Ontario: ours to (research and) discover

Stylized map of Ontario

Ontario: ours to (research and) discover

Five fruitful collaborations that are making a difference to communities and industries in Canada’s most populous province
November 7, 2018

Researchers in every province work alongside industries and communities to address some of their most immediate challenges, including helping to transform major industries to meet changing consumer demands. Ontario is no exception, and the results are directly felt by Ontarians.


  • Last August, the local health unit in North Bay, Ont., warned that another harmful algae bloom had formed in Lake Nipissing’s Callander Bay, a popular recreational area at the east end of the lake. For many in the affected area, that meant keeping the taps turned off and thinking twice before eating the walleye they caught that morning. “Lake Nipissing contributes an estimated $100 million each year to Ontario’s economy.” The algae produces a toxin that can contaminate drinking water and build up in the organs and flesh of fish, making them unsafe to eat. But the bacterial scum is...
  • With over a billion dollars in sales in 2017 and more than 16,000 employees, Ontario greenhouses have become a major player in the provincial economy. But it doesn’t come easily. Each year, vegetable growers like Greg Devries need to manage disease in their greenhouses or face a potential loss of 20 percent of their crop. “It can be the best-tasting tomato that is out there,” the president of Chatham-based Truly Green Farms says. “But if it’s prone to bacterial canker or mildew, then it becomes a great challenge to make economic sense out of it.” “An acre of tomatoes can gross...
  • In 2014, three days before Christmas, nearly 200 people in Iroquois Falls found themselves out of a job. After more than a hundred years, the local newsprint mill — the Northern Ontario town’s largest employer — was closing. It was another casualty of a declining sector plagued by low prices, shrinking demand and increased competition from other countries. “Unless we diversify the product portfolio of the pulp and paper industry, we will have a problem,” says Michael Paleologou, a lead scientist with the forest research organization FPInnovations. “It’s very important that we...
  • For the thousands of Ontarians living with aphasia — a language disorder that impairs the ability to communicate — something as simple as buying a movie ticket can be a real struggle. However, thanks to training from Aphasia Friendly Canada, 20 businesses — and counting — in Windsor and Essex County in southwestern Ontario are better equipped to serve them. That includes Lakeshore Cinemas near Tecumseh, Ont. “[This training has] provided [my staff] with more tools to handle those communication challenges with confidence,” says assistant manager Chelsea Reaume. “We’ve had a lot...
  • In 2016, Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC), which manages the country’s supply of eggs, decided to phase out conventional cages in favour of housing requirements that give hens more space to perch, nest and scratch, either in larger enriched cages equipped to accommodate those instincts, or in cage-free barns. But for egg farmers, the move toward cage-free systems can drive up costs, especially because the practices are relatively new and not as well understood as conventional cages. For example, it can be harder to control the temperature and air quality in dustier cage-free barns. It’s also...