The shovel went in the ground on Thursday to begin construction of the Automotive Innovation Park, located on 200 acres of land on the 7th Line of Oro-Medonte Township across from the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport.
Premier Ford and other dignitaries were on hand for the ground-breaking.
When completed, the park will be a testing and research facility for automotive products, and will also feature a four-kilometre outdoor motorsport track.
Ford said the facility is more than just a job creator.
“This is an area where we can show our innovation and show what we can do in the automotive sector. The automotive sector employs over 100,000 people in Ontario. I always say when the automotive sector is doing great, Ontario is doing great.”
The facility is expected to create more than 700 full-time jobs. Construction of the building alone is predicted to generate more than 1,800 jobs.
The premier heaped praise on the fact that the automotive park will partner with Georgian College.
“I always brag to everyone that we have the brightest, smartest people anywhere in the world right here in Ontario. We have the brightest students coming out of the greatest colleges and universities in the world.”
Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes recalled his face-to-face meeting with Ford at Queen’s Park last year in which the automotive park came up for discussion. He said evidence of that conversation is what took place today.
“We need to grow this economy. We are going to grow this economy. We can work together.”