Moving clusters forward

Cluster Description

The Toronto-Waterloo corridor (the Region) is Canada's largest multi-modal transportation hub with 1 million tonnes and $3 billion worth of goods moving through the Region daily. The range of sectors within the cluster include trucking firms to airlines, rail transport, courier services, shipping, warehousing/distribution centres, and logistics services. 

The movement of goods is critical to the Region and Canada's economy. The industries that rely on this corridor for the seamless and timely movement of goods, from manufacturing to construction contribute 1.4 million direct jobs and $171 billion in annual GDP - one-third of the Region's total and 8% of Canada's. 

This cluster, like many others, is an important enabler of economic activity for other clusters as well as a source of economic activity in its own right. 

Why you should attend

  • Learn about how businesses, particularly in food, are managing the transport and logistics of perishable products to and from Toronto’s densely populated and busy downtown core. Also learn about supply chain integration and collaboration between actors.

  • Visit three of Canada’s leading locations for transportation and logistics, from manufacturing to wholesaling to research.


06:45 AM
Gather in the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel Toronto

07:00-07:30 AM
Board a coach bus and travel to the Ontario Food Terminal, Canada’s largest wholesale fruit and produce terminal with distribution routes as far as Fort Albany in northern Ontario (~1,000 km from Toronto) to Windsor in the south (322 km from Toronto), west to Thunder Bay (925 km from Toronto), and east to Newfoundland (Canada’s most eastern province).

07:30-09:00 AM
At the Ontario Food Terminal, you will:

  • Learn how the Ontario Food Terminal Board, operating under the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, manages the logistics for 5.6 million pounds of fruit, produce, and horticultural products distributed on the 40 acre site.

  • See the transportation and logistics of the Terminal first-hand where over 5,000 businesses buy their food and produce.

09:00-09:45 AM
Travel to Redpath Sugar Refinery, a Canadian sugar refining company founded in 1854, headquartered in Toronto.

09:45-11:00 AM
At Redpath, you will:

  • Learn about the interplay between commercial, industrial, and residential uses of Toronto's waterfront. The Refinery, built in 1959, when Toronto’s waterfront was primarily residential, has managed to maintain its production and distribution amidst the changing waterfront of Toronto.

  • Learn about supply chain integration and the challenges of transportation and logistics challenges such as weather, residential bylaws, among others.

  • See the production of sugar first hand.

11:00-11:30 AM
Travel to the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI), which brings together University of Toronto faculty experienced in analysis, planning, and design of urban transportation systems.

11:30-3:00 PM
At UTTRI, you will:

  • Hear from the Judy Farvolden, Executive Director, on how the UTTRI works with actors within the transportation & logistics cluster to improve transportation systems.

  • Have lunch with your fellow delegates.

  • Hear from Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) on how Uber is working to retain talent within the Toronto-Waterloo corridor (particularly as a platinum sponsor of the Vector Institute) and the co-location with Vector, other companies at MaRS, and the University of Toronto creates natural innovation synergies.

  • Participate in a mini-charrette with your fellow delegates.

Uber ATG is Uber's first research centre outside of the US and draws upon the impressive Toronto talent pool as well as well as the support from various levels of government. It complements the research conducted by Uber AI Labs on self-driving technology.

03:00 PM
Travel back to the Chelsea Hotel Toronto and the Rotman School of Management

Dress Code

Please wear closed toe shoes with non-slip soles. Please avoid wearing jewelry or loose clothing.

Meet your Organizers

The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential chambers of commerce in North America. Our constant flow of ideas, people and introductions to city-builders and government officials firmly roots us as connectors for─ and with─the business community. We act as catalysts for the region’s growth agenda, at home and on a global scale with our World Trade Centre Toronto franchise. Backed by more than 13,500 members, we advocate on your behalf for policy change that drives the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region. We want Toronto to be recognized as one of the most competitive and sought after business regions in the world, and we believe this reputation starts with you and your business.


Image credit: alija, istockphoto