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Ontario Certified Site Program Helps Municipalities

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The Investment Ready Certified Site program Expanding to Include More Locations and Provide Increased Support

Ontario is helping municipalities compete globally and attract new jobs and development by enhancing the a certified site program that certifies industrial lands as ready for development.

The Investment Ready Certified Site program can help get projects off the ground faster by marketing sites that have undergone rigorous due diligence to international investors. It gives potential investors easy access to important property information such as availability, completed environmental assessments, utility costs and transportation access.

Ontario is making several changes to the program to make it easier for businesses and municipalities to participate:

  • Expanding eligibility to include smaller, non-contiguous lands within business and industrial parks, not just large contiguous industrial lands of 10 acres or more
    Doubling the amount of eligible certification expenses reimbursed to municipalities, from $25,000 to up to $50,000
  • Increasing the range of eligible expenses to cover the full certification process, including application, post-certification site changes and marketing activities
    Doubling the certification designation, from two to four years
  • Introducing a pre-application consultation to help provide municipalities with quick answers to questions about the program before applying
  • Ontario now has 16 certified sites. The program recently led to retailer Giant Tiger buying one of these sites in the Township of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal in Eastern Ontario. It is building a 600,000 square foot state-of-the-art distribution centre on the property, which is expected to support u p to 300 jobs in the region.

“Ontario is already a pioneer in Canada when it comes to site certification. We listened carefully to municipalities about how to build on Investment Ready’s success. I am confident these improvements will help attract more jobs and investment to communities across the province.” — Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth

Helping communities across the province attract new investment is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.


  • Ontario has the only province-wide site certification program in Canada. This strengthens the province’s ability to compete with the United States, which has more than 35 certification programs.
  • Ontario’s 16 certified sites and over 20 industrial properties now undergoing certification will be transitioned into the enhanced program without financial impact.
  • Certified sites are integrated into Ontario’s investment attraction strategy, and receive top consideration for strategic investment opportunities in the province.
  • Changes to the program were made following consultations with municipalities and are in alignment with recommendations from a comprehensive program review led by Deloitte Consulting.
  • Pre-application consultations for the next intake round are open until December 31, so municipalities can find out more about how to be top-of-mind for potential investors.

Click HERE if you’re an industrial property owner, you can receive financial and marketing support to promote your property to global decision-makers.