Lanark County / Rideau Canal / Smiths Falls / The Wedge / Where to stay

Former Chocolate Capital of Canada is sweet again

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Victoria Park view from the children’s playground – PHOTO : thewedge.LIVE

by Maggie M, Host of “Where in the wedge is Maggie M?”

The departure of Hershey’s, Smiths Falls, is still raw in many hearts.

“It was a great place to work,” a former employee shares. “People arrived in droves by bus daily,” another opines.

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Hershey’s long kiss goodbye

‘Tis true, Hershey’s put Smiths Falls on the map as a preferred travel destination. The Town has been in rebuild-mode ever since it received Hershey’s response to the union’s hammer, driving a 6-inch nail into the town’s heart.

Unions are unfortunately more often harm than good in a free market. (I don’t need a visit from the Teamsters on this point.) They coerce employees into agreements and hefty fees, resting control into their own hands. They can destroy profits in a matter of days, rendering management and boards powerless. Hershey’s said, “no”, and kissed Smiths Falls, “Goodbye!” It was a victory for the free market at the expense of a lovely community; but now, it is rising with new savor.

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Tweed Inc. headquarters, Smiths Falls, Ontario Canada – PHOTO : thewedge.LIVE

Smiths Falls, under a new entrepreneurial “can do” leadership, has not been sitting on its laurels; the fruit of their labors is now showing. The sweet taste of success is returning.

First, there was Tweed which took up 40% of the former Hershey plant. Yes, the corporation produces and markets medical marijuana, a medicine that saved this writer’s brother from the ravages of third stage cancer. Now, with several million dollars injected, this corporation is in good stead to leap, perhaps worldwide. While we rejoice in these good tidings, there’s so much more.

THREE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FOR SMITHS FALLS

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le boat, Europe, prepares to open in Smiths Falls, 2018

Did you hear about le boat ? It is Europe’s largest self-drive boating company and it is dropping its anchor in Smiths Falls. Smart move on their part since the town is situated in the heart of the Rideau Canal. The corporation’s spokesperson says the Rideau Canal is a, “vacationer’s dream.” 16 state-of-the-art Horizon cruisers are scheduled for 2018. Parks Canada staff must be ebullient. It will add some excitement in the Lockmasters’ lock-unlock-daily-grind (my term).

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County Fair Mall, Smiths Falls, changed hands December 2016 and is looking for tenants – PHOTO : thewedge.LIVE

So you can hardly wait for 2018? Well something else happened. The County Fair Mall scheduled for closing by Christmas (a Scrooge-move that triggered Cratchit lamentations among staff and shoppers on the heels of Target’s evaporation), has now been purchased. The buyer is a secret angel; but, I am guessing the Saumures have saved the day. They tend to purchase end-of-life properties and resurrect them. The Best Western Hotel in Perth is testament to their talent. It is still a rumour; but staff and shoppers are all saying, “Saumure.” I drilled a dignitary who was mum on my queries; but, little did she know, I have studied facial responses in my career. Let’s see if this writer is a good read.

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Hotel Rideau, Smiths Falls, Ontario just purchased and awaiting transformation. PHOTO : thewedge.LIVE

Is your stocking not full enough? Let’s top-it-up with Hotel Rideau. This focal point and historic building in the heart of downtown, currently frayed and shuttered, has also been purchased and will come to life in 2017. The buyer is Parkview Homes of Kemptville. This will soon be the flower in Smiths Falls’ lapel, a beauty that will grace Ontario’s widest downtown road–by design it harks back to the charming fifties.

Brace yourself SmithsFallians, good times are ahead. The Hershey curse is lifted. Expect more blessings on this sweet, friendly community. Enjoy a look at this Town below.

SMITHS FALLS IMAGE GALLERY – PHOTOS : the wedge

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Long driveway into Gallipeau Centre which houses an 850-seat theatre, luxury condos and endless business space – PHOTO : thewedge.LIVE

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Old Slys Lock –a beautiful stop for picnics and boaters – PHOTO : thewedge.LIVE

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Extraordinary trompe-l’oeil artist uses this legal firm’s wall as canvas, Downtown Smiths Falls – PHOTO : thewedge.LIVE

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Reflection of the water tower on the Rideau beautiful in Fall – PHOTO : thewedge.LIVE

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All transports lead to Smiths Falls : rail, highways, waterways and even an airport – PHOTO : the wedge.LIVE

6 thoughts on “Former Chocolate Capital of Canada is sweet again

  1. I lived in Smiths Falls for a good chunk of my young life and I’m so happy to see it becoming revitalized! Thank you for this post – and I did see today that it was Saumure who bought the mall. I can’t wait to see all these positive changes!
    ~Jess

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