Digging In: Ground-breaking ceremony held at site of new automotive innovation hub in Oro-Medonte

Oro-Medonte, Ontario — Oakleigh Developments took a huge symbolic step forward in getting the Oro Station Automotive Innovation Park off the ground, alongside Premier Doug Ford on Aug. 20, 2020. 

Ford, Geoff Campbell, managing partner of Oakleigh Developments and other local dignitaries gathered at the park’s location in Oro-Medonte Township to put the first shovels in the ground on the project. 

The Oro Station has been in the works for more than a decade; however, it was officially approved in November 2019 when it was granted a minister’s zoning order, and the mid-August ground-breaking ceremony was the first step in kicking off the massive project. 

The facility will feature over 500,000 square feet of industrial space and a 4.2 km test track with dynamic driving areas. It will be located adjacent to Lake Simcoe Regional Airport in Oro-Medonte. 

The multi-use facility that joins an automotive business park with a motorsport road course and testing facilities will be home to engineering, education, design, supply and manufacturing businesses all centred around the art and joy of the automobile. 

The Oro Station is also partnered with Georgian College. In February 2019, Georgian College announced that, through its partnership with the township of Oro-Medonte, it will be using the hub for automotive research, engineering and development. 

“The automotive industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace and this partnership is an incredible opportunity for Georgian, the ABSC and our students to be part of shaping its future,” said Kevin Weaver, vice president of academics at Georgian College. “We look forward to exploring the various community and industry collaborations, and working closely with Oro Station through future programming, training and research to meet the innovation needs of the industry and local employers.”

The hub is expected to create 700 full-time jobs within Simcoe County, representing 50 percent of the forecasted employment growth in Oro-Medonte to 2031. 

 The site’s buildings are expected to open in 2021.

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