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Economic Development eNews | August 8, 2023

Business Profile

Len's Cove Marina - One of a Kind!

PORTLAND - It's a great marina and so much more.

Len's Cove Marina is a third-generation family business celebrating 65 years of operation. It blends its historic roots with today's best boating, water sports, marine products, rentals, sales and services. Len's Cove Marina has it all!

"Some marinas feel like a boatyard but we have the feel of an active resort - a place where you want to spend time," says owner Sean Horsfall, who takes pride in the 35-acre site's many amenities.

There are cabin accommodations, walking paths, a pool, store, The Galley restaurant as well as 180 boat slips on Big Rideau Lake on the Rideau Canal Waterway.

"We're pretty unique. Not many marinas, if any, have a combination of services like we have," says Sean. "I'm always looking to do the things other marinas aren't doing while also providing the best products and services."

Len's Cove is also famous for being a marina with the largest YouTube following in the world with close to 50,000 subscribers viewing their "Lessons in Boating" videos. Some of the Len's Cove instructional videos have more than a million views.

"It exploded," says Sean of how the videos launched during the pandemic really took off. They've given his business a competitive advantage because people want to purchase a boat from someone they've come to know through helpful videos.

"We want people to make the right choice. I love that feeling of a person pulling up to the dock with a smile on their face because of a boat we've sold them," says Sean.

"We were once a marina that sold boats. Now we are a boat dealership that also has a marina," says Sean. In the early days, they had about half a million in boat sales. Today it is over $10-million in boat sales. They offer an assurance plan and will purchase a boat back from the customer if it isn't the right fit. Service and storage are available for all watercraft sold.

A lot has changed since Sean's grandparents purchased the property in 1958 but the warm family atmosphere remains. Sean's dad, Doug, and his uncle, Steve, were the second generation. Sean started at the marina at a young age and took it over when his father retired. Customers are very loyal with generations of families returning year after year. There is a neighbourhood feel walking around the resort with people gathered at picnic tables and kids eating popsicles.

"We care about our customers. They're here at the marina, in the cabins and at the restaurant," says Sean. He is also proud of his dedicated staff of up to 62 people at peak season, including technicians for boat and engine repair.

Learn more about Len's Cove Marina on their website and by visiting their Facebook and Instagram pages. Don't forget to check out their YouTube channel. You can call 613-272-2581 or send Sean an email. The marina is located at 1 Water Street. The Galley Restaurant is located at 11 Water Street, Portland.

Top feature photo and below: Owner Sean Horsfall, centre, with son Nathan and daughter Lera at their family-owned marina.

Above photos: One of the many watercraft sold at Len's Cove; the onsite shop and the interior of one of the newly-renovated cottages.


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Looking for some road trip inspiration? Explore these three self-driving Adventures. Each Adventure provides an assortment of businesses and locations across the 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Waterways region that locals and tourists can use to form their own road trip itinerary, making this the perfect way to choose your own adventure.

Find your favourite bakeries and cafés, shop at exciting independent food shops for local and specialty foods, or stroll through beautiful private and public gardens. Better yet, why not check out all 3 Adventures?

The 1000 Islands RIdeau Canal Waterways tourism region is curated by the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office.

Industry Survey Requests

RTO9 (Regional Tourism Organization) Survey

RTO9 is seeking a few minutes of your time to provide input that will guide their efforts to drive positive change and create an even more impactful and rewarding tourism landscape. Participation in this brief survey will help shape priorities for RTO 9’s Board of Directors as they plan for the next three years in the upcoming strategic meeting this September.

The survey closes Monday, August 14 at 4 p.m.

Take the Survey

Province seeks input from

Hospitality and Construction Sectors

The Ontario Government is interested in learning about the experience of running a business in the hospitality and construction sectors in the province. There are brief 5-minute surveys for business owners in these sectors. Your answers to the questionnaire will be viewed only by the research and program teams.


There is an additional research opportunity. The province will be holding one-on-one research sessions with business owners to learn more. Leave your contact information at the end of the survey if you are interested in participating in a 45-minute research session. Those who are selected will be contacted via email. Participants in the research session will receive a $45 gift card.

The deadline to respond to the surveys is Saturday, September 30th.

