Our successes

Since 1987, FedNor has administered a variety of programs to meet the changing economic needs of Northern Ontario communities. Below you can read about FedNor-supported projects that have helped strengthen businesses and communities across this great region.


Photo - Cooling off in Nipigon’s new splash pad, a welcome addition to the Township’s Paddle to the Sea Park.

Splash Pad – Cooling Off in the Northern Sun

On warm summer days, squeals of delight can be heard ringing out from the new splash pad in the Township of Nipigon. It’s one of numerous projects in Northern Ontario that has benefitted from Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program funding to commemorate the country’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Photo - Cooling off in Nipigon’s new splash pad, a welcome addition to the Township’s Paddle to the Sea Park.

Phoenix Building Components – Supporting Renewal

Phoenix Building Components, a manufacturer and distributor of engineered wood building products, is breathing new life into former Kent Trusses in Sundridge, Ontario. On April 24, 2017 the formerly shuttered operation re-opened signaling an economic renewal in the region.

Photo - CEMI works with a variety of partners to introduce new technologies, practices, and knowledge to improve the production and safety of mines.

CEMI – 10 years of Rock Solid Results

The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) is celebrating an important milestone this year. Established a decade ago in Sudbury, the goal of the national not-for-profit organization is to address the mining industry’s challenges by introducing new technologies, practices, and knowledge to improve the production and safety of mines.

Photo - Nothing spells happiness more than a satisfied customer at Marr’s Perch Lake Lodge. Her smile says it all.

Atikokan Tourism - Reelin’ in the customers

Seeking a lifestyle change, Christine and Matt Rapp and their two children packed their bags in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the spring of 2016 and headed north. Their destination was Marr’s Perch Lake Lodge, just outside of Atikokan, where Matt had spent many vacations. However, this time upon arrival, they were greeted with the keys to the resort as its new owners, and immediately got to work.

Photo - John Coccimiglio, Manager of Applied Research and Innovation (left) at Sault College, makes adjustments to a robotic cell with the help of Process Automation Student Matthew Lacasse and Professor Ron Chartrand (right).

Robotics: Just the ticket to future success

Recognizing that technology is the wave of the future, Sault College jumped at the chance in 2013 to establish a robotics lab that would become a key component of its Process Automation Program, expanding the College's applied research capacity.

Photo - Mass Spectrometer helps Crofters Food to back up claims about the health benefits of its products.

Crofters Food Ltd: Reaping the Fruits of Labour

Taking a business to the next level is no easy feat. It takes a solid plan, drive, strong management, the right conditions, and a lending hand.

Photo - Students at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine are applying what they learn in the classroom in communities across the North.

Just what the doctor ordered

Ten years after the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) opened its doors, a clear picture is emerging of the tremendous impact the institution is having on the region.

Photo - François Nadeau demonstrates his milk cooling system.

La Fromagerie—A tasty tale

After four years of university and a trip to Asia where cheese was limited and his craving for the product grew, François Nadeau found his life's passion and threw himself in cheese-making training in Québec and in France.

Photo - Students had the opportunity to work with coaches and mentors in each sector to perfect their ideas and business plans.

Youth Entrepreneurs Shine at 2015 Enterprise Olympics

After four years of university and a trip to Asia where cheese was limited and his craving for the product grew, François Nadeau found his life's passion and threw himself in cheese-making training in Québec and in France.

Photo - Innovation is on display as Marty Warkentin, Owner from Northern Survey Supply, highlights the features of its new miner operated survey system to prospective clients at PDAC 2016. With operations in Mattawa and Sudbury.

Showcasing Northern Ontario’s mining expertise to the world

It took the perfect pitch and an elite-level business plan for the regional champions to be crowned at the 2015 Enterprise Olympics. Following an exciting competition that included Dragon's Den-type word sparring sessions, two teams of future entrepreneurs secured first place in their respective regions, an honour that included a $1000 scholarship to a Northern Ontario university or college of their choice.

Photo - The state-of-the-art innovation centre at Canadore College is helping entrepreneurs release their ingenuity and help businesses grow.

ICAMP—A Sandbox for Industry

The desire to fulfill a specific need often spurs innovation. Take the example of Mel Peddie's company, WB Melback, which specializes in industrial maintenance and support. In addition to its other services, the New Liskeard firm repairs thermal presses used in the production of oriented strand board (OSB), an engineered, wood-based panel.

