Mayor's Business Breakfast

<b>An image of a Pumpkin Person display and the room set up</b><b>photo vignettes</b><b>The bannana crate Pumpkin People</b><b>Mayor Sweet addressing the attendees</b><b>Room attendees</b>

September 17, 2019

Petawawa ON,  Mayor Sweet welcomed 60 business representatives who participated in the Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce business breakfast on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.  This event took place in the garden centre at Hyska's Independant Grocers which was beautifully decorated in a harvest theme and in preparation for the upcoming #Petawawa Ramble and #PumpkinPeopleFestival.

During the event, Mayor Sweet addressed the crowd sharing the following information.

I feel a bit like I am campaigning as I did during the municipal election last year and I recall that through all of the debates and conversations the key priority that was top of mind amongst residents and the business community was somehow related to economic development.  It seems that initiatives under the scope of economic development intersect so many aspects of our daily lives and contribute to the quality of life residents experience within the community.  Towards that end, Council supported the hiring of Christine Mitchell as the Economic Development Officer for the Town of Petawawa in February this year.  Those of you who know Christine, know that she has worked in various departments for the Town over the last five years and has a great rapport and relationship with the municipal staff and business community.  Christine has undertaken a number of new initiatives within the scope of her new role and one of the first was to get Council support to create the Petawawa Business Advisory Network (PBAN).  This volunteer, Council appointed committee is comprised of up to ten (10) representatives from the various business and community sectors and their key objectives include:

  1. Foster strong communications and consultation opportunities between the Town and the business community.
  2. Undertake initiatives and projects that align with the Town of Petawawa Economic Action Strategy and other Town Plans.
  3. Foster partnerships and collaborations with other businesses and community development agencies to advance and promote economic growth within the community
  4. Provide recommendations on economic development activities and initiatives.
  5. Identify barrier and opportunities with the community which can be resolved or leveraged in order to foster a better business environment.


At this time, I would like to thank and introduce the PBAN Committee members

  • Val Hyska, Your Independent Grocer,  who is the Committee Chair;
  • Laura Hanek, Swoop Media;
  • Danielle Brunette, Northern Credit Union;
  • Portia Hoffman – Strang, The Urban Lounge Salon and Spa;
  • Ann McIntyre, Petawawa Heritage Village;
  • Barbara Bailey, Silver Threads Seniors Club;
  • Cindy Sell, Wise Move Realty; and
  • Theresa Sabourin representing Council


Two additional seats remain vacant so if you any business representative is  interested in participating please contact Christine or one of these PBAN members to learn more about getting involved.

Throught the Economic Development portfolio, Christine and the PBAN will be working towards enhancing business communications by improving the municipal website related to economic development, planning and building and will include the addition of an online business registration.  A Petawawa Business Facebook page has been created and is a medium where information will be share with our business community.  Business networking and business skills enhancement opportunities will also be leveraged to provide support and development to area businesses.  We will continue to work with our many area partners to provide outstanding local supports and new initiatives.

At this time I want to acknowledge some business openings and milestones which have taken place this year in Petawawa:

  • Fleurish Flowers and Gifts – Grand Opening
  • J&E’s Bored N’Saucy - Grand Opening
  • Kelsey’s Petawawa Original Roadhouse – Customer Appreciation Event following a major business renovation
  • Giant Mart – Grand Opening
  • Tick Tock Escape Rooms – Grand Opening
  • Boston Pizza - Grand Opening
  • Nook Creperie ON the GO – Grand Opening
  • Michelle Letourneau Mortgage Alliance – Grand Opening
  • Beyond the Coast – Grand Opening
  • A New Leaf Food Experience – Grand Opening
  • Hyundai Pembroke – Modern Dealership Reveal celebrating a major renovation
  • ESSO Petawawa – New Ownership event
  • Quality Inn and Suites Petawawa – Celebrating ten year business anniversary and major renovation.

