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Feds announce money for northern Ontario tourism projects

Thunder Bay waterfront development is among the recipients.
Cushing Lake resort
Cushing Lake Resort near Lac des Mille Lacs will upgrade its facilities with a $90,000 federal contribution (Facebook/Cushing L. Resort)

OTTAWA — This year will see a dramatic drop in tourism in Canada because of travel restrictions related to COVID-19, but the federal government has announced funding to help the northern Ontario tourism sector build for the future.

The minister responsible for FedNor, Melanie Joly, on Sunday announced $7.6 million for municipalities, organizations and companies across northwestern and northeastern Ontario.

Among the larger grants, the City of Thunder Bay receives $750,000 for infrastructure to support the development of Prince Arthur's Landing Phase 2 Cultural Campus on the waterfront.

The City of Kenora is getting $1 million to launch Phase IV of its community downtown revitalization strategy.

Elsewhere, Friends of White Otter Castle receives $185,000 to complete essential restorations and upgrades to the historic log structure north of Atikokan.

The Atikokan Economic Development Corporation gets $185,000 to purchase a custom-designed mobile event stage to create tourism opportunities, a further $82,000 to implement a marketing plan that includes updated highway signage, print and video materials, and $172,000 to hire a community economic development officer for three years.

Cushing Lake Resort, near Lac des Mille Lacs, will use a $90,000 FedNor contribution for improvements including a new water filtration system, docks, electrical upgrades and safety enhancements. 

Among other grants, the government  is giving North of Superior Tourism Association $328,000 to hire a coordinator for three years to implement the Lake Superior North Shore Tourism Strategy, and $60,000 to develop the Lake Superior Circle Tour website and mobile app.

Indigenous Tourism Ontario gets $200,000 to implement a culinary tourism strategy.

Minister Joly said "Our tourism sector and the 1.8 million people it employs across Canada have been hit hard by COVID-19, and we're here for them. We're focused on ensuring that businesses, organizations and local governments are ready to reopen the industry and help Canadian tourism come roaring back."