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Message from Ross Peever.................................................. pg.3 Top 5 Reasons you should be Made in Welland...................... pg.4 Welland Hydro looks to the bright side of energy..................... pg.5 Welland Newsmakers.......................................................... pg.6-7 Welland Champions: REpower Systems................................. pg.8 Great Lakes Biodiesel Inc....................... pg.9 Sport Tourism Scores in Welland........................................... pg.10-11 Live Work Play in Welland................................................... pg.12-15

WELLAND AT A GLANCE City of Welland Population (2011 census): 50,631 Regional Niagara Population (2011 census): 431,346 Area (2011 census): 81.09 sq km Major Welland Employers • Bosch Rexroth Canada • Canadian Tire Financial Services Ltd. • Convergys CMG Canada Limited Partnership • District School Board of Niagara • Energex Tube • Niagara Health System – Welland Hospital • Niagara College • OSM Solar Corp. • Salit Steel • Welded Tube Residential Real Estate Values • New detached (approx value): $182,461 • Average resale price: $200,187

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Message from

Ross Peever President and CEO of Welland Hydro It is indeed an honour to be part of the 5 th edition of “Made in Welland”. As the President & CEO of Welland Hydro-Electric System Corp. and a Board Member of the Welland Development Commission, I have seen the progressive change in Welland’s economy, which in the past was dominated primarily by a few large manufacturing companies. Today, Welland’s economy is largely based on many smaller; more diversified commercial and manufacturing facilities. The steel industry which once had a strong presence in Welland is only a fraction of what it was 25 years ago. Even so, it is still an important sector of Welland’s economy and will be for the foreseeable future. Sustainable energy is another industry in the Niagara Region, along with the hydro utility industry, that has been in existence for over a hundred years, however only in recent years have international sustainable energy companies such as REpower made their way into Welland’s economy. REpower Systems is a world class company that manufactures wind turbine blades by using state of the art technology. REpower Systems will open its wind turbine manufacturing facility in July of this year bringing with them green energy projects and a forecast of 200 job opportunities to Welland and the surrounding area. With the ever growing concern of global warming, primarily due to the use of fossil fuels, sustainable energy has been catapulted into the forefront of society’s environmental concerns. The shift to clean sustainable energy will help to slow down or even one day, with hope, bring global warming to an end. This shift combined with Welland’s location, skilled work force and municipal entrepreneurial attitude has led to a number of newly advanced sustainable energy

companies, such as, REpower, Great Lakes Biodiesel and OSM Solar to establish manufacturing and assembly facilities in the Welland area. All of these companies purchase local products and services that further stimulate the local economy. Furthermore, the City of Welland and its solely owned utility company, Welland Hydro, have collaborated to develop solar projects that create a revenue stream for the municipality, added benefits to the community, and a requirement to use local labour and products, subject to certain conditions. By leveraging municipal assets and supporting local sustainable energy projects, Welland is investing in its future. Many sustainable energy experts believe that trading carbon credits will provide the revenue stream for future sustainable energy projects. Welland’s companies will be well positioned for that future. I have been fortunate over the years to be involved with Welland’s Economic Development Committee and working alongside its team of professionals that believe in Welland as being the best place to grow a company in, to invest in, to educate in, to live in, and to raise a family in. With this strong belief in Welland, combined with a competent team of local professionals, Welland is positioned to have a bright future and I am pleased to be a part of that future. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to the Economic Development Team for their constant dedication to Welland’s economic future. I hope you enjoy this 5 th addition of “Made in Welland” as much as I enjoyed being a part of it. Warmest Regards, Ross Peever President & CEO Welland Hydro-Electric System Corp.

