Looking to Past Successes for Present Opportunities
Located in Bruce County between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, South Bruce Peninsula is a quiet town, popular amongst cottage dwellers. An amalgamation of the Town of Wiarton, the Village of Hepworth, and the townships of Albemarle and Amabel in 1999, South Bruce Peninsula is an outdoor enthusiasts’ paradise – with fishing, hiking, hunting, camping and snowmobiling all within arm’s reach.
Land Area, km2
Construction, Manufacturing, Accommodation and Food Services
Owen Sound, Port Elgin
South Bruce Peninsula has much to offer both locals and tourists alike. The Bruce Trail – Ontario’s longest and most popular hiking trail – runs through the area, spanning 780 kilometres. Sauble Beach -the second largest freshwater beach in the world – along with its plethora of shops and restaurants, attracts thousands of visitors to the region every year. The Wiarton Willie Festival draws in over 20,000 residents and visitors annually to witness the nation’s groundhog make his predictions about the end of winter.
Though South Bruce Peninsula has a vibrant tourism industry, finding all-year employment opportunities is a constant struggle. The area’s population is aging rapidly and many youth and young adults are leaving for educational and employment opportunities elsewhere – many of whom are not returning.
With only a two-lane highway leading to South Bruce Peninsula, it makes accessing the town difficult. This, amongst other infrastructure problems, has hindered the area’s ability to attract new businesses and new talent. The town hasn’t quite seen the development that the Municipality of Kincardine – to the north of them – has experienced with Bruce Power. There is potential to expand the slate quarries that exist in the region, but there are some challenges with further development.
Given that South Bruce Peninsula is only a few hours’ drive from major urban areas like Toronto and Hamilton, is located on the water and has wide array of outdoor activities to participate in, there does exist opportunity for growth and expansion. Infrastructure issues, lack of full time jobs and a vibrant population are some of challenges that are hindering the community to reach its full potential. While the future of the South Bruce Peninsula could take off in many different directions, there exist plenty of untapped opportunities that could lead to its revival.