Entrepreneurship, Sharing, & Nature
The Land Between is an economic and cultural asset for residents in local and nearby towns and for seasonal residents and visitors from cities 1½ to 2 hours’ drive away– Greater Toronto Area, Barrie, Kingston and Ottawa. Few metropolitan areas in the world have such large and entire natural wonders so close by. Tourist resorts and services for cottagers are central to local economies. Cottages are the dominant settlement type in The Land Between. Very few villages or hamlets dot the landscape and are mostly along the edges of the region, and in many municipalities, the number of seasonal residents far outnumbers permanent ones.
Statistics Canada indicates that 50% of the permanent residents in The Land Between are over the age of 50. Numbers of commuters and retirees moving to the area are on the rise.
Both residents and visitors use the area for the vast range of nature-based recreational activities that an area of this quality offers. Indeed, this is the culture of The Land Between. Industries secondary to tourism and recreation involve public services and construction. The thin soil and exposed rock made The Land Between primarily unproductive for farming and not very good for forestry. Some mining is conducted in the east half of the region and quarries operate in the west. Therefore, the most important economic and social activities today (i.e. tourism for visitors and services for cottagers) depend on maintaining the natural characteristics of The Land Between.
Stemming from a spirit of creativity and resilience, the settlers are hearty and jack of all trades- they are innovative and entrepreneurial, so that with the limited roads and industry, even today the small dispersed communities that dot the landscape have a primarily creative economy. The Land Between has a rich density of artisans, crafts people, and small business owners with a multitude of wares and services. Individuals with diverse skills, hardiness, and bravery. Their economy and trades more often have a direct relationship with the natural landscape and the resources of the land than may be found in most places in southern Ontario. This economy is part of The Land Between’s culture and is founded on The Land Between’s Natural Environment.