Recent Developments • Welland McMaster Family Health Team • Hydac Corporation expansion • Dun-Rite Aluminum expansion • Widening of Highway 406 • Great Lakes Biodiesel • E.D. Products • Sport Chek • Target • Goodwill • Rose City Chrysler • Welland Downtown Galleria • REpower Systems

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Made in Welland


Innovation, Academic and Industry Partnership Location. Location. Location. Access to 75% of North America’s purchasing power. Within driving distance of 60% of the U.S. and 62% of the Canadian industrial market, Welland has easy access to the U.S. and major international transportation gateways by auto, plane and train. 7 of the top 10 U.S. industrial states are within one day’s trucking of Welland and it is even closer to major US Markets than Florida, Texas and California.

Financial Incentives Over 50 provincial and federal programs to help finance your growth in Welland. From interest and principal free loans, R & D tax credits, training and job creation programs and support for green energy technology investment, Welland is one of the most attractive places to do business. Visit to download our Innovation Support Program to learn more.

Labour Force - Skilled & Established Manufacturing Base Welland is at the geographical centre of Niagara’s diversified manufacturing base and supply chain network. Welland’s 25,000 strong labour force has ready-to-go experience and depth in precision machining, metal forming, electrical & connectivity, hydraulics and power distribution. The region also excels in advanced manufacturing, aerospace, shipbuilding, logistics, transportation equipment and primary metal manufacturing. Welland also has easy access to worldclass automotive research centres at Niagara College, McMaster University, the University of Waterloo and the University of Windsor.

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Leverage world-class research, technology and innovation to help you grow. Recognized as a small town with big ideas, Welland was the first city in Canada to develop a free WiFi network. In recognition of our energy conservation efforts, Welland has been designated as a LED City. These are just two examples of our eagerness to embrace big ideas and lead the world in innovation.

Quality of Life Welland is accessible, abundant and acclaimed. If you want quality of life, then there’s no better place than Welland to settle down and raise a family. Welland and the Niagara Region are among Canada’s most culturally rich, affordable and safe places to live. Cost of living expenses are among Canada’s lowest.

Welland Hydro

looks to the BRIGHT side of energy

Welland Hydro knows that the future of electricity is tied to sustainable energy. The traditional generation using fossil fuels to produce electricity has many negative implications associated with it such as health concerns and global warming, which has motivated government leaders to advocate a change towards sustainable energy generation. Ross Peever, the company’s President & CEO believes that solar power has the most potential among the sustainable energy sources for Welland. To that end the company is currently collecting and analyzing data from a variety of solar generating equipment located at multiple sites throughout Welland to assess which configuration will generate the most electricity and provide the best financial returns to the company, its shareholder and to the community. Welland Hydro has collaborated with its sole shareholder, The City of Welland, to install six (6) 10kW ground mount solar microFIT installations and a 250kW roof mount project on municipal and Welland Hydro owned sites. Some of the sites have duel axis trackers with string or micro inverters.

“These trackers are active trackers that follow the sun throughout the day and produce more electricity than fixed mounted panels.” Peever said. “The comparison between the tracker data of other solar configurations over the last five (5) years has helped to provide valuable information regarding solar energy and revenue generation. This provides Welland Hydro with a firm foundation of knowledge that is important for future investments in larger solar projects.” Welland Hydro has applied to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) for five (5) roof mount FIT solar projects on Welland Hydro and City of Welland roof tops and has a 10MW and a 5MW solar ground mount solar field FIT application pending. “Welland Hydro is very excited about developing these projects in collaboration with the City of Welland, the community, investors and provincial government representatives.” Peever said. “Each project contributes to reducing air pollution as well as improving Welland’s financial well being. This is a win-win for the environment and for the City of Welland.”

