TVO series shows cannabis lifting up small town

Published on May 20, 2022 by David Wylie

Photo: Adobe Stock/the oz.
Downtown Smiths Falls, Ont., shows the landmark water tower and stone buildings. It's also become known for cannabis.

A new TV Ontario original six-part series premiering next month will showcase how cannabis helped revitalize one small Canadian town.

The series, Crossroads: Beyond Boom & Bust, will tell the stories of six small towns across Ontario confronting the question of how to survive big industrial, social and cultural changes.

TVO says communities everywhere will relate to the stories presented in the weekly series, which premieres June 13 at 7 p.m. It will also be available on YouTube.

Episode 1 features Smiths Falls, where Tweed (Canopy Growth) took over the abandoned Hershey’s factory. Nearly 2,000 people were left without work after the plant closed.

“In 2013, Smiths Falls became the headquarters of a brand-new medical marijuana company. After cannabis was legalized in Canada, the town’s prospects brightened considerably,” says the episode summary.

Other episodes explore economic transformations in Stratford, Napanee, Cobalt, North Buxton, and Vankleek Hill. Episodes feature interviews with local historians, municipal and industry leaders, and residents for an intimate view of small-town life.

“Many Ontario towns are struggling to adapt to a storm of global pressures, all without losing a sense of their identity. We hear about this issue every day and there really is hope and an opportunity to thrive,” says John Ferri, VP of Programming and Content at TVO. “Crossroads: Beyond Boom & Bust spotlights the people, ideas and ingenuity that are making it possible for some communities to reinvent themselves on their own terms.”