.

What is Culture?

Culture is defined as the characteristics, traditions, activities, values and beliefs that distinguish one group of people from another.

Culture is expressed through the places and the things that we create, and through the arts, through forms of artistic expression such as music, theatre, visual arts, film, literature or other handmade/artisan creations.

Culture is showcased in our art galleries, museums, theatres and community events. Culture is ever-changing and evolves over time. Our museums, libraries and cultural maps are repositories of objects and stories from the past, and our buildings and streetscapes are tangible evidence of our unique cultural heritage.

Kawartha Lakes Cultural Roundtable Meetings

A Roundtable is a gathering of stakeholders that is open to all, who meet as equals to explore solutions around specific issues and opportunities through focused discussion and partnership building.

Roundtables are a discussion and action oriented series of meetings to consider issues or opportunities to create win-win outcomes. Independent project groups may self-establish to take on specific projects as an outcome of Roundtable discussions that contribute to the accomplishment of cultural and heritage master plan strategies or related opportunities.

The Roundtable is not an advisory committee and does not have appointed members or an assigned membership, aside from a core group that coordinates the meetings. Anyone can participate in discussions on specific topics and establish independent project groups without committing to participation at the Roundtable on an ongoing basis.

Roundtable meetings will be held every other month and will be advertised with a specific topic for discussion at each meeting.

A Kawartha Lakes wide Cultural Forum will be held annually, in partnership with the municipality.

The purpose of the annual forum is to provide the opportunity for the broader community to talk about issues, opportunities, challenges and ideas pertaining to arts, culture and heritage in their communities and organizations. The forum also provides opportunities to discuss how they pertain to strengthening creative economy and cultural tourism outcomes.

Cultural Roundtable core group representatives will attend the forum to lead discussion groups.

View our Calendar of Events to find out the next Round Table meeting date, location and topic for discussion.

Kawartha Lakes Cultural Map

The Kawartha Lakes Cultural Map is a hands-on tool to help you find and access information on over 700 cultural resources in Kawartha Lakes. The map is interactive and allows you to click on specific locations to find more information, visit their website or purchase event tickets.

The map includes:

  • cultural businesses
  • organizations
  • cultural facilities and spaces
  • festivals and events
  • heritage assets

Kawartha Lakes Stories Map

The Kawartha Lakes Stories Map highlights the intangible cultural heritage of Kawartha Lakes. It includes the folklore, beliefs, traditions and customs that shape our lives, influence the way that we see the world, the objects that we craft and the cities that we build.

Intangible culture is best understood through our stories - our interpretations of experiences in the past and in the present. The map places each story at the location in which it took place and presents the stories chronologically. The map is interactive and allows you to add your story and contribute to the diverse and evolving cultural identity of our communities.

Kawartha Lakes Arts and Heritage Trail

The trail has been developed to help you to discover Kawartha Lakes' rich heritage and diverse artistic talent. You can use it to discover lesser-known places and local legends, visit our galleries, artisan studios and craft shops, or take in a concert or festival. The Arts and Heritage Trail website and interactive map provide information about each Trail destination so that you can create your own weekend tour.

Any arts or heritage groups or destinations that would like to be a part of the trail should complete read and complete the Arts and Heritage Application Package.


Kawartha Lakes is an excellent location to own and operate a tourism business. In 2016, over 1.6 million visitors explored Kawartha Lakes and spent more than $109 million. The three most significant assets at the centre of the tourism industry are the Trent-Severn Waterway, Trans Canada Trail, and Balsam Lake Provincial Park.

In partnership with local Chambers of Commerce, visitor information centres promote tourism business and experiences in Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, and Lindsay.

The City of Kawartha Lakes Economic Development team can help you:


Visit the Discover Tourism page for more information about the Kawartha Lakes Tourism Program

Visit the consumer facing tourism website Explore Kawartha Lakes for information on visiting Kawartha Lakes

Water innovation

In response to the growing need to address the issue of water treatment and conservation, the Economic Development team in Kawartha Lakes has been working on a Rural Economic Development Water Innovation Project funded in part through the Government of Ontario.

The project supports businesses in the development and introduction of effective and innovative water treatment technologies, fosters the development of water quality technologies that could benefit the municipality, and supports our community partners.

In order to accelerate market adoption of new water and wastewater treatment technologies,we've facilitated access to pilot and demonstration sites and have provided business support, marketing solutions and strategic planning to new and existing water technology companies.

To initiate discussions for future pilot projects contact Fleming College, The Centre for Alternative Wastewater Treatment (CAWT).

Showcasing Water Innovation

The Showcasing Water Innovation Floating Wetlands Project was launched by the City of Kawartha Lakes in 2012, in partnership with C&M Aquatics Ltd., Centre for Alternative Wastewater Treatment, Fleming College, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Queens University.

This project was a catalyst, enabling communities to pioneer cost effective and innovative approaches to sustainable water management solutions. Furthermore, communities were empowered to protect their water resources, optimize existing infrastructure, defer capital investments, stabilize operating costs, prioritize water investments, conserve water, and lower energy use and carbon emissions.

The Showcasing Water Innovation Project Report is now available for review.

Real Tech

The Real Tech pilot project tested a new cell transmission component in their UV254 M3000 series monitors, allowing the real time data from the monitors to be sent to their cloud database for processing. Two pilot monitors were operational at the Lindsay Water Treatment Plant to assess the component's effectiveness and ability to optimize treatment processes.

WCI Environmental

The WCI Environmental pilot project on Sturgeon Lake in Fenelon Falls was a collaborative effort between Kawartha Lakes staff, WCI Environmental Solutions, Kawartha Region Conservation Authority, Councillor Brian Junkin and local residents.

Completed in 2015, the goal of the project was to pilot a new solar powered system aimed at improving overall water quality for recreational use in the area. The success of this project proves Kawartha Lakes has the ability to manage and host progressive and innovative pilot projects.


Kawartha Lakes, in partnership with H2Flow Equipment Inc., studied the feasibility of innovative bioreactor technology for the treatment of wastewater.

 Major employers

Major private sector employers in Kawartha Lakes

Here is a selection of major private sector employers in the Kawartha Lakes.

Company Name

Product or Service

Armada Toolworks Ltd.

Mfg. of Plastic Injection Moulded Auto Parts

Cameron Steel Inc.

Custom Steel Fabrication

CardioMed Supplies Inc.

Mfg. of Medical Disposable Surgical Products

Crayola Canada Ltd.

Dist. and Light Mfg. of Crayola Products

DLF Pickseed

Agricultural Seed & Grass Products

Holsag Canada

Mfg. of Wooden Chairs

Kawartha Dairy Ltd.

Mfg. of Milk Products

Lindsay Paper Box Co.

Mfg. of Paper Packaging Products

Mariposa Dairy

Mfg. of Goat Cheese Products

Mariposa Electric

Electrical Installation

Maximum Signs

Mfg. of road signs

Northern Casket Ltd.

Mfg. of Hardwood, Steel Burial Caskets

Payne Machine Co. Ltd.

Mfg. of Custom Steel Product

TS Manufacturing

Mfg. of Sawmill Equipment

Wuis Brothers Construction

Concrete Construction

Major public sector employers in Kawartha Lakes

Here is a selection of major public sector employers in Kawartha Lakes.

Organization Name


City of Kawartha Lakes

Municipal Government

Trillium Lakelands District School Board

Primary & Secondary Education

Ross Memorial Hospital

Health Services

Central East Correctional Centre

Provincial Correctional Centre

Sir Sandford Fleming College

Post-Secondary Education

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