Brought to you by Vaughan Economic Development
At the heart of North America’s largest food and beverage hub, Vaughan feeds the world
October 4, 2023 in Food In Canada
Situated in the centre of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) – home to North America’s largest food and beverage sector – Vaughan has all the key ingredients to support a thriving food and beverage supply chain. Here, good food is grown, manufactured, packaged, stored, distributed, shipped and enjoyed.
Vaughan’s agri-food and food processing sector runs from farm to fork in York Region –
Canada’s fourth-largest food and beverage processing hub. The sector plays a significant role in the agri-food value chain of York Region, which contributed $547 million in real gross domestic product (GDP) to Ontario’s economy in 2021. The city is home to nearly 500 businesses in the food and beverage supply chain, including agri-food and food processing leaders like Arla Foods, Bimbo Canada, Concord Confections, Give & Go, Kisko Products, Krinos, Ozery Family Bakery, Riverside Natural Foods, Saputo, Summer Fresh, Taylor Farms, Unico, Wholesome Harvest Baking and more.
“Choosing to locate our facility in Vaughan was one of the best (and easiest) decisions we’ve ever made. The city’s diversity, infrastructure, professional talent pool, expanding transportation services and its close proximity to Toronto Pearson Airport were what initially attracted us. Our facility is easily accessible to not only our team members, but to our customers and buyers as well. Being at the very centre of everything has definitely proven to be very advantageous.”
- Guy Ozery, Co-President of Ozery Family Bakery
Vaughan brings a lot to the table
As the largest economic and employment centre in York Region, Vaughan accounts for 35 per cent of all businesses, 36 per cent of all employment and 36 per cent of all economic output in the region. In 2022, the city contributed $25.2 billion in real GDP to Ontario’s economy. As a leader in both goods movement and goods production in the GTA, Vaughan is responsible for 56 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively, of economic output in these sectors in York Region, and the city’s diverse economy drives outbound trade in the region, accounting for 47 per cent of all York Region exports.
All you can access
The city’s central location allows businesses to reach a robust talent pool of 3.9 million workers within an hour’s drive. Vaughan-based businesses can also access more than 1.2 billion customers in 44 countries through Canada and the European Union’s Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and twelve other free trade agreements for foreign companies.
The city has everything needed for businesses to move goods effectively and efficiently. Vaughan’s food and beverage businesses benefit from access to a robust network of goods-movement infrastructure, offering superior end-to-end supply chain connections.
“Building our plant in Vaughan made a ton of sense, both in terms of affordability and due to the investment that Vaughan has made to its transportation infrastructure, particularly with the subway expansion. Riverside employs more than 400 full-time staff and being steps away from the subway and bus stops has truly made a huge difference in the health and happiness of our workforce, many of whom use transit to commute to work each day. Vaughan is also a hotbed for food and beverage manufacturing, which has enabled Riverside to build strong relationships with many vendors and service providers who support the food cluster in Vaughan. We are proud to be citizens of Vaughan and look forward to growing together into the future.”
- Robbie Bossin, Director of Finance, Riverside Natural Foods Ltd.
Out for delivery
Vaughan offers access to two of the country’s top transportation terminals – the Canadian National (CN) MacMillan Classification Yard and Canada Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) Railway’s Vaughan Intermodal Terminal. The MacMillan Classification Yard is CN’s second-largest railyard, providing access to 75 per cent of consumers across North America. The Vaughan Intermodal Terminal is the largest within CPKC’s extensive North American network of major overseas ports and terminals. The Vaughan Intermodal Terminal handles approximately 550,000 containers annually and is pivotal in facilitating the movement of goods for prominent big box retailers, grocery chains and e-commerce companies. It also includes extensive options for refrigerated goods movement.
Vaughan is a 20-minute drive from the Ontario Food Terminal – Canada’s largest wholesale fruit and produce terminal and the third largest in North America. Vaughan-based businesses also have direct connections to major provincial highways 400, 407 and 427, and proximity to Ontario’s main east-west corridor, Highway 401. Establishing in Vaughan allows businesses to leverage the city’s major logistics companies, including UPS, Fedex, Fastfrate, Purolator, Metro Logistics, Amar Transport, Mactrans Logistics, Versacold Logistics Services and Precision Truck Lines.
Food for thought
Arla Foods, which has its Canadian headquarters in Vaughan, has invested in a new refrigerated warehouse in the city. This facility is expected to create an additional 30 local jobs with occupancy tracking for 2024. Since 2017, Arla Foods has made investments into its existing sites in Vaughan, including new milk silos, expanded milk receiving, renovations and equipment upgrades, and currently employs more than 200, workers.
Taylor Farms, based in California, opened its first Canadian production facility in Vaughan
in 2022, after its 2021 acquisition of Freshpoint Toronto. Its Vaughan location is focused on its retail product portfolio, and its investment represents 300 employees.
FGF Brands, a North American leader in bakery products, invested in three locations in Vaughan, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2024. The investment totals more than 625,000 square feet and will create up to 1,200 new jobs in addition to the existing 700 employees currently in Vaughan.
“FGF chose to grow and invest in the city of Vaughan with our new food manufacturing facilities due to its strategic location in the GTA, high-capacity highway network access and its abundance of available talent through the local labour pool. FGF desires to provide our team members the opportunities to live, work and play as they raise their families in a vibrant community. The City of Vaughan’s commitment to working with us every step of the way was instrumental in our moving forward with the projects. We are very proud to be located in and contributing to the economic growth of the city of Vaughan.”
- Martin Ng, Senior Vice President, Construction of FGF Brands and Caplink Ltd.
Give & Go, a Canadian manufacturer of fully finished, sweet baked goods for every season, added more than 230,000 square feet of space and created 200 new jobs in 2020 in addition to two existing facilities in Vaughan.
General Assembly Pizza invested in Vaughan for its first dedicated manufacturing space for its frozen pizza line in 2021. The 42,000-square-foot facility will be used for manufacturing, storage, warehousing and distribution, and will provide office space and a hub for research and development. This investment has resulted in 45 new jobs.
Sobeys has opened its state-of-the-art automated Customer Fulfillment Centre (CFC) in Vaughan to provide online home delivery services to its customers. This new building is approximately 250,000 square feet and will create up to 500 new jobs.
Walmart Canada invested in a 750,000-square-foot highly automated distribution centre, including food product distribution in Vaughan. This significant investment is expected to open in 2024 and is anticipated to create 2,000 new job occupancies.
TricorBraun, North America’s largest primary packaging distributor and one of the largest purchasers of packaging in the world, expanded its presence in Vaughan by adding an additional 250,000-square-foot facility and 260 new jobs in 2021.
Fastfrate Group is one of Canada’s largest privately held intermodal less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers, offering coast-to-coast facilities and industry-best LTL and full truckload intermodal transit times. To accommodate growth, the company currently has an active site plan application to build an additional 133,303-square-foot warehouse facility. This expansion is expected to create at least 200 new jobs.
Vaughan’s award-winning Economic Development team is the go-to source for insight into Vaughan’s business community. We can provide support for your expansion or relocation within the city through:
- end-to-end customized site selection support
- customized guidance and research
- ecosystem connections
- support accessing funding programs
- zoning, planning, and by-law information
Vaughan is Transformative, Ambitious and Purpose-Driven.
TAP into Opportunity – TAP into Vaughan.
Contact us today about expanding your business in Vaughan: