Orillia, Ontario: Building A Sustainable Business Community

Orillia is a city located in the province of Ontario, Canada. It is approximately 30 kilometres (18 miles) northeast of Barrie in Simcoe County and is known for its natural beauty and rich history. It is at the point where Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe meet. 


The city is in Simcoe County but not part of that county. It is a single-tier community in the Huronia area in Ontario. 33,411 people lived there in 2021.


It became a village in 1867, but the area, now known as the City of Orillia, has a past that goes back at least a few thousand years. Archaeologists have found proof that the Huron and Iroquois fished in the area more than 4,000 years ago. 


They have also found sites Aboriginal people used for trade, hunting, and fishing for centuries. "Sunshine City" has a large waterfront that brings in many people yearly. There are also many festivals and other cultural events that happen there every year. 


Casino Rama is the biggest employer in the area. Still, Orillia's economy is made up of many different types of businesses, such as production, government services, customer service, and tourism.


Two lakes link to each other in Orillia: Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching. The Trent-Severn Waterway goes through both lakes. If you go north on Lake Couchiching and then through three locks, you'll reach Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. 


This is where North America's only marine railway still in use can be found. From the southeast corner of Lake Simcoe, the route to Lake Ontario has many locks. 


These include two of the biggest hydraulic lift locks in the world, the Peterborough Lift Lock and the Kirkfield Lift Lock. You can reach the Atlantic Ocean from either of these Great Lakes by going to the St. Lawrence River.


History of Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Orillia has a long and rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by the Huron and Iroquois peoples, who used the region for fishing, trading, and hunting. In the 19th century, European settlers arrived, and Orillia was formally incorporated as a village in 1867.


The city's history is closely tied to its location at the confluence of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe, part of the Trent-Severn Waterway. This strategic location made Orillia an important hub for transportation and commerce.


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Orillia grew rapidly, becoming a town in 1875 and a city in 1969. The city's economy diversified, with manufacturing, government services, and tourism becoming important.


Orillia has also played a significant role in Canadian culture and history. The city inspired the fictional town of Mariposa in Stephen Leacock's classic book Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. In June 1912, Orillia was in second place worldwide for implementing daylight saving time.


Today, Orillia is known as the "Sunshine City" and is a popular tourist destination. Its waterfront, annual festivals, and cultural attractions draw visitors nationwide and worldwide.


Geography of Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Orillia, Ontario, Canada, is located at the confluence of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe, both of which are part of the Trent-Severn Waterway. 


Orillia is approximately 30 kilometres (18 miles) northeast of Barrie and 143 kilometres (89 miles) north of Toronto. Its latitude is 44.608246, and its longitude is -79.419678.



Orillia has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Dfb), characterized by cold winters and warm summers.



The city is situated at the junction of the two lakes, which provides a scenic waterfront and opportunities for recreation and active vacation. The surrounding area is generally flat, with some hills and valleys.


Demographics of Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Orillia, Ontario, Canada, has a diverse population with several demographic characteristics. Here are some key statistics:


Population and Density

  • Population: As of the 2021 Census, Orillia has a total population of 33,411.
  • Population Density: The population density of Orillia is 1,171.1/km² (3,033.1/sq mi).


Age Distribution

  • Median Age: The median age of the population in Orillia is 46.8 years.


Economy of Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Orillia, Ontario, Canada's diverse economy includes several key industries. Here are some key points about the economy of Orillia:

  1. Service Industries: Orillia's economy is largely based on service industries, including professional services, government services, and tourism.
  2. Manufacturing: The city is also known for its manufacturing sector, with several major companies operating in the area, including CCI Thermal Technologies, Dorr-Oliver Eimco, Kubota Metal Corporation, Parker Hannifin, Pliant Corporation, Smiths Aerospace Components, and TI Group Automotive Systems.
  3. Government Services: Government services are another significant contributor to the local economy, with the Ontario Provincial Police headquarters and the Huronia Regional Centre being major employers.
  4. Tourism: Tourism is a significant sector in Orillia, with the city's waterfront and recreational opportunities attracting visitors from across the region.
  5. Real Estate: The real estate market in Orillia is active, with a mix of older homes and newer developments available. The city has a strong economy and offers many recreational opportunities, making it a popular choice for residents and tourists.
  6. Investment: In 2022, the Ontario government welcomed EcoPoly Properties Inc., a producer and supplier of plastic products, ' an investment of over $32 million in Orillia.
  7. Median Household Income: The median household income in Orillia is $55,802, below the Ontario provincial average of $74,287.
  8. Employment: The largest employer in the area is Casino Rama, located on the nearby reserve land of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. Other major employers include manufacturing companies and government services.


