Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | June 6, 2017
Business Profile
Big Rideau Lake Boat Rentals go extra mile 
to make on-the-water holidays unforgettable 
PORTLAND - Heather and Rob Heins love being on the water so they've made it their business to get you out cruising on the Rideau Canal system.

The couple launched Big Rideau Lake Boat Rentals 21 years ago. "My family built the very first sailing ships ever built in Canada, with the first one named the Miramichi, so being on the water is in my blood," says Heather.

Located on the Rideau Canal system, they have six spacious houseboats, ranging from 32 to 42 feet in length, and three 22-foot pontoon boats. Boats are equipped with GPS tablets with the Navionics app as well as paper maps to negotiate the lakes and lock stations. The goal is to offer all the amenities for a carefree, enjoyable time on the water.

"People have come back and told me it was the best vacation they've ever had," says Heather. "They're ecstatic and completely relaxed coming off these boats."

The couple lives at their marina and are familiar with the waterway and what is needed for safe navigation. Boats are propelled by 115 high-efficiency, four-stroke outboard motors. All vessels have LED lights, back-up batteries, fully-equipped kitchens (dishes, cutlery, microwave, cooktop, fridge and freezer), three-piece bathrooms and comfortable sofas folding out into beds. 

Each vessel has a propane BBQ, patio table and chairs and deck chairs for rooftop enjoyment. Some boats are wheelchair and scooter accessible. The cabins are air conditioned.  Bedding and towel kits are available or you can bring your own.  Cruisers sleep four to six.  This season boats will have a single-person Pelican kayak for those who want to explore.

Spending days or weeks floating on the water takes you away from the noise of the city, says Heather. There is a lot to see and do along the Rideau Heritage Route. 

"Everyone says the beauty is beyond their expectations," she says, adding "some describe their time on the historic waterway as an unforgettable voyage."

Learn more about this Leeds Grenville business by visiting their website . Contact Heather and Rob via email or give them a call at 613-812-7653. Their business overlooks Big Rideau Lake at 15 Water Street in Portland.

Rob and Heather relax over lunch in one of their spacious units.
T op feature photo: Heather and Rob Heins with the Santa Maria. Houseboats rent by the week. Pontoon boats rent by the day or week.

A kitchen with a breakfast bar, full-sized fridge.

Three-piece bathrooms with porcelain toilets.

Upper and Lower seating areas with table and chairs and upper deck chairs provided.

A boating license is preferred but not required by law. Training, permits and safety equipment, including life vests, are provided at no additional cost.


Tourism Representative Aleisha Newman at the new tourism kiosk at Mallorytown ONroute North. See the kiosk and the entire team in the images below.
Newly-designed ONroute Tourism Kiosks are open
MALLORYTOWN - The tourism kiosks operated by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Office are once again open for the summer season at both Mallorytown South and Mallorytown North ONroute Centres on Highway 401 until the end of August. 

This is the 6th consecutive year the kiosks have been staffed to welcome and inform residents and travellers of what events and attractions are found in the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Waterways region. Tourism Representatives are there to help find nearby landmarks, amenities and accommodations.

Approximately 30,000 vehicles per day travel this section of highway with the number increasing during the tourism season. 

The Counties' Economic Development Office formed a partnership in 2011 with the ONroute host company HK (HMS Host / Kilmer) Travel Centres L.P., along with the province, including the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Transportation and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation.

Local event and attraction coordinators are encouraged to contact the Leeds Grenville Economic Develoment Office if they have promotional materials to display at the kiosks. Please call 613-342-3840, ext. 5362, for more information or email administrator Joanne Poll. We are looking for event information to share. Posters and information can be sent to us via email. 

From left: Joe Lanctot, Mallorytown Centres Operations Manager; Joanne Poll, Administrator with the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office; Tourism Representatives Sarah Curry, Victoria Beck, Shannon Bleakney (program supervisor) and Aleisha Newman; Richer Martel, HK Travel Centres District Director.

The original Bill Thake Memorial Award for Economic Development Leadership.
Nominate a candidate from your community
The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office is asking individuals, councils and economic development committees to identify candidates for the Bill Thake Memorial Award for Economic Development Leadership.

Before heading off on summer vacation, talk to colleagues and community members about who is deserving of this award in your municipality. There are many volunteers helping to improve the economic vitality of Leeds Grenville. We would like to honour them for their ongoing efforts. 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 econdev@uclg.on.ca or call Deanna Clark at 613-342-3840, ext. 5360. Nominations formally open in early August and an online link for nomination forms will appear in this newsletter at that time. 

The submission deadline is Friday, September 29th.  The award will be presented at the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Summit on Friday, November 17th, 2017.
Funding  Opportunities
Twenty20 Skilled Trades Job Creation Pilot for advanced manufacturers 

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

Deadline to apply: Friday, June 30th

The pilot program is supported with a $488,000 funding contribution through the Eastern Ontario Development Program's Collaborative Economic Development Projects (CEDP) stream. It is delivered across Eastern Ontario by the Northumberland Manufacturers' Association (NMA). This employer job creation grant is designed to help ensure competitive access to and the retention of young talent. 
Business Opportunities
Starter Company Plus helps launch your business
Sign up now for the second intake round of this new program offered through the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre. There are 10 spaces left for the August 30th session. You are eligible if you are an Ontario resident aged 18 and over, not attending school or working in another job more than 20 hours per week, or in your first five years of business.

Successful candidates receive one-on-one guidance, mentoring with a local successful entrepreneur, access to business plan and budgeting workshops and funding of up to $5,000. 
Learn more about this program and how to apply by visiting the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre's website.

Upcoming Events

Business showcase this Friday and Saturday
The Augusta Township ~ Edwardsburgh Cardinal ~ Prescott Business Showcase and Expo is this weekend.

WHEN: Friday, June 9, 6-9 p.m., 
Saturday, June 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Ingredion Centre, 4050 Dishaw Street, Cardinal
COST: Free
EXHIBITOR COST: $80 for an 8 x 8 space with table and chairs (inquire for larger size)

Learn more on our Workshops and Seminars page.

Still time to register for the Teeny Tiny Summit 
The second Teeny Tiny Summit in Leeds Grenville will feature keynote inspirational speaker Peter Kenyon, a rural revitalization enthusiast who has visited over 1,000 rural communities in 50 countries.

Local experts will join him to share their knowledge on key issues for small communities and rural areas, including municipal-volunteer relationships, risk management, small village servicing, big data for small places, strategic planning without tears and finding your community's story and telling it. Prior to the Summit there will be a breakfast and special presentation (see below).

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

le Boat Who's On Board: 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 the decision to start cruising the Rideau Canal. 

WHEN: Wednesday, June 28. Limited seats available, advanced registration required
Breakfast: 7 a.m.
Presentation: 7:20 a.m. 
WHERE: Merrickville Community Centre
COST: Free

Learn more and register by visiting our Workshops and Seminars page.

Workshops and Seminars