DMI Industries opens Ontarios first wind tower facility in Fort Erie by housework


                                                                                                 • Minacs chooses Niagara
                                                                                                 • Calamar Corp completes two new buildings
                                                                                                 • New president for Grape and Wine Festival

   Keeping You Informed on Economic Development News in Niagara Canada                                             VOLUME 8 • ISSUE 5

DMI Industries opens Ontario’s first
wind tower facility in Fort Erie
The first dedicated wind tower manufacturing
plant in Ontario is now fully operational and
filling orders. DMI Industries officially opened
its newly refurbished facility at a ribbon-
cutting ceremony on August 23rd in Fort Erie.
    “We are extremely pleased that DMI
Industries selected Fort Erie as its Canadian
manufacturing base,” said Mayor Wayne
Redekop. “Our community has the facilities,
the location, the logistics, and a great
labor force for supporting DMI’s operation.
Together, we form a successful business
development partnership on the leading edge
of alternative energy technology.”
    DMI, an operating company of Otter Tail
Corporation (NASDAQ: OTTR), is a West
Fargo, North Dakota-based diversified heavy
steel manufacturer with a primary focus in
wind tower fabrication. With plants in West      DMI officials join MPP Kim Craitor, Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop, and Ontario
Fargo and now in Fort Erie, the company          Energy Minister Dwight Duncan during the August 23, 2006, ribbon-cutting
has one of the largest tower manufacturing       ceremonies for the new Fort Erie wind tower fabrication company.
capacities in North America.
    “DMI is pleased to be contributing to the    Fargo, N.D. facility.                           2006, and there is potential for up to 100
economies of Fort Erie, Ontario, and Canada          Tower manufacturing began in Fort           more by the end of 2007. Moller said growth
while improving service and lowering costs       Erie in May 2006. The plant has an annual       will depend on the Canadian government’s
for our customers,” said DMI President           capacity of 400-500 wind tower sections         commitment to the Wind Power Production
Lars Moller. “Thanks to support from the         with potential to double that. The facility     Incentive (WPPI) and Ontario’s ongoing
governments of Ontario and Canada, wind          brings DMI closer to its customers in Canada    commitment to renewable and wind energy
energy development is strong, and DMI is here    and the northern tier of the United States,     development.
to meet the increasing demand.”                  and the geographic proximity will help lower        Since 1999, DMI has delivered more than
    DMI acquired the manufacturing plant in      the costs of delivery to sites and reduce the   1,800 towers for major players in the wind
Fort Erie in October 2005 and immediately        overall expense of wind energy development.     energy industry such as ENERCON GmbH,
began renovating and modernizing it for          DMI’s corporate headquarters will remain in     GE Wind Energy, Lagerway, Mitsubishi, NEG
state-of-the-art heavy steel wind tower          West Fargo.                                     Micon, Nordex, Siemens Wind Power, and
fabrication. DMI contracted with 50 local            The local workforce of 110 employees        Vestas. DMI also has capabilities to produce
and regional companies to complete the           includes general managers, supervisors,         equipment for industries such as agricultural
facility upgrade, and 100 local and regional     human resource and accounting specialists,      processing, ethanol production, oil and gas
suppliers contribute to the plant’s day-to-day   and welding and steel-forming technicians.      extraction, processing and refining, and water
operations. DMI hired a local workforce and      DMI expects to hire 10-15 additional            and waste water processing.
trained the Canadian employees in its West       employees for the facility by the end of

Niagara Economic Development Corporation                               1                                           E-News • September 25, 2006
                                                                                               Regional Council passes
     New 250-seat call centre will be home to Apple Computers                                  resolution in support of
     technical support specialists                                                             Niagara GTA Corridor

