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Economic Development eNews | September 20, 2022

Business Profile

Sirens Boatworks is Passionate about Watercraft Restoration

MERRICKVILLE - Andrew Lee understands how much people love their boats.

That's why he and his growing team at Sirens Boatworks are dedicated to rebuilding and restoring boats of all types and sizes to their full glory with a focus on wood vessels. Customers come from across Canada and the US. for Sirens craftsmanship.

"I admit we're very passionate about it," says Andrew, who relocated his business to Merrickville overlooking the Rideau Canal waterway 8 years ago.

"It has always been my dream to be the mecca of wooden boats," he says. "There are huge heartstrings between people and their boats. We have so many customers who won't let anyone but us touch their boats."

Because of the diverse talents of Andrew and his crew, Sirens Boatworks has become one of the largest boat restoration companies in Ontario and eastern Canada. There is no part of a vessel they can't restore, including vintage craft. They specialize in full watercraft rebuilding and restoration, high-detail diagnostics, custom mechanical work and so much more. 

Andrew started his company in Montreal 15 years ago, not long after graduating from cabinet making. At the time, Andrew's dad, Jim, had a friend who was fixing up a 1920s tugboat. That's when Andrew got the bug for restoring heritage vessels.

"That was my first intro to "the scene." It opened my eyes to the fact there are a lot of boats and a lot of wood out there," he says. Soon he was getting calls to do on-site work on vessels in Ontario and eventually Andrew set up shop in Brighton. "I just kept getting great jobs," he says, including unique watercraft from a large New Hampshire boat collector. He also began doing a lot of work for Merrickville's landmark Aylings Marina and eventually moved to set up shop next door.

Today, Andrew operates more than 400 feet of dock space and offers a lounge and showers for his marina customers. Sirens is expanding its boat winterization service as well as yard and covered storage.

They are known for buying, selling and brokering wooden boats of all sizes, from canoes to 60-foot and larger yachts. They work with yacht designers and customers to create high-end watercraft using modern technologies while retaining the real wooden boat look and feel.

Andrew's business is growing and he continues to recruit new staff to his existing 10-member team. It's also a family affair. His dad is the company's administrator / buyer and mom Cheryl Lee is head of all upholstery restoration.

"I love being in Merrickville and it's great to see more people interested in what we do and in vintage watercraft," says Andrew.  

Learn more about Sirens Boatworks by visiting their website, check out their Facebook page, send them an email or give them a call at 613-661-6964. Sirens is located at 253 Amelia Street in Merrickville, right on the north bank of the Rideau waterway.

Photo below: Project Manager Spartan Rubacha installs the forward cabin ceiling in Skipper, a custom built replica of a 1930s Norse, a build that has brought Sirens national and international acclaim.

Top feature photo: Sirens Boatworks owner Andrew Lee on one of the wood vessels restored by his company.

Above photo: Andrew Stoll works on the hull of a 38-foot Wharram catamaran, replacing rotten wood with new cedar.  Below: Lead mechanic Pat Luloff works on a Chrysler 318 engine modified for salt water use.


International Plowing Match Opens in North Grenville

KEMPTVILLE – The International Plowing Match and Rural Expo opens TODAY, Tuesday, September 20th! 


One of the region’s largest events will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Saturday, September 24th with hundreds of exhibitors to see, including the Leeds Grenville Regional Showcase coordinated by the Economic Development Office.


The Regional showcase features interactive displays along with shows and demonstrations, including a green screen digital photo booth, agriculture in virtual reality to test your skills, along with Rideau Lakes Fire & Rescue showing how to use fire extinguishers. There are daily demonstrations by a blacksmith, Girl Guides from Oxford Mills and the Canadian Raptor Conservatory with birds of prey in action. 


Part of the showcase also features a "Made in Leeds Grenville" with companies Arbru Solar Brewery, Arrow it Forward, Arctic Acres, Bushgarden Cheese, Creative Gardens Floral, Millers Bay Farm, Mrs. McGarrigle's Fine Foods, Pickle & Myrrh, Windmill Brewery, Wendy’s Country Market, Westport Brewery and more.