Photo - The owner of Maltese Grocery in Thunder Bay, Dave Maltese, is spending a far smaller portion of his day making meat patties thanks to his new appliance, purchased under the Sustainable New Agri-Food Products (SNAP) program.

New Agri-food Program Makes Business Growth a SNAP

Launched as a pilot program in 2014, the Sustainable New Agri-Food Products (SNAP) program is designed to assist small agri-food producers and processors across Northern Ontario purchase equipment with one goal in mind.  The equipment is to be used for new products and value-added processing to help successful applicants increase production and sales, create jobs and expand their markets.

Photo - Board and staff members of the NOA meet in Sault Ste. Marie.

Northern Ontario Angels—Synonymous with Success

Rna Diagnostics, a bio-tech company based in Sudbury, is in the final testing stages of a new service that aims to improve care for cancer patients, as well as their rates of survival. According to John Connolly, VP Corporate Development, the company has developed a new test to better determine which patients are most likely to benefit from chemotherapy, helping oncologists quickly switch unresponsive patients to other treatments.

Photo - Marie-France Vézina of l’Accueil francophone of Thunder Bay searches the AFNOO directory for French-language services.

AFNOO: Dedicated to success of Northwestern Ontario Businesses

With an eye on broadening their client base and increasing their corporate profile, entrepreneurs routinely assess marketing and promotional opportunities as they arise. But who can businesses in Northwestern Ontario turn to for help in raising awareness about their products and French language services?

Photo - Les Tabachak, owner of Wildly Canadian in Thunder Bay, displays his all-natural, all-Canadian products and signature selections

Successful Francophone Program Opens New Markets

The Entrepreneurs Francophones Plus Initiative (EFP), created to help Francophone businesses reach new markets, increase commercial activity and grow their operations, was an instant hit across the region.

Photo - With keen attention to historical detail, the fully restored wooden steamship SS Bigwin looks much as it did when it traversed the waters in Lake of Bays back in the early 1900’s

SS Bigwin: Cruising Lake of Bays in Historical Style

Today, local and seasonal residents, along with visitors to the picturesque region of Muskoka, are recapturing a sense of that time and tradition with a cruise aboard the fully restored SS Bigwin on Lake of Bays.

Photo - Symboticware CEO Kirk Petroski and Technician Andrew Tiernay examine one of the company’s signature software devices, the SymBot. Weighing in at five pounds, the compact unit is used to collect and relay data from remote locations such as underground mines for monitoring mobile equipment in real time

Emerging Technology: A Sudbury ICT company is modernizing mining globally.

When Kirk Petroski started his information technology venture in 2008 to research and develop smart software applications, he realized his best opportunity for growth and success was right in his own back yard: Northern Ontario's mining industry.

Photo - A calm evening was the backdrop for a successful inaugural launch of a 400,000 cubic-metre balloon at the Timmins Stratospheric Balloon base on September 8, 2014.

Up, Up and Away in a Stratospheric Balloon: Timmins new payload

Back when a Stratospheric Balloon Base was officially opened at Timmins Airport nearly two years ago, it was anticipated the leading edge facility would give the local economy a bit of a lift. It appears the results have risen well above expectations - literally.

Photo - Robert Martel of Meadowview Alpaca Farm in Bruce Mines, Ontario, sells another package of alpaca yarn to a visitor at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

Northern Ontario at The Royal: Best in Show

The Northern Ontario Pavilion is the culmination of year-round planning by FedNor in partnership with the NECO Community Futures Development Corporation in North Bay. Since 2001, this productive partnership has evolved out of FedNor’s goal to support business growth and competitiveness, jobs, economic diversification and innovation within the agriculture and equine sectors across the North.

Photo - At PARO’s Enterprise Centre in Thunder Bay, women entrepreneurs gather for another professional development workshop that provides mentorship and networking opportunities; one of several programs the centre offers that enhance enterprise development.

PARO: Exceeding the Vision 20 Years later

After 20 years in business, PARO decided it was time to celebrate with a special full-day networking and tradeshow last November called “Exceeding the Vision”, featuring guest speakers and informative workshops. The event was capped off with an evening awards program honouring 20 successful women entrepreneurs who were once protégées of PARO programs and services.

