Ontario is enhancing a provincial program that certifies industrial lands as ready for development so that it will help municipalities compete globally and attract new jobs and development by
The Investment Ready: Certified Site program can help get projects off the ground faster by marketing sites that have undergone rigorous due diligence to international investors. It gives potential investors easy access to important property information such as availability, completed environmental assessments, utility costs and transportation access.
Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth, said: “Ontario is already a pioneer in Canada when it comes to site certification. We listened carefully to municipalities about how to build on Investment Ready’s success. I am confident these improvements will help attract more jobs and investment to communities across the province.”
Making it easier for business
Ontario is making several changes to the program to make it easier for businesses and municipalities to participate:
- Expanding eligibility to include smaller, non-contiguous lands within business and industrial parks, not just large contiguous industrial lands of 10 acres or more
- Doubling the amount of eligible certification expenses reimbursed to municipalities, from $25,000 to up to $50,000
- Increasing the range of eligible expenses to cover the full certification process, including application, post-certification site changes and marketing activities
- Doubling the certification designation, from two to four years
- Introducing a pre-application consultation to help provide municipalities with quick answers to questions about the program before applying
Ontario now has 16 certified sites. The program recently led to retailer Giant Tiger buying one of these sites in the Township of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal in Eastern Ontario. It is building a 600,000 square foot state-of-the-art distribution centre on the property, which is expected to support up to 300 jobs in the region.
Mayor Patrick Sayeau, Township of Edwardsburgh Cardinal, said: “Investment Ready provided an excellent return on investment for us. The program encourages efficient site selection and helps projects get off the ground faster.”
- Ontario has the only province-wide site certification program in Canada. This strengthens the province’s ability to compete with the United States, which has more than 35 certification programs.
- Ontario’s 16 certified sites and over 20 industrial properties now undergoing certification will be transitioned into the enhanced program without financial impact.
- Certified sites are integrated into Ontario’s investment attraction strategy, and receive top consideration for strategic investment opportunities in the province.
- Changes to the program were made following consultations with municipalities and are in alignment with recommendations from a comprehensive program review led by Deloitte Consulting.
- Pre-application consultations for the next intake round are open until December 31, so municipalities can find out more about how to be top-of-mind for potential investors. – CINEWS