The Ontario Food Terminal has been saved after threat of major changes
The Ontario Food Terminal just got an extra boost of protection after concerns that Canada's largest wholesale fruit and product terminal would put people out of work and make room for condos.
The provincial government just designated the Ontario Food Terminal as a Provincially Significant Employment Zone, meaning that it's been determined as critical to the economy.
Areas with the designation can't be converted to other uses without an assessment from the province.
"The Ontario Food Terminal is a key provincial economic hub," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "I know many jobs rely on the terminal's success, including farmers, distributors, retailers, grocers and many more."
In May, farmers and grocers feared that the food terminal would change significantly as the province reviewed the ability to "modernize" the facility. Cuts to schools and healthcare from the recent budget put them on high alert for what might be next.
Ontario Food Terminal is named a provincially significant employment zone, protecting land from other uses. ie condos. Designation can't be changed without provincial approval. Announced this am. @theOFT_Board @growernews @OntFruitVeg pic.twitter.com/9BLLxT4qAD— Karen Davidson (@karen4growers) October 8, 2019
"Any change to the food terminal would put us out of business," Will Willemsen, owner of Sunripe Stores, told the CBC.
While the province announced back in July that the Ontario Food Terminal would not move from its current location—which could have made room for condo real estate—the designation shows that its value has been officially recognized.
The number of people who rely on the Ontario Food Terminal for employment is estimated to be around 100,000, and over 5,000 businesses buy produce from the Ontario Food Terminal.
This is good news! The Ontario Food Terminal is an important economic asset in Toronto and for the region. We have been supporting making the Ontario Food Terminal a PSEZ. We are currently researching how PSEZs can form the backbone of a regional economic plan. #onpoli https://t.co/z3V8ZJD8Ej— Toronto Region Board of Trade (@TorontoRBOT) October 8, 2019
The government did say that it would still be looking at installing new technology in the space in an effort to modernize the terminal.
"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."
Ontario Food Terminal
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