Backgrounder: FedDev Ontario investments enhance growth for rural southwestern Ontario businesses


February 11, 2021

With world-class post-secondary institutions and urban technology firms, the manufacturing and industrial corridor along the 401 and a strong agricultural centre, southwestern Ontario is a diverse region, home to a variety of industries that support Canada’s economy. During this time of economic uncertainty, businesses in the region are innovating, adopting technology and increasing efficiency to take advantage of opportunities to come back strong, stay competitive and grow their workforces.

Today, Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced a total FedDev Ontario investment of nearly $6.5 million to support the long-term growth of the following six southwestern Ontario-based businesses:

  • Algonquin Bridge (Algonquin) is a rural manufacturer and supplier of modular steel bridge systems and crossing solutions for the transportation, municipal, railway, energy and resource road sectors. FedDev Ontario's repayable contribution of $300,000 will allow Algonquin to adopt new automated manufacturing equipment and innovative technologies to develop new prefabricated bridge designs with lower installation costs—positioning the company to scale up for growth. With this investment, Algonquin expects to create nine skilled manufacturing jobs for the rural Thorndale community.

    "Strategically, we identified investing in automation equipment as being critical to our business growth and resiliency. In partnership with FedDev Ontario, we are able to make it happen sooner."
    - Dale Gaston, President, Algonquin Bridge
  • Bold Canine Inc. (Bold Canine) is an industry-leading pet food company that manufactures all-natural raw pet food for distribution in more than 2,000 independent retail stores nation-wide. FedDev Ontario's repayable contribution of $1.5 million will allow the company to acquire a state-of-the-art storage freezer and advanced manufacturing equipment for increased food production and packaging, as well as expand its current facility from 14,000 to 21,000 sq. ft. Bold Canine expects to create up to 10 new full-time jobs and maintain 37 jobs in the town of Erin.

    "We are ready to scale up our business and this support from FedDev Ontario will make that possible at the right time. Thanks to this contribution we are able to invest in new equipment, capabilities and space that will allow us to better serve our customers and expand."
    - Caroline Bolduc, President/CEO & Founder, Bold Canine
  • Five Star Tool and Die Limited (Five Star) is a women-led rural manufacturer that produces and repairs and molds for automobile components, such as steering wheel instrument panels and other lightweight structural components. FedDev Ontario's repayable investment of $600,000 will support the company to adopt LEAN manufacturing processes including the acquisition of advanced manufacturing equipment and Industry 4.0-related technologies to improve operational efficiency and competitiveness. It will also support the company to expand its facility by 6,200 sq. ft. to accommodate the new equipment. Five Star expects to create three new jobs and maintain 20 jobs for the local Wallaceburg community.

    "Five Star is excited about expanding our facility in Wallaceburg and adding new equipment to maintain the company's position as a leader in Die Cast Manufacturing."
    - Linda King, President, Five Star Tool and Die Ltd
  • Kinectrics Inc. and its subsidiary Kinectrics Enterprises Inc., are leading Canadian lifecycle management services companies, offering a full range of design, testing, inspection, certification, engineering consulting, and maintenance services for the electricity energy sector. FedDev Ontario's repayable contribution of $2.5 million will support Kinectrics Enterprises Inc. with redeveloping an industrial building to establish Canada's first nuclear laundry facility in Teeswater, Ontario. The facility will serve the Ontario nuclear industry with the capacity to decontaminate and repair protective equipment used in nuclear plants. The company expects to create up to 50 full-time, skilled jobs in Teeswater and neighbouring communities and maintain an additional 10 jobs in the Toronto area.

    "Kinectrics really appreciates the FedDev Ontario support. This will help Kinectrics to invest in a new world class laundry facility creating up to 50 long-term jobs in Bruce County."
    - David Harris, President and CEO, Kinectrics Enterprises Inc.
  • Larsen & Shaw Limited (Larsen & Shaw) is a family-owned, women-led manufacturing and stamping company that produces specialty hinges fabricated from steel, stainless steel and aluminum for industrial and agricultural applications. FedDev Ontario's repayable investment of $750,000 will help Larsen & Shaw adopt advanced manufacturing and digital technologies to boost production and meet the growing demand for its specialty products in North American markets. Larsen & Shaw expects to create eight highly-skilled full-time jobs and maintain four jobs in the Walkerton area.

    "FedDev Ontario's support of our major project is an excellent demonstration of the government's commitment to manufacturing in rural Ontario. Taking advantage of the latest technologies that are incorporated into this project will improve our competitiveness and sustain the business long-term and grow local talent in a multitude of technical disciplines."
    - Mary Jane Bushell, CEO, Larsen & Shaw Limited
  • OWS Rail Car Inc. (OWS) provides railcar services, including railway, tank car and locomotive repairs and maintenance for clients such as CN Rail, CP Rail and Via Rail Canada. FedDev Ontario's repayable investment of over $832,000 will support the acquisition and installation of advanced manufacturing equipment and tooling for one of North America's few suppliers to offer Positive Train Control servicing—a communication-based safety control system designed to monitor train speed and prevent accidents and derailments. OWS expects to create 11 new jobs and maintain eight jobs in the Sarnia area.

    "We are grateful for the assistance this funding will provide to this project and to the expansion of the OWS Rail Car business. We are excited for this opportunity to utilize the funding to grow the business and create jobs within the Sarnia/Lambton community, and we are confident that the support provided by FedDev Ontario will be instrumental in helping us achieve these goals."
    - Milad Mansour, President, OWS Rail Car Inc.

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News Release: FedDev Ontario investments enhance growth for rural southwestern Ontario businesses

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