Regional Priorities

Welcome to Frontenac, where you don't have to sacrifice a balanced lifestyle to achieve your entrepreneurial dreams. We strive to make living, working and playing easier, better and more rewarding in Frontenac.

Our regional priorities are led by the following four initiatives:

An Economic Development Charter for Frontenac

In 2015, Frontenac County developed an Economic Development Charter to guide economic activity. Some time has passed, but the Charter's guiding principles still stand today:

We believe a strong economy is essential for vibrant, enduring communities, for the happiness, health, and satisfaction of our residents, and for the security of our citizens as well as our businesses, organizations and local governments.

We value collaboration and pledge to work together to develop, gather support for, implement and measure the themes in this Charter.

We share a Vision of an economy that is rooted in the character of Frontenac and its people: welcoming, natural, healthy, clean, tranquil, entrepreneurial, and rural by choice and conviction.

We agree that success in bringing the Vision to life will come from proactive implementation of initiatives developed within the inter-related themes outlined in this Charter.

We pledge that Frontenac will be a stronger by focusing on the following themes:

Trips and Trails, Local Food and Beverage, Recreation Lifestyle

Trips and Trails

Providing safe community linkages for recreation, active transportation and tourism will provide opportunities for business and assessment growth.

 

Local Food and Beverage 

Food and beverage products that are grown, processed and sold locally, regionally and internationally will reinforce the character and reputation of Frontenac, while providing local jobs and support for tourism.

 

Recreation Lifestyle

Promotion of the Frontenac lifestyle, with access to the natural beauty and amenities of Frontenac will appeal to families and businesses. The recreation lifestyle will be complemented by a “connected” community.


Regional Brand Identity

The Frontenac brand was developed in 2016 and is centered around the one thing that unites us all -- a love and respect for our pristine, natural landscape. The brand system is the banner under which we promote the region and it has put Frontenac on the map. It has become a symbol of pride for those who live, work, and play in Frontenac. The brand is the rallying point for the Frontenac Ambassador Network. Click here for the official Brand Guidelines.

Description of the Frontenac Regional Brand


Frontenac Ambassador ProgramNancy and Rob Moore at Cardinal Cafe

In Frontenac, there’s a growing group of local business owners who are committed to working together to support each other and build up the region. They are known as Frontenac Ambassadors

Guided by the Charter's three themes, leveraging the regional brand identity, and working closely with the Ambassador network, our economic development efforts have focused on developing and promoting four key sectors. 


Key Sectors

Four key sectors are driving economic growth in Frontenac: 

 Agriculture

Farming and farm jobs have led growth in Frontenac over the past 10 years. In Frontenac, we have an emerging community of young farmers operating organic, sustainable ventures alongside traditional farms that have operated for generations.  

The Kingston-Frontenac area is a growing hub for small and large scale food production and processing. The recent establishment of a fruit processing facility and a Chinese infant formula facility in nearby Kingston has sparked opportunity for supply chain development in Frontenac. Opportunities exist for goat dairy production, additional wild blueberry production, crop growth, and transportation logistics to support these industries. 

Frontenac is located in an ideal region for dairy and animal husbandry due to a temperate climate, access to larger markets and significant supply of grazing acreage. With steady demand, Frontenac is an excellent place to establish a new abattoir. In fact, Frontenac has already completed a Feasibility Study for a Poultry Abattoir. See the Executive Summary for an overview. Get in touch if you'd like to explore this opportunity.

Relatively low land prices and taxation rates, combined with easy access to established markets and effective local distribution systems make Frontenac an attractive location for small scale organic farms. Our successful farms provide a steady supply of tasty greens and vegetables to local and nearby restaurants. The City of Kingston has one of the highest numbers of restaurants per capita in Ontario and most prefer local ingredients on their menus.

Check our Business Directory for more local food producers. In the meantime, here are a few to check out:

 Food and Beverage
Frontenac is part of Ontario's Artisan Food and Beverage Region (FAB). FAB is a unique partnership led in Frontenac by the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation, with the goal of helping entrepreneurs live their dream of operating an artisanal food and beverage business. 

Local Food 

Frontenac is a great place for unique food experiences provided by adventurous entrepreneurs. Our businesses enjoy strong local support and compete successfully in the larger markets of Kingston, Ottawa, and Toronto. 

Ranging from milk-less-travelled, to year round gardens, artisanal sausage and cheese, and superior chocolate, you will find high-end, hand crafted quality in Frontenac. Behind this incredible food is a growing network of well-connected and skilled food producers who have spent their lives honing the craft.

Here are a few of our celebrated local food businesses: 

Artisan Cheese

The artisan cheese market in Ontario is a three hundred million dollar industry, and it is growing every year. Frontenac has a strong local dairy industry to assist in the supply and development of artisan cheese, and easy access to restaurants and distributors to help put new products on the market. The FAB Region has put together a handy guide to help interested food entrepreneurs invest in cheese.

Wine and Beer

There is nothing that complements local food like local beverages. A craft beer movement is emerging in and around Frontenac County. With a handful of craft brewers in the surrounding area, Frontenac is ideally located to take advantage of the exploding craft beer market in Eastern Ontario. Check out the FAB Region's app and handbook about starting a brewery in Eastern Ontario: iCraft Brew.

Frontenac is also home to nutrient rich soils with unique micro climates that can host a variety of grapes for truly local wines. On Wolfe Island, Sugar Woods Experimental Vineyards has made fascinating strides in hearty grape production in recent years. Great potential exists in Frontenac for growing vines and establishing vineyards.

Farmer's Markets 

At the heart of our local food system are two markets: the Frontenac Farmer's Market and the Sharbot Lake Farmers Market. With great support from tourists and cottagers, these markets are both wonderful venues for buying local and learning -- about the products, the process, and the people.

 Niche Manufacturing

Much of the manufacturing in Frontenac is highly specialized and driven by innovation.

  • Located in Maberly, just inside the Eastern border of Frontenac County, Raymond RF specializes in the design, manufacture and testing of RF shielded boxes and antenna measurement systems for military, government, high tech, medical and industrial applications.
  • Serving Canada and the world since 2003, Mobile Kitchens Canada Inc. provides a comprehensive range of mobile food services, including the rental of mobile food service equipment, equipment ownership, logistical planning, follow-through and full-service project management.
  • With a growing collection of state-of-the-art equipment, D&D Garrett Millwork in Parham has evolved into a full line millwork provider of hardwood flooring, siding, moulding and related products over the last 25 years.

 

We consider our craftspeople to be an incredibly valuable part of this sector in Frontenac. Here are a few of our truly skilled manufacturers:

 Tourism

Frontenac County encompasses an area of almost 4,000 square kilometres from the northern stretches of untouched crown land to the sandy southern shores of Wolfe Island. There is a sense among the people who live in Frontenac — this area is special. Special for its recreational opportunities, its highly skilled food producers, and its growing number of high-quality events.

  • In 2017, Frontenac County completed an Accommodation Review and Strategy for Growth to support the growing need for year-round accommodations in the region.
  • Since 2009, Frontenac County has invested in the Frontenac K&P Trail, which spans North from Wolfe Island to Sharbot Lake, with re-development to the Renfrew County border still underway. The K&P is gaining in popularity with a wide variety of local and visitor user groups, increasing demand for supporting businesses near the trail.

Check out our Business Directory for more tourism operators. In the meantime, here are a few that are working hard to attract visitors to our region and serve them well:

 

Visit www.infrontenac.ca to learn more about tourism in our region.