Industry Profiles
Through the development of the Springwater Economic Development Strategy six target sectors were identified as having the greatest economic potential within the municipality;

• Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
• Agriculture/Agribusiness
• Tourism
• Construction
• Manufacturing
• Wholesale Trade

The following are excerpts from the Township of Springwater Economic Development Strategy prepared by Millier Dickinson Blais in June 2010.

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

The importance of professional, scientific and technical services to the local economy is indicative of a broader transition towards a knowledge-based paradigm for cities and regions in developed economies. This has important implications for an economic development strategy or investment attraction, as quality of place and lifestyle factors will impact the growth potential of this sector in a community. Perhaps not surprisingly, these jobs are also of high value; among 16 industry groups in Ontario, professional scientific and technical services pay the 3rd highest wage rate as of 2008 (29.57 $CDN/hr).

To view the full profile, visit Section 3 of the Springwater Economic Development Strategy.


Image - FarmAs a primary goods-producing industry, agriculture and agribusiness plays a small but important part in the local and provincial economies. The industry overall was responsible for 1.09% of provincial GDP in 2009, up slightly from 1.07% in 2008. However, the impact of agricultural activity should be more broadly understood to include business activities directly associated with agricultural production. Agri-food, which is more broadly defined to include food, beverage and tobacco manufacturing, agricultural implement and chemical manufacturing, and retailing, wholesaling and food services, was calculated by the Ontario Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to be responsible for 6.3% of provincial GDP in 2008, and 11.3% of all goods-producing industries. The sector has also been largely immune from the downturn in employment experienced by other industries in the recessionary period of 2009. From March 2009 to March 2010, employment in the sector grew 5.1% to 82,000. This is not fully indicative of overall employment in the sector, which shows a high degree of seasonality and part-time employment which follows the crop cycle.

To view the full profile, visit Section 3 of the Springwater Economic Development Strategy.


The tourism industry in general is continually evolving, and spending and investment is highly susceptible to external trends. The Ontario Tourism Research Study of 2009 pointed to trends that include the growing importance of quality of service and sophistication in tourism offerings, increased competition for tourism investment, and the rise in tourism associated with sustainability and arts/culture, the latter of which now accounts for over 30% of tourism expenditures in the province.

The Township of Springwater’s tourism industry faces similar trends, as well as some opportunities and challenges unique to the region and the Township. In 2001, the South Georgian Bay region (which includes Springwater) was a test region for the Premier Ranked Tourism Destination Framework, which evaluates regional tourism assets. The report demonstrated that the region benefits from various outdoor recreational opportunities, strong cultural heritage resources, and proximity to a large regional population base in South-Central Ontario. Simcoe County in general offers a strong tourism product, driven largely by outdoor recreation. Between 2006 and 2007, the County demonstrated significant growth in tourism employment (4.4%), tourism expenditures (10.2%) and contributions to County GDP (8.5%) in 2007.
To view the full profile, visit Section 3 of the Springwater Economic Development Strategy.


Image - ConstructionSpringwater has a strong and diverse construction industry with a local labour force of 1,046 people in 2009, a growth of 18.2% from 2006. Local labour force concentration relative to the province as measured by location quotient also rose over the same time period, from 1.48 to 1.60. High or very high sub-sector concentrations exist in the following areas:
• Land subdivision (5.83)
• Utility system construction (3.3)
• Other specialty trade contractors (2.08)
• Highway, street and bridge construction (1.68)
• Foundation, structure and building exterior contractors (1.52)
• Residential building construction (1.38),
• Non-residential building construction (1.37)
• Building equipment contractors (1.3)

An analysis of business patterns in the Township also reflects the growing and diverse nature of the sector in Springwater, as the number of establishments in the local sector increased by 13 (10.7%) to 135 businesses between 2005 and 2009. These businesses are largely concentrated in residential building construction, building equipment contracting, building finishing contracting, and other specialty trade contracting.

To view the full profile, visit Section 3 of the Springwater Economic Development Strategy.


The manufacturing sector in Ontario has experienced turbulent economic fortunes in the last number of years. The sector is a traditional strength of the Ontario economy, owing to a globally competitive automotive manufacturing sector that was associated with 400,000 jobs in the province in 2008. However, recent issues with regards to the cost-competitiveness of the Ontario marketplace and the global decline in capital availability have accelerated the slow decline the sector has been experiencing in the last five years. The appreciation of the Canadian dollar, which again reached parity with the American dollar in April 2010 as many analysts predicted, will continue to place additional pressures on the sector in Ontario. That being said, manufacturing remains an integral component of the Ontario economy, accounting for 15.3% of provincial GDP in 2009. This fact is further reflected by the considerable public investment in the sector throughout the recessionary period of 2008 and 2009.
Springwater could be well positioned to fill important roles in the manufacturing value chain as the sector continues to evolve. The Springwater manufacturing sector is currently broad-based and diverse albeit small scale, with significant employment concentrations in sub-sectors ranging from textiles, grain milling, industrial machinery and commercial equipment manufacturing, and metal fabrication. Though there is a large employed labour force in Springwater, much of it (805 of the 1,080 workers) work outside the Township, owing to the presence of large employers elsewhere in the region (such as automotive manufacturing in Alliston).

To view the full profile, visit Section 3 of the Springwater Economic Development Strategy.

Wholesale Trade

However, the performance of several wholesale trade subsectors in Springwater demonstrates significant linkages with agriculture, manufacturing and construction – sectors that are of importance to the local economy, and that have shown recent growth throughout the province. Location quotients show sub-sector strength in wholesale-distribution activity related to farm products (1.96 LQ), farm, lawn and garden machinery (5.28 LQ) and agricultural supplies (5.42 LQ); motor vehicles (2.22 LQ) and petroleum products (1.74 LQ); and building material and supplies (1.36 LQ), lumber, millwork and hardware (1.75 LQ), and construction, forestry, mining, and industrial machinery equipment and supplies (1.36 LQ).

The sector employed 513 people in Springwater in 2009; in terms of percentage of the workforce (4.7%) it was on par with both Simcoe County and the province, according to 2006 figures. This represents a modest increase from 2006 levels (6.8%). Business establishment growth was similarly reserved, growing 6.9% between 205 and 2008 to a total of 31 businesses. Clearly, these businesses in Springwater’s wholesale trade industry support a variety of industries in the local economy, and should be considered a strategic advantage to those industries, particularly manufacturing and construction.

To view the full profile, visit Section 3 of the Springwater Economic Development Strategy.