Parks in Hawkesbury and tourism in Vankleek Hill are getting a boost from grants provided by Ottawa Tourism – including more than a dozen in the Prescott-Russell region.

On October 6, Ottawa Tourism announced support for 55 tourism businesses and organizations in Ottawa and the Prescott-Russell region to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future growth. Ottawa Tourism received $5.5 million from FedDev Ontario to deliver the support, as part of a Government of Canada contribution of more than $78 million, through the Tourism Relief Fund.

Parks and the downtown core in the Town of Hawkesbury are major beneficiaries of the grants from Ottawa Tourism, with four separate projects receiving funding – including three in the downtown core.

The Commission de la zone d’amélioration commerciale de Hawkesbury will receive $100,000 to support the development of a project to celebrate the municipality’s francophone and bilingual heritage. The project includes revitalization, local historical and anecdotal signage, and the synergistic integration of local art within the downtown area.

The Green Beaver pop-up park located on Hawkesbury’s Main Street will receive a grant of $100,000 to create a new unique visitor experience to draw visitors downtown. The project will include a cheese-tasting experience and storytelling exhibit to highlight the region’s rich heritage and unique bilingual culture.

Place des pionniers park in downtown Hawkesbury will also get an upgrade, thanks to a grant of $100,000 given by Ottawa Tourism to the Hawkesbury Chamber of Commerce. The project will support the redevelopment and revitalization of the park to include an outdoor bistro-style dining space and tourism welcome plaza. A local businessman has donated space adjoining the park to allow for the expansion (see separate story here).

Hawkesbury’s Parc de la Confédération – located on the Ottawa River at the base of the Long Sault Bridge connecting the town to the Province of Québec – is also receiving funding. A $100,000 grant from Ottawa Tourism to the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario de Prescott et Russell will provide for upgrades to the large gazebo structure at the park on Chenail Island, including illumination and animation.

Business and tourism in Vankleek Hill are also getting support from Ottawa Tourism – including a project to relocate the village’s tourism centre. The Vankleek Hill Business and Merchant Association is receiving $100,000 to help boost tourism in the ‘Gingerbread Capital of Ontario’. The project will modernize and relocate the tourism information centre in Vankleek Hill to a new permanent location, as well as create self-guided historic tours of the village.

Three businesses in Vankleek Hill will receive help attracting visitors through Ottawa Tourism grants.

Beau’s Brewery, located in Vankleek Hill’s industrial park, is receiving a grant of $100,000 for a project to support the redevelopment of warehousing space into a tasting room. The project includes event space to host tours highlighting products of local drink producers.

Vankleek Hill Vineyard is receiving a grant of $100,000 to support facility upgrades and to allow for year-round operation. The upgrades will include the expansion of the vineyard’s indoor tasting space, construction of eco-friendly and gender-neutral washrooms, outdoor trails and a Yurt glamping experience.

Vankleek’s Hill’s historic Windsor Tavern will both maintain its heritage and modernize, thanks to a $75,000 grant received from Ottawa Tourism. The project will support the renovation of the heritage-grade building, with energy-efficiency upgrades and revitalization, as well as the expansion of its live music space for improved performances.

A number of other projects in Prescott-Russell will also receive support through grants from Ottawa Tourism, including:

  • The Lefaivre Marina will receive an upgrade with the help of a $100,000 grant provided by Ottawa Tourism to the Township of Alfred and Plantagenet. The project will create a better visitor experience by upgrading and retrofitting infrastructure at the marina, including adding washrooms and building a walking trail system along the Ottawa River.
  • The Prescott and Russell Recreational Trail is receiving a $100,000 grant to support the purchase of key infrastructure and equipment for the implementation of two e-bike and regular bicycle rental and charging stations along the trail.
  • Locali.t, based in Rockland, is receiving $100,000 for a project to create tourism itineraries through data collection and analysis of rural tourism business, visitation, and clientele patterns. Locali.t is a not-for-profit organization which provides destination development, marketing and management support to empower municipalities to leverage tourism as a driver of economic development.
  • St-Albert Cheese will receive $100,000 for a project that will support upgrading and renovating the visitor interpretation and observation floor (top floor), adding a virtual tour and training retired personnel to present the cheese factory’s story and production processes.
  • The Popsilos project in Eastern Ontario is receiving a grant of $100,000 to create a new silo artwork in the region and repair artwork on existing silos that have degraded over time.