In spite of COVID-19, Walmart Canada has put shovels in the ground on a new, 550,000-square-foot distribution centre in a farm field just north of Toronto, Ont.
The sprawling signature facility on Jane Street, just north of Teston Road, in Vaughan, will create hundreds of construction jobs. When operational, the distribution centre will handle general merchandise and food products and will be open in 2024.
“This is a very exciting time for Walmart Canada and our customers across the country,” said Walmart Canada president and CEO Horacio Barbeito. “Our new distribution centre is going to be a world-class facility, which will help us grow and make our business better and simpler for our customers.
“These are challenging times for everyone, but we are investing for growth because we believe in Ontario and Canada’s future and are proud to do business in this great country.”
Fifth Distribution Centre
The new facility is part of Walmart’s $3.5-billion investment in its Canadian operations during the next five years. It will be the fifth distribution centre in the Greater Toronto Area. The company also has another 300,000-square-foot facility currently under construction in Surrey, B.C., and it’s doing an upgrade to a third facility in Cornwall, Ont., near the Quebec border.
Condor Properties, a privately owned, Vaughan-based real estate development company related to the Con-Drain Group, is working with Walmart on the build. The company has more than 100 buildings throughout Greater Toronto and surrounding areas.
Condor Founder and Principal Angelo De Gasperis said the company was honoured to work with Walmart Canada to build a next-generation distribution centre that will set a new industry standard.
“This project is a big undertaking, but also a shining example of teamwork, commitment and a solution-driven approach.”– Angelo De Gasperis, Condor Founder and Principal
“This project is a big undertaking, but also a shining example of teamwork, commitment and a solution-driven approach. We are excited about the opportunities this distribution centre will bring to the community, and we wish to acknowledge the efforts of the City of Vaughan, the Regional Municipality of York and the Province of Ontario for their support in making our shared vision a reality.”
Suite of Investments
The distribution centres are part of a suite of investments Walmart Canada is making to generate significant growth. The company hopes the investments will make the online and in-store shopping experience simpler, faster and more convenient for Walmart’s customers. The investment planned over the span of the next five years will lead to the use of advanced technologies in a state-of-the-art facility to move products as quickly as possible.
It’s estimated more than 70 million cases of products from more than 3,000 suppliers will flow through the distribution centre annually—the highest volume of any Walmart facility in the country.
The facility will leverage next-generation automation and technology working with Vanderlande, a material handling and logistics automation company based in the Netherlands.
A number of dignitaries and Ontario Premier Doug Ford attended a ground-breaking ceremony at the site earlier this year.
“I want to thank companies like Walmart who are doing their part to keep their doors open, their shelves stocked and their employees and customers safe during these unprecedented times,” Ford said. “As our province charts a path to recovery, we welcome significant investments like the one Walmart is making in Vaughan, which will create more jobs, get more people back to work, and help our economy recover and grow again.”
Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua said the distribution centre represented an important investment in the city’s future and would bring innovation and jobs to the growing community.
“Condor Properties continues to play a significant and meaningful role in the development of our city. Despite the universal challenges presented by COVID-19, Vaughan’s local economy remains competitive, strong and resilient. Key economic development projects like this will ensure continued sustainable economic growth.”
“Despite the universal challenges presented by COVID-19, Vaughan’s local economy remains competitive, strong and resilient.”– Doug Ford, Ontario Premier
Walmart has more than 400 stores nationwide and currently operates a distribution network of 11 facilities in Mississauga and Cornwall in Ontario and Calgary in Alberta. Each of those regional hubs services a network of about 135 stores. The logistics network employs approximately 3,800 people.