Prince Edward County

Decide Where to Live First – Then Work There!

For Wellington based digital entrepreneurs Erik Rubadeau and Shannon Pitt it was “place” or community before business. Serendipitously Stumbling Across A Place To Live! Shannon has family in Napanee and while still based in Toronto 6 plus years ago on a visit to … Read More

Got Milk? From Hipsters To Holsteins

It seems the county is becoming more and more diversified. Where once we were a quite, rural, pastoral, off the beaten path backwater, today we are the “it” destination. We are a place for hipsters, craft wine, beer & cider, … Read More

Community & Collaboration = Rural Prosperity

Here is my latest column from The Times, where I examine entrepreneurship in rural Prince Edward County, Ontario. While the column is about people and “place”, I believe many of the stories I write about can happen in many rural communities … Read More

Can You Build Opportunity in a Rural Community?

Can You Build Opportunity in a Rural Community? Absolutely! In my biweekly column in The Times I examine entrepreneurship in rural Prince Edward County, Ontario. However, I believe many of the stories I plan to uncover can happen in many … Read More

From Grape Clusters to Economic Clusters.

  When I first heard of Closson Road, it was a pastoral rural route as it still is. The main difference between then and now is the kind of businesses that are on the road today. Years ago, this was an old school … Read More

What on earth is a Creative Rural Economy?

Dan explains the Creative Rural Economy at a Creative Minds event in Milford, Prince Edward County – Summer 2010.

I Live in a Beautiful Community!

  Live in a Beautiful Community! Quality of Place – you can define it however you like. What I can tell you is this shot of one of my favourite trees in Prince Edward County makes me feel so lucky … Read More

A Sign of a Creative Rural Economy

A Sign of a Creative Rural Economy I was walking down main street Picton last week when I saw this sign. The funny thing is somebody had just told me that the church was having ‘wine tastings’ on Sundays. It … Read More

The Creative Economy Live and in Action!

I loved Steven’s Talk! The Creative Economy Live and in Action! Steven Draper – Ex Pilot and Accidental Prince Edward County Resident and Creative Entrepreneur!   What do you think?

Pottery in the County
image by Bill Longshaw

There is no doubt that Prince Edward County’s economy is experiencing a Rural Renaissance. Somewhat economically sleepy for thirty or so year’s something interesting started to happen in the 1980’s. Artists started to find and discover the place. In some cases they could buy a home with mortgage payments of $200 or so a month. They could ply their trade and make a living.

In some way’s Prince Edward County is a rural version of Toronto’s Queen Street West or New York’s SoHo, where artist’s discover low rent places add life and vibrancy and then the world catches up and adds to the economic vitality of that area. Usually the downside to this is gentrification, are a higher cost of living (housing specifically) and social tension. Prince Edward County for better or worse has not escaped this cycle.

I think communities can prepare themselves for the pressures of gentrification by anticipating them, deciding to be proactive and invest in establishing zones and or pro-active housing policies and learning from groups like Artscape who provide affordable housing options for creatives who often create the wealth that puts pressure on them.

The up side is the revival of a 200 year old community with fabulous inherent loyalist culture, a new and vibrant arts and culture scene with lots of activity, galleries, studios, exhibits, live music, theatre, etc… When you combine activities like Maple in the County with game changing economic shifts like a new wine region and then you add art and culture to the mix you get magic! In fact what you get is a Rural Renaissance. We see this happening in many communities and I truly believe that more rural communities can capitalize on these emerging economic opportunities presenting themselves.

This is what drives our Quality of Place which is our competitive advantage and in turn attracts Creative Class workers and investors which creates another layer towards our Rural Renaissance.


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