     Minacs chooses Niagara
                                                                                               Regional Council supported a resolution at the
                                                                                               July 24 meeting to endorse Niagara Region’s
                                                                                               participation in support of moving forward the
                                                                                               Province of Ontario’s plans to release terms of
     Minacs Worldwide Inc. recently               staff provided Minac’s site selection        reference for an Environmental Assessment
                                                                                               study for the corridor project. Further,
     announced a new, 250-seat inbound            consultants with several properties
                                                                                               the resolution requests that the Regional
     contact center to provide technical help-    which met their selection criteria.
                                                                                               Chairman communicate to the Premier of
     desk services to one of the United State’s   Municipal representatives in Niagara         Ontario, the Ontario Minister of Transportation,
     largest manufacturers of computers and       Falls worked with Minac’s to help secure     the Ontario Minister of Public Infrastructure
     other consumer electronics.                  the new investment in the Montrose           Renewal, the Ontario Minister of Municipal
         The new call centre, slated to open      Road facility.                               Affairs and Housing, the Ontario Minister
     this September, will be located in the           Minacs provides customized               of Tourism and Recreation, and the Ontario
     36,000-square-foot former Daytimers          business process outsourcing (BPO)           Minister of Agriculture and Food, the Region’s
     building on Montrose Road in Niagara         solutions focused on three core areas        support for moving forward as quickly as
                                                                                               possible with the Niagara – GTA Trade Corridor
     Falls. Minacs provides help-desk support     of capability: contact center solutions,
                                                                                               and the necessary background studies through
     for major U.S.                                                          integrated        a coordinated effort to address Southern
     computer and                                                            marketing         Ontario’s future transportation requirements.
     electronics                                                             services, and     The council resolution also supported the
     manufacturers                                                           back office        Regional Chairman’s work to build broad inter-
     and will be                                                             administration.   regional support for the development of the
     servicing Apple                                                         The company       Niagara – GTA Trade Corridor.
     Computers at                                                            combines              For detailed information about the related
                                                                                               RFP for an Economic Impact Study of the
     the new site.                                expertise in these areas to improve
                                                                                               Niagara to GTA Corridor, visit
         “This significant new contract            revenue, customer service, and operating
     from a long-term client is a testament       margin for clients.
     to the high levels of quality service            With approximately 6000 employees        Another brownfield
     delivery that Minacs provides,” said
     Bruce Simmonds, CEO. “This client has
                                                  from operating locations in Canada, the
                                                  United States, and Europe, Minacs has
                                                                                               success for Thorold
                                                                                               A longtime Thorold brownfield site will soon
     a number of suppliers supporting this        established successful industry practices
                                                                                               transform into a residential subdivision. ”This
     program on a global basis. As a leading      with clients in the automotive, financial     is the epitome of environmental stewardship
     supplier within the North American           services, telecom, technology, and           because it’s pure recycling,” said Andy Panko,
     locations, Minacs will continue to           public-sector verticals.                     one of five investors who bought the former
     provide superior performance from our            Recruitment efforts have begun for       Thorold Exolon plant. His company, Associated
     existing Canadian facilities dedicated to    the 250 new full-time job opportunities      Brownfields, will oversee an evolution from the
     this program, as well as from this new       created in Niagara Falls. The facility       one-time heavy industrial use into a residential
                                                                                               subdivision. One perk of the purchase noted
     center in Niagara Falls.”                    is expected to be fully operational by
                                                                                               by the developers is that the aluminum silicate
         Business development staff at the        January 2007.
                                                                                               that is contaminating the site can be collected
     regional and municipal levels helped             For more information, please visit the   and, if all goes well, recycled and reused.
     showcase several potential sites for         Minacs Web site at .              Longtime Niagara-based developer Art
     Minacs during their site selection                                                        Ellis, Panko, and Tony DiFruscio are the main
     process. Using the Niagara Commercial                                                     partners in Associated Brownfields. There are
     Properties System, an online inventory                                                    two other silent partners.
     of Niagara’s available industrial                                                             Thorold Mayor Robin Brock said she was
     and commercial properties, NEDC                                                           delighted to hear of the company’s plans to
                                                                                               clean up and redevelop the site and credits her
                                                                                               city’s Community Improvement Plan incentives

