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Economic Development eNews | June 13, 2023

Business Profile

The Ivy Restaurant Opens

With New Chef-Owners

IVY LEA - Eclectic Chefs Patrick (Pat) O'Neil and Chris Bassel are the new owners of The Ivy Restaurant.

The talented duo opened the landmark eatery in mid May with a soft launch and they've been building their menus for both the main dining room and the Dockside Patio ever since. The plan is to have everything running full tilt this month serving both lunch and dinner.

"We're looking to deliver a unique culinary experience with locally-sourced and luxury ingredients," says Chris, who returns to The Ivy after working several years under former Ivy Chef Rob Gobbo. Chris later graduated at the top of his class at the Stratford Chefs School.

"We make as many products in-house as possible, from homemade pasta and whole milk ricotta to brioche bread," says Chris.

"We are looking to become a culinary destination," adds Patrick, whose background includes being Chef for the Toronto Pan Am Games in 2015 as well as being a grill cook with Chef Michael Smith of the Canadian Grilling Company.

They describe their style as European with Italian, French and Asian influences. They met and became friends while working at Gananoque's Riva Restaurant. Patrick also owns the Chrysler House Bed and Breakfast. Chris is a partner in the Pump House Creamery where homemade ice cream, gelatos, sorbets and pastries are made. They know the area well and along with their team have a strong vision for cuisine and service at The Ivy.

Also part of the team are Chefs Stephen Crawford and Brendan Christensen, bar manager Alex Kriss, who is known for her unique cocktails, and about 40 support staff. The patio will be open 7 days a week. The dining room will be open Tuesday to Sundays.

Ted Lojko will be managing the Coach House Creamery and Cafe beside the restaurant at the Ivy Lea Club site. The Coach House will be open daily at 7:30 a.m. with longer hours into the early evening. Organic ice cream, sorbets, pastries, coffee and other delights will be served. There will also be a retail goods component with snacks and supplies for visitors, cyclists and boaters.

Learn more about The Ivy Restaurant by visiting their website and visiting the Facebook and Instagram pages. Call them at 613-659-2486. The Ivy Restaurant, The Coach House and Dockside Patio are located at the Ivy Lea Club at 61 Shipman's Point Lane off the 1000 Islands Parkway overlooking the St. Lawrence River.

Top feature photo: The Ivy Restaurant's new Chefs and Owners Chris Bassel, left, and Patrick O'Neil in the kitchen at the waterfront eatery.

It is also the site of the Ivy Lea Club Garden, part of the 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Garden Adventures tour (See related story below).


From left to right: Augusta Mayor Jeff Shaver, Leeds Grenville Economic Development Manager and Garden Adventures Co-chair Ann Weir, the Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP, Joan MacKinnon of the Gardens of Gananoque, Colleen O’Connell and Garden Adventures Co-Chair David Cybulski of Maitland Garden of Hope, Gananoque Mayor John Beddows, Mary Ann Van Berlo of Van Berlo Gardens, Bill Gibbons of AOG Art Trail, Marg Beattie of the Healing Circle Labyrinth, Alison Whitlock of Sherwood Forest, Liz Daly of the Labyrinth, Patrick Hopkins of Sherwood Forest and Joanne Poll, Administrator with the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office. 

Garden Adventures Launched

MAITLAND – It’s an exciting new season for residents and visitors alike with the launch of the 9th Annual 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Garden Adventures yesterday.


Part of Canada's Garden Route, the 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Garden Adventures collection features 13 remarkable locations throughout Leeds Grenville – including three new sites. The famous garden tour first gained national notoriety in 2017 as the only trail given the 'Canada 150 Garden Experience Designation.' 


“We have so many gems in the townships, villages and communities that make up Leeds Grenville,” said Warden Nancy Peckford. “We are excited to feature these wonderful and unique tourism experiences and local products.” 


Garden Co-Chair David Cybulski welcomed everyone to the launch at the riverside Van Berlo Gardens. He noted eligible gardens can take various forms, including trails, and be located at homes, businesses, non-profit organizations and in public settings.


“Today’s event is special as we now build on our success and broaden this tourism experience into Garden Adventures,” Mr. Cybulski said.

These large and diverse gardens showcase horticulture in this region. Many gardens have added special experiences, including a Monarch butterfly Way Station, native butterflies, honeybees and birds, fountains, ponds, as well as contemporary art exhibits, statuary and a teepee.


The Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, and Augusta Township Mayor Jeff Shaver, where two of the gardens are located, brought greetings.


“Garden Adventures is a self-drive tour that will have visitors saying their experience was amazing in these beautiful and unique settings, leaving them wanting more,” said Garden Adventures Co-chair Ann Weir, Manager of the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Department.

Garden Adventures Co-Chair David Cybulski at the launch overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Below: Van Berlo Gardens.

Top Garden Tips were provided at the launch by Joan MacKinnon, representing the Gardens of Gananoque, and Mary Ann Van Berlo, owner of Van Berlo Gardens. There is no admission fee to visit the gardens, though some owners welcome donations for their favourite charity. Both guided and self-guided tours are available throughout the season. Hours and contacts vary, so please visit each garden's page for full details as some are by appointment only.


Open Gardens Day is this Saturday, June 17th and will feature all gardens being open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. without needing an appointment to visit. See the full list of gardens.


To learn more about the gardens, joining the trail or to view a map, please visit our Garden Adventures webpage at: 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Garden Adventures

eNews Celebrating 9th Anniversary

Terry and Tyson Knapp of TNT Dynamite Signs in Augusta Township. Below: Cynthia Peters of Maison Maitland Cooking School & Villas in Maitland.

Showcasing Business is Top Priority

We're celebrating the 9th anniversary - and 235 editions - of our Leeds Grenville Economic Development business-focused online publication!

Leeds Grenville eNews, launched on June 12, 2014, continues to grow and capture audiences throughout Eastern Ontario and beyond. Many of the businesses featured over the years have reported increased interest and sales after being profiled.

Editions go out to more than 2,500 businesses and individuals biweekly. The newsletter has maintained an average open rate of 43%, well above the industry average.

"It's one of the few newsletters I open and read from start to finish," said Trish Bolechowsky, owner of The Tipped Ship in Elgin.

"It's great to get to know about the many businesses in this area and who the people are behind them," said Trish.

TNT Dynamite Signs owner Terry Knapp said he had several inquiries after his business was profiled in eNews. "Sales went up a lot after being featured," Terry said.

Close to 220 Leeds Grenville Business Profiles have appeared along with countless features on business leaders and awards. eNews provides coverage of grand openings, major expansions and investments, workforce development, employment and funding opportunities.

Cynthia Peters, owner of Maison Maitland Cooking School & Villas, was featured last fall in eNews after moving to this region. She said it helped raise awareness of her new business and location.

"Providing local business knowledge and connections was key in getting my business off the ground and transitioning quickly from another area. Congratulations on 9 years of helping businesses grow," she said.

Visit our eNews Archive Page to see all editions. If you have a suggestion for a Business Profile, please send us an email or give Deanna Clark a call at 613-342-3840, ext. 5360.

Thank you to our subscribers for their continued support, as well as the businesses who have opened their doors to us. Here's to many more years of eNews!

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Summer Company Launch

From left to right: Summer Company's Aidan Sills, Sacha Yakimovich, Small Business Development Officer Jeanette Johnston, Dalena Nguyen and Neville Klug at the launch.

Summer Entrepreneurs Off and Running

Leeds Grenville - Small Business launched its 23rd Summer Company at the Employment + Education Centre on June 1st. Five participants are in this year’s cohort.

These energetic students will run their own business this summer. About 15 guests attended the launch, including this year’s roster of mentors Mitchell Beattie, Brodie Church, Shannon Liscumb, Wendy Onstein, and Kevin Savoy. The launch event provides the students the platform to tell people a little about themselves and their business.

Follow their progress this summer on our Small Business socials @lgsmallbusiness – Instagram and LinkedIn.

For more information visit the Summer Company page on our website. 

This year’s Summer Company participants include: 

Lizzy Mussett creates toys and sources accessories for dogs.

Neville Klug, Nev’s Sandwiches, Leeds and the Thousand Islands; will be creating the ultimate smoked meat sandwich using locally sourced ingredients and a generous hand. You will find Neville at various markets in the region this summer. He can be reached at [email protected] and by phone at 613-328-1624.


