Site Magazine Names Windsor-Essex A Top Investment Spot

Windsor-Essex is being named one of the best spots in Canada to invest.

Site Selection Magazine — a publication focused on corporate real estate, facility planning and foreign direct investment — has pinned Windsor-Essex as one of the Top 10 Best Locations in Canada for Investment.

The WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation received the award on behalf of the region, joining others in the Top 10 including Invest Ottawa, Toronto Global and Calgary Economic Development. 

"It means that collectively we're heading in the right direction," says Stephen MacKenzie, CEO of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation. "We can always improve and we'll endeavour to do so, but it's a recognition of and validation of some of the strategies that we're implementing to try and make sure the region stays healthy."

Windsor-Essex is being recognized for a number of private sector corporate facility investments over the past year including those by Ford, Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing, Canadian Salt and Stratus Plastics.

The area is also being recognized for programs from WEEDC to attract, encourage and support investment.

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Guro Deputy Mayor Soo Dong Han signs Memorandum of Understanding with Economic Development Corporation CEO Stephen MacKenzie, October 13, 2016 (Photo by Teresinha Medeiros)

Managing Editor Adam Bruns says Windsor-Essex is doing a lot to attract new investment and support existing investors. He says the agri-food sector along with the greenhouse sector supporting the medical cannabis industry and the number of Information and Communications Technology companies that are investing bode well for the region.

"Basically, focusing on those targeted sectors and, then also, in the background developing the kind of business infrastructure that can support any number of business sectors without having over target, so to speak," says Bruns.

Bruns believes the recognition should be a "point of pride" for the region.

"That you have a group in [WEEDC] and that you have more informally a community that is pro-business and that's seeking to be part of a larger region," says Bruns.

MacKenzie says getting on the list will give the region more exposure to companies in Canada and elsewhere.

"When a company has to engage and partake in a site selection process or in a decision to expand something that's already here, it can be daunting task — the competition is fierce," says MacKenzie.

The magazine named Ontario as the most competitive province followed by Alberta and Quebec. Half of the economic corporations named to the Top 10 were from Ontario as well as a further six of the 10 Honourable Mentions.

The annual rankings are based on data from April 2016 to March 2017.

— with files from Rusty Thomson