Like many of the largest cities in North America, Toronto is one that truly leapt ahead during the Golden part of the Industrial age. Chicago being another. This was a time when industry was king and was encouraged; environmental impact and "noise pollution" were in the distant future. What mattered were the jobs and the wealth that heavy industry could bring to a city.
In many cities, the most successful industrial districts were located close to the main transportation routes of the time in which they were developed. That's why you will find so many old factories and historic industrial buildings along the river in most places. Of course, this was back in the days before oily wastewater treatment and garbage or waste collection played such an active role in industry, and those waterfront areas have taken a long time to recover.
Today, industrial real estate is heavily zoned and highly regulated, as the population has become increasingly aware of the impact of industrial activity on both ecosystems and human populations. There are some basic patterns which can still be found throughout industrial real estate pockets, however. For example, industry still follows transportation routes; you will find many industrially zoned areas close to airports, highways, and railroads. It makes it a lot more convenient as far as shipping goods is concerned, not to mention bringing in those latest pieces of equipment manufactured by companies.
Waterfront locations assisted industries not only in terms of transportation, but for practical purposes as well. Almost every industry uses a significant amount of water to complete the tasks of the business, whether we are talking meat packing or factory production. Again, though, modern day invention has allowed industry to retain access to water although the factories themselves are far from it; pump parts and other such water pump equipment helps to keep the H2O flowing to industries miles away from a water source.
In this series of articles, we are going to take a look at the different areas offering industrial real estate. A good understanding of the industrial districts can help any business with their strategy.
We will also be exploring the many possibilities offered by industrially zoned land that as yet remains undeveloped. The area around the Port Lands, for example, is rare among Toronto plots in that it has remained largely undeveloped over the years. There is plenty of room to move in for companies, whether they develop drug screening kits, automotive parts, or heavy duty equipment.
The city of Toronto was built on the back of industry, and there is still a lot of industrial real estate to be found within the city limits today. Many of the traditional areas have been converted to residential zoning, but we will take a look at why newly developed areas are ideal locations for Toronto's heavy business.