West Ridge will celebrate its 25th anniversary Saturday with a community celebration.
The free event is scheduled to run from 1 to 5 p.m. and will include a car show, live music, giveaways, and more.
Mariposa Homes and Charter Construction president Angelo Orsi says West Ridge began in 1988, when his father, Luigi, came to Orillia to do a land assembly.
“That’s when West Ridge was in its infancy as far as buying the opportunity for growth,” Orsi said. “From 1989 onward until 1998, until we actually put a shovel in the ground, we spent years planning and getting things ready to develop the vision.”
In June 1998, construction of homes and commercial properties began. Walmart was the first commercial building to open there, on Oct. 4, 1998, where HomeSense is located today.
“Here we are, 25 years later, and everything you see on the west side of Orillia started right there,” Orsi said. “It’s been a lot of hard work and effort with our community and partners in the city. The City of Orillia has been our main partner in making this all happen.”
There are now more than 50 businesses and services in West Ridge.
“The west side used to be dormant, and now it’s fully occupied with homeowners, businesses, shop owners, and people who come here from all over for shopping needs and necessities,” Orsi said. “It’s been a friendly addition to the city to provide opportunity.”
Lakehead University, Hydro One, and the West Orillia Sports Complex all call the area home, which is something Orsi is proud of.
“The west side of Orillia has always been kind of working along with the city and providing opportunity where it wasn’t available within the city,” he said. “Going back to the old days of Walmart, where else do you land a 105,000-square-foot building? That’s where the opportunity of West Ridge became important.”
Orsi, a former mayor of Orillia, says 25 years is a milestone he is excited to celebrate.
“These 25 years have gone by pretty quickly,” he said. “This is kind of an opportunity to stop, pause, and look back.”
While he will be looking back Saturday, he says it will be time to look forward again as soon as the event is over.
“Trailside is our next development in the West Ridge greater community,” he said. “Trailside is going to be another 1,000 units in the next 20 years. We will be working every year to keep on building more homes, more opportunities, and a great community.”
More information on Saturday’s celebration, including a schedule of events, can be found here.