Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | June 20, 2017
Business Profile
Top feature photo: Owner Fiona McKean welcomes you from the verandah of the fully renovated main building and dining room (below) overlooking Opinicon Lake. At right, the striking Alford Room banquet facility.

Above: the lookout deck near the waterfront wedding alter. Another deck area features a pull-out movie screen. Below: the welcoming and nostalgic Tiki Lounge and two cottages.

Amber Vanderschuit serves up ice cream in a waffle cone made on site. 

The Opinicon makes a triumphant return  
CHAFFEY'S LOCK - The Opinicon Dining & Resort - this region's much-loved, historic Rideau Canal destination - is shiny, new and full of character. 

After more than two years of in-depth restoration work, this picturesque site is once again offering unique accommodations, overnight dockage, live entertainment, an ice cream, bakery and gift shop, playground, banquet and meeting facilities, pub, lounge and fine dining overlooking the lake. The restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"We're back!" says owner Fiona McKean, the passionate driving force behind this massive and amazingly authentic rejuvenation project. "We've been working so hard to get where we are now. It's great to be able to show people what we've done and see the energy returning to this place."

Fiona and her husband Tobias Lutke, CEO of Shopify, purchased the property in 2015. It has been a long road and more improvements are planned over the next 18 months. A pool is currently under construction. 

"We have tons of plans for the summer with live music and special events. There are so many possibilities and it's only going to get better," she says. "We offer a great time."

Fiona is making sure this getaway  is a combination of nostalgia and modern comforts. Preserving the look and feel was essential, right down to the decor i n the 16 cottages, ranging from a single cabin to a four-bedroom unit. 

"These places still need to exist," Fiona says of the waterside resort with roots dating back to the late 1800s. "There has to be something between camping and skyscrapers."

"I used to come here as a kid so there are memories but it's beyond that. It has to do with the social enterprise. That is very important to me. There is a sense of community and sustainability. The Opinicon is providing 110 good jobs," says Fiona.

Bringing the 16-acre property up to code has been challenging but Fiona jokes "it should be good for another 200 years." Upgrades yes, but it maintains the feel of the original resort.

"We hope everyone will come on site and say, 'Oh! It looks like the Opinicon I remember'," says Fiona. 

To learn more, book the perfect getaway, or make reservations for breakfast, lunch or dinner visit their website, call 613-359-5233 or send them an email. Follow Fiona and her team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Leeds Grenville entrepreneurs will be their own boss through the Summer Company program. They are shown here with the Leeds & Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre team of Wendy Onstein, right, Sean Gray, second from right, Brodie Church, left, and Jeanette Johnston, second from left. 
Summer Company entrepreneurs offering a host of different services

There are 14 individuals with a variety of business plans through the Leeds & Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre (LGSBEC). The services and products range from horseback riding lessons, lawn care and maintenance, graphics, social media and website design, soap creations, athletic apparel, baked goods, locally roasted coffee beans, sound and lighting equipment rentals and special event hairstyling.

Learn more about these talented young business owners and how to contact them for their services on our Leeds Grenville Community Media Releases page. To contact the Enterprise Centre email Sean Gray or Jeanette Johnston or call 613-342-8772, ext. 4432 or 4471.
Funding Opportunities
Twenty20/Eastern Ontario Youth STEM program

Qualifying rural Eastern Ontario manufacturers can be eligible for up to $20K to created funded positions for recent graduates of post-secondary institutions, with an emphasis on attracting female STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and technical skilled trades graduates. 

Deadline to apply: June 30, 2017
Learn more about this and how to register on our Funding Programs and Incentives page.
Workshops and Seminars
Still time to register for the le Boat breakfast and Teeny Tiny Summit

le Boat presentation: Join the excitement in welcoming le Boat, Europe's largest operator of self-driving boating vacations to the Rideau Canal. Cheryl Brown, Managing Director of le Boat, will share company highlights on the business, its clients and cruising the Rideau Canal.  

WHEN: Wednesday, June 28. Breakfast begins at 7 a.m. Presentation at 7:20 a.m.
Merrickville Community Hall
COST: Free

The Teeny Tiny Summit features keynote speaker Peter Kenyon, a rural revitalization enthusiast. Local experts will join him in presentations on strategic planning to build business and generate a positive vibe in small communities. 

WHEN: Wednesday, June 28, Registration begins at 8 a.m. Event: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
WHERE: Merrickville Community Centre
COST: $32
DEADLINE TO REGISTER: Friday, June 23rd.

Separate registration is required for each event
Learn more about this session and how to register on our Workshops and Seminars page.
Workshops and Seminars