Niagara Economic Development Corporation                                2                                         E-News • September 25, 2006
as a key factor. Panko agreed. “It’s unlikely this
would move forward without the CIP,” said              Calamar Corp. completes tilt-up projects in Niagara
Panko, “but at the end of it, the city ends up
with a huge windfall of property taxes.” “It’s         Draftcon Calamar Corp. recently completed
going to be a premium site,” said Brock.               construction of two CON/STEEL concrete
    This project is one of a string of dramatic        tilt-up projects in Niagara Falls. Both Falls
brownfield reclamations in the City of                  Wholesale and Hana America Corporation
Thorold in recent years. Successes include the         recognized the tremendous benefits and
transformation of a bankrupt and abandoned             advantages the CON/STEEL concrete tilt-up
Gallaher Paper Mill into a gigantic book depot         system presented for their organizations.
that sells products all around the world and           In this method of construction, the floor is
Welland Mills, the only remaining original             poured first and used as the casting bed for
mill of the Maple Leaf Flour Mills Company,            all the wall panels, which are constructed
which is now owned by Keefer Developments              completely on-site. The elimination of
Ltd., that will house retail and residential           exterior perimeter columns allowing
apartments with eight town homes planned               better floor utilization for unrestricted
for the adjacent property. But perhaps the             door locations and unobstructed racking
most elegant transformation is that of                 systems is only one of the many reasons
Keefer Mansion, a 10-suite historic inn that           the CON/STEEL concrete tilt-up system was
has undergone a 3-year restoration from                selected. Other benefits include fast-track
its previous life as a long-term care facility         construction, design freedom, and reduced
to reflect the “privileged life” of its original        energy costs as a result of the natural         Two new buildings in Niagara Falls have
                                                                                                       been completed by Draftcon Calamar
owners from the 1800s.                                 properties of the concrete, combined with
                                                                                                       Corp. The new homes of Falls Wholesale
                                                       a superb insulation system                      (above) and Hana America (below) were
Former Welland Mills                                       Falls Wholesale is a 28,000-square-         built using an innovative tilt-up process.
in Thorold becomes                                     foot office and warehouse facility and
                                                       Hana America is a 2-storey, 10,000-square-foot retail store, restaurant, and tour facility.
apartment complex for                                  Both buildings are in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Draftcon Calamar offers building systems in
seniors                                                conventional, pre-engineered metal, and the CON/STEEL concrete tilt-up system, as well as
The former Welland Mills in Thorold has been           a menu of services to choose from including site selection assistance and financing.
transformed into an apartment complex for                  Draftcon Calamar is also busy developing The Compass Centre, a 23-acre, Class A
seniors. The restored flour mill on Pine Street         business park located in Niagara-on-the-Lake. A recent sod-turning event commemorated
has retained much of its character with its            the opening of the park and construction of the first building, a 38,000-square-foot mixed-
massive wooden beams and original stone                use facility using the CON/STEEL concrete tilt-up method.
work. Included are a couple of market-value  
apartments and commercial space on the
bottom floors. Eight townhomes are also
                                                                                                       formerly occupied by Commisso’s Food
for sale on the property. The $2.2 million
development is providing 18 affordable
                                                     New Sobeys stores for                             Market. The 32,000-square-foot store was
housing units to seniors and will be available       Niagara                                           transformed with a whole new look that
for occupancy by September or October.               Sobeys supermarkets continues to expand           included an enlarged deli serving hot meals,
                                                     its presence in Niagara with new stores in        grilled sandwiches, sushi, and fresh cuts of
Development plans for                                Niagara Falls and St. Catharines. A large         meat, as well as a bakery, seafood counter,
                                                                                                       and full-service floral counter. The store will
subdivision in Grimsby                               Sobeys supermarket is planned for the Fourth
                                                     Avenue power centre in west St. Catharines.       be open 24 hours per day.
receive town approval                                Located on the north side of Fourth Avenue
The Town of Grimsby has approved plans               between Martindale and Vansicke Roads,            Multimillion-dollar
to develop Losani’s Homes Gardenview                 the full-service format Sobeys will be            recycling and waste-
Subdivision. The plan includes the
development of 90 single-detached lots and
                                                     approximately 46,000 square feet and will
                                                     offer seafood, meat, deli, and bakery sections.
                                                                                                       composting facility to
20 townhouse blocks, and one hectare of              Also expected to open at the north end are        locate in Welland
parkland per 300 units.                              Michaels, an arts and crafts giant, and The       Construction of a multimillion-dollar recycling
                                                     Brick, a home furnishings chain.                  and waste-composting facility on the former
                                                         A new Sobeys store has recently opened        site of Welland Pipe could begin next year.
                                                     in Niagara Falls. The Portage Road site was       Brampton Brick Ltd., acquired a 50 percent

