Support for Le Boat Will Create New Jobs and Drive Economic Development
Ontario is supporting Le Boat, a leading European travel company, to help establish its first North American cruise rental location in Smiths Falls and create 10 new jobs in the region.
Le Boat is Europe’s largest self-drive boating vacation company, currentlyoperating across eight different European countries, with a head office in the UK. More than 102,000 people vacationed with Le Boat last year.
With support from the province through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, Tourism Development Fund and the Tourism Industry Partners Program, the company is opening its North American headquarters and an operations base in Smiths Falls. Le Boat will offer tourists a unique European-style, self-hire boating service on the Rideau Canal. This new base is expected to boost the region’s tourism industry.
Investing in eastern Ontario businesses is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Ontario is investing $1,500,000 from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, $360,000 from the Tourism Development Fund and $138,667 from the Tourism Industry Partners Program, supporting an initial total company investment of $16,000,000. The project is expected to be completed by September 2022.
- Since 2013, the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund and Eastern Ontario Development Fund have helped to create and retain approximately 40,600 jobs and attracted approximately $2 billion in investment. The funds cover up to 15 per cent of eligible project costs, with the recipient company funding the remainder from its own resources.
- Ontario is accepting applications for the Eastern Ontario Development Fund from qualified businesses that are growing and creating jobs. Sectors eligible for the fund include advanced manufacturing, food processing, life sciences, information and communications technology, tourism and cultural industries.
- Ontario’s five-year, $650-million Business Growth Initiative is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale up and modernizing regulations for businesses.
- Find out if your business qualifies for the Eastern Ontario Development Fund
- Recipients of the Eastern Ontario Development Fund
“Le Boat choosing Ontario for its first North American location is a clear sign of confidence in the opportunities our provinces offers for businesses to expand and grow their markets. Our partnership is helping the company create exciting new economic opportunities in Smiths Falls and boosting the tourism sector in eastern Ontario.”
— Jeff Leal, Minister Responsible for Small Business
“We welcome Le Boat to Ontario. Their operation will not only boost the local economy and support jobs, it will also give visitors a unique tourism experience and a new way to discover the Rideau Canal and its picturesque surroundings.”
— Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
“Thanks to the support of the Ontario government, we are establishing our first North American headquarters in Smiths Falls. We look forward to operating our premier range of self-driving boats on the Rideau Canal and providing an unforgettable experience to residents and visitors. Le Boat offers a truly unique way to travel, with our boats acting as a purpose built ‘condo on the water’ for people with no boating experience and no boating licence.”
— Cheryl Brown, Managing Director, Le Boat