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Welland Newsmakers

Deb Zahra

Franchisee, operating Partner Born and raised in England, Deb Zahra (nee Platt) and family immigrated to Canada in search of employment and a better future in1981. At 16 Deb started her 30 year varied and rewarding career in the Hospitality/Restaurant industry. Starting as a hostess she has worked every possible position, from host to server to manager, general manager, marketing manager, field services manager, trainer and project manager. Deb has worked for three major chains, Sir Corp, Prime restaurants and Boston Pizza International. Deb has had a wonderful career taking her all over the province and country, living in St Catharines for almost 10 years and then settling in Welland almost 10 years ago. She was recruited by Boston Pizza in 2006 as a field services manger and eventually oversaw 27 restaurants in three provinces. Needing to make some roots and give back, Deb resigned from her Corporate Career with Boston Pizza International when the opportunity arose in January 2010 to purchase the Welland Boston Pizza. Very familiar with the Welland location and the community, it was an easy decision. Realizing that what makes Welland a great community is the involvement of its business people and residents; Deb has eagerly joined many local organizations

and committees, including the Welland Hospital Special Events Committee, Welland Hospital foundation Board, the Welland Sports Tourism Alliance, the Welland/Pelham Chamber of Commerce, and the North Welland BIA and is a Rotarian. She is a member of the Welland YMCA and volunteer teaches YOGA. As an advocate of the City she volunteers with the Illuminaqua Festival and is a Director with the WRCC, participates with the Mayors Gala Committee and is a mentor with Job Gym. With the Boston Pizza Community Crew, Deb and team have participated in the Rose City Parade, City Christmas Parade, supports the Welland Heritage Council and aids athletes annually during the Triathlon. Deb is committed to the growth potential of Welland and its citizens and is using her energy and resources through Boston Pizza to be of service and to grow her business as she employs over 60 staff and managers. Deb was awarded the Paul Harris award for Community service from the Rotary Club of Welland 2012, Business of the year award via Chamber of Commerce 2010, awarded the Women in Business award 2012 via Sun Media - Corporate and Community awards.

Mike Belcastro

President, Seaway Mall General Manager, Vice President Leasing Doral Properties After over 20 years of committed service on behalf of Doral Holdings, Mike took over the reins of the company in 2006. As President, Mike has been overseeing the ambitious redevelopment of the company’s premier asset and Welland’s landmark retail location: the 500,000 sq. ft. Seaway Mall. Having grown up in Welland, Mike Belcastro is a firm believer that the city is a wonderful place to do business, live and grow. Bringing this belief into his work, he successfully recruited world-class chains to enhance the Seaway Mall’s retail landscape, recently securing such sought-after retailers as Winners, Sports Chek, and Target. Mike is committed to his community. One example is the launch of Seaway Mall’s A Community that Cares program in 2011-2012 which has brought awareness to community and not for profits, providing them with exposure and a community partner in sponsorship, space and commitment.

Under Mike’s leadership, the Seaway Mall is committed to advancing community events and causes, regularly sponsoring local happenings such as Rose Festival, Niagara Food Festival, Illuminaqua, Niagara College Orientation, Niagara’s Next Star, Ticket to Ride United Way, High School Coop Programs, Help a Child Smile, Cruise Nights, The Hope Centre, minor sports teams as well as numerous golf tournaments and other fundraising activities. In addition, Community Policing and Youth Innovations have locations open and accessible to the community located right in the Mall. Mike’s talents have also been of great value in public service. A former Ward 3 Councillor for eleven years, he served on numerous municipal committees and civic boards. Whether in business or in public service, he continues to lead with a positive attitude and believes in promoting all the good the community offers. His activist approach focuses on how to make things happen, and Welland is truly fortunate to have an ambassador in Mike Belcastro.

Anthony Lacavera

Chairman of Globalive Wireless Management Group Featured previously, Welland native Anthony Lacavera is yet again making waves in the Canadian Telecom Market. Anthony founded Globalive in 1998, co-founded Wind Mobile in 2008, and has recently announced stepping down from Wind Mobile Canada and transferring his stake to International Telecom company, Orascom Telecom. Anthony’s entrepreneurial spirit won’t let him rest too long after this victory. Anthony will now be turning his focus to launching Globalive Capital this year. Globalive Capital will provide the Canadian marketplace a new vehicle to make strategic investments in young, talented and energetic companies and entrepreneurs, developing early-stage technology, media and telecoms, leveraging the Globalive operating platform and track record of success.