Lizzie Mussett, Liz Pet Inc., Brockville; is creating toys and sourcing accessories for dogs this summer. Watch for a tug toy, a doggie massager and more! Lizzie will be selling online and at local stores in the area. You can reach her by phone at 613-246-0432 and by email at [email protected]

Dalena Nguyen, Luforia Jewellery, Gananoque; will be using her creativity to make jewellery for youth and adults alike this summer. Dalena will be selling at markets in Gananoque and surrounding area. She can be reached [email protected] or by phone at 613-532-1072


Aidan Sills, Hatch Co. Exotics & Supplies, Elizabethtown-Kitley; breeds geckos and chinchillas and also grows crickets for gecko food and terrarium plants. He will be selling online and at various expos throughout Ontario. He can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 613-213-8919.


Sacha Yakimovich, Golden Sun Herbals, North Grenville; will sell creams, ointments and lip balms made from calendula flower oil. It is known to have properties that aid in healing. Sacha will sell locally in North Grenville.  He can be reached at [email protected] or 343-558-2435.

Economic Development Leadership Award

Nominate a Leader in Your Community

Do you know a person who volunteers their time to help grow and develop your municipality economic vitality or tourism appeal? The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office is asking individuals, municipal councils and economic development committees to nominate candidates for the annual Bill Thake Memorial Award for Economic Development Leadership.

The award winner will be announced prior to the Economic Development Summit on November 17th and will be officially honoured at the event. Nominees will be recognized at a local municipal presentation by the Warden.

Before heading off for summer vacation, talk to your colleagues and community members about who is deserving of this award in your municipality. If you have someone in mind within the 10-member municipalities of Leeds Grenville, consider putting their name forward. You can connect with us at [email protected] or call Deanna Clark at 613-342-3840, ext. 5360.

For more information visit our Summit 2023 webpage

Nomination form

The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, September 22, at 4 p.m.

Funding Opportunties

Applications now open for 2023-24 EnAbling Change Program

The Ontario government is providing up to $1.5-million this year to not-for-profits and organizations across the province so they can develop tools and educational resources to raise awareness about the value and benefits of accessibility and help make Ontario open to people of all abilities. The EnAbling Change Program provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, industry organizations and professional associations to:

  • educate their stakeholders about the value and benefits of accessibility
  • help support compliance with accessibility laws
  • promote a culture of inclusion

Some examples of projects that could receive funding may involve:

  • customized educational tools and resources about accessibility and inclusion in your sector
  • promoting accessibility in daily living
  • encouraging regulatory compliance
  • public outreach programs and initiatives

The deadline to apply is Thursday, June 29, at 5 p.m.

Contact regional Development Advisor Alain Girouard via email or by calling 613-246-1294 for general information.

Learn more and apply

Upcoming Events

Breakfast With The Mayor of Westport

Reserve your seat for this upcoming event with Westport Mayor Robin Jones and guest speaker Ann Weir, Economic Development Manager with the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. Ms. Weir will be speaking on tourism development and digital support for business.

WHEN: Friday, June 16: Breakfast at 8 a.m. followed by the guest speaker at 8:30 a.m.

WHERE: The Cove Country Inn, 2 Bedford Street, Westport.

COST: $12 (Payable at the Cove)

To reserve a seat, call Westport Town Hall at 613-273-2191, ext. 111.

Employer Apprenticeship Breakfast

Learn about resources available to support employers, including the Government of Canada's Canadian Apprenticeship Service (CAS), at the St. Lawrence College Brockville Campus in partnership with the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and the City of Brockville. The discussion will include how to access funding to support the hiring and retention of new Level One apprentices in 39 Red Seal trades.

Canadian Apprenticeship Forum's CAS is being delivered through a collaboration of industry-leading partners: BuildForce Canada, SkillPlan, ApprenticeSearch.com, Aboriginal Apprentice Board and the Canadian Construction Association. The program will provide a range of supports, in addition to the grant, to the expert trainers of Canada's future skilled trades workforce.

St. Lawrence College Career Services will discuss the various supports and resources that are available in Brockville and the surrounding area. Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program recruiters will be on site to explain the employer benefits of participation in the cooperative education process. This event will also have representatives from the employment services resource centres.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 20, 8-10 a.m.

WHERE: St. Lawrence College Brockville Campus, 2288 Parkedale Avenue

COST: Free (Advance registration is required)

Learn more with these links:

Support for hiring and training

List of Trades

Employer FAQ

Employer Checklist

To register

Starter Company Plus

Small Business Advisory Centre seeking applications

Applications are now being accepted for the next intake of our 2023 Starter Company Plus program through the Small Business Advisory Centre, which covers the northern part of Leeds Grenville including Merrickville, Rideau Lakes and Westport.

