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Ontario shows it’s more than greenhouse vegetables

Thanks to its relatively moderate temperatures, the southern region of Ontario is home to more than 245,000 acres of fresh produce farmland.

Ontario growers harvest more than 125 different fruit and vegetable crops with an estimated annual farm gate value of more than $2.3 billion.

Ontario’s top fruit crops include apples, grapes, peaches, apricots, blueberries, melons, cherries, nectarines, pears, plums, raspberries, and strawberries.

In 2017, the province accounted for more than half of Canada’s total grape value. Peaches are also a top commodity for Ontario, which saw an almost 20 percent increase in marketed production.

The eastern province also grows a wide range of seasonal field vegetables including potatoes, tomatoes, sweet corn, peas, carrots, cabbage, onions, and asparagus. Accounting for 44 percent of all Canadian-grown field vegetables in 2017, this bounty was worth more than $500 million.

Of course, in addition to its field production, Ontario is home to North America’s top greenhouse production area.

The greenhouses in and around Leamington account for nearly 70 percent of all Canadian greenhouse vegetables, with annual farm gate value edging closer and closer to $1 billion (2017 reached $921 million).

The vast majority of Canada’s fruits and vegetables are grown in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, with a small portion coming from Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island (PEI).

Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia account for nearly 90 percent of total vegetable cultivated area and approximately two-thirds of total fruit cultivation, according to Statistics Canada.

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full supplement.