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Welland Champions REpower announces blade production – REinforcing Welland’s green energy strategy


n April 30th, wind turbine manufacturer REpower Systems announced that it has chosen Welland, Ontario to be home to a new blade production factory, operating as PowerBlades Inc., During the first phase of operations, the factory will produce blades for the REpower MM92 type turbine, which is among the most reliable and quietest two-megawatt wind turbines on the market. The blades are truly massive: 45 metres in length, just about half the distance of a football field. During the second phase, REpower intends to extend production to include even larger 3 MW turbine blades, in order to better serve Ontario’s wind project needs. With this investment, the German-based manufacturer cements its dedication and commitment to Welland and the Niagara region and to the development of a sustainable renewable energy sector in Ontario. Welland Mayor Barry Sharpe stated: “The City of Welland welcomes REpower to our community. We appreciate the confidence it has shown to invest here and breathe new life into an existing factory, a valuable asset for manufacturing and production in Welland.” Coupled with this announcement, REpower has engaged the community with a Job Fair in order to fill 125 positions in the fields of logistics, purchasing, management as well as production workers and maintenance technicians.

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During the second phase, the company will need to hire an additional 75 workers. Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli stated: “Ontario’s commitment to clean, reliable energy is helping us eliminate dirty coal and create thousands of jobs across the province. From the new Niagara tunnel to this new facility in Welland, it’s clear that Ontario’s strong investments to rebuild our energy grid are paying off for local families.” Dan Degazio, Manager, Economic Development added: “We are excited because of the jobs which result from this investment and the increased asset value that results from re-tooling this plant for advanced manufacturing and green energy.” Helmut Herold, CEO of REpower’s Canadian subsidiary REpower Systems Inc. said: “We are looking forward to collaborating with the city of Welland and the Niagara region to expand our business. The conditions are excellent and we hope that the province of Ontario will stay favourable towards wind energy. We are glad we found an ideal location for the blade production factory that is going to supply our Ontario projects. We are also looking to the future, supplying blades produced in Welland to wind farms in other provinces or even to the U.S., and to begin Canadian production of our 3 MW type blades.”



pening its doors in Welland in the Fall of 2012, Great Lakes Biodiesel Inc. facility is the largest biodiesel plant in Canada producing ASTM 6751 quality biodiesel made from soy and canola oils. The final product is a clean-burning, renewable, organic-based fuel that is blended into conventional diesel fuel. The production of biodiesel from the plant will help to support the federal government’s mandate that requires a minimum of 2% biodiesel content in diesel fuel and heating oil. This directly enables reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately results in cleaner air for all Canadians. Not only does Great Lakes Biodiesel encourage cleaner air, but it directly contributes to Welland’s economic activity with direct new jobs and also by supporting the Ontario farming industry. “The Great Lakes Biodiesel plant is an example of what is necessary in Niagara to build long term sustainable jobs,” says Rick Dykstra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. “The scale of this initiative is clearly of major importance: it provides benefits to our region and opens additional markets for our farmers crops while decreasing Canada’s environmental footprint.” The project has made a substantial impact on the city of Welland, creating 25 full-time positions, with more required on the horizon. Welland is rich in human resources, and has provided the company with an impressive number of skilled tradespeople. Recently, GLB has also partnered with Niagara College’s internship program to create opportunities for students looking to gain valuable on-the-job experience in new and expanding fields like renewable fuels. “The Welland community is passionate about supporting this progressive initiative,” says Barry Sharpe, Mayor of Welland. “Great Lakes Biodiesel is stimulating several sectors of our local economy from the farmers who provide crops for the plant, to the material suppliers and tradespeople who are contributing to the construction, to the permanent workforce who have been hired to ensure the smooth operation of the plant.”


I made in welland

Sport Tourism Scores in Wella Home to over five world class indoor sports facilities, Welland makes a claim to being recognized as

Ontario’s Sports Capital! If you’re an avid sports fan, you may have noticed a new destination on the map when it comes to high calibre sporting events. Welland has indeed grown into THE city of choice for many local, provincial and even international tournaments and championships.

