The Town of Cochrane has an Economic Development department that can provide advice and assistance in the areas of tourism, economic development, business development, and grants acquisition. The department can assist you and your business or community organization through workshops, referrals to business and community development information from local and provincial level, and well as one-on-one discussions and educational materials.
The department works hand in hand with the Economic Development Steering Board, a volunteer led board. The Board meets monthly, typically on the first Thursday of every month, except for the months of July and August. To see a full schedule of the Board’s activities visit our meeting manager. Visit the Committee & Boards section to learn about potential vacant positions on this or any of the other boards.
ACTION & STRATEGIC PLAN
The following links allow you to view and download the Town of Cochrane’s most current Economic Development action plan and five-year strategic plan. You can also view an interactive version of the strategic plan within the Community Development tab.
The department’s Economic Development Officer (EDO) acts as a resource for business owners and entrepreneurs in the community. Whether you want to start a business, relocate or expand your business, the EDO can assist with directing you to the right funding program or service provider, depending the nature of your business venture.
Here’s a closer look at a menu that will guide you through specific sectors within the business and town hall sections of our website, for quick access to important information centered around running your business in Cochrane.
The department of Economic Development is responsible for the attraction and retention of investors and labour force to the community. The department is the first point of contact for inbound investors to our community. The department will work in collaboration with inbound investors from the moment they inquire about an investment model that could be implemented in the Town of Cochrane.
The Economic Development Officer in partnership with the planning division will walk through the site selection process, answer questions and concerns and ensure that the overall process is progressing smoothly.
The department’s Economic Development Officer (EDO) acts as a resource for local clubs, not-for-profits, and service agencies. The EDO can assist these organizations in accessing grants, providing training on managing finances, preparing business plans and various other tools that are in demand for Cochrane’s service sector to excel. Just because you are not a business doesn’t mean you don’t also require tools and funding to make your day to day activities work in the community. Your services are important to our community and we want to see them flourish as well as local businesses.
Let our Economic Development Officer help be your resource and even assist you with giving you access to various organizational and or business tools.
THE FIVE-YEAR-STRATEGIC PLAN
In early 2013, the Town of Cochrane determined a need to develop a five-year community strategic plan. The municipality wanted to identify strategies that will improve the community’s economic outlook and quality of life. The Steering Committee sought a coordinated, community- centred strategic plan to help the municipality and its partners capitalize on emerging opportunities and competitive advantages.
Promoting the importance of having an active and healthy community, the Doable Neighbourhood Projects are the premier initiatives in Cochrane that aim to plan around people, not infrastructure, to create spaces within the community that increase the well being of our community.
A COMMUNITY EFFORT
Since its inception, the Doable Neighbourhood Project has sought to implement over twelve initiatives in our community throughout the summer months. The initiatives are implemented by the DNP Team, a volunteer based committee that seeks to enhance Cochrane’s currently existing assets with the resulting impact being a refreshed approach to healthy community design.
In 2015, the Town of Cochrane was awarded the 8-80 Cities Community Innovator Award for the Doable Neighbourhood Project programs.
BIKE SHARE PROGRAM
Take a bike and ride where you need to go! Whether you are hitting the trails for a picnic, enjoying the scenic views, or want a healthy mode of travel to and from work, the Bike Share Program is free and available for all local residents and visiting tourists alike. Access to the bikes are free, but require a sign in and sign out process. This enables us to measure the use of the bikes and maintain tabs on their whereabouts.
DONATE A BIKE
To donate a bike to the town’s Bike Share Program, please contact the Municipal Operations office during regular work hours, at (705) 272-5086.
BECOME A BIKE DEPOT
Should your business or organization like to become a bike depot for Bike Share 2.0 this season, please communicate with our local Economic Development Officer, Isabelle Denault via email or phone by using the information on your right.
BOOK SHARE PROGRAM
Our book share program promotes literacy in our community. People can take books from these book share boxes to have a read or drop off books that they want to throw out.
The 1st Cochrane Scouts Club is a community partner in this project. They lead the way and help to stock the community boxes with books.
POP-UP PIANO PROGRAM
The Pop-Up Piano project is popular among kids and adults in our community. The program looks to create social spaces through music in our community. All piano shelters are outdoors with the program running annually, from May to October.
LAKE COMMANDO SKATING OVAL
Open during the winter months, the skating oval is found at the center of town on Lake Commando. The skating oval is maintained on the natural ice surface of the lake where many partake in a stroll on the ice. Sometimes you will even see a pond hockey game break out.
Available during the summer months from July to August, locals and visitors alike can rent kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and pedal boats to be used on Lake Commando. Stay active while on the water. Private paddle board lessons are also available upon request.
We are currently working on beautifying our downtown core. In the summer of 2016, the DNP Team installed several benches surrounded by trees. For 2017, more trees are expected to be planted, helping to beautify the downtown community of Cochrane, Ontario.
The department is currently active in implementing several projects, which are identified in their Strategic Plan (2014). The Economic Development Officer is the main lead for projects being implemented by this department and overlooks all portfolios of activity. For a detailed look at this year’s initiatives, see the department’s recently approved Action Plan.
Following the Strategic Plan process in 2014, the town’s Economic Development activities fall within these five priorities.
- Strengthen the business community to build local capacity to support and encourage new investment.
- Grow the agricultural sector.
- Leverage transportation assets to build a competitive advantage.
- Promote Cochrane as a ‘great place to live’ to support population stability and improve lifestyle amenities to create a better quality of life.
- Maintain the tourism infrastructure to entice tourists to ‘stay another day’.
AGRICULTURAL LAND INVENTORY
Agriculture has played an important economic and social role within the community of Cochrane. Given our changing climate, the development of production agriculture in the North, both crop and livestock, will become more attractive to investors where a warmer climate and value of land prices provide economic opportunity. In order to realize the potential for agricultural development in the area, the Town of Cochrane is conducting an inventory of land in agriculture and land that has the potential to be developed for agriculture.
The inventory will be used to highlight strengths and weaknesses of the agricultural sector, as well as potential trends and opportunities. It will enable the local Economic Development Officer to respond to inquiries, planning policies and focus marketing initiatives to help grow the agriculture and food sector in the area.
By responding to the following short questionnaire (6 questions) you can help the Town assemble a more complete agriculture inventory.
COCHRANE TRANSIT SYSTEM
The Cochrane Transit System project aims to put in place a transit system in the Town of Cochrane as a complementary service to the Town of Cochrane Accessibility van.
This project is still in its early stages of planning and a firm timeline has not been set for a completion date. It is anticipated to have a soft launch in spring 2017. This initiative has been initiated by the Economic Development Steering Board with the assistance of the Economic Development Officer.
COCHRANE INTERMODAL TERMINAL
The Cochrane Intermodal Terminal (CIT) is a 1.43 million dollar project that aims to increase usage of rail for freight transportation in an effort to maintain jobs, while providing other industries with opportunities to expand their business operations, logistics and create efficiencies.
The project will at first accommodate the rail and mining sectors with fuel trans-loading and grinding media off-loading equipment. Other industries, including forestry and agriculture are already looking at positioning their operations to utilize the site in the near future.
This project will look to create six new jobs in our community and maintain at least ten other jobs. This project is graciously funded by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and FedNor. The department also wishes to thank the project partners, Detour Gold and Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC), who have dedicated time and resources to assist the Town of Cochrane in planning for this project.