Norman Ragetlie

Norman Ragetlie
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Rural Ontario Institute

Norman began his career in the non-profit sector helping organize environmental advocacy campaigns such as the Campaign to Preserve Lake Ontario and managing a food cooperative. After taking a Master of Science degree in Rural Planning and Development from the University of Guelph he worked in municipal government for 10 years as a planner on an award-winning sustainable community development program. Following this he spent a decade with the Ministry of Ag. Food and Rural Affairs supporting rural community economic development. He worked with many municipalities across the province to adapt new approaches to the local community context. Serving for the last eight years as Director of Policy and Stakeholder Engagement with the non-profit Rural Ontario Institute he has led diverse partnership projects and studies on topics relevant to rural communities. He now makes his home on the shores of Georgian Bay in Grey County.


Shaping the Future of the Saugeen Peninsula 2018 Forum Talk

Rural Community Development Lessons for Tobermory
Or “if life hands you lemons make lemonade!”

Small, isolated rural communities such as Tobermory with a narrow economic base in a particular specific sector are vulnerable to long-term potential decline. Moreover, in a highly seasonal context of peak summer tourism maintaining a viable, vital community that has sufficient services and quality of life for permanent residents during the off season is a challenge. Drawing from the experience of other rural communities and community development experts this talk will provide some direction as to the kinds of approaches Tobermory might consider to respond to these challenges. The knowledge we have of the importance of social capital and the principles of Asset Based Community Development will inform the discussion and the selection of examples. With Ontario data and informed by projects that the Rural Ontario Institute has been involved with in terms of Measuring Rural Community Vitality this talk by Norman Ragetlie explores these themes:

  • How unique is Tobermory? Are there common challenges we can learn from?
  • What are the critical factors of success in responding to such challenges?
  • What principles can be applied here?
  • Some inspiring examples from other communities

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