The Economic Impact of Provincial Park Location – Bon Echo

Nov 23, 2023 | Featured Posts, General Information

This document, written by Iain C. Taylor in 1969, was digitized by the Internet Archives in 2022.  The document was submitted to the Internet Archives by the University of Toronto. It portrays our area in 1969 and studies the impact of Bon Echo to the local economy. In 1969, Bon Echo was a relatively new park even though the dedication was in 1965. It’s economic impact was studied after the collection of surveys from local residents, businesses and visitors to Bon Echo. A total of 1774 questionaires were collected from two university summer students.

In 1969, the ‘poverty line’ in our area was established at $3000 annual income.

“The effect of spending generated by the park was particularly
great on grocery stores, followed in importance by restaurants
and gas stations.”

Park employment amounted to 17 in 1966 and 27 in 1967. In1966,12 of the 17 received less than $3,000. Only four or five jobs per annum can be said to be provided with an adequate annual income. The remainder helps to supplement income from other employment or welfare.

“The County of Lennox and Addington in 1961 not only had
average family incomes considerably lower than those of the Province
($4,629 per annum, compared to the provincial $5,868 per annum),
but also had almost twice the provincial proportion of families in
the poverty class i.e. with incomes of less than $3,000 per annum.”

The overall impact of Bon Echo was tremendous.  All six local grocery stores saw an increase in sales when Bon Echo was open.  Restaurants had an improvement in their business and gas stations did well.  One gas station in Kaladar estimated that 10-15% of their total annual gallonage was sold to Bon Echo visitors.  Only a few accommodation businesses reported some negative effect from the new Park.  Some thought Bon Echo was charging too little, a detriment to their own accommodation business.

There are scores of facts and figures in the study.  The impact of one of the greatest gifts to the people of Ontario cannot be underestimated.  You can download/view the entire document here.




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