Celebrating collaborative economic growth in Clarington

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Ontario Construction Report special feature

The most eastern lakeshore community located in the Greater Toronto Area has reason to celebrate. The Municipality of Clarington (Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Orono) is reaping the benefits of the opportunities created by large billion-dollar infrastructure projects as well as experiencing the outcomes of collaboration and unconditional business support, creating an environment where businesses can thrive.

Several of Canada’s largest infrastructure projects in Clarington help lay the foundation for attracting investment.  Highway 407 east extension from Oshawa to the 35/115 Highway opened in December 2019, facilitating congestion-free access to markets. Creating up to 14,200 jobs at the project’s peak, Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment project is on track to be complete by 2026, allowing the plant to continue to deliver clean, reliable energy to Ontarians for another 30 years.

On February 20, 2020, The Metrolinx board of directors endorsed Option 2 for the GO East Rail Extension through Oshawa to Bowmanville along the Canadian Pacific mainline north of Highway 401. This investment will transform the landscape of the community creating approximately 21,000 jobs and create development opportunities complimenting this investment for decades to come. The Province is also investing in the redevelopment of the Bowmanville Hospital. An anticipated $300 Million dollar project, the Ontario government may soon be issuing an invitation for interested companies to submit their qualifications for the work.

Highway 401 Eastbound in Clarington to Highway 407 via 418 link.

Combined with the price of industrial land, optimal transportation networks, proximity to major markets, infrastructure and community development and access to workforce, the advantages for business to locate and expand in Clarington are adding up. The advantage that tips the scales is Clarington’s collaborative approach to business development. The unique business approach taken by the Clarington Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development (CBOT) to meet the needs of business, set them apart in a very competitive marketplace. By working closely with business, stakeholders in the real estate &development community, and all levels of government, helps to create a business-friendly environment which draws business investment. The team at CBOT is driven by purpose, and passion for ensuring the easiest transition to making Clarington home for businesses and their employees.

Stephen Connell, senior vice-president, commercial sales and leasing for Cushman & Wakefield Toronto states, “I have been doing industrial commercial business for 40 years and dealing with municipalities all over southern Ontario. The Clarington Board of Trade & Office of Economic Development ranks in my top three for service provided. The team responds within hours which in my business saves me time at my end also. The accuracy of the information provided by their office both technical, general and full product knowledge is also tremendous as is their ability to put me through to the right people in every department (engineering, zoning, planning etc.)”

Making reference to the decision Toyota Canada made commit to investing in their new Eastern Canada Parts Distribution Centre in Clarington, director of general affairs for Toyota Canada, Warren Orton states, “They (CBOT) have been extremely helpful in guiding us through the building development process. In addition, when we needed help sourcing local talent, they assisted by directing us to local agencies as well as directing people seeking employment opportunities to our human resources team. We have several Toyota associates relocating to this new facility and they have been especially appreciative of the Clarington information package that was assembled by the Board of Trade staff and distributed to them. Overall, I cannot imagine a better welcome or support than what we’ve received from Clarington.”

Sign is up! Indication of the upcoming opening of the Toyota Eastern Canada Parts Distribution Centre.

Between 2019 and 2024, over 1.2 million sq. ft. of industrial and commercial space for various users will be constructed in Clarington. Projects include the Toyota Eastern Canada Parts Distribution centre which is expected to be operational by May 2020. Meeting the need to expand in Clarington, construction of a new Hyundai dealership is slated to be complete by fall 2020. Site plan is well underway for a distribution centre head office for East Penn Canada, leading the market in battery distribution and recovery for several industries. Accompanying the top industries of agriculture and energy, the cannabis sector is quickly evolving to be a major pillar of Clarington’s economy.

Cannapiece will be one of several licenced medical cannabis producers in the community, building over half a million square foot micro-cultivation facility. By 2024 Ontario Power Generation is anticipated to have completed construction of a new corporate campus, consolidating its operations from 15 existing locations across the Greater Toronto Area and Niagara Region. The above-mentioned investments plus many other anticipated developments, represent the creation of over 4,000 jobs.

Construction of the 35,000 sq. ft. Clarington Hyundai Dealership.

Clarington is a community that is proudly defined by business diversity, opportunity and collaborative economic achievements. With a population recently exceeding 100,000, growth is expected to increase by more than 45% by the year 2031. As one of the fastest growing municipalities in the Region of Durham and home to over 6,400 businesses and counting, Clarington is looking forward to welcoming your business to be part of their growth.

Story contributed by Bonnie Wrightman, manager of business development, Clarington Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development.

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