For the first time, 103 homes in Hidden Valley and 41 in Burks Falls will be connected to natural gas thanks to Ontario’s Natural Gas Expansion Program.

Now in the second phase of the program, Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller says $1.9 million will be allocated towards construction in Hidden Valley and $1.2 million for Burks Falls.

Huntsville Mayor Karin Terizano points out that natural gas is more affordable than other forms of heating, and estimates this will help save homeowners as much as $1,500 on their heating bill. “It’s also cleaner,” she adds.

“The Village of Burk’s Falls is thrilled with the expected upgrading of natural gas to our community,” said Village of Burks Falls Mayor Cathy Still. “Infrastructure is the key to success for growth in all communities.”

Miller says that construction will get underway this year, but a more specific timeline was not given. Terziano says she has been in touch with representatives from Enbridge Gas and hopes that the work will bring a few extra jobs to the municipality. 

“I am pleased that more residents and businesses in Parry Sound-Muskoka will have access to natural gas,” Miller says. “We have long, cold winters and natural gas will bring down the cost of heating for many families.”

As part of phase two, Miller says over $230 million will be used to create 8,750 connections in 43 rural, northern and Indigenous communities. All the projects should be underway by 2025.