With prime spot on the 401, Ingersoll plans for influx of people, industry

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Like other regional municipalities experiencing growth, Ingersoll is planning for an influx of people and industry flocking to the town.

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Like other municipalities in the London region experiencing growth, Ingersoll is planning for an influx of people and industry flocking to the town.

A boundary adjustment agreement with South-West Oxford Township in 2021 added 607 hectares (1,500 acres) to the southeast part of Ingersoll. A new  plan for the area provides the town an opportunity for industrial, commercial and residential growth.

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“It’s certainly, from a staff perspective, and council, it is a huge victory,” Ingersoll Mayor Brian Petrie said.

The growing town experienced 25 per cent industrial growth in the last year by adding more than 93,000 square metres (one million square feet), he said.

“That’s just not going to stop. We’re in the right place on (Highway) 401,” Petrie said. “We can draw over 2.2 million people in an hour’s drive for workforce. Nobody else in the province or Canada can do that.”

Already home to the 160,000 square metre (1.7 million square feet) Cami Assembly plant, an automotive factory owned by General Motors, Ingersoll is in a prime location to attract businesses because of its proximity to the 401.

In September, Dot Foods Inc., a North American food distribution company, unveiled its 15,700 square-metre (170,000 square feet) $50-million distribution centre in the town.

Ingersoll is preparing also for potential residential development with low-, medium- and high-density housing on the acquired land. The town projects its population to reach 19,000 by 2046, a jump of 36 per cent from its estimated 14,000 residents.

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Petrie noted Ingersoll’s purchase of 31-hectare Grobrook farms in January as another project in the works.

Of the 31 hectares, 12 hectares “we use for our recreation, and then the remaining  . . . can be useful for residential development,” he said.

“With Oxford’s communities facing unprecedented growth, the role of municipalities in providing well-planned, reliable local services that can be sustained into the future becomes even more important,” Oxford County Warden Marcus Ryan said in a news release.

Ingersoll’s announcement underscores a surge of commercial and residential development in the region.

Also in Oxford County, Woodstock city council recently laid the legislative groundwork for industrial development on 136 hectares.

In nearby Elgin County, St. Thomas has been in the spotlight for the massive VW battery plant operated by subsidiary PowerCo, slated to open in 2027 and expected to employ 3,000 workers.

Related to the VW deal was the contentious land annexation in which Central Elgin relinquished 450 hectares (1,200 acres) to St. Thomas, costing the municipality valuable industrial tax revenue and possible industrial development. The situation was resolved after a deal in which St. Thomas provided the township $15 million, wastewater treatment access and the prospect of residential development on 162 hectares at the former St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital.

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The commercial and residential developments already in progress along with the potential for more in the future, highlight the region’s growth.

The London census metropolitan area – which includes St. Thomas, Strathroy-Caradoc and portions of Elgin and Middlesex counties – had an estimated 608,343 people on July 1, 2023, a growth of more than 40,000 since 2021.

Ingersoll will continue to be an industrial town and also will attract “high tech jobs” as well, Petrie said.

“We are in an excellent position to be not only financially stable, but really prosper in the next while here where I think you’re going to see a renaissance,” Petrie said.

bwilliams@postmedia.com
@BrianWatLFPress

The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada

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