Welland’s calendar of events over the next few years is impressive:

WELLAND’S SPORTING FACILITIES INCLUDE: Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC) Scheduled for completion this June, the Welland International Flatwater Centre is a water-based recreational area that combines international-standard competitive water sport facilities with recreational and social opportunities. WIFC is Niagara’s premier calm water surface, set in 411 acres of parkland and 272 acres of water. The centre is being built primarily for canoeing and kayaking events the city is hosting for the 2015 Pan Am Games, but it will also be a Games legacy project, hosting sporting

events well into the future. A few of the amenities within the facility include the timing tower, the athletes building that features an indoor multi-sport training tank to allow for year-round training, and grandstand seating for 570 people.

Youngs SportsPlex Welland’s newest Sportsplex features a FIFA regulation sized indoor soccer field, four indoor tennis courts as well as a sport performance centre and convenience food area. Surrounding the complex are five FIFA regulation soccer fields, two of which are artificial turf fields. The facility will offer numerous field oriented sports and provide a place where people can train year round.

and • • • • • • • •

The Niagara Fencing Invitational The Niagara Rugby Sevens Festival The Ontario Cup Basketball Championships The FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championship The International Canoe Federation’s 2013 Junior and Under 23 Canoe Sprint World Championships in August The Row Ontario Championships for the next five years Several Pan-Am Games events in 2015 The 2015 World Dragon Boat Championships

“Sports tourism is not just about what happens on the water,” said Welland Recreational Canal Corp. executive director Stephen Fischer. “There’s a lot of opportunity for business,” he said, citing sports related economic activity in food services, transportation and accommodations, among others. Beyond these obvious needs, there are so many details that go into a successful event, such as the creation of flower bouquets for competitors. Fischer encouraged the broad business community to get involved and benefit from the “trickle-down effect.”With all these large sporting events already in place, Fischer said the city is anticipating a $48-million economic impact over the next three years.

Bullett Proof Baseball Academy

Niagara Sport & Social Club

Bullett Proof Baseball Academy is Niagara’s only indoor baseball training facility. Operating year round, under the guidance of former Major League Baseball player Scott Bullett, the Academy offers private and group lessons, team clinics and rentals to teams that wish to improve their baseball skills.

Once home to the Welland Soccer Club, the Niagara Sport & Social Club now organizes leagues and events in this unique facility. The Club features four extra-large volleyball courts, spectator seating, recreational rooms, and a fully licensed bar and restaurant.

NiagaraCollege Athletics Centre As part of a $90 million expansion project, a two-storey Athletics Centre with a double varsity-sized gymnasium, makes Niagara College the ideal place for hosting indoor basketball and volleyball tournaments and championships.


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Live | Work | Play in Welland


inding the right balance of live, work, play, comes naturally in Welland.Niagara offers an excellent quality of life for locals, with a vibrant yet affordable real-estate market, a wide assortment of career opportunities, and most importantly, any type of play you enjoy.

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rom golf to hiking to biking, sports or fitness programs, or the new Welland Community Wellness Complex to enjoy, Welland has it all. On the cultural side, Welland is host to several annual arts, festivals and cultural events that reflect its rich history and traditions, while embracing new ideas and change. Shopping is plentiful, from one-of-a-kind stores on downtown streets to Niagara’s largest farmer’s market. With the City’s recent Highway 406 expansion well underway, it’s even easier to get around and enjoy it all.

restored into a beautiful building now called the

Many residents and businesses identify with, • and have embraced Welland’s commitment to Live Work Play. Some of these entrepreneurs and businesses are: •

Welland Downtown Galleria. The upper two floors have been renovated into 12 apartments, with four of the apartments at the front of the building featuring spectacular views of the city’s historic downtown core and recreational waterway. Work is now underway to restore the building’s 1,114-square-metre main floor, being designed to resemble an outdoor market square, complete with awnings over the doorways of the 12 shops within.

