The rise, fall and rebirth of FrumCity, the Orthodox migration to Innisfil that never happened

Construction is ongoing on the 6th Line in Innisfil, Ont., down the street from an Orthodox synagogue. The quiet rural road was a target site for "FrumCity"—until the project fell apart. (Google Maps screenshot)

Years ago, a small group of Orthodox Jews from Toronto decided to start a new community north of the city. They chose Innisfil, a town south of Barrie; plans began to build news houses, import kosher food and leverage a nearby 80-year-old synagogue, Tent City, that’s been enjoyed during summers by beach-seeking vacationing Jews for generations. They called the project “FrumCity”.

It never happened. The original plan required at least 90 families to buy in—but too few were willing to take the plunge, and housing prices have only risen since then, prohibiting even more off from entering the real estate market.

A handful of Jews, however, took up the mantle, and one of them joins us today. Joseph Friedberg currently has a house being built in Innisfil and plans to move there later this year. And while he isn’t yet backed by a mass migration of community support, he’s hopeful that between him and a few others making the move, the dream of a simple, self-sustaining Orthodox community—more affordable and more enjoyable than renting in the big city—will still come true.

What we talked about


Yehupetzville is hosted by Ralph Benmergui. Michael Fraiman is the producer and editor. Our music was arranged by Louis Simão and performed by Louis Simão and Jacob Gorzhaltsan. Our sponsor is PearTree Canada, which you can learn more about at This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, watch this video.