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Automotive Innovation Park in Oro could rev up hundreds of jobs in area

The facility is expected to generate more than 700 full-time jobs and 1,800 construction jobs
2019-09-28 Doug Downey RB
Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MPP Doug Downey is shown in a file photo. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

ORO-MEDONTE TWP. ― The Ontario government is cutting red tape in Simcoe County to help build a proposed automotive innovation, testing and research facility.

Today, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, was joined by Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, and Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North, to announce Ontario's role in unlocking vacant industrial land in Oro-Medonte.

Construction and employment at the facility are expected to create more than 700 full-time jobs and 1,800 construction jobs.

Once complete, the Automotive Innovation Park could house a motor sport track for private and commercial use, as well as for training and research. The indoor part of the complex could house a conference centre and automotive museum, as well as facilities for studying and testing automotive products and technologies.

"We are committed to cutting red tape and making it easier to build job-creating projects," said Minister Clark. "That's why, by issuing a zoning order for the Automotive Innovation Park in Oro-Medonte, we are showing that Ontario is open for business and open for jobs."

"Working to help coordinate levels of government and eliminate red tape is an important part of what an MPP does to promote growth and economic development for the communities they represent," said MPP Downey. "The county, the township, the neighbouring airport and Georgian College have all shown support for this project. I am thankful to Minister Clark for working with us to clear the way for this major investment here in Oro-Medonte."

"This is great news for the region as this cutting-edge project could bring more jobs to Simcoe County," said MPP Dunlop. "Today's announcement shows what positive outcomes can occur when the province and municipalities work together."

"We thank the Government of Ontario, Minister Clark and our local MPPs for supporting this project and helping to generate further investment, job creation and education in Simcoe County," said County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell. "Our County Council supported the creation of the Automotive Innovation Park as it aligns with our goals to drive our economy forward. As the future majority shareholder in the neighbouring Lake Simcoe Regional Airport, this development will also complement and help to maximize the significance of this area as a budding economic development district."

"The Minister's Zoning Order is an example of the Government of Ontario living up to its commitment to reduce red tape in order to create jobs and bolster economic development," said Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes. "This prompt and cooperative measure will permit development that has been stalled for many years to move forward creating new jobs."


  • The site for the proposed facility is within the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport Economic Employment District as set out in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
  • The Planning Act authorizes the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to make zoning orders for regulating the use of land and the location, use, height, size and spacing of buildings and structures. This zoning order was made at the request of Simcoe County and the Township of Oro-Medonte so the land can be used for automotive-related employment.
  • The Oro-Medonte Automotive Innovation Park could support more than 50 per cent of the job growth forecasted for Oro-Medonte to 2031.