'It's a big, big deal!': Ontario plans to unlock land to create hundreds of local jobs
Ontario has committed to cutting the red tape around zoning laws to free up vacant and valuable industrial land in Oro-Medonte.
Unlock the land makes way for a proposed Automotive Innovation Park with about 700,000-square-feet of building space for the automotive sector.
"Construction and employment at the facility are expected to create more than 700 full-time jobs and 1,800 construction jobs," reads a statement from the government on Friday.
Once completed, the facility could be home to a motor sport track, a conference centre and automotive museum, and space for studying and testing automotive products.
The proposed Automotive Innovation Park would be located within the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport Economic Employment District, land that was once only permitted for airport employment.
"It's something that we've been waiting to have happen for over a decade." Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes says it's been a long time coming and will help the local economy in a big way.
"[They took] away a stipulation that really narrowed the type of use that could go on this land - even though it was employment land - to make it broader," he explains. "It's a big, big deal."
Officials say there are months of planning ahead with shovels expected to be in the ground by the spring. Construction will be done in phases, with the anticipated opening date sometime in late 2021.
The total investment for the project is $200 million. It's estimated it will bring $105 million into the economy on a yearly basis.