Le Boat gets Ont. backing for Smiths Falls office

In this July 2017 photo provided by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Le Boat Managing Director Cheryl Brown outlines the company's plans to run their self-driving boat business on the Rideau Canal. The company has announced its North American headquarters will be in Smiths Falls. (UCLG via Newswatch Group)

SMITHS FALLS – A European self-driving boat vacation company is expanding in Leeds-Grenville, moving its North American operations from Florida to into Smiths Falls.

The provincial government has also announced its putting almost $2 million behind the company.

The province announced today (Thursday) Le Boat will receive $1.5 million from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, $360,000 from the Tourism Development Fund and $138,667 from the Tourism Industry Partners Program.

The company is investing $16 million into the expansion project, which should fully operating by September 2022.

According to the county, the plan is to have 16 boats on the water in the first year of operation on the Rideau Canal, described as a “condo on the water.”

The company also held a launch party last night (Wednesday) in Smiths Falls.

Members of Le Boat are also scheduled to speak tomorrow (Friday Sept. 22) at the mayor’s breakfast in Leeds and Thousand Islands in Seeley’s Bay.

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