Located in Southwestern Ontario, Guelph is known for its vibrant culture and architectural heritage. Many Canadian and international manufacturing, logistics and distribution companies are based here due to the region’s strong economy, land availability, proximity to all major highways and other advantages.
Avison Young’s Southwestern Ontario offices have agents handling the Guelph, Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo, Brantford and Woodstock markets as well as the London-to-Windsor area. Southwestern Ontario has a population of more than 1.5 million people and access to three major Canada-U.S. border points. The area features a diversified company base and a world-renowned post-secondary education system. With access to major markets, an educated workforce, an established economic base and an outstanding quality of life, Southwestern Ontario is an ideal destination for companies.
Driven by the IT and communications sector, including companies such as Research and Motion, Google and Communitech, the Kitchener-Waterloo office market has continually been strong. Guelph’s office market continues to grow at a steady pace, driven mostly by the University of Guelph and agri-sector. Brantford and Cambridge have historically had flat vacancy rates while London has consistently been a strong office market.
The retail market has been growing steadily over the past five to 10 years. There has been an influx of both smaller tenants as well as big-box users. They are attracted by both strong population growth in the area as well as developers’ new and rejuvenated sites.
The Southwestern Ontario industrial market is continuing to repair itself after a number of plant closures. Though absorption time for buildings to be purchased or leased is still longer compared to that of larger markets, vacancies are being filled by local users and companies and newcomers. Over the past 10 years, several Greater Toronto Area (GTA) firms have come to the area in order to capitalize on favourable pricing, available land and other high-quality product availability.
The investment community continues to look at the Southwestern Ontario market for retail, industrial and office opportunities. This demand is driven by a lack of product in larger markets and both institutional and private investors looking for good income-producing properties with comparatively higher cap rates.
Avison Young’s roots in Guelph began in October 2010 with the opening of Avison Young’s Southwestern Ontario office. After starting with two agents, the office has since grown to 18 employees and become quite active in the London-to-Windsor market. The agents have a combined 50-plus years of experience completing commercial real estate transactions in the Southwestern Ontario region.
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