Orillia Downtown Tomorrow Grant Recipients Reveal Development Plans

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Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) grant recipients Chris Montgomery, owner of 27 Mississaga St. W., and Bob Wilsey, owner of Mariposa Market, with Councillor Pat Hehn and Mayor Steve Clarke at the DTCIP grant announcement on April 16. Photo courtesy of the City of Orillia

Two recipients of Orillia’s Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) Grant Program revealed development plans for their upcoming projects at a grant announcement in downtown Orillia on April 16, according to a news release from the city.

Mariposa Market is receiving a Building Improvement Grant of $25,000, which will allow for renovations to use the second storey above the existing Mariposa Market and Scent Shop at 109 Mississaga St. E as a new retail and restaurant space. Three grants totalling $62,500 were also awarded to Chris Montgomery, owner of 27 Mississaga St. W., to create a number of commercial and residential units. Council approved $200,000 in funding for the DTCIP Grant Program for 2019. There are three intakes throughout the year with deadlines on Feb. 28, April 30 and Oct. 31.

“It’s a magnificent vacant space, truly a jewel in terms of heritage architecture,” said Bob Wilsey, owner of Mariposa Market. “Orillia’s grant program makes our vision for the downtown all the more economically viable and at an accelerated timetable.”

Montgomery’s plans to create two fully accessible commercial units as well as six new residential units, five of which will be on the second storey, at 27 Mississaga St. W. The grants will also be used for improvements to the outside of the building, such as window and door replacements.

“There is great potential locked away in Orillia’s downtown core, particularly at the second floor level that has remained undeveloped for years,” Montgomery said. “The DTCIP has provided for us an injection of initial funding that will allow us to kick-start a much larger personal investment.”

In surveys completed about previous projects, about 90 per cent of applicants said the DTCIP Grant Program allowed them to complete their project earlier than expected and 44 per cent said they were able to undertake larger improvements. A total of $112,500 remains in the Residential Grant Program, Feasibility and Design Study Grant Program, and Building Improvement Grant program for 2019.

“The Downtown Tomorrow CIP Grant Program helps offset the costs of expensive upper-storey renovations and allows underutilized second floors to be developed for new retail and residential space,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “To date, this successful grant program has proven that for every one-dollar invested by the municipality, we see five-dollars in downtown improvements. We anticipate that major projects, such as the ones announced today, will have an even higher return on investment.”

For more information on the DTCIP Grant Program, or to book a mandatory pre-consultation, applicants are can contact the City of Orillia Economic Development Office at 705-325-4900, or visit the project webpage on the city website.

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