Provincially designated and identified as a regional priority for the County of Simcoe, the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport (LSRA) Economic Employment District provides a unique opportunity for development and collaboration among government, businesses, and academia.
Whether enhancing the region’s research and development capabilities, or attracting new private sector investment and creating high-quality jobs for residents, the location provides strong synergies between the aerospace sector and recently announced automotive and medical parks, encouraging collaboration that will drive innovation in Simcoe County.
The 595-acre LSRA is fully serviced by the Canada Border Service Agency and accommodates both international passengers and freight. It is adjacent to Highway 11, located halfway between Barrie and Orillia in the Township of Oro-Medonte.
Among the newest regional airport facilities in Canada, the airport is only 45 minutes north of the GTA and possesses serviced and un-serviced land available for airside commercial development opportunities, accommodating both small- and large-scale developments in three distinct commercial areas.
The County of Simcoe, which has a 90 per cent ownership stake in the airport, invested more than $5 million in 2020 on initiatives that includes runway widening and high-intensity lighting. Future phases include a proposal to lengthen the runway to 7,000 feet to increase capacity.
A new tenant at LSRA is Volatus Aerospace, one of the largest unmanned aerospace technologies providers in Canada. The company’s new centre of excellence at LSRA will handle a significant portion of its assembly and research and development operations. It is eligible for up to $100,000 through the County’s LSRA Aerospace Development Fund that stimulates private-sector investment and innovation at the airport.
“In looking for the right place to locate this strategic facility, our interest was piqued by a number of potential advantages and synergies that can develop,” says Glen Lynch, President & CEO of Volatus Aerospace.
Joining Volatus are the Oro Station Automotive Innovation Park – a new 200-acre automotive innovation hub that will feature more than 500,000 square feet of industrial space dedicated to automotive research, engineering and development – and MediCA Park, an 83-acre advanced manufacturing medical innovation park with a focus on vertically integrated medical manufacturing facilities to secure Canada’s health security needs.
“We couldn’t imagine a more perfect location for our automotive park than in Simcoe County,” says Geoffrey Campbell, managing partner of Oro Station. “We have amazing highway access, a terrific airport across the road and a range of partners that will help us realize our vision to create the ultimate Canadian destination for all things automotive. The airport was a vital part of our site selection process as the complementary nature of our uses represent good planning and will ensure future growth for both facilities.”