Look for the Leeds Grenville banners and come join in the fun! 


For more information visit the IPM websiteTickets available to purchase at the gate.

Photo below: Made in Leeds Grenville product display table in the main United Counties tent. 

Visit Digital Services Reps at the IPM

If you are looking to get some quick digital tips, or to meet digital support staff in the region, stop by the Digital Main Street booth in the Leeds Grenville Showcase at the International Plowing Match which opened today!

Our digital specialists will be in the booth and can help you determine if you are eligible for grant funding as well as answer any questions you might have about Digital Main Street programs. Specialists are, from left to right, Dana Valentyne, Chelsea Kerr, Elizabeth Lawless, Reid Stobo, Shelbi McFarlane, Cyndy Bolton, Ronnie Quesnel, Justin St. Pierre and Matt Gilmer.

Digital support staff will be available daily between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Leeds Grenville Showcase main tent area.

Reach out to Cyndy today for more information cyndy.bolton@uclg.on.ca 613-342-3840 x 5368. 

Book a Free Consultation

Leadership Award

Know a Volunteer Leader in Your Community?

The deadline for the annual Bill Thake Memorial Award for Economic Development is fast approaching. The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office is asking individuals, councils and economic development committees to identify candidates for this esteemed award.


Many volunteers help to improve the economic vitality of Leeds Grenville. Our goal is 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.

For more information and nomination forms in both Word and PDF visit our Summit 2022 webpage

The Economic Development Leadership Award will be presented at the annual Economic Development Summit on November 18, 2022.

The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, September 30, at 4 p.m.

Workforce Development

Attention Employers: Get Your Free Booth!

Are you hiring for the Fall and Winter seasons? The Employment + Education Centre has teamed up with CSE Consulting to provide a platform to talk with and collect applications from job seekers across Leeds Grenville. Meet qualified candidates and hire your new team members at the Virtual Job Fair. 

About a dozen area companies have registered.

WHEN: Thursday, September 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information and to register a free booth, email Jayme at the Employment + Education Centre. If you are in the Prescott or Kemptville area email Rod at CSE Consulting.

Starter Company

Online Information Sessions and Now Accepting Applications

How would it feel to increase your profits, be more focused and to stop being overwhelmed?

Would obtaining an extra $5,000 in funding to expand or enhance your business benefit you?

For more information and to learn how to apply, visit the website and attend an upcoming Information Session.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 28, 12 noon to 1 p.m. or Thursday, October 6, 4-5 p.m.

To learn more or to register
Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library

Business Model Canvas Webinar

The Business Model Canvas is a tool that allows entrepreneurs to visualize, design, and evaluate their business model. It helps identify how the different components of business relate to each other. Use it to decide where to focus time and energy as the business develops. The speaker is Carey McMaster, owner of Traicon, and the webinar is hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre. Using the nine building blocks of the Business Model Canvas, participants will be able to answer a number of questions about customer service and relationships, services that will be provided, revenue streams, key activities and resources.

WHEN: Thursday, October 6, 9-10:30 a.m. 

COST: Free

To register

Starting a Small Business Information Session

This session is delivered by the Small Business Advisory Centre and hosted by Keys Employment Services. Cindy James from the centre will discuss topics including government regulations, ownership types, the importance of a business plan and what it takes to operate a small business. She will also provide an overview of a start-up checklist.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 11, 10-11 a.m.

WHERE: 10 Perth Street, Elgin

COST: Free

To register contact Leanna Thomas at 613-359-1140 or send her an email.

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 October 4th edition should be received by Monday, September 26th. 
  • Submissions for the October 18th edition should be received by Friday, October 7th.
Ann Weir
Economic Development Manager
Deanna Clark
Economic Development Officer
Joanne Poll
Administration / Communications Support
Shelbi McFarlane
Business Development Officer

32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 | econdev@uclg.on.ca