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Clarington: The Land of Confident Investment & Innovation

Clarington: The Land of Confident Investment & Innovation

  • Post category:CBOT

With a population fast approaching 100,000 and a growing community of over 5,000 businesses, Clarington offers what investors and companies desire: affordable land, proximity to market and amenities, business support and a progressive, engaged community.

Eyes are on Clarington as the place to grow through new business, local expansion or redevelopment investments. Clarington, comprised of four main communities of Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle and Orono, is home to four of the top 100 largest infrastructure projects in Canada. Over $16 billion is currently being invested in these projects: Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment project, Highway 407 east expansion to Highway 35/115, Port Granby Project, and the expansion of the GO Train to Bowmanville expected to be in service by 2024.

The Ontario Government has confirmed its commitment to begin the refurbishment of Unit 3 at Darlington Nuclear (image courtesy of Ontario Power Generation)

Energy, agriculture, manufacturing, construction and life/health sciences are the main economic drivers in the Municipality of Clarington. Ranging from making improvements to equipment to facilitate wine bottling at Archibald’s Orchards to increasing the efficiency of a machining cutting tool at Durmach, innovation is a critical ingredient for growth. Canada Rubber Group also continues to invest in their business, employees, and work culture, “Investing in people and new technology supports are values and culture…… it will be the key to our future.”, states Gord Sirrs, President.

Archibald Orchards & Winery: producing 40,000 bottles of wine a year.

Another example of a progressive business in Clarington is VR Headspace, a young company of 2-1/2 years building cutting edge Virtual Reality (VR) applications. Applications include interactive training simulations, virtual tools and education. Systems are built to serve a diversity of industry such as manufacturing, automotive, health care to name a few. With under five employees they frequently employ interns from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College, helping to take VR Headspace to the next level, producing applications that meet the market’s everchanging needs. Their key programmer is a Durham College graduate and has been with VR Headspace from the beginning.


VR Headspace VR Forklift Training simulator.

VR Headspace feels they set the standard in Virtual Reality for industry taking employee training to new heights with high risk, high value, resource-based training. They named this specialist offering F.I.T. (Facility Immersion Training). Custom modules are developed for their clients to be able to learn and adapt to interactive situations within the virtual environments, allowing a greater number of people to receive advanced training at a fraction of the cost and fraction of the time. Measurable tools are also in place to determine how long it takes to do a task, highlighting improvements that can be made.

Continuing in niche markets, VR Headspace is pioneering therapeutic intervention on both a physical and cognitive level for patient rehabilitation and “in-bed” stimulation experiences for long and short-term care facilities. Innovative techniques are developed in the same way they create all our experiences, embedding real tasks and situations into the virtual world to assist in rehab and overcoming phobias.

The backbone of their leading-edge development evolves around their ever-expanding VR and AR (Augmented Reality) application development. Their state of the art lab with a team of next generation experience creators use Oculus, HTC Vive, Mobile VR and Microsoft HoloLens as their main platforms fueled by Unity.

Investment in progressive technology and in a business is key to growth and positions business ahead of competition. In the past year, Clarington has seen a steady increase of activity and interest from the cannabis industry. Regulated by Health Canada, Clarington is currently home to three medical cannabis facilities employing over 150 people: Canopy Growth Corporation, the global leader in cannabis production, Starseed Medicinal and Mediwanna. Four more licenced producers are planning to establish facilities in Clarington, each in different stages of land acquisition, site plan process and construction. It is anticipated this industry will represent over 800 skilled jobs including those involved in innovation, research & development efforts. Once cannabis is legalized for recreational use, this opens the door to continued research and product development relating to a range of edibles and other consumable products such as infused beverages.

Construction of 3D CANA’s 21,000 square foot cannabis production facility.

Toyota Canada Inc. Eastern Canada Parts Distribution Centre (PDC) will be making a home in Clarington with planning to open the new facility as a LEED silver certified building in Fall 2019. Investing over $40 million in the 350,000 square foot facility, the location will employ over 100 people with construction to be underway this summer.

Rendering of new Toyota Canada Inc. Eastern Canada Parts Distribution Centre

Earlier this year, the province announced the Government of Ontario’s approval for the expansion of the Bowmanville Hospital. The development plans are expected to include the construction of a new hospital wing, which will better meet the growing health care needs of those living in East Durham. Timelines for construction could be at least two years. At this early stage, this project is estimated to represent approximately $300 million in project costs.

With growth of a community, comes growth in opportunity. Clarington continues to offer investment & redevelopment opportunities and business support as well as continuing to foster innovation and partnerships across all business sectors.

Get the latest news & updates from the Clarington Board of Trade & Office of Economic Development
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