Automotive innovation hub landing near Lake Simcoe Regional Airport


Ontario Construction News staff writer

Georgian College and the Township of Oro-Medonte are partnering to bring a new 200-acre automotive innovation hub to a site adjacent to the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport in the hamlet of Oro Station. The facility will feature 700,000 sq. ft. of industrial space dedicated to automotive research, engineering and development, including a 4.2km. test track with dynamic driving areas.

“This project has been more than a decade in the making, and an educational partner like Georgian College has always been a key part of our vision,” said Geoffrey Campbell, managing partner of the Oro Station project.

“Providing current curriculum that reflects the needs of the industry is critical to ensuring Ontario remains competitive in the automotive sector. Our emphasis on innovation naturally aligns with Georgian’s focus on ensuring their graduates are set up for success.”

Oro Station will be the ultimate Canadian destination for innovators and educators, racers and restorers, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. It’s a place where they will all come together to form a unique community dedicated to all things automotive.

The multi-use facility that will blend an automotive business park with a motorsport road course and club. The park will be home to premier engineering, education, supply, design and manufacturing businesses that will benefit from the track facility for testing, design, development, marketing, events and tourism.

The site will feature 700,000 sq. ft. of industrial space dedicated to automotive research, engineering and development, including a 4.2km test track with dynamic driving areas and the Bexley Motor Club. Oro Station creates connections between individuals and institutions, educators and innovators, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs — all part of a vibrant community with an eye to the future of the automobile in Canada.
Georgian is a recognized leader in student work experience, with the support of 6,200 employers. Consistently, it has had one of the highest graduate employment rates among all Ontario colleges.

Georgian offers more than 130 market-driven programs and the renowned Automotive Business School of Canada (ABSC), built and actively supported by the automotive industry, for the automotive industry.

The college supports growth and evolution in the industry by leveraging its students and trained graduates, faculty experts, high-quality programs, and state-of-the-art facilities so industry partners can advance their research, innovation and development goals.

“The automotive industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace and this partnership is an incredible opportunity for Georgian, the ABSC and our students to be part of shaping its future,” said Kevin Weaver, vice-president, academic, Georgian College.

“We look forward to exploring various community and industry collaborations, and working closely with Oro Station through future programming, training and research to meet the innovation needs of the industry and local employers.”

“This partnership will equip students with the skills and knowledge to further innovation in the automotive industry, right from their community,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities.

Last November officials announced a zoning order clearing the way for the project with construction set to begin this year. The innovation park is forecasted to create 700 full-time jobs within Simcoe County, representing 50 per cent of the forecasted employment growth in Oro-Medonte to 2031.
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