The new designation highlights the importance of this facility
By Paula Schuck
The government declared the Ontario Food Terminal a Provincially Significant Employment Zone, a move that is intended to protect the land and thousands of jobs at this iconic provincial resource.
Steve Clark, minister of municipal affairs and housing, made the announcement this week with Ernie Hardeman, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, and Christine Hogarth, MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore.
"The Ontario Food Terminal is a key provincial economic hub," said Clark in a release. "I know many jobs rely on the terminal's success, including farmers, distributors, retailers, grocers and many more."
Earlier this year, some discussion occurred about the possibility of moving the terminal but the Ontario government announced in July that the terminal would remain in Etobicoke. The facility will also receive much needed upgrades. The food terminal is located on the Queensway near Park Lawn Road and employs around 5,000 people.
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.
Provincially Significant Employment Zone lands that are designated as employment areas in official plans cannot be changed from employment uses without provincial approval.
"As MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, I know how important the Food Terminal is to our community," said Hogarth. "It is part of our past, and this designation will help secure its future and long-term prosperity for decades to come."
“We understand the importance of looking for possibilities for growth and modernization to create more opportunities for Ontario farmers to get their quality products into grocery stores, homes and restaurants across the province and around the world,” he told Farms.com in an interview.
"The Food Terminal's strength is that it provides a central marketplace for all the good things that grow in Ontario," Hardeman said. "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."
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