The Ontario Food Terminal will remain at its current location.
A review of the terminal, which is a major hub for the distribution for fresh produce in the Toronto area and beyond, had created anxiety among users and suppliers that the terminal would be moved.
Why it matters: The terminal sits on highly valuable land just off the Gardiner Expressway heading to downtown Toronto. That access, just off a major highway and close to downtown makes it useful for suppliers and buyers of produce, although it somewhat limits expansion.
Produce sellers had created an online petition and website aimed at preserving the current location.
Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced today that the review would continue, but that the terminal would say it its current location.
“We spoke with everyone who uses the facility: farmers, buyers, distributors, consumers, and restaurant owners and they all agreed our agri-food sector is best served by working to improve the Ontario Food Terminal at its current location,” said Hardeman. “This terminal is a key pillar of success for Ontario agriculture and I look forward to working with the industry to help grow our province’s agri-food sector and ensure its long-term prosperity for the next five, 10 and 50 years.”
The Toronto Wholesale Produce Association also announced that working with the government, it will make a significant investment to modernize the Ontario Food Terminal with a focus on the Farmer’s Market.
One of the criticisms of the terminal is that its space is used by an increasingly concentrated group of larger wholesalers.
“We are excited about the future of the Ontario Food Terminal and building on the success we have had at this location,” said Steve Bamford, Toronto Wholesale Produce Association. “We are proud to be making a significant investment in the modernization and future of the terminal and the farmers market.”
The government says that as the review of the terminal continues, it will also look at how to capitalize on modern food distribution systems, make infrastructure enhancements for Ontario farmers, all within the larger trend of growing local food demand from consumers.