PRESS RELEASE ETOBICOKE, ON — The Ontario government is protecting jobs by naming the Ontario Food Terminal lands as a Provincially Significant Employment Zone — an identification that protects lands that are critically important both locally and to the province for jobs and economic growth.
Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, made the announcement today with Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Christine Hogarth, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Etobicoke-Lakeshore.
“The Ontario Food Terminal is a key provincial economic hub,” said Minister Clark. “I know many jobs rely on the terminal’s success, including farmers, distributors, retailers, grocers and many more.”
The Province has identified Provincially Significant Employment Zones as areas that are significant to the provincial economy. Lands in these zones may meet one or more of these criteria:
• they play a strategic economic development role locally and provincially
• they are located near major transportation infrastructure, like highways
• they support industrial uses that may be vulnerable to conversion for other uses, like residential development, and
• they have a high concentration of employment or significant employment potential.
“As MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, I know how important the Food Terminal is to our community,” said Christine Hogarth. “It is part of our past, and this designation will help secure its future and long-term prosperity for decades to come.”
Provincially Significant Employment Zone lands that are designated as employment areas in official plans cannot be changed from employment uses without provincial approval.
“The Food Terminal’s strength is that it provides a central marketplace for all the good things that grow in Ontario,” said Minister Hardeman. “Recognizing the Ontario Food Terminal lands as a Provincially Significant Employment Zone will help protect its role as a key economic driver in our agriculture sector.”
“Designating the Ontario Food Terminal as a Provincially Significant Employment Zone will help ensure its long-term viability and certainty,” said Steve Bamford, Vice-President of the Toronto Wholesale Produce Association. “Committing to the Food Terminal at its current location and as an employment zone will help everyone at the Terminal prosper and grow.”
- The Ontario Food Terminal is Canada’s largest wholesale fruit and produce terminal and ranks among the top four terminal markets in Canada and the United States by volume of produce distributed (approximately 2 billion pounds annually).
- The number of people who rely on the Ontario Food Terminal for employment is estimated to be around 100,000.
- Over 5,000 businesses buy produce from the Ontario Food Terminal.