Land Assembly in Wilmot

The Region of Waterloo is assembling shovel-ready land in Wilmot to secure thousands of new jobs and bring billions of dollars of investment to our local economy.
Why is this project underway?

This land assembly project is underway to create a large-scale, shovel-ready site that is attractive to a major employer. This initiative aims to secure generational investment that will result in thousands of well-paying local jobs and further economic prosperity in Waterloo Region.
The Provincial government put a call to communities across Ontario to create shovel-ready land to attract investment. At the same time, the Region of Waterloo engaged both the local and global business community to better understand current needs and potential future opportunities for Waterloo Region. It was clear, having an inventory of large-scale, shovel-ready land is essential for businesses to invest or expand in Waterloo Region.
Over the last few years, this community has lost several investments from major employers as a result of being unable to accommodate land requirements.

What is the site selection process?
The site selection process is intensive and thorough. Some of the specific characteristics about this area that make it uniquely suited for this initiative include:
  • The ability to assemble a large, contiguous area

  • Adjacent arterial transportation (highway 7/8),  

  • Next to existing hydro infrastructure, 

  • Nearby existing infrastructure for water/wastewater with capacity in the system

  • Not located on the Regional Recharge Zone, which protects Waterloo Region’s drinking water

  • Consistent grading considerations throughout the area

  • Close proximity to Waterloo Region’s skilled workforce, post-secondary education institutions and tech sector.  

How will this project benefit our community? 

Waterloo Region will benefit in many ways from assembling large-scale, shovel-ready land to secure generational investment. This initiative will result in:

  • Thousands of new, well-paying jobs and subsequent jobs in related fields such as construction, logistics, supply chain management and others
  • Billions of dollars in investment through the future development of the site 
  • Economic stability and further prosperity that can sustain the community
  • Training opportunities for students through partnerships with post-secondary institutions 
  • Maintaining our current manufacturing jobs base in Waterloo Region by stimulating new, large-scale investment 
  • Securing an anchor large-scale employer for Waterloo Region, and a dedicated partner committed to further investment in the community 
Who is this site being prepared for?

This site is being assembled for future investment from a major employer. This land assembly is not occurring for any business/end user in particular at this time. The objective of this project is to assemble one contiguous parcel of land as a step toward attracting a major employer for the future, and securing well-paying jobs and further economic prosperity. We are continually in conversation with industry leaders and various levels of government about possible future investment. Our efforts now will put the Region in a stronger position to attract a large investment in the future. Any future investment would be subject to further approvals before it could proceed.  

If there is not a confirmed investor currently, why assemble the land now?

Without large-scale, shovel-ready land we are losing out on generational investment and thousands of well-paying jobs in Waterloo Region. Businesses are choosing to locate elsewhere.
Through conversations with our counterparts in the business community, economic development, and government, we understand there is much interest from Canadian and global companies seeking to locate in Ontario. We are confident shovel-ready land in Waterloo Region will be highly sought after.

Why has there been so much confidentiality around this project?

As individual negotiations with landowners are
on-going, there is limited information that can be shared at this time.
We understand that the confidentiality around this project can be frustrating. This is common practice in real estate negotiations, with the intention to protect the integrity of conversations and negotiations with the buyer and the seller. Our priority is a fair and equitable agreement for all involved.

Is there enough water capacity in the system to support an industrial development here?

There is enough capacity in the water and wastewater system to support an industrial project at this location. Technical analysis of the Region’s system has confirmed that servicing can be added in the future based on the specific needs of the future investor in the site.

Will an industrial project here negatively affect our community’s groundwater?

Protecting our community’s groundwater is of utmost importance. Technical analysis of the area has been completed as part of the site selection process.

This land is not within the Regional Recharge Area. The Regional Recharge Area is critical to our water supply and maintaining clean, drinkable water from this zone continues to be a leading priority for the Region of Waterloo through the policies laid out in the Regional Official Plan.

Why must farmland be used for this project?

A contiguous parcel of land at the necessary size cannot be accommodated within the urban boundary. Utilizing a portion of the over 210,000 acres of designated farmland within Waterloo Region is necessary to meet site requirements of 500+ acres. The land identified for this assembly project makes up 0.35% of the available farmland in Waterloo Region.
We continue to balance the protection of our natural environment with facilitating economic opportunities to support a high quality of life for our current and future residents. We must prepare our community with the jobs and economic stability it will need now and in the future as we continue to grow. 

Will the land be expropriated?
The Region of Waterloo is committed to engaging with the landowners involved in this project and it is our goal to reach fair and equitable agreements for all landowners. 

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