Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | December 20, 2016
New Business 
Ashley Homestore Select showcasing
furniture for every room of your home 
PRESCOTT - If you haven't experienced it yet, it's the perfect time to take a walk through the new Ashley Homestore Select's expansive and colourful showroom.

"I love it when people walk in and say 'Wow!'," says Ashley's owner Jay Upadhyay. "It is very satisfying."

Ashley Homestore has been the top furniture retailer in North America for the last two years with store locations around the world.  The expansion into Leeds Grenville provides clients with an aggressive price point with more than 8,000 furniture products and accessories and upholstery made in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

"It's a complete package by itself - a number 1 brand with small town pricing," Jay says of Ashley's stylish and diverse products. Jay and his family believed in this area so they purchased the long-vacant, former Hathaway shirt factory in the Fort Town and have turned it into a haven for fans of home decoration and comfortable living.

Jay has extensive furniture retail experience. He and his family have relocated here from Mississauga to "bring a big brand to a smaller community." He chose Prescott over Belleville. "Someone has to think differently. We took up the challenge," he says of wanting to open here.

Jay is also very respectful of the building's history as a shirt factory. "People have come in and said 'my parents and grandparents worked here.' They have an attachment to the site." 

"I can see their excitement that such a transformation is possible and there is a new business here," adds Jay. He hopes to have a "Memory Wall" for Hathaway. 

Learn more about Ashley Homestore Select in Prescott by visiting their websiteFacebook page or give them a call at 613-975-1160.

Top feature photo: Jay Upadhyay, centre back row, is surrounded by his family, including son Pinosh, second from left, wife Shelly, third from right, daughter Sara, son Priyank, right, and sales team members Greg Stewart, at left, and Kevin Poll, third from left.

Ashley Homestore Select is located at 707 St. Lawrence Street, at the corner of Hyde Street. You'll discover a 21,500-square-foot showroom with 10,000-square-feet of warehouse in the former Hathaway and later Prescott Shirt Company building. Ashley had its grand opening in late November.

The photos above and to the left show the various "lifestyle" sections of the showroom, including Vintage Casual.
Community Investment

Representatives from Le Boat toured many communities along the Rideau Canal. Pictured in Westport are some of the supporting team members from left to right, Dave MacDougall - The Canals Group; Dave Martin - Parks Canada; Ann Weir, Leeds Grenville Economic Development; Noreen Cartwright - Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport; David Ballinger - The Canals Group; Mayor Robin Jones - Village of Westport; and from Le Boat Cheryl Brown, Andrew Le Duc, Darryl Bushaway and Shannan Brennan.

Le Boat's New Horizon Self-drive Cruiser model will be the watercraft used on the Rideau. 

Le Boat Travelopia Managing Director Cheryl Brown, centre, with Travelopia CEO Will Waggott, right, and Travelopia Tailormade & Marine Managing Director Mathew Prior, left.

Europe's Le Boat to launch on Rideau Canal
SMITHS FALLS - Europe's largest self-drive boating company is investing $16-million in state-of-the-art watercraft for the Rideau Canal.

The announcement of Le Boat's launch into the North American market was made earlier this month. It will open its base operations in Smiths Falls on the historic Rideau Canal in 2018 to provide boating experiences from Ottawa to Kingston. 

"We are extremely excited about establishing our footprint in North America, and especially pleased to be launching our new venture in the beautiful province of Ontario, Canada," Le Boat Managing Director Cheryl Brown said in a media release. The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Canadian National Historic Site and a Canadian Heritage River.

Le Boat will bring a fleet of 16 vessels specially designed to meet Ontario maritime and customer requirements. The fleet will expand to 32 cruisers over the next 5 years. Bookings will start in 2017 for the May to October 2018 boating season.

A customer survey by Le Boat  found demand is high for travellers wanting to come to Eastern Ontario and the Rideau Canal. A whopping 88% of Europeans and 91% of Americans said they would travel to Ontario for a boating holiday.  Le Boat is expected to attract vacationers of all ages. Its international presence and extensive marketing initiatives and industry partnerships will help enhance the Rideau Canal's brand on the global market.

"The Rideau Canal is a vacationers dream, offering the best of all of Le Boat's European destinations in one place. It has the elegant beauty and charm of French waterways, the delightful lagoons of Italy, and the dramatic, scenic lakes and rivers of Ireland, Holland and Germany," Brown said in the release.

The announcement of Le Boat coming to the Rideau Canal is the result of collaborative effort by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Parks Canada, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and the Town of Smiths Falls Economic Development offices along with the many municipalities along the corridor.

Learn more about Le Boat by visiting their website.
Workforce Survey
Employers take Action
Please take 10-15 minutes to complete the EmployerOne survey so we have the primary data to help support workforce development in Leeds Grenville.

Be entered to win a $100 gift certificate of your choice for goods and services from a Leeds Grenville business.

Survey draw deadline extended: Thursday, December 22, 2016

Counties Economic Development has partnered with 1000 Islands Region Workforce Development Board and needs your assistance in assessing and building a strong workforce.

Thank you for your help!