A new, sprawling industrial park, expected to feature a 600,000-plus-square-foot medicinal cannabis facility, a 3D construction company and host of other enterprises, is coming to Cavan Monaghan Township — and with it, up to 800 jobs over a four-year period, developers hope.
On Tuesday, following a closed session, Cavan Monaghan Township council unanimously approved the sale of 77 acres of employment land on Syer Line, near Highway 115, in Cavan Ward to Slip Dev Corp.
Slip Dev, helmed by John Mutton — a former mayor of Clarington who also works with Kawartha Downs as a consultant — was created solely to acquire and develop the land.
“We’ve been looking at the (Syer Line) property for quite some time with respect to the possible build out of the property,” Mutton told The Examiner.
After the township launched an eight-week request for proposal in June, Slip Dev put together a bid. With council now backing its bid, the developer will pay $2.2 million for the industrial employment land.
Mutton and Slip Dev have ambitious plans for the future industrial park, located at 1066 Syer Line.
The plan is to house seven companies on seven 10-acre lots on the property.
So far, according to Mutton, four enterprises are on board as part of the project’s first phase, including a state-of-the-art training facility for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
The facility would provide electrical training for high school students and journeyman apprentices. Billed as a would-be centre of excellence for electrical training, the facility is poised to teach trainees the tools of the trade in an area, according to Mutton, where there are skill shortages.
Longhouse Craft Cannabis is also on board. The 620,000 sq. ft.. site would act as a medicinal cannabis facility, adding an estimated 200 careers once the building is operational.
Another lot will be dedicated to the 20,000 sq. ft. expansion facility of Streamline Canada, the country’s largest distributor of luxury plumbing products. More than 25 jobs could be added to the warehouse space alone within the first two years of operation.
Finally, Cormor Inc.’s new construction research and production facility is set to take shape at the new industrial park, dubbed Syer Line Industrial Park Slip, during the first phase.
Cormor is one of the first companies in Canada harnessing 3D construction printing to construct on-site and modular buildings. The company will directly employ 14 employees during the first two years, and indirectly another 50 employees through partners and projects.
All in all, Mutton expects the industrial park to add between 700 and 800 jobs over a four-year stretch.
While three lots remain unclaimed, Mutton says there’s no shortage of interested parties eager to join Syer Line Industrial Park SLIP. Hotels and even movie studios have expressed interest, he said.
The 1066 Syer Line property, now dubbed Syer Line Industrial Park Slip, was acquired by the township for $800,000 in 2019 to investigate the use of some of its land for employment opportunities.
The 77-acre area has about 1,698 feet of frontage on Syer Line with a portion backing onto Highway 115.
The property is presently uninhabited with a single residential dwelling, attached garage, and outbuildings and is serviced with private well and septic, according to a township staff report.
On May 2, township council passed a zoning bylaw amendment that allowed a portion of the property to be rezoned as rural employment from agricultural. At the same meeting, it declared the property surplus and authorized its sale.
There was also a township Official Plan amendment which Peterborough County council approved July 19.
Over the past number of years, Cavan Monaghan Township and the City of Peterborough have wrangled over township lands and the prospect of city annexation of some land to make up for a shortage of employment lands in Peterborough. But the Syer Line property, which is far southwest of the city, has not been part of these discussions.
For Cavan Monaghan Mayor Scott McFadden, the new project is another demonstration of council’s “focused” commitment to economic development.
“We are very excited by the proposal from Slip and the hundreds of jobs that it will bring into our community,” McFadden said.
Mutton said he’s aiming to get shovels in the ground “as soon as possible,” but a firm timeline as to when facilities will become operational hasn’t been released at this time.
“We are ecstatic to work with the township on bringing cutting edge careers as part of our development to the area,” Mutton said.
“This has been a pet project of this council for almost the entire term of council,” said Deputy Mayor Matt Graham, on “what was a fairly complicated and a fairly time consuming and certainly frustrating at times process.”
“It might not be a grand slam but it certainly is a home run.”
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at email@example.com.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner