Construction in Tillsonburg is at an all-time high thanks to a hot residential home market and a variety of policies and programs designed to attract residential, commercial and industrial investment.
The southwestern Ontario town issued $43.5 million in building permits last year—the highest in its history—and added 150 new housing units, edging the town’s population closer to 17,000.
Business in the community is also growing, with 18 new businesses opening in 2018, ranging from specialty retail in the downtown core, to four new manufacturing and food processing facilities.
“Tillsonburg has an ‘open-for-business’ mindset,” says Mayor Stephen Molnar. “Our town provides a strategic location along the 401 corridor without the associated costs found in larger centres. A variety of progressive policies further strengthen our value proposition.”
“Our community has low industrial land prices, no industrial development charges, and low property taxes,” says Economic Development Commissioner Cephas Panschow. “Operating costs are also lower in Tillsonburg thanks to our independently-owned utility company.”
Because costs are lower, businesses can afford to both own their real estate and invest in new technology and machinery for their business, explains Panschow.
The Town’s new Van Norman Innovation Park offers serviced industrial land from three to 30 acres, with prices starting at $50,000/acre. The park also offers fibre broadband connectivity, making it an attractive site for advanced manufacturing along Ontario’s high-tech corridor.
Forward-looking initiatives like the Community Improvement Plan and the Manufacturing Acceleration Program have also helped to accelerate growth in the area.
“Business owners who are expanding or renovating their properties can apply for significant rebates and grants under these programs,” says Molnar. “It’s a way that we can encourage technology adoption, and timely commercial and industrial expansion that benefits the whole community.”
What does the future hold?
Molnar is optimistic about his community’s future.
“We’re looking forward to a manufacturing base that increasingly adopts and implements new technology and machinery,” he says. “We’ve historically been strong in the automotive and fabricated metal product sectors, but we’re also seeing growth in the food processing and wood products sectors.”
With new markets becoming available through the Canada-Europe and Trans-Pacific trade agreements, Tillsonburg’s future is bright.
“Tillsonburg’s economy is diversifying, and that’s building resilience into our community,” says Panschow. “We’re anticipating residential growth to continue around 100 new units a year and 25 multi-residential units per year.”
“Tillsonburg combines small-town attractiveness with services and amenities common to larger communities,” sums up Molnar. “As Ontario’s BIG Small Town, we invite you to connect with us to experience your own Made in Tillsonburg solution.”
For more information, please visit www.tillsonburg.ca/invest.