North Simcoe offers businesses of all sizes ample opportunity to prosper. Check out these real-life examples of businesses that have found success in our region.

Ambient Activity Technologies

Ambient Activity Technologies, based right here in Midland, has developed ‘ABBY’, a non-pharmaceutical, activity-based approach to managing responsive behaviours in persons living with moderate to severe levels of dementia.

ABBY helps to manage responsive behaviours by providing opportunities for residents living with dementia to self-initiate, engage and interact with personalized stimulation experiences that are familiar and meaningful, to attain a state of calm.

The Results are in!

ABBY’s ability to manage responsive behaviours was assessed in six Long-Term Care homes across Ontario. In a study conducted by the University of Toronto over an eight-month period in 2017, a variety of outcomes, including resident aggression, agitation, depression, cognition, use of anti-psychotic medication, as well as staff strain and family/visitor satisfaction were measured. Please visit Ambient Activity Technologies and download the evaluation report.

Bulbs of Fire

Bulbs of Fire is a garlic farm located in the Township of Tiny, just west of Awenda Park. Founded by Bart and Simone Nagel, the farm specializes in heirloom garlics with a special interest in hot varieties. Garlic wasn’t really the plan when the Dutch couple moved to Canada in 2006. But people expressed interest in the handful varieties Nagel grew for personal use. When he decided to grow a bit more, he discovered a fast growing niche market. Foodies and consumers who aspire to eat local, now crave Bulbs of Fire’s exceptionally tasty garlic.

The farm has grown fast. In merely four years, Bulbs of Fire has planted over 35 varieties and around ten times the amount of garlic of the startup year. The farm sells its gourmet garlic online to gardeners all over Canada who look for heirloom seed garlic. Bulbs of Fire also sells though a subscription model, at farmers' markets and to local restaurants. Bulbs of Fire is particularly known for smoked garlic, a true delicacy with many applications.

Besides garlic, the Nagels raise heritage poultry, quail and rabbits. All of which contribute to a healthy garlic crop with excellent manure. What started as a hobby farm geared towards a more self sufficient life, has become business based on a passion for tasty local food, and a rural, self sustaining life.

Chigamik Waypoint Community Health Hub

Healthcare Expansion: A youth wellness hub, offering walk-in access to a variety of mental health services for those aged 12 to 25, will be part of the new Chigamik Waypoint Community Health Hub.

The hub will be a one-stop support centre for youths struggling with any mental health issues including family conflict, stress, depression, anxiety, relationship issues and addiction.

Waypoint, Chigamik and the Simcoe Muskoka LHIN Child and Adolescent Mental Health Steering Committee worked in collaboration with New Path Youth and Family Services, the lead agency for child and youth mental health services in Simcoe County, to file an application and acquire funding for the hub. Construction is well underway on the 40,000 square-foot joint health care centre, which will be located on Bayshore Drive in Midland.

Local youth groups will provide input on designing the interior of the wellness hub, which will include Wi-Fi and access to information and resources to assist with various problems. Services will be provided to youths from North Simcoe (Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny) as well as Springwater Township, and will also be available for both the Francophone and Indigenous communities.

The entire facility is expected to be operational by December 2018.

Weber Manufacturing Technologies Inc.

World Class Tooling: Weber recently installed an innovative, high-speed five-axis milling machine, the first of its kind in Ontario and just the third such machine in North America. Weber President Chris Edwards says “the DMU 340 is the focal point of an $8 million capital investment plan propelling the company forward in an increasingly competitive global market. It helps us deliver outstanding accuracy and superior speed to market to our automotive, aerospace and home and building product customers.”

The DMU 340 is a key piece of a significant capital investment plan that was spurred on by a $800,000 Southwestern Ontario Development Fund grant. The Province of Ontario supported Weber Manufacturing Technologies in the major upgrade, helping to create 17 new jobs, secure 220 existing jobs in Midland and boost production capacity by 30 per cent.

Weber stands out from the majority of mold making specialists by way of a secondary specialty — nickel vapor deposition (NVD) — that has helped it carve out a niche few other manufacturers in the world can claim. NVD enables Weber to fashion molds for unusually demanding, high-performance composites applications, including fine surface detail, grains and textures.

Photo credit: (2017)