Lake Simcoe Regional Airport Economic Employment District Ready to Soar

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One of Ontario’s strategic settlement employment areas is prepared for market growth.

The Lake Simcoe Regional Airport (LSRA) Economic Employment District offers tremendous investment opportunities for innovative and growing companies in key clusters: aerospace, automotive and medical-tech.

The district is provincially designated and identified as a regional priority for the County of Simcoe where future development is expected to occur and provides a unique opportunity to promote cluster development and collaboration among government, businesses and academia, enhancing the region’s research and development capabilities, attracting new private sector investment and creating high-quality jobs for residents.

The location provides strong synergies between the aerospace sector and recently announced automotive and medical innovation parks, where regional stakeholders will continue to encourage and facilitate collaboration and drive innovation in Simcoe County.

In addition, proximity to the LSRA provides unique opportunity for corporate aviation, a crucial component for some businesses during the site selection process. The LSRA is fully serviced by the Canada Border Service Agency and accommodates both international passengers and freight. It is also adjacent to Highway 11, a major provincial highway.

Located halfway between Barrie and Orillia in the Township of Oro-Medonte, the 595-acre LSRA is among the newest regional airport facilities in Canada. It’s located in one the fastest-growing regions of Ontario and just an hour’s drive north of Toronto, the country’s largest city.

The airport currently possesses 58 hectares (142 acres) of serviced and un-serviced land available for airside commercial development opportunities, accommodating both small- and large-scale developments in three distinct commercial areas.

“Given our proximity to the GTA and Simcoe County’s world-class manufacturing businesses, the LSRA is a huge economic asset for our region and will become even more critical as our economy and manufacturing sectors continue to grow. The County is investing in the airport, making the right enhancements to support the needs of our business partners for generations to come,” said Richard Norcross, County Councillor and LSRA Board Chair.

The County of Simcoe has a 90 per cent ownership stake in the airport, which will serve as a key economic driver for investment. In 2020, an investment of more than $5 million was initiated that includes runway widening and high-intensity lighting. Future phases include a proposal to lengthen the runway to 7,000 feet to increase our capacity.

“The County is committed to growing our economy and assisting businesses to bring investment and job creation to our region,” said County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell. “We are committed to investing in and expanding our infrastructure, and social, health and wellness services for our residents. Our vision for the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport as a key economic driver of growth is starting to take flight, and we’re pleased that businesses are recognizing our potential and choosing to land in Simcoe County.”

A new tenant at LSRA is Volatus Aerospace, one of the largest unmanned aerospace technologies providers in Canada. The company’s new centre of excellence at LSRA will handle a significant portion of its assembly and research and development operations.

“In looking for the right place to locate this strategic facility, our interest was piqued by a number of potential advantages and synergies that can develop,” said Glen Lynch, President & CEO of Volatus Aerospace.

The project is eligible for up to $100,000 through the County’s LSRA Aerospace Development Fund that stimulates private-sector investment and innovation at the airport.

There are two other success stories.

The Oro Station Automotive Innovation Park is a new 200-acre automotive innovation hub under development. The site will feature over 500,000 square feet of industrial space dedicated to automotive research, engineering and development, including a 4.2 km test track with dynamic driving areas. The complex will be home to engineering, education, design, supply and manufacturing businesses all centred around the art and joy of the automobile.

“We couldn’t imagine a more perfect location for our automotive park than in Simcoe County,” said managing partner Geoffrey Campbell.

“We have amazing highway access, a terrific airport across the road and a range of partners that will help us realize our vision to create the ultimate Canadian destination for all things automotive. The airport was a vital part of our site selection process as the complimentary nature of our uses represent good planning and will ensure future growth for both facilities.”

MediCA Park, an 83-acre advanced manufacturing medical innovation park with a focus on vertically integrated medical manufacturing facilities to secure Canada’s heath security needs. It is being led by Simcoe County engineering company Molded Precision Components (MPC), which specializes in precision injection moulding and advanced manufacturing systems in the automotive and medical space. The project will focus on medtech and produce medical supplies and personal protective equipment.

To learn more about the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport (LSRA) Economic Employment District opportunities, please visit County of Simcoe- Economic Development Office.

Globe and Mail.