The study area is the Regional Municipality of Halton, which is located in Southern Ontario and is part of the Greater Toronto Area (Figure 1). It includes 4 municipalities: the City of Burlington, the Towns of Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville and covers over 93,887 hectares of land (Halton Region, n.d.). Agriculture and urban/industrial are the major land uses. There are also a number of forested areas, grasslands, barren areas and shrub land.
Halton’s population in 2011 was 501,665 and there is an expectation that it will grow to 752,537 in the next 15 years (Halton Region, n.d;Regional Municipality of Halton 2011). The central and northeastern areas of the region are projected to grow by as much as 83% by 2031. (Halton Region, n.d; Regional Municipality of Halton 2011). This increased population will require employment opportunities which could be provided by businesses within an industrial park (Arabsheibani et al, 2016).
The region has several major highways including the 401 which crosses (east-west) through the middle of the region and the 407 and 403 which are located in the more southern part of the region. The Niagara escarpment crosses the region from the southwest corner to the northeast corner with the remainder of the region a mix between gently sloping land, rolling hills and plains (Gillespie & Wicklund, 1971). The soils in the region consist of loamy sand to loamy clay which are better than sandy soils, which tend to drain well but can be washed away or clay soils that tend to crack as they expand when wet and shrink when dry (Gillespie & Wicklund, 1971).
The are 25 kilometers of frontage on Lake Ontario, which provides access to the St Lawrence Seaway System, the region has several water sources including the Eramosa River, Bronte Creek, Credit River, Sixteen Mile Creek and their tributaries (Halton Region, n.d; Gillespie & Wicklund, 1971). There are also numerous wetland areas that would be unsuitable for industrial park development.
This region was selected as the study area as it offers a number of key advantages for a new industrial park such as its proximity to major highways and roadways, an available water supply, an increasing population which has the potential to provide an available workforce and land that can be used for industrial purposes (Ramos, 2016; Arabsheibani et al, 2016).
Figure 1: Study Site