An Irish manufacturer of electric heaters opens its first plant in Canada, and the second only in North America, in London.
The company announced Friday that Glen Dimplex Americas will create more than 100 jobs at its plant located on Wilton Grove Road and Highbury Avenue when production begins in June.
“We wanted to be as close to our markets as possible, and London is close to Highway 401 and has the skill set we are looking for (in workers),” said HR Director Laura DePhillips.
She said the factory would start making baseplate heaters, supplying the local market as well as builders.
“We have a manufacturing facility on the West Coast of the United States and we needed capacity on the East Coast. Demand has been growing in recent years. We really need to expand our footprint in North America.”
News of the new plant comes as London prepares for a wave of new jobs to wash up the city. Amazon South will open here in 2023 with 2,000 workers, Maple Leaf Foods will bring 1,500 to the city, and growth in other businesses could increase the total to more than 4,000 jobs created next year.
In addition, the Ontario government has pledged to move the headquarters of the Workplace Safety Insurance Board from Toronto to London within the next four years. WSIB has about 3,000 workers in Toronto.
The company said Dimplex is investing $7 million in its London plant and the Ontario government is contributing an additional $6.5 million.
Its US factory is located in Vancouver, Washington, it has a sales office in Cambridge, Ontario, and it is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
The 160,000-square-foot (14,400 sq m) London station will be located at 1040 Wilton Grove Street.
“We have acquired it, we are refurbishing it and it will be ready to go” in mid-June, de Phillips said.
Kabil Lakhotia, CEO of London Economic Development Corp.
“We were appealing to them because of our diversity and our skills in London,” he said.
London also had a retrofit-ready building which the manufacturer thought was ideal. Lakhotia added that it has a complement of other construction related industries, such as door, window and countertop manufacturers, to join the local strength in the agri-food and automotive in the industrial sectors.
“We have a healthy diversity of advanced manufacturing and that’s a welcome addition,” he said.
Dimplex operates 14 factories in nine countries. In the business of over 70 years, it manufactures about 700 stoves, heating and air handling.
“We are delighted to welcome Glenn Dumplex to London, along with the more than 100 new jobs her arrival will create for our local economy,” Acting Mayor Josh Morgan said in a press release.
DePhillips said Dimplex will offer a starting payout of about $20 an hour with benefits and a retirement plan. Dimplex has already posted jobs on job sites in London.