The City of Orillia handed out grants on Tuesday as part of its Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan, a program aimed at offsetting the costs for businesses to help breathe new life into the core.
The Mariposa Market received $25,000 to transform the second storey into retail and restaurant space.
“Think of an upper bright café, sort of a Victorian tea room,” said Bob Willsey, owner of Mariposa Market.
Three additional grants in the amount of $62,500 were awarded to the Swinton building, which was once a furniture showroom built in 1913.
The owner plans to unlock the potential in the structure by converting it into two fully accessible commercial units and six new residential suites.
“It’s our expectation that the entire development will be up and ready and fully complete in about 12 month’s time,” said owner Chris Montgomery.
According to Orillia’s mayor, the downtown program helps to enhance the sunshine city. “We anticipate that major projects, such as the ones announced today, will have an even higher return on investment.”
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