Niagara Economic Development Corporation                                    3                                             E-News • September 25, 2006
stake in the start-up company called Universal       square feet. Other stores moving into the         industries compete with the world.”
Resource Recovery Inc. Universal acquired            mall are Le Chateau, a fashion and accessory          ORCP supports working partnerships
the Welland Pipe property on Rusholme                store, Carlton Cards, and Bianca’s Hot Foods.     between companies and Ontario researchers
Road, which included two industrial buildings        Winners is expected to open in spring 2007.       to help speed the development process and
totaling 55,740 square metres of space, plus                                                           give each partner a competitive advantage.
26 hectares of land.                                 A new Hart Store opens                            These collaborations allow small- and
    The company will recycle about 85 percent
of the materials it brings in, including concrete,
                                                     in Port Colborne                                  medium-sized companies quicker access
                                                                                                       to intellectual property, and to Ontario’s
wood, building materials, and organic matter.        A new Hart Store has opened its doors in          top researchers, the latest sophisticated
Recycled material such as metal, cardboard,          the Port Colborne Mall. Over 400 people           equipment and research tools within
and paper will be sold to mills, gypsum will be      lined up to be the first in the department         institutions.
sold and recycled into new wallboard, and soils      store following the official ribbon-cutting
will be sent to clean fill areas to rehabilitate      ceremony. Thirty local people have been hired
                                                     to staff the new store. The Port Colborne
                                                                                                       Niagara Grape and
lands. Recycled cooking oils and greases will
be marketed to a bio-diesel refinery in Quebec.       location is the 75th store in the Hart chain.     Wine Festival gets new
    Pending Ministry approvals, operations                                                             president
are expected to begin late this year or early        Grand Niagara Golf                                The Niagara Grape and Wine Festival has
2007. The entirely indoor operation will utilize     Course plans major                                a new president. Ken Weir, an expert in
state-of-the-art technology such as an
odour-neutralizing Air Phaser system, which is
                                                     expansion                                         consumer branding, was selected following a
                                                                                                       six-month nation-wide search. The Festival
                                                     Grand Niagara golf course is set to expand its    Board has also brought in six new members,
designed to clean air emissions before leaving
                                                     resort. In addition to its Rhys Jones-designed    including NEDC CEO Patrick Gedge, creating
the facility. The total investment in establishing
                                                     course, the company has plans for another         a mix of Niagara representatives from the
the company stands at $17 million.
                                                     course, a hotel, and a “lifestyle residential     wine, hospitality, and tourism sectors. Mr. Weir
Construction up in                                   community” of townhouse condominiums,
                                                     which will require them to expand onto
                                                                                                       begins his new post just in time to oversee
Welland                                              22 hectares west of Morris Road and eight
                                                                                                       the 2006 Niagara Wine Festival which runs
                                                                                                       September 22 to October 1.
