The Township of Rideau Lakes Economic Development Committee is pleased to announce this year’s winners of the Business Recognition Awards. Thank you to all those who nominated our deserving businesses. Twenty-one local businesses were nominated in recognition of their contributions to the community.
Congratulations to the 2022 Rideau Lakes Business Recognition Award Winners:
Wills Transfer Limited was awarded the Rideau Lakes Business of the Year Award.
Operating since 1945 in Rideau Lakes, the Wills family started out with 2 small trucks and provided a local cartage service under the name of GH Wills and Son. Now, Wills Transfer employs over 200 people and provides innovative logistics services across Eastern Ontario with warehouse facilities in Perth, Brockville, Ottawa, Carp and Ingleside, adding up to 1,000,000 sq ft of commercial warehouse space. The head office and management team have remained at the Rideau Lakes facility for over 75 years. Terry’s son, Jordi, joined the firm in 2013, and his wife, Heidi in 2023, making it a 4th generation family business.
Wills Transfer Limited Rideau Lakes division has partnered and supported numerous charities and organizations such as The Table Community Food Centre, Champion for Kids, Rideau Lakes Salvation Army, Build a Mountain of Food Campaign, Smiths Falls Community Food Bank, Rideau Lakes Public Library, Lombardy Agricultural Society, SFDCI food program, Athens Food Bank, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lanark County, as well as Leeds and Grenville, Perth, Smiths Falls and District Community Hospital and recently participated in the Coldest Night of the Year walk for Cornerstone Landing. Globally, Wills Transfer has contributed to the Ukraine Red Cross, Movember (corporate matching), Future Vision Ministry (water wells in Malawi, Central Arica), GAIN (Global Aid Network Canada) and more.
The Business Innovation Award was awarded to Elgin Bowling Lanes
for the exceptional efforts of owner-operator Dane Sonstenes to promote the attraction within the Village of Elgin as a family friendly destination through marketing and by hosting bowling league events to attract people from surrounding areas. As a year-round activity for walk-ins or for group reservations, Elgin Bowling Lanes is an important attraction in the village of Elgin built for people of all ages in mind.
Tao Hipwell of Bastard Coffee House takes home the Young Entrepreneur Award
in recognition of the considerable time and investment made to renovate a heritage space in the historic Jubilee Block of Delta, in order to establish permanent venues for retail, a yoga studio, and a coffee shop in the village core. While offering positive wellness programs for adults and children, as well as operating the coffee shop, Tao organizes and hosts live music events featuring local musicians that have brought vitality to the village and provided community activities in the off season and during the evening hours. These efforts have made the historic Jubilee Block in Delta an active cultural space, eatery and exercise facility to meet the needs of the community.
The Economic Development Committee also wishes to recognize all the deserving nominees for the awards, which include:
2022 Business of the Year Award Nominees
- Baker & Son Tire Repair
- Cabin Fever Essentials
- Len's Cove Marina
- Pharmasave Portland
- Rideau Lakes Building Centre
- Scotland Funeral Home
- Sunflower Bake Shop
- Wills Transfer Limited
- Zipper Thrift Co. Family Boutique
2022 Business Innovation Award Nominees
- Elgin Bowling Lanes
- Merlot Sunset B & B
- United Edge - Structural Components
2022 Young Entrepreneur (under 35) Award Nominees
- Bastard Coffee House -Tao Hipwell
- Fern & Fox Wellness - Tao Hipwell
- Kenney Murray Grading Ltd. - Kenney Murray
- Nature's Magic Photography - Lily Bedore
- Madden & Company Tree Service - Matthew Madden
- Phoenix Rising Equestrian Centre - Phoenix Brisson
- Second Hand Stories - Liz Wheeler
- Stacey's Oasis Spa - Stacey Lauziere
- Extreme Landscaping and Construction - Brock Tye
Committee Chair, Marcia Maxwell remarked “Rideau Lakes is fortunate to have such a dedicated business community, willing to share their talents and expertise within our small villages. On behalf of the Township, we wish you continued success and thank you for your contributions to the community.”
Mayor Hoogenboom further noted, “Council greatly appreciates the outstanding work of business owners for their role in making the Rideau Lakes economy stronger. This year, we are especially thankful for the increased support of corporate sponsors to help recognize the incredible people in our local business community.”
The Township of Rideau Lakes would like to extend special appreciation to the sponsors of this year’s program: G. Tackaberry & Sons Construction Ltd., KPMG MSLP, and RBC Royal Bank of Canada.
The Business Recognition Breakfast was held on April 14th at the Newboro Community Hall. MP Michael Barrett and MPP Steve Clark provided congratulatory scrolls for the winners. County Warden Nancy Peckford and Economic Development staff representing the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville were in attendance.
The Economic Development Committee is proud to share that Rideau Lakes is home to nearly 400 businesses and encourages residents and visitors to continue supporting local establishments.