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Meet Our Businesses

Kawartha Lakes celebrates the dedication and achievements of our local entrepreneurs. We are pleased to highlight some of our businesses that have recently established themselves as a leader in their field or reached significant milestones.

If you know of a local business that should be featured on this page, please contact Economic Development.

Advanced Manufacturing in Kawartha Lakes

Tucked away in the corner of an Omemee building is one of Kawartha Lakes' most technically advanced companies, Kawartha Controls. "Essentially, what we build are the equivalent of circuit boards in computers, except what we make acts as the brain of a hydraulic system" says company founder Rob Bélair.

 What makes Kawartha Controls special from a manufacturing standpoint is that are moving closer to full automation every day. They are currently using a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine in conjunction with a robotic arm. Rob explains that the longer his machine is able to run on its own, the lower the cost per item as well as the overall negative environmental. Using robotics, Rob is able to keep his products at an industry leading cost per part. This enables the company to ship across the globe.

Innovation isn't just important to Rob from a manufacturing standpoint, it's also important from an operations standpoint. "We strive to be both competitive and socio-environmentally conscious" said Rob, "for us, it's important that environmental sustainability trumps profitability". From an operations standpoint, all of their employees benefit from a corporate stock ownership plan. Rob wants all of his employees to lead happy, health lives built on a foundation of trust and integrity. By putting people, innovation and the environment first, Kawartha Controls is building a strong foundation for years to come. 


Local Entrepreneur Finds his way back Home

Pinnguaq, a Lindsay based Startup with divisions in Nunavut and British Columbia was established to serve a greater good. Founded in 2012, the company is using technology to share Inuit stories and traditions. Recent award winner at the 2017 Startup Canada Awards for the best Canadian Social Enterprise business, Pinnguaq develops games and programs for the far north. One such program is Te(a)ch which is a 100 week coding curriculum and learning series for Indigenous communities.

Company founder Ryan Oliver's passion for the north was established when he found himself working in Pangnirtung, a hamlet of 1,600 Nunavut. Surprisingly, his growing family was one of 4 families from the Lindsay area who lived there.

To read more about the company take a look at their recent profile in WIRED magazine.

Tom Collver

Things are Go, Go, Go for Tom Collver

You may have caught Tom Collver in the lead role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat playing at the Academy Theatre in August. This talented individual is also a busy local entrepreneur who has a role to play in many businesses including pb+j, a website & digital marketing company; Stratta a (soon to be re-launching) brand strategy and consulting company, and King x Portland, a premium sock subscription service.

Growing up in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Tom turned down jobs working with large firms, like comic book giant Marvel Entertainment in New York City, to stay close to home. He said if he had the opportunity to hire any comic book character it would be Peter Parker who he considers a "good, well-meaning, community-minded individual with a great sense of humour".

In the real world, Tom has attracted an international workforce to the City of Kawartha Lakes. He said potential hires are willing to come work here because it is a "great place to raise a family, affordable, and well situated in cottage country".

Tom has seen many changes in the City of Kawartha Lakes including new developments and businesses. He's been noticing a lot more young families in the streets and is excited for the opportunities that come as a result.

Contact the Economic Development Division if you've got a business idea that you'd like to bring to reality.

Donattela Bar & Grill

Making the Move to Kawartha Lakes

Ned Kovacevic and his wife Rada had lived all across Toronto before making the move to Kawartha Lakes. The owners of Donattela Bar & Grill love the quality of life that Bobcaygeon affords them.

"A few winters ago I was sitting by a warm fireplace with my family when our son decided to turn on the TV. It was a news story about a snowstorm making rush hour traffic miserable in Toronto. We all smiled knowing that we made the right choice."

Ned has recently started building partnerships with local growers to shift his menu to include more locally grown organic items. He sees it as an opportunity to grow the economy in his own backyard.

"I really love getting to know my customers and building relationships with my clients. I'm not just completing a transaction, I'm getting to know members of our community," says Ned.

If you're interested in finding out how to step off the corporate hamster wheel and move your business to Kawartha Lakes please contact the Office of Economic Development.

 Maximum Signs

Making Sure You Know What's Coming!

In an unassuming building on Sandbourne Drive in Pontypool you'll find Ron Haslam and his company Maximum Signs. Ron sits in a large office adorned with sports memorabilia and some toys for a frequent visitor, his granddaughter.

"I started this company with a drill and a pair of tin snips," recalls Ron, who has come a long way in 28 years, the last 20 of which were spent in Kawartha Lakes.

Maximum Signs is the largest road sign manufacturer in Ontario and employs the most technically advanced equipment in the industry. Ron credits his success to a strong work ethic and the support of his family.

"It wasn't always easy; there were a lot of days that I worked so long I just fell asleep at the shop. I once worked 16 hours the day before a medical procedure was booked."

With quick access to the 401, Kawartha Lakes is an ideal location for Ron's business, which ships across Ontario and Canada.

 Kawartha Dairy

Doing it Right for 80 Years!

Kawartha Dairy has been a staple of the Bobcaygeon business community since 1937. That's when Jack and Ila Crowe bought a small dairy that was cooled with ice from the lake. It has been a family run business ever since.

Staff from the office of economic development recently had the pleasure of meeting with Blake Frazer, Vice-President & General Manager as part of the OSPREY program to talk about doing business in the City of Kawartha Lakes. He believes one of the biggest advantages doing business here is his access to good employees.

The folks at Kawartha Dairy are active in the community and recently travelled down to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto to help market the City of Kawartha Lakes. Over two days, volunteers distributed over 9,000 free ice cream samples to lucky and excited guests.

Kawartha Dairy ice cream makes for a great treat all year round, whether it's a big bowl of moose tracks in the summer or a chocolate eggnog milkshake in the dead of winter.

Northern Casket

There are only two significant casket manufactures in all of Canada and Lindsay's Northern Casket Ltd. is one of them. Originally founded in 1926, Northern Casket is a fourth generation, family-run business. Originally located on the old Canadian Shirt and Pyjama Company site, Northern Casket expanded to an 110,000 square foot facility in 1976.

Operated by Gord Ferguson and his sons Caley and Chris, Northern Casket offers a variety of products including urns, steel caskets, traditional caskets and their award winning Enviro-Casket™, which is made entirely out of biodegradable materials including wooden hinges and fasteners, each of these caskets comes with a complimentary donation to the Canadian Conservation Agency of the client's choice.

Northern Casket employs more than 75 full-time employees in addition to local students in the summer. It also finds unique ways to use waste products including through partnerships with local farmers to provide sawdust for livestock bedding and monthly kindling and firewood sales.

Caskets come in a variety of traditional and non-traditional styles including camoclad.

Cameron Steel

40 Years Strong!

Having recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, Cameron Steel is an iconic Kawartha Lakes company. Founded by Jim Bogar and run today by his son James, Cameron Steel specializes in the machining, fabrication, sand blasting, coating and inspection of high quality steel and alloy products.

Originally located in a 17,000 square foot building on St. Peter Street, Cameron Steel grew to a second location on Walsh Road in 2004. James says that it was important to keep the business in Kawartha Lakes because it's home. This site has since undergone an expansion to 75,000 square feet.

Operating in Kawartha Lakes provides Cameron Steel with an excellent location to meet the needs of its customers across the Greater Toronto Area, New York, Utah and Ohio. Employing more than 50 individuals, Cameron Steel continues to do business in Kawartha Lakes because it provides an exceptional quality of life for its employees and management alike.

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