With Hershey gone, Canadian town embraces mantle as pot capital

“We’re acknowledged because the pot capital of Canada — and we’re pleased with that,” Mayor Shawn Pankow stated in an interview from the city corridor, a two-story brick constructing erected in 1859 on the primary road. “The native financial system is definitely much better at this time than it was earlier than Tweed got here to city.”

Smiths Falls is on the rebound, with extra youthful individuals relocating to this city seventy five kilometers (forty seven miles) southwest of the capital in Ottawa. There’s renewed curiosity in business property, new companies are arriving and there is even the odd bidding conflict on houses.

“We’re seeing constructive impacts actually throughout the financial system,” stated Pankow, fifty two, who additionally runs a monetary advisory agency. “Individuals are recognizing that Smiths Falls is a group that is on the upswing.”

Tweed took over a former Hershey manufacturing unit with formidable plans to develop medical marijuana. At the moment, the agency has 360 staff — a properly-educated workforce that runs the administration, analysis, rising operations, packaging and delivery from the power that also has signage and different remnants of its chocolate previous. Development crews hammer away on the subsequent enlargement. The parking zone is packed.

“Smiths Falls welcomed us and we appreciated that,” stated Chief Government Officer Bruce Linton, who says he is tapping native labor, suppliers and companies as a lot as attainable because the enterprise gears up for the legalization of marijuana in Canada subsequent summer time. “The impact is the city turns into extra fascinating, and because it turns into extra fascinating my means to recruit people who find themselves senior or worldly will increase.”

It is a stark distinction from a decade in the past, when Smiths Falls confronted an business exodus with the shutdown of a Stanley Instruments Manufacturing facility and a shuttering of the Hershey plant. That adopted months later by the closure of the Rideau Regional Centre for the developmentally disabled. The closures affected greater than 1,500 individuals — one-fifth the inhabitants.

Smiths Falls has confronted ebbs and flows of business all through its historical past, stemming again about one hundred ninety years when crews got here to construct the Rideau Canal connecting Ottawa with Kingston. Many years later, the Canadian Pacific Railway arrived to offer a rail connection to the surface world, serving to help commerce.

“It is a city that continually reinvents itself,” stated Leisa Purdonbell, 33, who oversees the historic collections within the basement of an 1860s-period home that doubles as a museum. “Companies have come and gone.”

Frost & Wooden Co., which started making farming gear in 1846,…

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