Construction is better than ever in Welland.         hectares north of Grassy Brook Road. They
The city has seen 319 building permits issued        also want to add a 220-unit residential area.
this year, and the estimated value of the
work, pegged at $22,750,000, is $1 million
                                                     Grand Niagara represents an investment of
                                                     at least $250 million and is one of the largest
                                                                                                       Reif announces
higher than 2005. The number of permits              private-sector projects in Niagara Falls.         expansion plans
for dwelling units and for commercial work                                                             Reif Estate Winery announced plans to break
have both increased, with commercial work            Niagara College a                                 ground this fall for the construction of a
estimated at $6.1 million.
                                                     partner in first College                           new retail facility in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
                                                                                                       It is scheduled to be open in the spring of
Niagara’s housing prices                             Network for Industrial                            2007 - just in time for the celebration of the
rising faster than rest of                           Innovation                                        winery’s 30th Year of Grape Growing and
                                                                                                       25th Anniversary of Winemaking. Reif Estate
province                                             In the first funding award of its kind, the
                                                     Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation       winery is located in a 125-acre vineyard,
According to figures released by Statistics           has awarded $3.5 million to 10 colleges under     which features some of the oldest vineyard
Canada, Niagara’s housing prices are rising          the Ontario Research Commercialization            blocks in the Niagara River Sub-Appellation
faster than anywhere else in the province.           Program (ORCP). The funding will help build       Region. The company began winemaking 25
The average cost of a home in Niagara is             college capacity for industry-focused research    years ago in an historic carriage house located
$328,000, up 4.9 percent from last year.             and commercialization. Niagara College is one     on the Niagara Parkway.
                                                     of the 10 colleges to be part of this program.         Sensitive and cognitive of the heritage
New stores moving into                                   “Niagara College takes great pride            of the estate, Frank F. Wieler, the designer of
Seaway Mall                                          in making a strong contribution to the            the new facility, has incorporated the simple
                                                                                                       design elements of the 1870 structure. The
The Seaway Mall recently announced several           economic health of Niagara by helping the
                                                     region’s business and industry develop and        3,000-square-foot new retail space will house
new additions to the lineup of stores at the                                                           an expanded public area and will include a
Welland mall. The biggest of these is Winners,       maintain a competitive edge,” said Niagara
                                                     College President Dan Patterson. “With this       First Growth Tasting Bar and Wine Library.
Canada’s largest off-price retailer. Winners                                                           The grounds surrounding the facility will
will be moving into part the former space held       investment by the province, and through this
                                                     unique partnership with other colleges, we        host Niagara’s First Wine Sensory Garden,
by Zellers, with the remaining area divided                                                            described as themed gardens which will
into two more stores of 17,500 and 12,500            look forward to helping Ontario business and

