Kawartha Lakes - Economic Development
Cities Bethany Burnt River Bobcaygeon Cameron Coboconk Fenelon Falls Janetville Kinmount Kirkfield Lindsay Little Britain Norland Oakwood Omemee Pontypool Rosedale Sebright Woodville

Downtown Revitalization

For details and project work specific to each community, please click on the community name located under "Downtown Revitalization" on the right hand sidebar .

"The revitalization of Ontario's cities, towns and villages is not just about retail stores and shopping. Our centres are the historical heart of the communities.  They are home to places where the community gathers and socializes, celebrates and mourns." - OMAFRA

The proper mix of public space and social uses combined with bustling commercial activity creates 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.

Downtown Revitalization Work Plan and Process

The success a downtown revitalization relies on the passion and spirit of the community that is driving the project. Through the leadership of the Economic Development Department, community advocates are offered support in their bottom-up efforts towards implementing the Four Stages of the downtown.


Stage I: Organizing and Scoping

Background Studies

A successful Downtown Revitalization rarely materializes as a first initiative in the community.  The decision to implement a Downtown Revitalization project often stems from the outcomes of other community studies and projects. The combination of these studies and reports offer information that fortifies the project and gives it a foundation upon which our volunteers can build. Below is a list of some of the previous projects and studies reviewed during this stage of the Downtown Revitalization project:

  • Fenelon Falls Business Retention and Expansion (BR + E) project
  • First Impression Community Exchange (FICE) Projects
    • Lindsay
    • Coboconk
  • Heritage Master Plan
  • Cultural Master Plan
  • Secondary Plan Community Visioning Exercises:
    • Fenelon Falls
    • Lindsay
    • Omemee

Stage II: Collecting and Assessing

Business Mix Analysis

The business mix analysis for each community was developed in fall 2014.  This study determined the commercial category and classification of each business located in study areas.  This information was then mapped to help understand how each of the downtowns function.  Understanding how the different types of businesses work together in the downtown helps to identify local niche markets, and potential gaps in current downtown business mixes.

Business Owner Surveys - The Voice of Business

During the fall of 2014, the Downtown Revitalization Committees approached business owners in the study areas to participate in a Business Owner Survey.  The survey measured current business needs in the downtown while simultaneously collecting data about the perceptions, opinions and future plans of business owners.  It is important to understand what assistance business owners are looking for to help them grow and expand their businesses in the downtown. 172 business owners agreed to share their voice; their participation will aid in future efforts to build stronger and more vibrant downtowns in Kawartha Lakes. 

Customer Origin Surveys - Who Shops Downtown?

In 2014, Customer Origin Surveys were conducted in the study areas.  The surveys were conducted at a variety of locations, over random times of the day, for a period of eight days. The volunteers within the communities interviewed a total of 2775 customers.

A Customer Origin Survey provides the information required to determine the Trade Areas for our downtowns.  Once those Trade Area were identified the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) then used those identified Trade Area to prepare a Market Area Data Report for each downtown. The Market Area Data Report provides a demographic profile of those that are shopping in the downtown, where they live, and their purchasing habits.  This knowledge is one of the tools that will help direct future downtown marketing efforts. 

Thank you to all the shoppers who assisted this project by stopping to answer questions during the survey periods.  Accepting this 2-minute inconvenience to their day was a significant help to the downtown revitalization effort.

Resident Survey

The Resident Survey collects information about residents' current shopping habits, attitudes, and future hopes for downtown.  Resident input is critical to the development of the Downtown Revitalization Strategic Plans to ensure each downtown is one that residents are proud to enjoy and support.  

Community Design - Streetscape and Façade Design Guidelines

As part of the background work to developing the Downtown Revitalization Strategy, design professionals will engage business owners, residents, and the community at large in the process of creating streetscape and façade design guidelines that reflect the community values, and identify and address key issues. This community engagement based approach supports the creation of a common design vision for the downtown going forward, and helps to generate new ideas to further enhance the appearance of the downtown.  

Stage III: Action Planning and Prioritizing

Strategic Plan

This document will become the downtown's blueprint for future revitalization efforts.  It will: be built upon the vision determined for the future of the downtown; incorporate the wants and needs of the community; embrace and enhance the downtown's strengths; address weaknesses; prioritize the implementation of the determined goals; and utilize well-defined action plans to ensure the Plan's goals are achieved.

Stage IV: Implement and Monitoring

Benchmarking the Program

Benchmarks are identified and recorded at the outset of the project so that progress can be measured. As results are recorded, the ability to refer to how various initiatives have moved the Downtown's Strategy for Revitalization forward to achieve the identified "Goals" stated in the Strategy, and ultimately the "Vision" are essential to providing continued support for the Revitalization work that will result in a long term, economically healthy and self-sustaining downtown.

Contact Information:

Carlie Arbour, Economic Development Officer
Phone: 705-324-9411 extension 1396

180 Kent St. W, Lindsay, Ontario  K9V 2Y6
Phone 705-324-9411
Toll Free 1-866-397-6673

Link to City of Kawartha LakesLink to City of Kawartha Lakes Tourismlink to KLSBEC.ca