Canada’s First Job Site Challenge Receives 10 Applications for Shovel-Ready Mega Sites in Southwestern Ontario

Published on February 01, 2021

ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON— Ontario’s Job Site Challenge has received 19 applications from across the province, including 10 from Southwestern Ontario. The challenge identified shovel-ready mega sites in the province where automakers, or other advanced manufacturers, could build a large plant and attract thousands of jobs to the area.


“The Job Site Challenge is an important initiative for Ontario’s economic recovery and for restarting the province’s economic engine,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “A company’s decision to locate at a specific mega site is a long-term investment that would create thousands of good-paying direct and supply-chain jobs – benefiting the local community, surrounding municipalities and the entire province.”


The Ontario government has also recruited an internationally recognized site selection firm, Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) Canada Limited, to support the selection of the site finalists.


“A mega site will bring long-term investment that could create thousands of good-paying direct and supply-chain jobs to benefit communities across the whole province,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Now more than ever, the challenge acts as an important investment attraction initiative for Ontario’s economic recovery and for restarting the province’s economic engine.”


“Ontario is the only place in North America where five major automakers build vehicles — Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota,” said Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek. “Our province is a great place to invest and this program will help us show the world that Ontario is ready and an ideal destination for advanced manufacturers such as aerospace, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, agri-food and information technology manufacturing.”


The Job Site Challenge is Canada’s first mega site program. It is modelled after successful mega site programs in many U.S. states that were designed to attract large-scale investments in automotive and advanced manufacturing. Municipalities, economic development agencies and industrial property owners put forward large tracts of industrial lands of 500 to 1,500 acres that could support large-scale manufacturing operations.


The NKF Job Site Challenge team was selected because of their knowledge and expertise in providing comprehensive real estate services and consulting tailored to the industrial and advanced manufacturing life cycle. Notable past clients include 3M, Airbus SE, Brose North America, Minth Automotive, Boeing, Bridgestone, GE Aviation, Hewlett Packard, AT&T, Hertz and Best Buy.


The NKF Job Site Challenge team includes senior managing director Gregg Wassmansdorf. He is the first and only Canadian member of the world’s top association for site selection professionals, the Site Selectors Guild, and also an executive member of its board of directors.


NKF’s recent successful corporate relocation projects include:

  • Samsung SDI’s LI battery pack assembly facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan
  • Li‐Cycle’s LI battery recycling facility in Rochester, New York
  • Rubius Therapeutics’ pharmaceutical biologics facility in Smithfield, Rhode Island
  • Multiple distribution centres for a major retailer, including in Brampton, Ontario; Fishkill, New York; Gallatin, Tennessee; and Fresno, California.


The Job Site Challenge also builds on the success of the province’s existing Investment Ready: Certified Site Program, which pre-qualifies smaller industrial properties across the province.




  • The Job Site Challenge is part of Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector, the government’s plan to strengthen the auto sector’s competitiveness.
  • The Job Site Challenge started accepting proposals on January 1, 2020. The submission deadline was originally March 31, 2020, but due to the global pandemic was extended to July 31, 2020.
  • Ontario’s new investment attraction agency, Invest Ontario, was established as part of the government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020. Its mandate is to pursue investments that create jobs and new revenue streams for Ontario, with an initial focus on the advanced manufacturing, technology and life science sectors.




Ontario’s Job Site Challenge

Ontario’s Investment Ready: Certified Site Program

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