Downtown Businesses Recognized For ‘Outstanding’ Work

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Chris Montgomery, owner of the Swinton building, was recognized with a Member Investment Award at the Downtown Orillia Annual General Meeting. Supplied Photo

Eight Downtown Orillia businesses were recently awarded for their outstanding achievements in 2021 at the Downtown Orillia Annual General Meeting.

Awards were presented in the following categories: Marketing & Promotions, Member Investment, and Longevity Awards. This was the fourth annual outstanding business achievement awards ceremony. There were additional winners as the pandemic delayed the awards that were to be presented in 2020.

Marketing & Promotions Award Winners:

The Marketing Awards recognize BIA members who make a significant effort in the marketing and promotion of their businesses year-round.

Winner: The Lone Wolf Café

  • Owner: Max Lamontagne

Winner: The Common Stove

  • Owners: Darcy MacDonell, Simon McRae

“A business’ online presence became extremely important during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the strongest way for businesses to connect and engage with their customers, create visually appealing original content, and showcase their products to locals and tourists alike,” stated Samantha Yandt, Downtown Orillia’s Events and Marketing Coordinator.

“Both of our marketing and promotions winners demonstrated an exceptional job at portraying their businesses online in a way that directly represents the environments of the café and restaurant,” she said.

“These businesses were able to create a take-home experience for customers to enjoy, and during the COVID-19 pandemic the need for experiences like this became especially critical,” noted Yandt.

Member Investment Award Winners:

The Member Investment Awards recognize BIA businesses who have recently opened their doors in downtown Orillia and invested a substantial amount of money in their start-up or an existing business who has expanded significantly in the past year or a downtown business or property owner that has made a significant investment to the downtown core in 2019-2021.

“Over the past two plus years, the growth and improvement of properties downtown has been significant and changed the landscape and prosperity of the core,” said DMB Manager Lisa Thomson-Roop.

“Given the challenges of COVID-19, these investments represent a confidence in the market and put Downtown Orillia on a strong footing as we begin the process of recovery,” noted Thomson-Roop.

Winner: The Swinton Building

  • Owner: Chris Montgomery

The Swinton Building, owned by Chris Montgomery was awarded a Member Investment Award. Before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, we eagerly watched as this building went under major renovation to include The Common Stove and several apartments and lofts on the upper level. The finished product closely reflects the original building design and the improvement has played a significant role in revitalizing the west end of the BIA.

Winner: Couchiching Craft Brewing Co.

  • General Manager: Kaylea McCarron

The transformation of the former Askett Printing building into Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. is nothing short of remarkable. This long-awaited addition to downtown Orillia opened its doors in 2020 to rave reviews and has helped spur economic activity and building improvements throughout the main street.

Winner: Miller Health

  • Owner: Matthew Miller

Another Member Investment winner was Miller Health. They opened their doors in the summer of 2020 after making a significant investment and improvement to the inside and outside of the former Steenhof Building. Dr. Matt Miller and his team of chiropractors, physiotherapists and registered massage therapists and the thousands of the patients they serve are a welcome addition to downtown Orillia.

Winner: Matchedash Lofts/Oakleigh

  • Owner: Geoffrey Campbell

Our fourth winner in the Member Investment category was Matchedash Lofts/Oakleigh owned by Geoffrey Campbell. This multi-million dollar commercial and residential building is a game changer in downtown Orillia. The development consists of loft style live/work, garden and lake-view terrace units, as well as commercial and retail space. Inspired by the charm and character of the city, Matchedash Lofts is a tailored addition to Orillia’s historic downtown.

Winner: Creative Nomad Studios

  • Owners/President: Anitta Hamming & John Menear

The final Member Investment winner went to Creative Nomad Studios owner Anitta Hamming and partner John Menear. The former Biway building has been an eyesore the past two decades. The transformation of the building to Creative Nomad Studios is absolutely incredible. This beautiful co-workspace space officially opened its doors in fall of the 2020 to the public and has changed the atmosphere and image of downtown Orillia to residents and tourists alike.

Longevity Award Winner:

The Longevity Award recognizes a BIA business that has been established in downtown Orillia for a significant number of years.

Winner: CC Fashions

  • Owners: Diane and Ralph Cipolla

Diane and Ralph Cipolla celebrated 50 years in business this past August. Known for the latest fashion trends and superior customer service, it’s not surprising this business has been a mainstay of downtown Orillia for the past 50 years!

“I have had the pleasure of working with Ralph and Diane in various capacities over the years on Downtown BIA initiatives,” said Michael Knight, Chair of the Downtown Management Board.

“Their contribution to not only the retail landscape but the overall success of downtown Orillia as a community hub and shopping district can’t be understated. Downtown Orillia is lucky to have them in our fold.”

“Congratulations to all of our winners, and all of our downtown businesses that managed to adapt to the ever-changing economic climate during the pandemic,” said Knight.

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