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Thorold industry hub the start of a Niagara trade corridor, officials say

200-acre property, formerly the site of a paper mill, bought by company to develop 'multi-modal hub'

Local decision-makers came together on Friday to announce what they call a massive step forward in industrial development in Niagara as the grand opening of the new Thorold Multimodal Hub was held in front of a large virtual audience.

It was earlier this summer that the city of Thorold announced it had joined forces with other municipalities along the Welland canal, and the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority, HOPA, to create a network of trade- and logistics hubs, using the connection to the waterways, as well as the road- and rail network to attract industry to the region.

On Friday morning, the partners came together to announce the grand opening of the Thorold hub, located in the old paper mill directly adjacent to the canal.

The 200 acre property, featuring over 500,000 sq ft. of indoor space, was recently purchased by Bioveld Canada, and can accomodate multiple users at once, opening the door for cargo handling operations, manufacturing, warehousing and more to settle in Thorold.

"We are now seeing the results and importance of collaboration, and how it producing results and opportunity," said Thorold mayor Terry Ugulini during the call, dubbing the opening 'a new era' in marine transportation in Ontario.

"This investment by Bioveld Canada is a testament to that. Adding the Thorold Multimodal Hub to the HOPA Niagara Ports network gives the organization the resources it needs to thrive, and will diversify local employment opportunities."

Niagara Centre Vance Badawey said Friday's announcement was only the beginning of the industrial expansion.

"This Multimodal Hub in Thorold is just the first step in the establishment of the Niagara Ports Trade Corridor," Badawey said.

"By working together with our partners, such as HOPA and Bioveld, we are improving supply-chain efficiency and transportation logistics, strengthening our region to become an innovative, economic, transportation/logistics-based leader."

Long-term, said HOPA, it is hoping to develop a trade corridor throughout Niagara.

Other hubs are being developed in Port Colborne and Welland, and are currently in its 'conceptual stages.'