The Canadian Press
A town of about 1,400 people in Northern Ontario is crediting an ambitious marketing campaign with drawing two dozen new families to the community.
Last year, Smooth Rock Falls, Ont. offered to reimburse 90 percent of the cost of the land if people built on it within two years–reducing the land cost to as little as $500 in some cases.
Mayor Michel Arseneault said town staff have been overrun with interest, fielding more than 1,000 calls from across Canada.
And though no residential buyers took them up on the land offer, 24 new families have moved to pre-existing homes in the community since October, 2017.
The town launched the campaign in an effort to slow the population decline in the wake of the closure of a pulp and paper mill in 2006 that was the area’s major employer.
Arseneault said things in the town have felt brighter since the marketing success, with residents volunteering and becoming involved in various committees.