The automotive industry is coming to Casselman.
On Friday, September 17, representatives of Montréal-based Rosefellow Developments and Bertone Development Corporation of St-Laurent were joined by Ontario Minister of Francophone Affairs Caroline Mulroney, United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) Warden Stéphane Sarrazin, Casselman Mayor Daniel Lafleur, and La Nation Mayor François St-Amour to announce the construction of a 540,000 square foot distribution centre for the Ford Motor Company of Canada in Casselman.
The modern warehouse facility is being constructed on the south side of Highway 417 near the interchange with St-Albert Road and the intersection with Route 700.
“Open for business is more than just a slogan, it’s a core value for our government,” said Mulroney.
The distribution centre will create an estimated 150 jobs and serve Ford’s market in Ontario and Quebec. The automaker is replacing its single distribution centre in Bramalea, north of Toronto, with two new facilities. The new Casselman facility is projected to be in operation by February 2023.
Mulroney said the Ontario government is not directly investing in the project but will continue to support municipal governments involved with the project. Mulroney, who also is Minister of Transportation, noted improvements currently being made to Highway 417 will also benefit the Ford development.
“Developing the south side of Highway 417 has been a priority of council for a long time,” said Lafleur.
He was elected mayor in 2018 and said he has been working on the project since that time.
Lafleur said municipal services already connect to the property and natural gas will be extended to the site.
Premier Doug Ford had been invited to Friday’s announcement but was unable to attend. Casselman Deputy Mayor Francyn Leblanc read a letter from the Premier in which he expressed his support.
“You are creating jobs and contributing to the economic prosperity of the region,” stated Premier Ford.
The site of the new distribution centre is on the boundary between Casselman and La Nation. The two municipalities have been working together on securing the development. St-Amour credited La Nation’s staff for working hard to ensure a major development located on the municipal boundary went ahead successfully. He said location matters when it comes to potential business investment.
“We see more investors seeking to take advantage of our strategic location,” St-Amour said.
St-Amour said the economic benefits of the Ford facility will also bring new jobs, housing, and tax revenue to La Nation.
Sarrazin said the Ford facility is the “first of its kind,” to have a multinational corporation locating in the UCPR.
“This project is extremely important for the economic life of our region,” he remarked.
Sarrazin said local employment and training agencies in Prescott-Russell give the region an advantage because of their efforts to supply new companies with employees.
“I think we’ve got something to offer that Toronto doesn’t have.”
In addition to the Ford distribution centre, the developers are also constructing two additional 400,000 square foot and 200,000 square foot buildings at the site for future industrial use. The development is being built by Crevier-Mancini Construction of Vaudreuil-Dorion and Leeswood Construction of Mississauga.