Hospitality Sector Survey
Construction Sector Survey

Digital Opportunities

Hurry! The Digital Grant Expires Soon


The $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) for business is due to expire on September 30th. Although this is the fourth round of the grant, we don’t know if it will run again.

Now is the time to apply. Invest in your company by adopting technology to help modernize your enterprise. If making your life easier is on your wish list, the DTG can help make those important and efficient tech upgrades to your operation.

Hire a marketing consultant, create your ideal website, add an online shop, strategize social media campaigns, advertise and update your POS hardware to make an impact.

Leeds Grenville Economic Development staff can connect you with your FREE local Digital Specialist today! They have the expertise and tools to assist with your digital business needs. Let’s get started while there is still time so we can help you get these grant funds!

Connect with Digital Service Specialist Cyndy Bolton via email or call 613-342-3840, ext. 5368.

Virtual sessions are also available during the day and there are extended hours to suit your schedule. For more information on the program, visit our Digital Services webpage.

Funding Opportunities

Tourism Development Fund 2023 Now Open for Applications

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport has announced the launch of the 2023 Tourism Development Fund, formerly known as the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund. The fund supports projects that encourage the development of innovative new tourism products, support tourism investment or build the capacity of Ontario’s tourism industry to foster new tourism investment. The fund offers a matching contribution of up to 50% (maximum of $25,000) for new tourism projects and experiences, aligning with the project’s budget. 

The Tourism Development Fund 2023 program aims to support projects that will increase tourist visitation and visitor spending in Ontario by: 

  • Developing innovative tourism products and experiences 
  • Increasing domestic and/or foreign private sector tourism investment 
  • Strengthening the skills, resources and abilities of the tourism industry to attract or support new tourism investments 

The application period is now open. Applications will be accepted until September 14, 2023, at 5 p.m.

Learn more

Business Consultations

Free In-person Business Consultations

Starting your own business poses questions, challenges, and uncertainty. Leeds Grenville Small Business can help you analyze your business situation and help you identify opportunities in the marketplace.

They can also help you with market research, writing an effective business plan structure, government regulations, licensing information and sourcing finances.

This September, they are offering free 45-minute, in-person business consultations in 3 Leeds Grenville communities to answer your questions and give you guidance on what steps to take next.


WHEN: Thursday, September 7th

Book your consult here


WHEN: Tuesday, September 12th

Book your consult here

North Grenville:

WHEN: Thursday, September 21st

Book your consult here

There is also the option to book a consult on another date by phone, Zoom, or in-person at our Brockville office.

Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library

AI Crash Course for Small Business

This webinar is specifically designed for small businesses across many sectors, whether you have limited knowledge of AI (Artificial Intelligence), or are simply curious about its potential applications and impact on businesses.

During this session you'll:

  • Gain a basic understanding of AI and its potential impact on various industries
  • Recognize the challenges posed by AI and strategies to navigate them with confidence
  • Discover the different roles AI can play within your operations: co-pilot (working alongside humans), enhancement (augmenting existing processes), or pivot (adapting your business to AI disruption).

AI is no longer a distant concept; this webinar will empower you with the knowledge and insights, serving as the essential first step to help you make more informed decisions for your business as it relates to AI. The session is hosted by Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC).

WHEN: Tuesday, August 15, 9-10:30 a.m.

COST: Free

To register

Accessing Capital for the Agri-food Sector

This webinar hosted by Ontario East Economic Development Commission will explore traditional and non-traditional options for farm businesses in Ontario to access capital and how it is important to economic development.


Access to sources of income and capital are an essential element in the growth and development of farm businesses. Access to capital refers to funding, any source of money that will be used to implement the business plan. Capital is used to generate income for a business by buying assets, paying personnel, and contracting for services. Most farms are capital-intensive businesses with investment needed in assets such as land and buildings, equipment, inputs like seeds, fertilizer or livestock. 

WHEN: Tuesday, August 29, 10-11:30 a.m.

COST: Free

To register

Leeds Grenville eNews Deadlines for submitting information:

If you have an upcoming workshop, seminar, or business-related event, please email it to us in advance.

  • Submissions for the August 22nd edition should be received by Monday, August 14th.
  • Submissions for the September 5 edition should be received by Monday, August 28th.
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Ann Weir
Economic Development Manager
Deanna Clark
Economic Development Officer
Joanne Poll
Administration / Communications Support
Shelbi McFarlane
Business Development Officer

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