After an unusual slowdown, hundreds of acres of vegetable greenhouses with a construction value of up to $420 million are expected to be added this year and next in the Leamington area.
By the numbers, Leamington and Kingsville had permits with a construction value of more than $183 million issued in 2019 for greenhouses which was an increase from 2018.
But permits issued doesn’t mean all the greenhouses got built, and the growth in the cannabis sector “threw everything off,” said Joe Sbrocchi, general manager of the Ontario Vegetable Greenhouse Growers.
Not all the intended vegetable greenhouse expansions got built, Sbrocchi is guessing, partly because of delays in getting construction crews or materials such as lighting that vegetable growers also use for year-round production.
Sbrocchi said he expects 250 to 300 acres of greenhouses at a cost of about $1.4 million an acre will be built with most of that to be constructed this year.
Leamington Mayor Hilda MacDonald said she’s expecting another banner year for greenhouse growth.
“This has taken us by surprise, by storm,” she said of the last four years of growth especially with the construction of greenhouses to grow marijuana. “The numbers and the size of the growth has been unprecedented.”