There is nothing better than a win for the community and recently what some cottagers may think of as sleepy Gravenhurst has had some BIG wins.   

We all know our future is the generations behind us and one of the things I had the privilege of seeing first hand when we crossed the divide to resident a few years back was just how amazing Gravenhurst High School is.  Not only the teaching staff, but the programs – and hello case in point!


Yes that’s right.  Just like the Gravenhurst high school curriculum recognizes that building is one of the top  career streams in the region, so do they on tourism.  The Trillium Lakeland District School Board allocated these funds to give the kids in the school’s Hospitality and Tourism course a real-life experience and an opportunity to cook with gas and a much upgraded commercial grade kitchen.  Cool right?


Speaking of cool there has been an underground Minecraft world going on in Gravenhurst for a while. Minecraft is an online collaborative game where the players create the game themselves by manipulating the world within it. With no specific steps or goals, everyone playing the game is having a different experience.  This after school experience with headquarters at Teabeards has just very much entered the real world by securing a grant for $75,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to use the video game to build a replica of 1920s Gravenhurst.  The end goal will be to take the created model and 3D print it for visitors to the town to enjoy.  Totally student driven, we were pumped to hear about this technology driven learning opportunity!


Its not just future students at the helm of Gravenhurst’s growth.  The Town of Gravenhurst itself has received an international economic development award.  They won Gold in the category of Video/Multimedia promotion in the category of communities under population of 25,000 but in a wide range of international towns from the US, the Middle East and southern hemisphere.  As Jeff Loney the Town’s Economic Development Manager says “the Community Ambassador Program is really taking the idea that everybody in the community can be involved in economic development.”

The program uses a unique lead generation program that is used to attract both new business and potential new residents. The ambassadors were armed with 280 credit card sized USB devices that included a video, an invitation for a tour, a profile of the community and links to help get potential decision makers linked up with the right people in local government.

As a new(ish) to town business and having witnessed this program first hand, our read on it is as positive.  There are SO many incredible opportunities for entrepreneurs, small or large businesses in Muskoka but I have to say as something who technically lives in Muskoka Lakes, that the Gravenhurst ec-dev team is very much part an incredible resource to have in your back pocket.  Whether you are after quality of life and your business follows or you’ve found an opportunity to bring something new to the area that it desperately needs and you follow that dream it’s scary….all change is scary.  I am not one to ever think that “government” is going to help you through whatever piece of the puzzle you solve but let me be the first to tell you Jeff and his team get it and they care.  Need stats?  An Intro?  A Space?  To Hash Around Ideas?  Reach Out …seriously.  I guarantee you’ll be blown away.  And for what its worth if you need a intro to Jeff or would like more info on Gravenhurst reach out and we’ll intro you.