Upcoming celebrations to include:

  • Tim Hortons – (3381 Petawawa Blvd and 41 Festubert Blvd) change of ownership and planned renovations.
  • SpeedPro Signs – change of business ownership (Marc Poirier from Louise and Chris Hermitte who remain during the transition)
  • Petawawa Centennial Family Health Centre will unveil their expansion to provide permanent dedicated commercial space to: LifeLabs, Mulvihill Drug Mart and Ottawa Valley Physiotherapy
  • Marriott Towneplace Suites – November – Grand Opening
  • Parkwood Place – Luxury apartments – Grand Opening soon

Building Investment in Petawawa:

Mayor Sweet spoke about the value of building permits issued in Petawawa as a comparator to the whole of Renfrew County showcasing the residential growth.

2016  $31,918,000 in permit value representing 24.4% of the County value at $126,560,000
2017 $41,925,000in permit value representing 30.7% of the County value at $136,644,710
2018 $33,788,000 in permit value representing 22.6% of the County value at $149,206,000
2019 at July $ $15,243,000 in permit value we are on pace to maintain the permit value average.

Petawawa housing facts:

Petawawa continues steady growth and maintains housing value in the residential sector.
2017 – 373 homes were sold at an average price of $285,000
2018 – 376 homes were sold at an average price of $284,000
2019 – (as of July) 373 homes were sold at an average price of $296,000

Overall low residential inventory with only 520 homes on the housing market throughout Renfrew County

Total Assessment in Petawawa for 2019 was equivalent to $1,954,346,510 (2 billion)

Notable Mentions and Community Successes

These statistics come from the Macleans analysis

  • Petawawa #1 Safest Community in Ontario
  • Petawawa 120th out of 415 Canada’s Best Places to Live 2019
  • Petawawa 2nd in medium sized family income - 2nd to Ottawa

Local Economic Development Initiatives 

Twinning efforts of the Algonquin Trail.  Staff were approved by Council to make application to the now closed OMCC - Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program.  Petawawa had a successful application equaling more than $90,000 which when combined with matching local monies leveraged an Active Transportation Plan and the paved twin along the portion of Algonquin Trail in the urban section of Town.  This trail connects to the Garrison Petawawa recreational trail which is equivalent to 16km.  The twinning is designed to separate motorized from non-motorized users to allow for safe passage of all active travellers in Petawawa's urban core.

Petawawa is further benefiting from partnerships and collaborations through a grant received by the Snow Country Snowmobiling Association and Keetna which will allow for much needed improvements and enhancements to the 4 – seasons and CPRail bridges.  Once railing, decking and some other wayfinding improvements are made the bridges will also facilitate further separation of users and allow for further safety for pedestrians all while supporting our ATV and snowmobile enthusiast and much welcomed tourists to the Petawawa.

Ministry of Transportation and a Community Transportation Program, staff were able to leverage an Age Friendly Community Assessment and obtain roughly $489,000 in funding for a pilot 4 year transportation program to meet the daily living needs of community members for those with disabilities and that are in vulnerable sectors.  Working with Carefor, Petawawa seeks to bring this once delayed project forward before the end of the current year.

Mayor Sweet spoke of the expansion of County Road 51 commonly known as Petawawa Boulevard – a County of Renfrew road.  Mayor Sweet indicated that significant efforts have been made over the years and in the most recent round of funding applications the County of Renfrew submission to enhance Petawawa Boulveard was denied.  Alternative remedies are being sought to improve this roadway.

Upcoming Events
Traditional annual events:

  • Cabin Fever
  • Civic Centre Days
  • Hell or High Water
  • Upper Ottawa Valley River Race and Paddle Festival
  • Get to the Point

Stay posted for additional business supported municipal events:

  • Sounds of Business event series – This series aims to invite the public to experience a business in a whole new way, supporting the business and creating an adult event incorporating food, beverage and music.
  • Community Table – This series will offer community shared meals in unusual locals supporting local food vendors and showcasing community and business. (much like this business breakfast hosted in the garden centre of Hyska's Independent Grocer)

NOW I would like to invite Val Hyska, Chair of the PBAN, Owner of Hyska’s Independent Grocer and lead organizer of a NEW event coming to Petawawa – maybe you have heard of it?
Petawawa Ramble and Pumpkin People Festival