Town of Orangeville
Located just outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Orangeville is a lively, picturesque town of approximately 28,000 people. Orangeville is the largest urban centre in Dufferin County with all the amenities of a big city in addition to possessing the benefits of a high quality of life in a well-planned town.
“Historic Charm—Dynamic Future”
The influence behind the official slogan of Orangeville comes from the traditional, consistent look and feel of its historic downtown core.
“We have quite a beautiful downtown. All the stores have a similar historic design so it’s almost like going back in time to a small town of a hundred years ago,” says Mayor Jeremy D Williams. “There is always pressure to redevelop, tear down old buildings and put up something modern. We don’t. We try to maintain that historic look even if it’s a brand new business selling computers.”
The Town’s collaborative relationship with developers and landowners has allowed it to preserve the look of its downtown area, although Orangeville is far from stuck in the past. New business owners who want to blend in with the community have been supportive of maintaining the ambience that Orangeville is known for as the Town continues to grow.
Orangeville may have old-town charm, but is certainly not stuck in the past. The Town’s logo and slogan honour the history, ecology and accomplishments of the Town while also creating a positive vision for the community’s future. The slogan of Orangeville, “Historic Charm—Dynamic Future” was created and launched in 2003 as part of a new branding exercise following considerable community input from Orangeville’s residents, and was designed to complement the Town’s logo.
The logo features a marquee of three icons that appear above the Town’s name. The first icon represents the hills and headwaters of the region, emblematic of Orangeville’s historic connection to these natural assets. The second icon illustrates Orangeville’s rich architectural and cultural heritage as well as the community’s place in the global market. The third icon is symbolic of Orangeville’s setting and proximity to the Niagara Escarpment, a United Nations designated world biosphere.
Looking to the Future
Orangeville’s population is projected to reach 36,490 by 2031. As the Town grows, Orangeville is prioritizing the development of its manufacturing, professional and tourism sectors and encouraging entrepreneurs. Orangeville has a dedicated economic development website (www.orangevillebusiness.ca) and tourism site (www.orangevilletourism.ca) in addition to its main website to make it that much easier for prospective businesses to reach the Town.
Orangeville is a scenic town that attracts many tourists. The Town opened a Visitor Information Centre in 2013, which already receives almost 5,000 inquiries per year, and the tourism sector is being further developed through the implementation of the municipality’s 2014 cultural plan, Orangeville’s Cultural Advantage. Major tourism drivers include the Credit Valley Explorer Tour Train, live professional performances at Theatre Orangeville, the provincially recognized, award-winning Blues & Jazz Festival, the Island Lake Conservation Area and the Town’s unique tree carvings. These drivers are supported by a wonderful array of fine dining, casual bistro, and café options throughout the downtown area.
“From time to time when my family and I go down to Toronto, we come back to Orangeville to eat,” remarks Mayor Jeremy D Williams.
Orangeville’s manufacturing industry is steady with a diverse base of manufacturers. Lately, there has been an emergence in the food processing sector. Woolwich Dairy, North America’s largest goat cheese manufacturer, has its head office and largest production facility in Orangeville. Craft brewer Hockley Valley Brewery is also located in Orangeville, and the Town is excited to announce the upcoming location of the award-winning Quality Cheese Inc. This company purchased 40 Centennial Road in March, and following renovations, hopes to begin manufacturing from its Orangeville location next year. Orangeville also recently purchased six acres of land for industrial development and job creation.
Small business is a driving force in Orangeville. Approximately 87% of the Town’s employer-based businesses employ fewer than 20 people. As the Town has a relatively youthful and well-educated population, many residents consider entrepreneurship. These new and expanding businesses are successfully supported by Orangeville’s Small Business Enterprise Centre at Town Hall, which provides support and guidance to business owners through seminars, networking opportunities and help with business plans.
Orangeville works hard to expedite services and to reduce bureaucracy for businesses by conducting research and finding answers efficiently for new prospects considering Orangeville as a business location. From arranging site tours, meetings and referrals to help with business attraction, and assisting business owners with site plans, permits, by-laws and regulations, the Town keeps the process as simple and straightforward as possible. Orangeville’s commitment to helping businesses will be further demonstrated through the implementation of a Business Retention and Expansion Program, to be launched in 2015.