Il Fornetto

Karie Constantino Palazzo Salon & Spa

K arie Constantino, 36, is owner a nd manager of Palazzo Salon a nd Spa, in downtown Welland. One year after she purchased the building at 91 East Main St., she had it completely renovated and converted the upper floor to a 2,300 sq.ft loft that she now resides in. Welland’s newest Italian restaurant, Il Fornetto, located Featured in Niagara Magazine’s Fall-Winter 2009 edition, at 125 East Main St, has been causing quite a stir in Constantino’s renovations were absolutely breathtaking, the city, with word of mouth quickly spreading about and are illustrative of downtown Welland’s renaissance. its welcoming atmosphere and palate-pleasing plates. Opened in the fall of 2012, the restaurant has been • packed daily for lunch and dinner rushes, bringing new life to the city’s downtown. •

Welland Downtown Galleria

Riverstone Events Centre

Located at 414 River Road, The Riverstone Event Centre is Niagara’s newest conference and event facility. The former Welland Lions Banquet Hall was completely renovated to include beautifully modern, yet classic architecture, with three unique rooms equipped to host 40 or 400.

Over the past five years, the old Peoples Store, a nearly century-old East Main St. fixture, has been completely renovated and


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elland is an ideal location for many industries and businesses to locate. Easy access to major markets. A friendy business environment. Partnerships that foster innovation and research. These are just a few of the reasons why businesses benefit from being MADE IN WELLAND. Another of Welland’s advantages is human capital. Whether businesses are looking to draw upon an existing pool of skilled labour or attract new, specialized talent, Welland is an alluring place to work, live and to play. Located in the Niagara Region, Welland is only “two turns” from Toronto and a picturesque drive from major U.S. cities like Buffalo, Rochester, and even New York City. Welland indeed offers easy access to metropolitan fun without the hassles of big city living. The hardest decision facing the newcomer to Welland is simply: Toronto Maples Leafs or Buffalo Sabres? For those who thrive on living in a place with a true sense of community, Welland is home to many local recreational centres, festivals and events. Only in its 7th year, Illuminaqua – a unique festival that blends music, fire, and fountains all set on the waters of the Old Welland Canal – is already recognized as one of Ontario’s Top Events. Golfers will drool over the convenience of being within a 20-minute drive of over 20 golf courses, and only minutes to four premier golf courses : Riverview Golf Club, Hunter’s Pointe Golf Course, Sparrow Lakes Golf Club, and Pelham Hills Golf and Country Club. For wine aficionados, Welland is within a 30 minute drive to over 70 wineries, from small boutique wineries, to organic wineries and even celebrity wineries. Many of these wineries are gastronomic destinations in their own right; many fine restaurants that dot the Niagara Region are located onsite. What it all boils down to is quality of life. With a seemingly unlimited choice of recreational activities, an affordable real estate market and all the conveniences needed for modern life, Welland makes it easy for any business to attract and retain a talented and stable workforce.

Recreation Centres and Activities include: • Flat Water Centre • Wellness Complex • Niagara College & Brock University’s Recreational Facilities • Welland/Pelham YMCA • A multitude of Indoor Soccer, Volleyball, and Baseball Facilities • Canal Trails • Numerous City Parks • Skating and curling facilities • And of course the beautiful flat water waterway, ideal for kayaking, canoeing, rowing and more!

Notable Local Events & Festivals include: • • • •

Illuminaqua (May 17 – August 31, 2013) Welland Rose Festival (June 2013) Niagara Food Festival (September 6-8, 2013) Welland Farmer’s Market (Every Saturday, from 6am to noon)


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Contact Information Dan Degazio Manager Economic Development Economic Development Office Corporation of the City of Welland 60 East Main Street, Welland ON L3B 3X4

Tel: 905-735-1700 ext.2110 or 1-800-735-3771 Fax: 905-735-1543 Email:

Made In Welland - 5th Edition  

City of Welland's Economic Development Department's fifth edition of the "MADE IN WELLAND" publication, featuring articles on Sports Tourism...