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Economic Development

Learn more about how the Town of Cochrane is promoting tourism, living and business development.
Economic Development

Building Our Economy

The Town of Cochrane has an Economic Development Department that can provide advice and assistance in the areas of tourism, economic development, business development, and grants acquisition. The department can assist you and your business or community organization through workshops, referrals to business and community development information from the local and provincial level, and well as one-on-one discussions and educational materials. Use the scrolling menu to learn more about Cochrane’s Economic Plan.

Steering Board

The Department works hand in hand with the Economic Development Steering Board, a volunteer led board. The Board meets monthly, typically on the third Thursday of every month, except for the months of July and August. To see a full schedule of the Board’s activities, visit our meeting manager. Visit the Committee & Boards section to learn about potential vacant positions on this or any of the other boards.

Attraction & Retention

The department of Economic Development is responsible for the attraction and retention of investors and labour force to the community. The department is the first point of contact for inbound investors to our community. The department will work in collaboration with inbound investors from the moment they inquire about an investment model that could be implemented in the Town of Cochrane.

The Economic Development Officer in partnership with the planning division will walk through the site selection process, answer questions and concerns and ensure that the overall process is progressing smoothly.

Devon Prevost

Economic Development Officer

171 Fourth Avenue
Cochrane, ON P0L 1C0
Tel: 705-272-4361 ext. 249

Email Economic Development Department

Community Development

The department’s Economic Development Officer (EDO) acts as a resource for local clubs, not-for-profits, and service agencies. The EDO can assist these organizations in accessing grants, providing training on managing finances, preparing business plans and various other tools that are in demand for Cochrane’s service sector to excel.

Just because you are not a business doesn’t mean you don’t also require tools and funding to make your day to day activities work in the community. Your services are important to our community and we want to see them flourish as well as local businesses.

Let our Economic Development Officer help be your resource and even assist you with giving you access to various organizational and or business tools.

Investing In Cochrane

Over the last ten years, Cochrane has seen increasing levels of employment, income, and investment in key sectors of our community, including mining, forestry and agriculture. Economically speaking, Cochrane is currently in a booming cycle, and although it is not immune to the boom bust cycles, Cochrane has been able to sustain itself economically during bust cycles, which occurred prior to 2006, due to its diversified economy.

Economic Diversity

Unlike most other northern communities, Cochrane boasts of a very diversified economy. Retail, tourism, hospitality, restoration, construction and trades to name a few. Furthermore, close to 20% of all businesses in Cochrane are entrepreneurship based. Many people in Cochrane chose to work for themselves and do well by doing so.

A Helping Hand

We invite you to browse our community profile and connect with our Economic Development Team at the Town of Cochrane to help answer your questions and start moving your projects along in our community.

Community Profile

Use the following link to view our community profile.

Business Development

The department’s Economic Development Officer (EDO) acts as a resource for business owners and entrepreneurs in the community. Whether you want to start a business, relocate or expand your business, the EDO can assist with directing you to the right funding program or service provider, depending the nature of your business venture.

Picture Your Business in Cochrane

The Town of Cochrane wants to see its business sector and entrepreneurial spirit see continuous growth. Because of this, the town does not require new businesses to purchase a municipal business license. The town requires that businesses register only with the province as per provincial regulations.

Start Your Business

Use the following link to learn more about starting a business.

Doable Neighbourhood Projects

Promoting the importance of having an active and healthy community, the Doable Neighbourhood Projects are the premier initiatives in Cochrane that aim to plan around people, not infrastructure, to create spaces within the community that increase the well being of our community.

A community effort

Since its inception, the Doable Neighbourhood Project has sought to implement over twelve initiatives in our community throughout the summer months. The initiatives are implemented by the DNP Team, a volunteer based committee that seeks to enhance Cochrane’s currently existing assets with the resulting impact being a refreshed approach to healthy community design.

Award winning

In 2015, the Town of Cochrane was awarded the 8-80 Cities Community Innovator Award for the Doable Neighbourhood Project programs.

Cochrane’s Doable Neighbourhood Project

Visit Website

Bike Share Program

Take a bike and ride where you need to go! Whether you are hitting the trails for a picnic, enjoying the scenic views, or want a healthy mode of travel to and from work, the Bike Share Program is free and available for all local residents and visiting tourists alike. Access to the bikes are free, but require a sign in and sign out process. This enables us to measure the use of the bikes and maintain tabs on their whereabouts.

Donate a bike

To donate a bike to the town’s Bike Share Program, please contact the Municipal Operations office during regular work hours, at (705) 272-5086.

Become a bike depot

Should your business or organization like to become a bike depot for Bike Share 2.0 this season, please communicate with our local Economic Development Officer, Isabelle Denault via email or phone by using the information on your right.

Book Share Program

Our book share program promotes literacy in our community. People can take books from these book share boxes to have a read or drop off books that they want to throw out.

Community Partner

The 1st Cochrane Scouts Club is a community partner in this project. They lead the way and help to stock the community boxes with books.

Pop-Up Piano Program

The Pop-Up Piano project is popular among kids and adults in our community. The program looks to create social spaces through music in our community. All piano shelters are outdoors with the program running annually, from May to October.

Lake Commando Skating Oval

Open during the winter months, the skating oval is found at the center of town on Lake Commando. The skating oval is maintained on the natural ice surface of the lake where many partake in a stroll on the ice. Sometimes you will even see a pond hockey game break out.

