ETOBICOKE, Ont. – Canpar officially opened its new Toronto parcel sortation and distribution facility with a commemorative ribbon-cutting event and tour on June 28.
After a month of test sorting, the first full day of operations at the facility began June 23 ahead of schedule.
The hub houses one of only three crossbelt-sorting systems available in Canada, said the company.
Sitting on some 15.26 acres, the hub includes 164,120 sq. ft. of warehouse space and has a system capacity of 20,000 pieces/hour. There are some 5,500 sq. ft. of crossdock area and the hub is 100% backed up for power.
Speaking at the official opening were Toronto mayor David Miller, Transforce Income Fund president and CEO, Alain Bedard, Robert Tersigni, vice-president, business development and corporate accounts with Canpar, and Councillor Mark Grimes for Ward 6, Etobicoke-Lakeshore.
“This event marks a significant step for our parcel division at Canpar,” said Alain Bedard of Transforce Income Fund, which acquired Canpar Transport Ltd. and affiliated companies in July, 2002.
The $22 million hub project was approved by Transforce in September 2004 and was constructed following an advanced environmental assessment which will see the facility leading in “green building standards” by making use of improved indoor air quality and reduced water consumption (cisterns will collect available rainwater for use). The building has achieved LEED Certified status, which incorporates energy efficiency and sustainable design measures.
Bedard noted that Transforce predicts some 1.8 billion in revenue across its more than 50 subsidiaries for 2006.
“Our business is about people. We maintain (our divisions’) operating autonomy and culture,” he said.
Bedard referred to the exceptional quality of Canpar’s staff and attributed this to the leadership of the late John Cyopeck, former president and CEO of Canpar, who passed away this year.
Bedard said it was Cyopeck’s idea to invest in the Toronto hub, and as such, he commemorated a plaque in memory of Cyopeck and announced that the facility’s official name will be the John Cyopeck Centre.
Toronto mayor David Miller noted that the site had been vacant for over 15 years but was developed by the Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) to Canpar specifications.
He noted that it is a policy at the City of Toronto to preserve industrial employment lands for industrial purposes, something that Canpar was able to do with the Etobicoke site.
The location will benefit both employees who rely on public transport to get them to work, and also the company, which will be better able to recruit and keep employees reliant on this transport, said Miller.
“I didn’t know John (Cyopeck) but I can tell this is a fitting building for a leader of people,” said Miller.
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