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Western Fair District Unveils 'The Grove'

Published: October 10, 2019 1:27 pm ET

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On Thursday (Oct. 10), the Western Fair Association (WFA) announced its future business strategy that will bring hundreds of jobs, economic prosperity, innovation and growth to London and region.

The new initiative, designated ‘The Grove at Western Fair District’ (‘The Grove’), will help to develop the next generation of Canadian agri-business entrepreneurs in London, Ontario.

By repurposing buildings on the WFA site, The Grove will help new and existing agri-businesses to incubate, accelerate, educate and connect. The Grove will continue the legacy of the WFA’s deep agricultural roots while keeping innovative for future growth.

Throughout its history, the WFA has been viewed as a leader in connecting urban and rural communities and bringing people and food together through agriculture. Today’s announcement signals the next chapter in the association’s evolution.

“For over 150 years, this organization has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with innovators in economic prosperity and food security. Today, our organization invites the next generation of entrepreneurs, educators and leaders to join us in bringing new agriculture and food businesses, products and technologies to market through The Grove.” said Reg Ash, CEO, WFA.

The Grove concept had been in the works for several years as the WFA looked to play a larger role in tomorrow’s agri-business and agri-food industry. It is part of a re-envisioned, agriculturally-focused business strategy to ensure WFA’s agricultural leadership role remains prominent in helping to ensure the economic prosperity and food security for Londoners and all Canadians.

More than just physical space, The Grove will bring together agri-food businesses, producers, educators, entrepreneurs and other thought leaders in making this vision a reality. Repurposed buildings will be used in a variety of ways, including food production, growing, retail, education and business services.


An artist’s rendering of the main entrance to ‘The Grove at Western Fair District,’ a new initiative to help develop the next generation of Canadian agri-business entrepreneurs in London, Ontario (Image courtesy WFA).

The first major tenant of The Grove was announced today at the Western Fair District’s media launch. LiveFit is a provider of freshly prepared meals that are delivered directly to consumers. They will be utilizing what was formerly known as the Canada Building, and be bringing hundreds of new jobs to the city.

“I am extremely excited to announce that LiveFit will be opening our new headquarters at The Grove at Western Fair District this upcoming January,” said LiveFit President and CEO Nick Spina. “We’re creating over 200 new jobs in London over the next seven months, and over 450 jobs over the next few years. I am also very excited to announce our plans to expand across Canada this upcoming January and across The United States over the next nine months.”

LiveFit’s new state-of-the-art 30,000 square-foot facility will have the ability to produce over 11 million meals annually and will have the ability to deliver to almost every household across Canada and the United stated within 24 hours.

The Middlesex London Food Policy Council (MLFPC) will also make its new home at The Grove. The MLFPC is the organization tasked with identifying challenges and proposing innovative solutions to develop a healthier, sustainable, resilient and equitable local food system.

Expressions of interest are being accepted from companies or organizations who are interested in participation in the Grove. Participation is intended for organizations with similar agri-education, agri-food and agri-business objectives as Western Fair Association.

The Grove expects to attract businesses and organizations that are aligned with bringing people and food together, solving a problem in the agriculture and/or the food system or enhancing local, regional, national, international agri-business relationships, through one or more of four pillars of the Grove’s purpose: Connect, Lead, Community, Educate.

(Western Fair Association)


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