While a cold, harsh winter has delayed work on the latest round of Ontario Food Terminal renovations, manager Bruce Nicholas is pleased with the construction to date.
The buyer’s building in the southeast corner of the terminal is being extended to handle the 40-foot-long tractor trailers filled by buyers from across Ontario and across Canada, Nicholas said.
The climate-controlled indoor space will be used to assemble loads.
On the other side, additional cold storage and new doors will be used for shipping, with a corridor into the receiving area.
“Many of today’s tenants ship produce across the country straight out of cold storage,” he said.
With the changes, he said even a small unit such as North American Produce Buyers, which specializes in grapes, stone fruit and citrus, has access to 100,000 square feet of cold storage and can ship directly from the refrigerated space.
Two new buildings are now available for shipping and receiving, allowing buyers to load their truck in temperature-controlled conditions.
The existing cold storage receiving area is being extended to handle tractor trailers.
“We’ll have a quality control room for conducting inspections,” Nicholas said.
A new pedestrian entrance into the market should be completed by the fall, and 50 additional reserved parking spaces have been added to the upper deck over the farmers market.
Enclosing the compactor in a separate room, with six bins designated for different types of waste, wood and organics, will be a huge improvement, he said, as staff won’t have to worry about compactors freezing in midwinter. Plans also include installing a compactor in the farmers market area to handle waste more efficiently.