Ontario Supporting Economic Development and Employment Opportunities in South River 

Province investing $1.9M into community and company growth and creating jobs 


April 21, 2023 

SOUTH RIVER – The Ontario government is investing more than $1.9 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) in four economic development projects in the Village of South River. This investment will improve municipal infrastructure, expand business operations and create employment in Northeastern Ontario. 

“Our government is passionate about ensuring small and rural communities across the Parry Sound region have the tools and resources they need to thrive,” said Graydon Smith, MPP Parry Sound-Muskoka. “We’re making strategic investments in local organizations and businesses that are helping people in need, creating jobs and improving local quality of life.” 

The NOHFC is funding the following projects: 

  • $768,492 for the District of Parry Sound Employment Services Inc. (Employment North) to create a workforce development hub – a one-stop destination for employers, employees and job seekers – that offers services such as employment searches, career development and training, and meeting space 
  • $645,434 for Swift Canoe & Kayak to purchase equipment and renovate its manufacturing facility to improve production capacity 
  • $345,695 for Almaguin Forest Products to purchase equipment and update its sawmill to improve production capacity and efficiency 
  • $189,000 for the Village of South River to modernize the South River Train Station – a gathering and event space for the community. 

“Through targeted investments, our government is building strong, resilient and prosperous communities and businesses in South River and across the North,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development. “By working together with our northern partners, we continue to make Northern Ontario an attractive place to live, work, play and do business.” 

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $639 million in 5,265 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $2 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 8,420 jobs.


Quick Facts

  • The Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North. Additional Resources
  • The NOHFC, Northern Development Offices and Small Business Enterprise Centres are available to support northern communities, businesses and other stakeholders in identifying economic development opportunities and assist in accessing government funding programs. 


“Employment North is very happy to receive NOHFC funding to support our community hub project, providing space for various community events and workshops for job seekers from Novar to Callander. We’ve already begun to welcome people to our space and are thrilled to be co-located with the Good Happenings Food Bank.” – Donna Sedore, Executive Director, Employment North

“Almaguin Forest Products restarted in mid-2019 and since then we have worked to increase its efficiency, production, and employment. The project supported by NOHFC enabled the installation of new processing equipment – including a resaw, chipper, and saw filing machinery – that will make Almaguin Forest Products more competitive as a producer of hardwood lumber and as an employer of hard-working staff.” – Malcolm Cockwell, Managing Director, Almaguin Forest Products 

“We are thrilled to receive this generous grant from the NOHFC, allowing us to continue our important work in preserving and promoting the rich heritage of South River. With this support, we can further enhance our efforts to engage the community in celebrating our unique railroad history and prepare South River for the return of passenger rail service. We extend our sincere thanks to the NOHFC for its investment in our community and commitment to heritage preservation.” – Bill O’Hallarn, Deputy Mayor, Village of South River


Dan Powers