This article is sponsored by the County of Renfrew.
Few communities can offer residents the opportunity to own waterfront property, hike nature trails and whitewater raft while still advancing in their dream job. But with a booming business sector centred around a rural way of life, Renfrew County is the home of choice for many investors, innovators and entrepreneurs alike.
With an economic history rooted in forestry – an industry that continues to be a major contributor to the area’s economy – Renfrew County has advanced into new agri-business sectors. The county is home to several big-name biofuel and bio-energy companies that are capitalizing on the area’s abundance of natural resources and are opening up the job market to new talent.
The area is also a lively epicentre for entrepreneurship as it balances the historic charm of its small communities with the modern edge of a booming technical and engineering hub. With the same online connectivity levels as urban centres, those looking to start their own business or simply work from home can do so with ease, but while surrounded by the natural beauty of the region.
“Industry leading jobs really do exist in rural communities,” says David Wybou, a business development officer for the County of Renfrew. “You can enjoy that kind of a job, but still take advantage of a rural lifestyle without having to give up too much because you're not too far from Ottawa.”
The Ottawa Valley is also home to Canada’s largest science and technology centre, the Chalk River Laboratories, which employ almost 3,000 people. Combined with the growing number of aerospace and defence manufacturers opening in the area, Renfrew County offers skilled workers the lifestyle they always dreamed of, says Wybou.
Many residents are also able to live in Renfrew County and commute to their job in Ottawa – especially those in the city’s west end – with quick and direct highway access. Moving to Renfrew County also gives new residents the opportunity to own their dream home as properties can be found at prices up to 40 per cent lower than in Ottawa.
While the plentiful career options and affordable real estate options often help draw residents to the region, it’s the outdoor lifestyle opportunities that frequently drives individuals and families to put down roots. On the border of Algonquin Provincial Park, Renfrew County is an outdoor enthusiasts’ dream. Visitors and residents take advantage of the many waterways, hiking trails and mountainous regions in the area throughout all four seasons, while still enjoying the close proximity to major hubs.
“There's something about growing up in a small community that can really help people with a sense of identity and where you come from,” says Wybou. “You really get to know yourself, your community and where you fit in when you live in a smaller area.”