Photo - Western Red Cedar encases the new Victoria Linklater Memorial School at North Spirit Lake First Nation in the heart of the majestic boreal forest of Northwestern Ontario.

Wood WORKS! Building for the future

It’s an inspiration that has evolved into an annual celebration. Each November, a select group of Ontario’s leading architects, engineers and project teams gather to salute creative design and construction over a diverse spectrum of buildings and structures using one of our greatest natural resources: wood.

Photo - In just over a decade, Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport has expanded its airfield into a full-fledged industrial park that's attracting new venture start-ups and companies from across central Ontario.

Ready for Take-off: Parry Sound Airport puts businesses in flight

From a 3,000 ft. paved runway and a trailer for a terminal in 1979, Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport has since become known as the 'Little Airport that Could'. Following a decade-long, five-phase plan to develop infrastructure essential for adding emergency services and attracting small and medium-sized businesses, the Airport's Industrial Expansion Project has landed a prestigious honour from the Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations (OACFDC).

Photo - Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations' Conference recently.  At the awards ceremony were Carmen DeMarco of FedNor, Paula Mangotich of Kirkland & District CDC, Jim Taylor of Nordex Explosives Ltd. and Jeff King of FedDev Ontario.

Nordex Explosives Ltd. of Kirkland Lake: Ontario’s Top Entrepreneur

Nordex Explosives Ltd., a Kirkland Lake-based manufacturer, is the only Canadian company that produces explosives for use in mining, quarries and construction. The publicly traded company has steadily built a reputation as an industry leader in the manufacturing of high quality explosive products for its own clients as well as for other explosive distributors and manufacturers.

Photo - Pamela Charron rings up another sale at the Eat Local Sudbury Co-op store.

Eat Local Sudbury: from farm gate to dinner plate

Eat Local Sudbury (ELS) is a not-for-profit cooperative with over 60 Northern Ontario producer business members from across the regions of Sudbury, Muskoka, Manitoulin, Algoma, Nipissing and Temiskaming.

Photo - Designed by renowned Aboriginal Artist Stephen Peltonen, the distinctive Loon Vodka label reflects the pristine nature and wildlife of Northern Ontario.

Distillerie Rheault Distillery: The Spirit of Entrepreneurship

The clear, distilled beverage known as vodka may trace its origins and reputation to Eastern Europe but the Northern pulp and paper community of Hearst in Northern Ontario has recently caught the attention of vodka connoisseurs right across the province.

Photo - One of Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attractions, Science North is easily recognizable for its ‘snowflake’ design created by Architect Raymond Moriyama who also designed the Ontario Science Centre.

Science North: Northern Ontario’s premiere tourist attraction turns 30

Long before Sudbury’s famous science centre moved off the drawing board and onto the picturesque shores of Ramsey Lake in downtown Sudbury, there was considerable apprehension that such a grand vision could be realized.

Photo - North Bay Mayor Al MacDonald and Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Jay Aspin watch as FedNor Youth Intern and WipWare technical specialist Corey Sloan demonstrates how a photoanalysis system developed by the company is used to measure the effectiveness of rock blasting in mining.

WipWare Inc: A North Bay company that “measures up” globally

“Because you can’t manage what you can’t measure”, is more than just a catchy marketing brand or corporate slogan. For an innovative software and systems technology company based in North Bay, Ontario, it is a plain-spoken and proven philosophy.

Photo - Nestled along pristine waterways and amid stately pine trees, the Town of Red Lake is the most north-westerly municipality in Ontario and home to one of the richest gold mining regions in the world.

Gold and Natural Gas: building a pipeline to better business in Red Lake

The half dozen town sites that make up the Municipality of Red Lake have been built historically by mining high grade gold ore in this beautiful wilderness region of northwestern Ontario.

Photo - The recently expanded boardwalk and docking slips in the Town of Little Current is one of several destinations and harbours on Manitoulin Island that has boaters and sailors charting a course for the North Channel of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay every summer.

Charting a Course: Lake Huron’s North Channel is a boater’s paradise

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a DVD promoting marine tourism and the North Channel marine communities of Lake Huron has proven to be worth more than ten-fold.

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