A Great Place to Live and Work
Orangeville is a desirable place for businesses to set up and people to settle in because of all the amenities the Town offers. Orangeville has numerous retail outlets and housing options, and the Town even owns its own hydro company and railway. Orangeville is within commuting distance to nine universities as well as a number of colleges. Two colleges, Georgian and Humber, have campuses within Orangeville. The community’s regional hospital, Headwaters Health Care Centre, will complete a 10,000 square-foot expansion this year.
The west end of the Town is developing with a recently approved residential and mixed-use commercial development, with apartments, over 100 townhouses, a hotel and a commercial block. Orangeville already has one large hotel, and is currently in the process of securing another, as the tourism industry flourishes.
“We’re trying to secure another large hotel to diversify visiting opportunities and allow for extended stays, so more people can stay here a day or two rather than heading back into the city,” says Nancy Tuckett, Director of Economic Development, Planning and Innovation.
Orangeville is a safe town that provides residents with a strong sense of community and culture. Events such as the Farmers’ Market, Taste of Orangeville, the Blues & Jazz Festival, along with the abundance of seasonal recreational opportunities offered in the local vicinity, create opportunities for both residents and visitors to connect.
“That feeling of small community is important for those who live here and also for those who want to come here. Orangeville has a very good mix of everything in terms of amenities, services and housing types and with 13 kilometres of scenic trails, it’s a very walkable community. It’s one of those communities that everyone likes to live in because it has everything that you could ever want or need,” Tuckett tells us.
In 2000, Orangeville purchased a railway. The ongoing operation of the Orangeville Brampton Railway provides opportunities for local manufacturers to reduce transportation costs through rail services and linkages to the CPR line in Mississauga, giving businesses a reliable link to all major CanAm corridors. Orangeville’s accessibility via both railway and highway is another advantage for local businesses.
“A lot of people would say that we’re part of the GTA, but we’re on that fringe; we form the dividing line between the GTA and the surrounding agricultural lands that make up Ontario’s heartland. We are ideally located for those industries that are agricultural and food based because we are close to suppliers,” says Mayor Jeremy D Williams.
Orangeville looks out for businesses’ interests, as it is through the variety of industry and the prevalence of small businesses that the Town has thrived, even in times of economic difficulty, making it a great place for people to not only visit, but come to stay.
“We want your business. If you’re looking to relocate or set up shop, Orangeville is the place to do it. You’re close to market and you have a wonderful town where you can raise a family and enjoy your life. Our economy is stable. Job growth has been steady and our unemployment rate is well below the provincial average. Our downtown core is vibrant and healthy, with a robust retail environment,” Mayor Jeremy D Williams concludes.
Orangeville’s proximity to the Niagara Escarpment and other natural attractions also allows for an even greater escape from the hustle and bustle of city life when required.
“We are surrounded by some of the most beautiful countrysides in all of Ontario. The Bruce Trail goes right through our backyard and Island Lake is connected through our trail system. There are a lot of wonderful assets that the Town has geographically. The location is just incredible,” says Mayor Jeremy D Williams.
Orangeville will complete a 13-kilometre trail around Island Lake and through the forestry in the conservation area in 2015 and with 33 parks and playgrounds, there is plenty of opportunity for outdoor adventure.
Having lived in both the city and the outskirts of the Greater Toronto Area, Mayor Jeremy D Williams has a deep appreciation for what Orangeville can offer.
“I came from this area but moved down to the city. I looked to the bright lights. I had an incredible office right downtown, but one day I was on the ‘Don Valley parking lot,’ and I just snapped. I said that was it. I quit my job, moved back to Orangeville and never looked back,” he recalls. “Quite frankly that is what makes Orangeville unique—you still have access to the city when you need it but you can be in an environment that is very conducive to enjoying life.”
Orangeville is a beautiful, growing town with many opportunities. Residents and business owners enjoy its unique, quaint charm without sacrificing the conveniences of much larger urban centres.