Orillia's economy combines various industries, providing diverse job opportunities and contributing to the city's growth and development.


Education in Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Orillia, Ontario, Canada, offers a range of education opportunities for learners of all ages, from preschool to post-secondary. Here are some key points about education in Orillia:


Elementary Education

  • Elementary Schools: Orillia has several elementary schools, including Goodfellow Elementary School and Couchiching Heights School.


Post-Secondary Education

  • Lakehead University: Orillia is home to Lakehead University, which operates two locations: one in the historic centre of downtown and a main campus with an environmentally friendly building at its University Avenue location in West Orillia.
  • Georgian College: The city is also home to the Orillia campus of Georgian College of Applied Arts & Technology, which offers a range of programs.


Pre-School and Private Education

  • Pre-Schools: There are several pre-schools in Orillia, including Treasure Garden Childcare Center and Little Lamb Early Learning School.
  • Private Schools: Orillia has several private schools, including Medic Sense and Orillia Christian School.


School Boards

  • Simcoe County District School Board: The Simcoe County District School Board provides public education in Orillia.
  • Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board: The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board also provides public education in Orillia.


Bachelor of Education Programs

  • Lakehead University: Lakehead University offers Bachelor of Education degree programs in Orillia, which help learners meet their goals and the goals of future learners.


Orillia offers diverse education opportunities, from pre-school to post-secondary, providing learners with various choices to suit their needs and goals.


Transport System in Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Orillia, Ontario, Canada, has a public transportation system operated by TOK Transit under contract with the City of Orillia. Here are some key points about the transport system in Orillia:

  • Orillia Transit: The city has a public transportation system with six routes. Buses depart from the downtown terminal on West Street and Mississauga Street.
  • Orillia Wheelchair Limousine Service (OWLS) provides special needs busing service for people with physical mobility limitations who cannot use traditional public transit.


Orillia's public transportation system is convenient and accessible for residents and visitors.


Living in Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Orillia, Ontario, Canada, is a city in Ontario, Canada. Here are some key points about living in Orillia:

  • Climate: Orillia has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Dfb), characterized by cold winters and warm summers.
  • Properties: Orillia offers a mix of older homes and newer developments. Popular areas include Couchiching Point, which has lakefront homes, and Tafton, which has lakeside views and large lots.
  • Public Transit: Orillia has a public transportation system with several bus routes connecting the city to nearby communities. There is also a small airport offering flights to Toronto and other destinations.
  • Service Industries: The city's economy is largely based on service industries, including professional services, government services, and tourism.
  • Manufacturing: The city has some manufacturing businesses, but the sector is less prominent than service industries.
  • Festivals: Orillia hosts several festivals, including the Mariposa Folk Festival, the Jazz & Blues Festival, and the Orillia Winter Carnival.
  • Art Galleries and Museums: The city has several art galleries and museums, including the Orillia Museum of Art and History, the Orillia Opera House, and the Couchiching Conservatory of Music.
  • Outdoor Activities: Orillia offers various recreational opportunities, including boating and fishing on Lake Simcoe, hiking and biking in nearby forests and parks, and golfing at one of the city's many golf courses.
  • Average Cost of Living: The average cost of living in Orillia for a single person who rents is $3,666/month.
  • Average Salary: The average salary in Orillia is $45,480, 16.5% lower than the Canadian average salary of $54,450.
  • Job Opportunities: Orillia has job opportunities in various sectors, including healthcare, education, and manufacturing. Some major employers include VON Canada, Scotiabank, and Home Depot.


Orillia offers cultural, recreational, and economic opportunities, making it a great place to live and work.


