Toyota moves from Toronto to Bowmanville

Photo by Austin Andru

Land where the Toyota distribution centre will be built.

Toyota is investing $40 million to relocate its distribution centre from Toronto to Bowmanville.

More than 100 employees from the company’s Toronto centre will be transferred to the new location at the corner of Lambs Road and Baseline Road and up to 150 new jobs in the short and long term will be created for members of the community.

Toyota says construction will begin later this year with a plan to begin operations by 2019.

“I certainly think it’s great because it means jobs and economic activity in the area,” says Erin O’Toole, Member of Parliament for Durham, in an interview. “We’re really trying to showcase Clarington and Durham in its affordability.”

O’Toole says Toyota centre employees will be able to get into the housing market, which might not be possible if they were in Toronto.

In addition, O’Toole says it is financially beneficial for the company to move outward and it will put Clarington on the map for other businesses.

“They can get good industrial land at a good price,” O’Toole says. By making the investment in Clarington, it shows that companies are looking east of the GTA, and may encourage other companies to invest in Clarington.

“Toyota is a name of global prominence,” says O’Toole.

Briana Scullion of corporate communications for Toyota says there were a number of factors that led to choosing Clarington, including the cost of land, accessibility to Highway 401 and a town incentive for companies that buy land in the municipality.

Scullion says Toyota “really liked the effort that the staff from the Municipality of Clarington, the Region of Durham and the Clarington Board of Trade put forward to attract the company to this location.”

“We were number three on the list,” says Clarington mayor Adrian Foster.

“Our staff and board of trade had to try really hard to get Toyota here.”

Scullion says Clarington meets Toyota’s needs perfectly as the location is very close to the highway and transportation infrastructure.

“With neighbours like UOIT and Durham College, we know that we’d be very well positioned to take advantage of the area’s highly skilled workforce,” says Scullion.

Basia Radomski, tourism manager for the Municipality of Clarington, says Toyota’s move to town will spur growth in the community.

“This investment elevates Clarington’s profile within the economic development world and should attract further growth in the employment sector,” says Radomski.

Toyota says most jobs will be filled by employees of the former distribution centre in phase one and won’t bring many new jobs immediately. However, they indicate there will be a large number of construction jobs which in turn, will be a boost to local businesses.

Toyota says the second phase will bring in more local jobs with a planned expansion of the facility. The timing of the expansion is undetermined.