Volume 94, Issue 61

Thursday, January 11, 2001


Ontario finishes dead last - Education ranking puts province on defensive

Former prof talks politically incorrect

Economy slows down slightly: Ivey survey

What recession? City booms

New tax to create safety net

Drug testing could hit human rights violation snag

New club sets sights on stock market skills


Planet Me

What recession? City booms

By Wes Brown
Gazette Staff

Growth in new industry and construction surged ahead in the year 2000, as London's economic future seems primed for the new year.

Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco said expansion is exactly what her council, and the city as a whole, wanted to see happen and said she sees the same type of growth for the upcoming year.

"I think there is an even greater potential for growth in 2001 for London where industries of all kinds will have an even greater impact on the city's economy," she said.

DeCicco said construction alone in London has increased with close to $40 million dollars in new activity. "There has been plenty of new business coming into the area and it only looks like it will continue into the new year," she said.

Lindsey Elwood, chair of the London Downtown Business Association, agreed and said the attraction of industry to London shows how business-minded the incoming council is. "This recent growth is the fruits of a lot of hard work," he said.

With new contracts such as the renewed interest in the Galleria and revitalization of the downtown core, Elwood said it is only natural that construction is up in the city.

"The two go hand-in-hand. Industry and business need facilities to operate and this has pushed construction up. And because of this building, there has been spin-off economic growth," he said.

Elwood added there seems to be enough in the City's coffers to keep the boom going into 2001 even with the slowdown of the American economy and its potential effect in Canada.

Brian Walthan, Southwestern Ontario vice President at Ellis Don Construction, said the new year looks very promising and should continue the boom from last year. "The City's brought in some new contracts and we have reason to be optimistic for more work," he said.

Ellis Don will be constructing the new downtown arena in the near future and Walthan said they will be looking for other downtown projects from the City.

"There is still a lot of growth that remains to be seen. Toronto has reached its slow-down point – we're still waiting to see how much more there is," he said.

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