Hamilton Economic Development

Agri-Business & Food Processing

Food Processing

Located in the heart of Ontario’s highly prosperous agricultural-based business and food processing region, Hamilton is one of the three largest food and beverage processing areas in North America.

Hamilton’s food and beverage industry is as diverse as its talent with nearly 9,000 skilled workers involved in agri-business and the food-processing sector. It has a strong combination of all facets of food manufacturing, which includes food processing, packaging, warehousing and distribution, and retailing and food services. International and national firms cover a multitude of food offerings, including meats, fruit and vegetable preserving, and specialty food manufacturing, as well as confectionary, bakery and snack food products and beverages.

With the major QEW/400 series highways, Hamilton is a 45-minute drive to a major U.S. border crossing, representing a potential market of more than 170 million customers within a day’s drive. The City’s international airport provides 24-hour cargo services. The Port of Hamilton, the largest port on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes, and the interconnected national railway system, provide a multi-modal transportation opportunity for business – ensuring logistics and goods movement are easily achieved.

In addition to McMaster University and Mohawk College, the nearby University of Guelph and its Guelph Food Technology Centre and Conestoga College’s Institute of Food Processing Technology, support this sector with specialty skills, leading in areas of food research, innovation, food safety, research and training.

Hamilton is also a member community and current co-chair of the Ontario Food Cluster.

  • Learn more about Food Processing here: LINK (video)


A recent Agriculture and Agri-Food Profile of the Golden Horseshoe shows that agriculture is a significant component of the local economy and generates approximately $893 million in economic activity into the City of Hamilton on an annual basis. For full report details go to Agricultural Profile.   This is a direct increase of approximately $70 million over the impact calculated in the agricultural profile from 2008. The City of Hamilton developed a long term Agricultural Action Plan in 2007 that identified tasks to support and sustain the Agriculture sector in this community, and this is largely reflected in the City’s new Rural Official Plan and Zoning By-law.

All of the City’s policies acknowledge the important contribution agriculture makes to the City’s economy and the quality of life for its residents, and support activities that will promote the industry. Hamilton is an area with a strong agricultural land base, the majority of the 227,000 acres within the Hamilton boundaries qualify as prime agricultural lands. Considering only 5% of the Canadian land mass constitutes prime land, the importance of this resource in Hamilton is significant. Statistics show strong local production in Nursery, Sod and Maple, Greenhouse, Cash Crops, Poultry and Egg, Vegetable, Mushroom and Dairy with a spin-off to food processing companies and value-added agriculture-related business that position Hamilton well in this evolving traditional sector.

Please read Food Processing Brochure (PDF)

food processing brochure

Interested in Opening or Expanding Here:


Brian Morris
Business Development Consultant
Tel: 905-546-2424 ext. 5602
E-mail: Brian.Morris@hamilton.ca




Ranked Canada's most diversified economy, home to Canada's busiest multi-modal cargo airport, the busiest port on the Canadian Great Lakes, and centrally located within a one hour drive to Toronto, Waterloo and the Niagara/US Border, Hamilton is at the center of it all. With two internationally renowned post-secondary institutions in the city (surrounded by 23 other), a diverse and learned workforce and both ample greenfield and urban sites upon which to build, we're ready for your investment.

Welcome to unstoppable.