Amazon creating 1,000 new jobs in Ajax

About 1,000 jobs are going to be created when Amazon opens a fulfilment centre in Ajax next year.

The company announced on Wednesday it would be opening a fulfilment centre at Salem and Rossland roads in 2021.

The company also announced a fulfilment centre would be opening in Hamilton at the same time and that would create 1,500 jobs.

In an interview, Mayor Shaun Collier said Amazon’s name is “synonymous with innovation, growth and technology. All of which reflect council’s position.”

Being a host to such a company will “mean so much to the community, keeping employment strong not just in Ajax, but across the Region,” Collier added. “This is an awesome announcement. Our council’s main objective is economic development and we’ve been working very hard. This is a huge one. Just an amazing announcement.”

The 52-hectare site is being developed by Blackwood Partners and Crestpoint Real Estate Investments Ltd. The development will have four buildings, with the Amazon building the largest at one million square feet.

With 1,000 employees, that would make Amazon one of the largest employers in Ajax, Collier noted.

In a statement announcing the company’s plans, Sumegha Kumar, director, Canadian Customer Fulfillment Operations, Amazon Canada, said, “We’re thrilled to continue expanding our operations in Ontario with our newest fulfilment centres in Hamilton and Ajax. We’ve had great success with the talented workforce in Ontario, and we look forward to creating an additional 2,500 full-time jobs with competitive pay and benefits starting on day one.”

The Ajax facility will be used to ship large customer purchases, such as sports equipment, patio furniture, fishing rods, pet food, kayaks, bicycles and other household goods.

Collier said the facility should be opening in September of 2021.

About 70 per cent of Ajax residents travel outside of the community for their job, he noted.

Having a large employer like Amazon in the municipality, “it takes another car off the road and one more family that’s not travelling back and forth to the city every day. They can work at home,” he added.

“Council had the foresight in 2007 to spend the money and pre-service these lands. These are really, the only pre-serviced, shovel-ready employment lands in the Region of Durham. It’s 129 acres, so it’s a large, large parcel. That foresight has now paid off. Businesses are coming, they’re investing. We got over 24 million square feet of commercial applications at the Town right now being reviewed. Those numbers are huge and expect us to far exceed our 5,000 job target we set for this term and that’s just talking about the commercial. It’s to talking about the all the mixed use and residential that’s coming as well,” Collier said.

Ajax MPP Rod Phillips said in a statement, “Amazon’s decision to build a facility in Ajax is great news for our town and Durham Region. The 1,000 new, full-time jobs Amazon has committed to are coming at a crucial time. It is a good example of the kind of investment we need in Ontario as the economy recovers from COVID-19.”

“I am excited to hear that Amazon Canada has selected Ajax for their new fulfilment centre,” Mark Holland, the MP for Ajax, said in a statement. “A one million square-foot facility will create over 1,000 full-time jobs in Ajax, bringing much needed jobs closer to home. This is a clear example of growth in Ajax, making it an ideal spot to live, work, and raise a family.”

In a statement, Durham Regional Chairman John Henry said, “As a location shortlisted for Amazon HQ2, Durham continued to showcase its passion for innovation, rich cultural heritage, talented workforce, outstanding post-secondary options, and affordable real estate.

“Today, Amazon announced its acceptance of this invitation. Their decision to build a one million-square-foot distribution facility and create 1,000 new jobs within the Town of Ajax. A solid investment in an area known for its strength and resiliency; where innovation transforms lives,” Henry added.

“But most importantly, this announcement is a direct reflection of the collaboration that exists between Durham Region’s economic development team and those within the local area municipalities. Together, these teams are showcasing why Durham Region is the right choice for a bright future,” he stated. “Welcome to Durham Region, Amazon.”

Nicole Gibson, the executive director of the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade, said in a statement, “During these difficult times, the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade is pleased to welcome Amazon’s newest fulfilment centre to Ajax.

“Durham Region has so much to offer potential employers, including land, a talented workforce, and competitive costs. While it is no surprise that Amazon would be attracted to our community, I would like to congratulate Ajax’s Economic Development team for bringing in this fantastic investment,” Gibson added.

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The Board of Trade is proud to represent the local voice of business and provide networking, advocacy, and educational opportunities that contribute to our business community’s growth and well-being. On behalf of that network, I welcome Amazon and wish them great success in Ajax,” she noted.

The Hamilton centre will be 855,000 sq. ft. and will ship small items to customers, such as books, electronics and toys.

The two new facilities will bring to 10 the number of fulfilment centres in Ontario and 16 in Canada.

TORONTO STAR