Ajax, Ontario

Business is a priority

Founded as a munitions factory during WWII, Ajax, Ontario, is a community that celebrates its past — including the TV dramatization, Bomb Girls — while focusing firmly on its future. Ajax is situated close to Toronto markets in a well-planned, attractive setting, but what truly sets it apart is the Town’s authentic relationship with its business community. It was clear that their pursuit of the CompetitiveReady Seal was not about the label but, rather, “What else can we do for our businesses?” Local business leaders confirmed this during our visit. 

What stands out

Streamlined permitting (PriorityPath). PriorityPath sets the bar for fast-tracking in two respects. First, instead of telling a company how long it will take, they ask the company how much time it needs; then they arrive at a mutual agreement. Second, they provide concrete feedback, describing exactly what changes are necessary to win approval.

Sites. Ajax’s ready-to-go sites are thoughtfully zoned and fully serviced.

Community Planning. Residences and businesses are clearly delineated, with companies clustered in designated “Employment Areas.” There is plenty of green space, over 80 km of trails, and lakefront access that makes the town attractive to a diverse workforce.

Sustainability. Supportive, not punitive, is Ajax’s approach. Ajax leads the region for implementation of Durham Partners in Project Green which supports competitive sustainable business practices. The Town’s EcoBiz program provides sustainability audits and certification. Veridian, the electricity provider, offers audits and technical assistance. The Town also operates a green fleet and has a LEED building policy.