Ontario Supports the Expansion of the Agri-Food Sector in the North

Published on December 04, 2020

PHOTO: TOM THOMSON

Greenhouse feasibility study is the first step in developing sustainable local food sources and creating new jobs in Rainy River

December 3, 2020

Energy, Northern Development and Mines

RAINY RIVER - The Ontario government is providing $16,500 to help the town of Rainy River conduct a greenhouse feasibility study and support a growing agri-food sector in the north. The investment is a first step in developing sustainable, healthy and cost-effective locally grown food sources while generating economic prosperity and job creation.
"It is critical, especially during these difficult times, that we support economic development opportunities across Northwestern Ontario," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Indigenous Affairs and MPP for Kenora-Rainy River. "We have a growing agri-food sector in the North and it is important that we look at ways to expand the development of sustainable local food sources right here in Rainy River to support our community and local economy."

The study will help to identify the infrastructure required for a greenhouse facility, as well as assess the advantages of the greenhouse industry, such as increased variety and availability of produce, longer growing seasons, lower produce prices and reduced transportation costs.

"As part of the strategic planning and goals for the area, our town is doing initial research on the feasibility of commercial greenhousing in the area with the help of Ontario government funding," said Deborah Ewald, Mayor of the Town of Rainy River. "On behalf of the citizens of Rainy River, I would like to thank Minister Greg Rickford and the Government of Ontario for the investment capital to help our communities."

"This is an important investment by the province which will help to improve food sustainability and support Northern Ontario's agri-food sector," said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "The greenhouse industry is a huge contributor to our economy, and this feasibility study is the first step towards providing more jobs and nutritious locally grown food for the region."

The funding is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). The Corporation promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects - big and small, rural and urban - that stimulate recovery, growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $225 million in 1,492 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $991 million in investment and creating or sustaining 4,298 jobs.


Quick Facts

  • In January 2021, the Ontario Government will launch a new and improved Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) program that will support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The program will target both existing and emerging market opportunities, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the north.
  • Approximately 85,000 direct jobs and $3.4 billion in annual economic impact can be attributed to Ontario’s greenhouse vegetable, floriculture and nursery industry value chain, including farming, processing and retail.