Lake Activities

Available during the summer months from July to August, locals and visitors alike can rent kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and pedal boats to be used on Lake Commando. Stay active while on the water. Private paddle board lessons are also available upon request.

Greening Initiatives

We are currently working on beautifying our downtown core. In the summer of 2016, the DNP Team installed several benches surrounded by trees. For 2017, more trees are expected to be planted, helping to beautify the downtown community of Cochrane, Ontario.

Featured Projects

The department is currently active in implementing several projects, which are identified in their Strategic Plan (2020). The Economic Development Officer is the main lead for projects being implemented by this department and overlooks all portfolios of activity. For a detailed look at this year’s initiatives, see the department’s recently approved Action Plan.


Following the Strategic Plan process in 2020, the town’s Economic Development activities fall within these five objectives.

  • Population Retention – It is our objective to retain and grow our population.
  • Fiscal Health – It is our objective to keep more money in people’s pockets.
  • Self Sufficient – It is our objective to be strategic about our growth and development.
  • Strengthening Our Unique Blend of Cultures – It is our objective to stop cultural segregation and remove socioeconomic barriers for our people.
  • Physically Healthy – It is our objective to grow while we maintain our physical health.

2020 Strategic Plan

The following link allows you to view and download the Town of Cochrane’s most current Economic Development strategic plan.

Community Improvement Plan

A Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is a planning and economic development tool, under Section 28 of the Planning Act and Sections 106 and 365.1 of the Municipal Act that enables a municipality to promote community revitalisation. Through a CIP, municipalities can promote reinvestment and redevelopment in specific areas (i.e. downtowns) by developing financial incentive programs intended to encourage private investment and specific to local needs.

CIP Financial Incentives

The CIP establishes a comprehensive set of financial incentive programs that are intended to achieve the goals of this CIP by encouraging private sector development and investment in Cochrane. CIPs allow municipalities to provide micro-funding to eligible businesses willing to improve/expand their business within established guidelines. The incentive programs presented are intended to respond to the local needs and opportunities to be addressed through the Plan. The financial incentive programs have been created to encourage private sector redevelopment in Cochrane, particularly with respect to the Town’s downtown commercial areas. Applicants may use individual incentive programs, or combine multiple complementary programs for a single site or development, unless otherwise stipulated under the individual programs. The purpose, description, and eligibility requirements for each financial incentive program are outlined in section 8.5 of the CIP. Eligible projects may also be augmented with other federal and provincial funding programs.

CIP Financial Incentive Program:
  • Accessibility Grant
  • Affordable Housing Study Grant
  • Brownfield Property Tax Assistance Grant
  • Downtown Housing Grant
  • Environmental Site Assessment Grant
  • Façade Improvement Grant
  • Landscaping and Parking Area Grant
  • Planning and Building Fee Grant
  • Retail Market Strategy Study Grant
  • Signage Improvement Grant
  • Tax Increment Equivalent Grant
Applying for the CIP Financial Incentives

Prior to submitting an application for one or more of the financial incentive programs in this CIP, applicants are required to have a pre-application consultation meeting with the Town of Cochrane Economic Development Department. The Town will help you complete this application and advise you of your eligibility of programs. The Town will also indicate which supporting materials are required for your application. If you are interested in applying for any of the CIP Financial Incentive Programs, please contact sophie.hautot@cochraneontario.com to book a pre-consultation. See full details on the application process in section 8.5 of the CIP.

Statutory Public Meeting

Following input and review from the community and the CIP working group, which includes members of the Economic Development Board, Council and the Planning Board a Final Draft CIP was prepared.

In accordance with Section 28 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended, the Cochrane and Suburban Planning Board held a Statutory Public Meeting on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm at the Fire Hall (23 Fifth Street, Cochrane, Ontario), to consider the Final Draft CIP. The Cochrane and Suburban Planning Board recommended the plan to be adopted by Council.

The improvements resulting from a CIP can increase local business and tourism, ultimately contributing to community revitalization, increased property values and municipal tax revenues. 

CIP Bylaw

Public Open House

A Public Open House was held Monday May 28, 2018 at the Tim Horton Event Centre (7 Tim Horton Dr.) in the Community Hall from 6-8pm.

To view the presentation slide deck and other distributed information please download the information by clicking below.

Cochrane Intermodal Terminal

The Cochrane Intermodal Terminal (CIT) is a 1.43 million dollar project that aims to increase usage of rail for freight transportation in an effort to maintain jobs, while providing other industries with opportunities to expand their business operations, logistics and create efficiencies.

Trains Lead the Way

The project will at first accommodate the rail and mining sectors with fuel trans-loading and grinding media off-loading equipment. Other industries, including forestry and agriculture, are already looking at positioning their operations to utilize the site in the near future.

This project will look to create six new jobs in our community and maintain at least ten other jobs. This project is graciously funded by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and FedNor. The department also wishes to thank the project partners, Detour Gold and Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC), who have dedicated time and resources to assist the Town of Cochrane in planning for this project.

Investing in Cochrane
Business Development
Doable Neighbourhood Projects
Featured Projects

Notice of road closure

Friday, June 14, 2024 – 9 am to 4 pm – Railway tracks on Nahma and Searles Road.

For more information on the road closure, please click the button below.