Industrial development holds steady in Brant County

Industrial development in Brant County held steady last year, with building permits valued at $42 million, according to the county’s economic development and tourism 2023 year-in-review.

It’s the third straight year permits have topped $40 million, and the county anticipates continued “substantial industrial building permit activity in the near future,” particularly along the Rest Acres Road and Highway 403 corridor, Zach Gable, director of economic development and tourism told The Spectator in an email.

Gable noted the recent completion of a master servicing plan for Cainsville’s water, wastewater and stormwater will also facilitate future industrial development opportunities in the eastern reaches of the county.

Here are a few other key take-aways from the review:

Commercial development dipped to a building permit value of roughly $6.5 million in 2023 from more than $13 million in 2022.

The construction of several plazas in Paris in 2022, including those at 1070 Rest Acres Rd., 197 Pinehurst Rd. and 1 Hartley Ave., accounted for the significant change, Gable said.

Brant grew by 246 new businesses in the past five years, according to the review.

Compared to nearby municipalities, including Hamilton, Norfolk, Cambridge and Woodstock, Brant County boasts the lowest commercial tax rate (2.59 per cent) and one of the lowest industrial tax rates (3.18 per cent).

This is significant because competitive tax and development rates can be an incentive for new businesses to choose Brant, the review explains.

Last year, the county also brought in nearly $10.5 million in development charges. This is a levy residential, industrial and commercial developers pay to help fund growth-related infrastructure and capital projects, such as parks, road work and fire hall expansions.

Although construction was the top industry in the county last year with 313 local businesses, manufacturing was the local industry with the most employees (over 3,000) with an average employee salary of around $60,000, according to the review.

Retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and health care and social assistance also factored into the top 10 for both number of local businesses and number of jobs.

Celeste Percy-Beauregard’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. The funding allows her to report on stories about Brant County. Reach her at

Celeste Percy-Beauregard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator