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Breaking Ground in the Pickering Innovation Corridor

Late last month, the Invest Durham team was on site to celebrate alongside FGF Brands, the City of Pickering and the Province of Ontario as ground was broken for the future Wonderbrands Innovation Business Park.

The first phase of development consists of three manufacturing plants and a distribution centre, with an overall gross floor area of more than 1,000,000 square feet. Once full build-out is complete, the business park will be the largest food manufacturing campus in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), as well as one of the largest employers in Pickering, providing 3,000 jobs.

FGF Brands is the largest producer of fresh breads, rolls, croissants, fully baked muffins, and sweet goods in North America, and has become a global leader by replacing low-tech equipment with robotics, integrated AI systems, machine learning, and supply chain innovations. Some of its brands include Wonder Bread, D’Italiano, Country Harvest, Casa Mendosa, Gadoua, Stonefire, and ACE Bakery.

In Case You Missed It: Watch the Boost Your EV IQ Event Replay

With the recent major investment and funding announcements into Ontario’s electric vehicle (EV) supply chain, there are exciting and immediate opportunities for business growth, innovation and collaboration in Durham Region, Ontario, Canada.

Durham Region, located on the east side of the Greater Toronto Area, offers a competitive business environment which sits at the nexus of future energy and advanced automotive.

This event was held, and streamed nationally, from Durham College’s Corporate Training Immersive Hub on Thursday, August 17, 2023.

At this webinar you will learn about:

  • Next Generation Manufacturing Canada's (NGen) Federal Funding stream, the EV Manufacturing Value Chain Program (EVMP);
  • Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network's (OVIN) Provincial Funding stream, the Research and Development Partnership Fund for EV;
  • Durham Region’s collaborative business ecosystem, including the Durham Regional Technology Development Site (Durham RTDS);
  • Durham’s nearly 200 years of automotive engineering and innovation combined with its role as the Clean Energy Capital of Canada;
  • Durham College’s Corporate Training Services (CTS) division and how they are supporting the advancement of EV technology and training as well as their Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) who are providing EV technology development with Simulation, Smart (AI) & Secure (cybersecurity) technical services;
  • Ontario Tech University’s specialization in commercial scale energy and automotive research and development services at core research facilities like the Clean Energy Research Lab (CERL) that is inventing innovative hydrogen technology and ACE Climatic Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel where Project Arrow, the First All-Canadian EV concept car was built.

This event was presented in partnership by: Invest Durham, Durham College, Ontario Tech University, Durham RTDS, NGen, and OVIN.

Watch the Recording

Applications are now being accepted for the new round of $2,500 Digital Main Street (DMS) Digital Transformation Grants!

Applications will be accepted until October 31 or until funds are fully exhausted. There are a limited number of grants available, so apply early!

New this year, small businesses no longer need to be part of a zoned commercial core or main street area to qualify. Previous grant recipients can also reapply (with some restrictions).

It is free to apply, and the process is simple:

  • Register your business online and complete the digital assessment;
  • Pass the pre-qualification quiz, complete the two and a half hours of online training, and develop your Digital Transformation Plan; and,
  • Apply for a $2,500 grant.

In addition to grants, businesses can also access a Digital Vendor Directory, additional online training, free trials and discounts, interesting articles, how-to tips, and more.

Learn more about the DMS Grants and register now

Events and Partnerships

Access IO: The Future of Energy

Access IO is an exciting innovation event series where startups, industry experts, angel investors and potential customers collide. Durham Region’s innovation ecosystem comes together at Access IO—where innovative thinkers, investors, customers and other partners gather to further strengthen the startup community, and create opportunity for growth.

The next Access IO event—The Future of Energy—will take place at Ontario Power Generation's Darlington Nuclear Complex. This high-energy innovation event is seeking founders and startups interested in pitching their technologies in Artificial Intelligence, Enterprise Solutions, NextGen Automation, Immersive Tech (AR/VR), and Cybersecurity. These innovations are critical in supporting the energy needs of our future.

Access IO: The Future of Energy is supported by Ontario Power Generation, the Municipality of Clarington, Invest Durham, Angel Investors Ontario, Ontario Centre of Innovation, Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association, Pitch Score, Kleurvision, and the National Research Council of Canada.

Date: September 27 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Location: Darlington Energy Complex, 1855 Energy Drive, Courtice, ON

Register now for Access IO: The Future of Energy and use access code 5YEARS.

Register now

Everything Counts! 2023 Durham Region Business Summit

The Joint-Chambers Business Conference will focus on the challenges and opportunities leadership brings, leveraging local talent, speakers and more! You will leave with connections, inspiration and significant leadership support.

September 28

9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Deer Creek Golf and Banquet Facility (2700 Audley Road, Ajax, ON L1Z 1T7)

Presented by the Ajax Pickering Board of Trade, Clarington Board of Trade, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and Whitby Chamber of Commerce.

View the conference agenda and register to attend

Hackathon: Seed to Solution

Hackathon: Seed to Solution is a unique opportunity to collaborate with like-minded individuals, from tech enthusiasts to social entrepreneurs, all united by the common goal of building solutions that address critical issues faced by our society.

September 15 at 12:00 p.m. to September 16 at 7:00 p.m.

1855 Whitby (400 Centre Street South, Whitby, ON L1N 4W2)

Presented by 360insights and 1855 Whitby.

Learn more and register now
Visit the Invest Durham Event Calendar for business-related events

Recent Business News

Before Chrysler's 1934 Airflow, car aerodynamics were literally backward—our wind-tunnel tests prove it.

Learn about the ACE Climatic Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel, a core research facility at Ontario Tech University, and it’s capabilities in a story that features stunning images of testing of a 1934 Chrysler Airflow and 1932 DeSoto Sedan. Read the story at

From restaurants to cideries to farms, Durham's tourism industry gets back on its feet after COVID-19

From quaint downtowns and main streets to farms, cideries and breweries, Durham Region is drawing people from near and far, and the tourism industry is getting back on its feet following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the story at

Massive 'fake town' in Ontario goes viral for being used as film set

A Tik Tok video of the William F. White film backlot in the City of Pickering has gone viral and received national media coverage. Read the story in the National Post.

Oshawa Student Orientation Week Job Fair

Employer Registration

The upcoming Oshawa Student Orientation event in September has added a student Job Fair to the mix. Hosted by the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and Durham Workforce Authority, this event is a great opportunity for businesses in Durham Region to access and meet student talent. Register your business for the fair.

Spot at Ontario Power Generation:

Automating Circuit Breaker Tripping and Racking

Ontario Power Generation’s innovative teams are using Boston Dynamic’s Spot robotics to enhance safety. Learn more about this technology in a recent video release.

Summer Road Trips Just Outside Toronto

in Durham Region

Read August’s top story on the Durham Tourism blog: Summer Road Trips Just Outside Toronto.

Startup Grind: Jason Atkins, Founder & CEO

of 360insights

Did you miss the recent Spark Centre Startup Grind with Jason Atkins, CEO and founder of 360insights? Entrepreneurs, aspiring founders, business leaders and those interested in the 'how' will want to catch up on this engaging discussion with the replay. Watch the replay on YouTube.

Kinectrics Inc. and Ontario Tech University have established a partnership to advance nuclear research and innovation

As Canada’s nuclear industry enters an exciting new period of enormous growth and expansion, Kinectrics Inc., a leading nuclear lifecycle services company, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Ontario Tech University. This collaboration, confirmed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), establishes a mutually beneficial partnership focusing on collaboration, research, and talent development.

Read the news release from Ontario Tech.

Barrett Centre Food Literacy Innovation Zone launched by Durham College and the Town of Ajax

Community education and engagement is the focus of a new food security and sustainability initiative launched by Durham College’s Barrett Centre for Innovation in Sustainable Urban Agriculture (Barrett Centre), in partnership with the Town of Ajax. The Barrett Centre’s new Food Literacy Innovation Zone aims to address challenges in food security and supply chains through the lens of urban agriculture by educating local community members about nutrition, gaining access to food, and incorporating local and healthy food into their lifestyle. Read the news release from Durham College.

Trent University Durham GTA Boosts Indigenous Student Spaces with Donation from Former Board Chair

During National Indigenous History Month, Trent University Durham GTA announced the enhancement of its Indigenous student spaces and supports—including a larger and more modern tipi, and improved furnishings for the Indigenous Student Space. Learn more about the gift that is supporting Indigenous spaces on Trent University Durham’s blog.

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