The City of Orillia is located at the crossroads of Ontario, on the shores of Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching and just an hour north of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Highway 400/Highway 11 is one of two highways that provide access to the City and runs north/south from Toronto, through Orillia and then north towards North Bay and beyond. The second highway, highway 12, runs east/west from Oshawa and the GTA to the shores of Georgian Bay. As of the 2010, Orillia currently holds a population of 30,178 - with an unemployment rate of 5.7 percent - and it is evident that the City is growing at a much slower rate than surrounding towns. Industries providing the most jobs in Orillia are retail trade, business services, and health care and social services.
According to the City of Orillia's Economic Development Strategy There has been a drop in the population aged 25-44 years and those 15 and younger and if this trend continues it would have significant implications for the City's future economic growth in terms of its labour pool. However, the size of the resident labour force has increase, which suggests the labour force is increasing faster than the population as a whole. This is turn suggests a strong local economy and is supported by the fact that a higher percentage of those in the labour force are also actively employed and an unemployment rate that is lower than the provincial average.
The service sector, as stated in the City's Economic Development Strategy - comprising of retail, accommodation and food and the arts, entertainment and recreation - represents a significant portion of current jobs in Orillia at 36.3% and has increased by 15.4% since 2001. The health care and social assistance sector ranks second in terms of total number of jobs in Orillia due to the fact that Orillia functions as a regional service centre for the delivery of both health care and social service programming in the region. The recent addition onto Soldier's Memorial Hospital was a significant provider for jobs in Orillia and is expected to remain that way.
Based on information provided by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, manufacturing; professional, scientific and technical services; construction; health care and social services; and arts, entertainment and recreation represent the industries with the greatest growth potential for jobs in Orillia.
Finally, the education sector is a supporter of the Orillia labour market with one college and one university campus location, which bring stable, higher skilled jobs in Orillia as well as the ability for Orillia to attract or stimulate growth in industries not currently present in the community.