Healthcare in Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Orillia, Ontario, Canada, offers various healthcare services and facilities. Here are some key points about healthcare in Orillia:


Healthcare Facilities

  • Soldier's Memorial Hospital: A major hospital providing various medical services, including emergency care, surgery, and diagnostic imaging.
  • Couchiching Ontario Health Team Care Clinic: A clinic offering urgent care services, including pediatric appointments with nurse practitioners and other healthcare services.
  • Orillia Synergy Healthcare is a multidisciplinary clinic offering chiropractic, naturopathy, registered massage therapy, physiotherapy, and more.
  • ParaMed Orillia Home Health Care: A provider of home health care and wellness services, including personal support workers, nurses, and other medical and non-medical support services.
  • Telehealth Ontario: A service offering telemedicine consultations with healthcare professionals.
  • Good Doctors: A virtual telemedicine clinic with a nurse or clinical assistant on site.
  • Forest Walk-In Clinic: A walk-in clinic offering medical services.


Orillia offers various healthcare services and facilities to support its residents' and visitors' health and well-being.


Tourist places in Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Orillia, Ontario, Canada, offers a variety of tourist attractions and activities. Here are some of the top places to visit and things to do:

  1. Casino Rama: Experience the thrill of 192,000 square feet of fun and excitement with over 120 gaming tables and 2,300 slot machines.
  2. Mariposa Market: Explore five historic shops, including a quaint café, bakeshop, candy shop, Victorian soap and candle store, and a collectibles shop celebrating Christmas all year round.
  3. Orillia Opera House: Enjoy a play or any choice of entertainment in this historic building built in 1895.
  4. Stephen Leacock Museum: Learn about the life and works of the famous Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock in his summer home, which now offers family programs and a Children’s Discovery Place.
  5. Orillia Museum of Art & History: Discover works of art by the Group of Seven and historic artifacts from Orillia’s past in this designated heritage building.
  6. Ontario Provincial Police Museum: Explore the history of the Ontario Provincial Police through engaging displays and try on a uniform in the dress-up area.
  7. Couchiching Beach Park: Enjoy the beautiful waterfront and recreational activities such as swimming, biking, and picnicking10.
  8. Leacock Museum National Historic Site: Visit the summer home of Stephen Leacock and enjoy family programs and Children’s Discovery Place.
  9. Bass Lake Provincial Park: Enjoy camping, hiking, and water sports in this picturesque park.
  10. Mnjikaning Fish Weirs National Historic Site: Learn about the Huron-Wendat people's history and fishing practices.
  11. Tudhope Park: Enjoy music festivals, free Sunday evening bank concerts, and bicycle rentals in this beautiful park.
  12. Muskoka Wildlife Centre: Explore the wonders of nature through interactive exhibits and animal encounters10.
  13. Big Curves Acres Farm: Take a horse-drawn wagon tour and see rare minor breeds of animals in their natural environment10.


These are just a few of Orillia's many attractions and activities.


Local Food of Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Orillia is known as a "foodie haven" with diverse dining options, from famous cafes and bakeries to craft breweries, late-night speakeasies, and fine dining restaurants. Some of the top local restaurants in Orillia include:

  • Lot 88 Steakhouse & Bar - A classic steakhouse with a modern twist, offering Certified Angus Beef and unique lava rock grill options.
  • Chef Simon's Kitchen - An authentic Vietnamese restaurant serving flavorful northern Vietnamese cuisine.
  • Theo's Eatery - A family-owned restaurant serving delicious Canadian, Greek, and Italian food, including their famous housemade pizza.
  • Era 67 Restaurant - A restaurant focused on locally sourced, fresh ingredients and highlighting the flavours of Canada, Ontario, and Orillia.
  • The Grape and Olive Wine & Martini Bistro - Offers exceptional breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees, an extensive wine list and martinis.
  • The city also features a variety of other dining options, including Cosmos Ristorante, Pizzaville Pizza & Panzeratto, Tops in Pizza, and more.
  • Orillia is home to the Orillia Farmers' Market, a popular attraction located downtown and open every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • The city's proximity to Lake Simcoe and the Trent-Severn Waterway likely means there are opportunities to enjoy fresh, locally sourced seafood and other waterfront dining experiences.


Overall, Orillia offers a diverse and vibrant local food scene, combining traditional and innovative dining options that showcase the region's culinary talents and fresh, local ingredients.


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