Do you have a new business that you’ve started? Or an existing business that has been registered 5 years or less and you are looking at expanding it? Or are you buying a small business? If so, you may be in luck! The next round of Starter Company Plus is open and accepting applications until June 28th at 4 pm.

For more information on the guidelines and for an application form visit the Small Business Advisory Centre website or email Cindy James.

Training spaces are limited to 12. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch to a grant committee for 9 available grants of $5,000. All applicants will be contacted by July 5th. The business plan bootcamp starts on July 10, followed by July 12th, 17th and 19th.

Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library

Grant Writing 101: Not-for-Profit Tourism Organizations

Speaker Adrienne Carter will unwrap the basics to writing a grant submission, specifically catered to not-for-profit eligibility. These tools will prepare you for a variety of grant submissions, whether it be for event planning, training opportunities, student grants, or facility improvements. This session, hosted by RTO 9, will include an extended Q&A period where Adrienne will walk participants through different grant applications, including the RTO 9 Partnership Fund application. Participants are asked to plan ahead with example grant applications and contact Meg Dabros at the RTO 9 with their suggestions prior to the date of the webinar. The for-profit tourism session will be held on June 20th.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 13, 10-11:30 a.m. online

COST: Free

Learn more or register

How to Make Your Food Product More Attractive to Retailers

This is the 3rd session of a 5-part series. You can attend one or all. It is hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre (Smiths Falls/Lanark County/north Leeds Grenville). The speaker is Nicole Haney.

Are you struggling to get retailers to bring your product into their store? You know you have a great product and your customers love it. But when you approach retailers, you’re just not hearing back from them.

In this session, Nicole guides us through how to think like a retailer, why telling retailers that your product tastes great isn’t working, and how to answer the questions retailers ask in a way that will make them eager to bring your product into their store.

WHEN: 10-11 a.m.

COST: Free

Learn more or register

Creating Impactful Displays & Shop Windows

This session is hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre (Smiths Falls/Lanark County/north Leeds Grenville) and facilitated by the Retail Duo - Diane Spiridoulias & Karen Kritze.

For decades, visual merchandisers and shop keepers have produced impactful, inspiring, and informative windows. Historically windows became a huge focus and investment for some of the big brands. In contrast, for today’s shop-keeper, the design and production of a store window can seem overwhelming, costly, and time consuming at times. This session will focus on how to Create Impactful Displays & Shop Windows. Highlights include; where to start when building themes and messaging, checklists for elements of display, working with the store layout to carefully select the right locations to utilize for displays, and a few more of The Retail Duo’s very own pro-tips!

WHEN: Tuesday, June 20, 9-10 a.m.

COST: Free

Learn more or register

Grant Writing 101: For-Profit Tourism Organizations

Speaker Adrienne Carter will unwrap the basics and help you navigate the grant writing process of a strong grant submission, specifically catered to for-profit eligibility. These tools will prepare you for a variety of grant submissions, whether it be for event planning, training opportunities, student grants, or facility improvements. This session will include an extended Q&A period where Adrienne will walk participants through different grant applications, including the RTO 9 Partnership Fund application. Participants are asked to plan ahead with example grant applications and contact Meg Dabros at the RTO 9 with their suggestions prior to the date of the webinar.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 20, 10-11:30 a.m. online

COST: Free

Learn more or register

How to Approach and Secure Retailers

This is the 4th session of 5-part series hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre (Smiths Falls/Lanark County/north Leeds Grenville). The presenter is Nicole Haney. You’ve tried emailing but retailers aren’t responding. You know you have a great product but you’re struggling to get in front of retailers and when you do, you just aren’t hearing back from anyone. In this session, Nicole shares with us the process of approaching and securing retailers that got her from zero stores to hundreds across Canada.

She’ll be guiding us through the process step by step including why you need to pick up the phone instead of emailing, what to say once you get in front of the retailer, and the one thing you can do today to secure more retail partners.

WHEN: Thursday, June 22, 10-11 a.m.

COST: Free

Learn more or register

Leeds Grenville eNews Deadlines for submitting information:

If you have an upcoming workshop, seminar, or business-related event, please email it to us in advance.

  • Submissions for the June 27th edition should be received by Monday, June 19th.
  • Submissions for the July 11th edition should be received by Tuesday, July 4th.
Subscribe to our eNewsletter
Ann Weir
Economic Development Manager
Deanna Clark
Economic Development Officer
Joanne Poll
Administration / Communications Support
Shelbi McFarlane
Business Development Officer

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