Connected County

It takes a connected county to become an intelligent community...

Our lives are powered by the Internet. We rely on getting and staying connected for everything from growing our businesses to watching the latest TV shows, from completing post-secondary degrees to communicating with health specialists across the globe. Connectivity is so essential that the United Nations has declared Internet access to be a human right. But fibre-optic networks will just be "glass in the ground" if we don't work as a community to make sure we have the knowledge and skills required to take advantage of the opportunities created by connectivity. That's why we're working to make Grey County a “Connected County."

One of the cornerstone projects we're launching in 2016 is "Ag 4.0: The Next Big Thing" - and if you've arrived here after hearing about this event happening November 2-3, please click here to sign to save the date.

Explore this site to learn more what makes an intelligent community, read about key projects happening throughout our region, and stay up to date on the latest news and events through the blog. If you want to work with us to create connections and promote sustainable prosperity in Grey County, get in touch. We want to hear from you.

Ashleigh Weeden, Project Lead - Connected County Initiative
Phone: 519-372-0219 x 1255


Geoff Hogan, Director of IT/SWIFT Initiative Staff Lead
Phone: 519-376-2277
Email: Geoff.hogan@grey.ca

What's an Intelligent Community?

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What Makes an Intelligent Community?

Smart Facts about Grey County

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What we've accomplished so far



Warden's Breakfast - Announcing Key Initiatives for 2016

On February 18, 2016, Grey County hosted the Second Annual Warden's Breakfast, which gives local business and community leaders the opportunity to network with elected officials and County staff as well as learn more about progress towards economic development goals. In 2016, the Connected County project was front and centre as a central focus of promoting community and economic developmnet for Grey County.

Click here to view the Economic Development Update presented at the 2016 Warden's Breakfast.


Applied to the ICF Intelligent Community Of the Year Awards Program

Working with an extensive list of community partners, local experts and industry champions, we gathered data and stories about Grey County's current progress toward becoming an intelligent community and submitted an application to the Intelligent Community Forum's Intelligent Community of the Year Awards Program.

Our co-signatories to our 2015/2016 application included Warden Kevin Eccles, Gemma Mendez Smith, Executive Director of the Four County Labour Market Planning Board and Bill Van Wyck, President of The W.R. Van Wyck Group Limited.

The Smart 21 short list will be announced on October 21, 2015.


Grey County joins Open Data Movement with OpenData.Grey.ca

On May 5, 2015, Grey County joined the global Open Data movement by launching its own Open Data Portal at OpenData.Grey.ca

Through the online portal, Grey County will publish datasets in an accessible format so that information is machine readable and easily analyzed, while maintaining protections for personal privacy, security and confidentiality (as specified under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990).

“The County has created a vast amount of useful facts and statistics and we’re excited to start making this data more easily accessible and useable for interested members of our community,” said Director of IT, Geoff Hogan.


Connected County Master Class with Robert Bell

On November 7, 2014, Grey County hosted a Master Class with Intelligent Community Forum co-founder Robert Bell. Over 80 local leaders and community stakeholders participated in a very interactive session, producing a broad range of ideas for moving Grey County forward towards becoming an intelligent community.

Recommendations on immediate and future next steps regarding these strategic areas have been collected from community input provided at the Master Class, as well as actions listed in the implementation plan for the Made in Grey Economic Development Strategy. These action items have been matched with high-level metrics suggested by the ICF for communities to self-evaluate their efforts to become more connected and intelligent and outlined in the Connected County work-plan, which will be tabled to County Council in October 2015.


Completed Cisco's Smart + Connected Communities Benchmarking

In April 2013, Cisco was hired to perform a Smart and Connected Communities (S+CC) diagnostic exercise and develop a high level service strategy for Grey County.  Cisco completed a series of in-person interviews and surveys with stakeholders across Grey County. Completing the S+CC process established Grey County as the first community to be analyzed as part of the South West Economic Alliance (SWEA) Intelligent Region project, which worked with communities across Southwestern Ontario to complete the benchmarking study piloted here in Grey County.


Completed the I-Canada iCat Assessment

As a starting point, the County took part in an initial qualitative assessment of our readiness to compete globally, using an assessment tool created by i-Canada called, the i-CAT; short for Intelligent Community Assessment Tool. This was a pilot project, paid for by SWEA, to explore the merits and local applicability of the Intelligent Community development framework.

Some 50 people from different sectors across Grey County were invited to complete the survey in May 2012, representing government, business, community services, health care, education and the general public. Results were considered typical for a rural area. I-Canada did suggest however, that Grey County is in a better starting position than most other similar municipalities analysed in Ontario to date. Participants ranked Grey highly for the environment, quality of life, finances and smart utilities. More information can be found in former CAO Lance Thurston's report "Towards Creating an Intelligent Region."


Local Leaders Connecting Grey County

Local Champions

Get In Touch


Contact Info

  • Ashleigh Weeden, Connected County Initiative
  • 519-372-0219 ext 1255
  • ashleigh.weeden@grey.ca