Niagara Economic Development Corporation                                    4                                             E-News • September 25, 2006
highlight plantings that profile typical aromas     fourth sale to Medina Oil Supply of 1.65 acres      Mr Oakes had previously served as the
associated with different grape varietals.         was for an expansion to the rear of their           department's economic development officer.                                 property.
                                                                                                       Thorold Land Company
Wine is changing with                              Sicom Systems awarded                               purchases south plant of
new look containers                                major U.S. contract                                 former Atlas Steel
VinFirst Inc, of St. Catharines, is about to       Sicom Systems, located in Fonthill, has been        The Atlas Steel south plant has been
switch on its multi-million-dollar Tetra Pak       awarded a major U.S. radar contract. The            purchased by Thorold Land Company Ltd. for
wine-packaging system. The operation               Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) needed        $350,000. The eight-acre property, north
features an imposing filler machine and rows        a mature radar system that could detect             of East Main Street, is one of nine parcels
of conveyors made from equipment custom-           the movement of birds around airports. The          making up the former Atlas Steels site that
designed by Swedish-based Tetra Pak. Tetra         avian radar system from Sicom Systems Inc.          have gone on the market. A third of the
Pak technology, known best for its application     is the only high-capacity radar supported           properties have now been sold.
in juice containers, is about to be part of a      by a compressive and integrated data
local wine-packaging trend that is making
inroads in the Canadian wine industry.
                                                   management capability. Upon certification,
                                                   the company will have a real advantage in the
                                                                                                       First phase of 60-acre
    Some thirty-two Tetra Pak wine products        new international market, being the model           marine park now under
are now available at the Liquor Control Board      after which the standards are set.                  way
of Ontario with another forty expected next                                Construction of the first phase of a new 60-
year. While it is a small percentage of the                                                            acre marine park complex is now under way.
corporation’s total offerings, sales for the       New Ebay store to open                              Marineland is building the world’s largest
specially packaged wine are said to be brisk.
“We’re now in the position where Ontario
                                                   in St. Catharines                                   aquarium complex that will include four
                                                   The Right, an Internet trading store, is   domed structures housing marine life such as
wines can enjoy the same sort of packaging                                                             sharks, dolphins, and stingrays. Visitors will
formats that foreign wineries have had here,”      set to open in downtown St. Catharines. The
                                                   store will involve Ebay online sales and retail     be able to view the creatures from above the
said VinFirst’s Kevin Ruddle, a Niagara-on-                                                            water and through panels in an underwater
the-Lake resident who works in the packaging       which will include buying, selling, trading,
                                                   and consignment. The company will do an             tunnel.
industry.                                                                                                  The first phase, Terrors of the Sea, will
    The company’s 20,000-square-foot facility      evaluation and arrange for photos of items;
                                                   the goods will be listed on an international        feature whale sharks, the world’s largest fish,
can package 7,000 litres of wine per hour.                                                             and a variety of other sharks, manta rays,
It can store more than 120,000 litres and          Ebay site and the company will monitor the
                                                   bids; the store will collect payments made          stingrays, and many types of ocean fish.
VinFirst expects to triple that capacity.                                                              Construction begins this month and will be
    Ruddle said the operation will require         by online buyers, pack, and ship the item to
                                                   the buyer and send a cheque to the seller.          completed in about two years.
about 10 employees at first, but he expects                                                                 The new complex will eventually include
that number to grow.               The location was chosen due to its proximiity
                                                   to the United States, its nearness to many          Friends of the Sea, the centerpiece and largest
                                                                                                       of the four domed aquariums, featuring an
Investment activity up in                          large Ontario cities, and excellent highway
                                                   connections. The store’s Website is under           interactive dolphin exhibit; Discovery Reef, an
Port Colborne                                      construction, and the building will open at         ocean reef filled with fish of the Caribbean;
Port Colborne has made its fifth sale of the        the end of September upon completion of a           and Rainforest Lagoon, with freshwater fish
year in its industrial park to R. C. Flagman       $100,000 renovation.                                from around the world. The new complex
Inc. Currently located in Welland, RC Flagman                                                          is part of a $160 million River Country
will relocate and expand its operations to the     New Director of                                     development project that already includes
                                                                                                       Friendship Cove and Artic Cove, which are
city’s Loyalist Industrial Park. The company
has plans to build a 11,500-square-foot
                                                   Economic Development                                whale habitats for killer and beluga whales. A
facility on the 4.15-acre site.                    for St. Catharines                                  new ride called the Topple Tower, an 80-foot-
    The municipality’s first sale this year         David Oakes has been selected to take over          high thrill ride, is to be built and will be open
was for a 10,000-square-foot multi-tenant          as the permanent Director of Economic               next spring.
facility; the second sale was a one-acre           Development for the City of St. Catharines.             The construction program also includes
parcel to Minor Fisheries to develop a food        Brock Dickinson, the former director, left in       Safari Park, a 3-mile wilderness adventure
processing facility; the third sale of 1.5 acres   May, and Oakes has been filling in since that        ride on boats and trains, which is scheduled to
was to Welland Auto and Marine; and the            time.                                               open in 2008.

                      E-News is a publication of the NIAGARA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
                      Phone: 905.685.1308 • Fax: 905.688.5907 • Web:

Niagara Economic Development Corporation                                   5                                              E-News • September 25, 2006

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