INNISFIL, ONTARIO BY: Dave Moore of The Get Moore Results Team RE/MAX CHAY Realty INC., Brokerage (Copyright 2014)
Nestled on the westerns shore of historic Lake Simcoe 80 Kilometers north of Toronto and adjacent to the south end of Barrie is the Town of Innisfil. The name derives from the ancient Irish mythological name for Ireland, Inis Fa’il.
The original inhabitants were the Huron before the town was cut out of virgin forests beginning around the time of 1st survey in 1830. The first settlers were the Hewson (in 1820) & Soules families (in 1822).
The main land route between York (now Toronto) and Barrie was carved through the forests and completed in 1825. Named Penetanguishene Road, later Hwy 11, it’s now known as Yonge Street.
The area comprised of mostly self-sustaining farms with some trade in Barrie, not much more than a village at the time. Trade in York typically took place in winter when snow and ice made the journey easier.
In 1842 the population was 762, by 1850 the official census counted it as 1807, nearly tripling in less than a decade. The latter year, the Corporation of the Township of Innisfil was Incorporated. The current Town of Innisfil contains 28 communities.
In 2006 the census counted 31,175 residents plus a seasonal population of approximately 4,000. By 2011 the number increased to 33,079 residents residing in 12,294 of 13,941 dwellings. This within a large area of 284.21 square kilometers.
Designated a Growth Area by the Province of Ontario the town recently went through several changes to it’s Official Plan. Growth is evident all around with new homes and sub-divisions springing up quickly. The main business area of Alcona has seen major upgrades to the street with new plazas and businesses building up to meet the demands of this growth.
Many activities are to be found in all of the 4 Seasons: ranging from fishing, boating, snowmobiling, skating, hockey, soccer, and others. Cookstown hosts Wingding. Several area fairs and Santa Claus parades are yearly events. A Casino – Racetrack is near Innisfil Beach Road just west of the 400 Hwy. Antiques and Crafts abound. There is a weekly Flea Market at 400 & Innisfil Beach Road. A brand new multi-use recreation facility is near Yonge Street and Innisfil Beach Road adjacent to the new City Hall, Simcoe Police Service Building, and Innisfil Hydro facilities. Many parks, arenas, libraries and other facilities are available in the area. Innisfil Beach Park , host to both Winterfest (in February) and Summerfest (June) celebrations on the shore of Lake Simcoe is arguably the premier area park. Innisfil is also home to diverse activities such as the Innisfil Farmers Market, The Celtic Festival, and an Off-Leash Dog Park.
A recent resolution by Town Council saw the creation of “Inspiring Innisfil 2020” With the motto “Innisfil The Place To Be By 2020” This has 4 key focus areas: Community / Tourism / Culture / Economy. Amongst the initiatives: Create an Innisfil identity that unites the town. Develop an urban core by 2020 at Alcona.
Make sure the town is financially stable by 2014. Promote the year-round benefits of Lake Simcoe, doubling its economic impact by 2013, while improving its environmental health. Grow arts and culture substantially through policy development, annual funding, and promotion. Support the preservation and promotion of Innisfil's heritage with policies and funding. Create at least two cultural events, and promote all major events in Town and tourism publications.
Make economic development the No. 1 priority by funding and hiring an Economic Development Officer. Persuade businesses and professionals to choose an Innisfil location rather than commuting. Create three bold new initiatives to recruit entrepreneurs and small business.
Now you know where we’ve been and where we are heading so Come to Innisfil to Live, Shop, and / or Play!