Media Release

Kingston Launches New Integrated Economic Development Strategy

For immediate release
December 16, 2020

Focused on health innovation, sustainable manufacturing and creative industries

Kingston, Ontario – December 16, 2020 - Kingston’s new Integrated Economic Development Strategy will lay the foundation for strategies, tactics and targeted activities that will continue to build on a sustainable and thriving ecosystem to support business growth, start-ups, investment attraction and new foreign direct investment opportunities in our community. The Integrated Economic Development Strategy was endorsed by the Kingston Economic Development’s Board of Directors on November 23 and approved by City Council on December 15.

“The reality is a lot has changed in the world of business and in our city over the last several years and I am excited to see this strategy come to life with support from our community partners, the City and post-secondary institutions,” says Dave Carnegie, Chair, Board of Directors, Kingston Economic Development Corporation. “We want to remain competitive, supporting, growing and attracting businesses and talent that can compete globally; this strategy creates a framework for success and to drive Kingston into the future.”

The strategy’s key highlights:

  1. The strategy is directed by two specific actions:
    • A fully integrated and collaborative community
    • clustered approach for driving short and long-term economic growth potential
  2. Two primary clusters are proposed:
    • Health & Health Innovation 
    • Sustainable Manufacturing
  3. Two additional strategic frameworks are referenced:
    • Rural Kingston Economic Development Strategy 
    • Creative Industries Strategic Framework
  4. The Implementation framework was a key consideration to prepare for execution:
    • Developed and implemented by the community for the community

“There is no better time to set a forward-looking vision for Kingston’s economy than now. This first-ever integrated strategy with the City is exciting, bold and speaks to Kingston’s unique strengths and opportunities ahead of us,” says Donna Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Economic Development Corporation. “With a focus on development of clusters in sustainable manufacturing, health innovation and creative industries, the plan builds on our solid foundation and recent investment wins. We will continue to stake our claim on the provincial, national and international stage as a great place to work, live and invest.”

The onset of COVID-19, shortly after work begun on the integrated strategy, has required that
new economic conditions and factors impacting our community, region and country be taken
into account and planned for accordingly. The pandemic’s impact on the economy will be deep
and long-lasting. Staff have been active participants in strategy development discussions providing data and expert advice on infrastructure capacity, planning
and market conditions. 

“I’m happy to see the integrated economic development strategy move forward and I’m grateful for the hard work that went into preparing it,” says Mayor Paterson. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the biggest economic disruption since the Great Depression, and many sectors of our local economy have been hit especially hard. This strategic plan will create jobs, grow existing businesses, attract new companies in areas where our community has a competitive advantage, and will be indispensable as we work towards recovery.”

Over the course of the strategy’s implementation, Kingston Economic Development and the City will work hard with both public- and private-sector partners to make significant progress in the areas of health and health innovation and sustainable manufacturing.

“The Integrated Economic Development Strategy is the final product of deliberate collaboration and integration of City Council’s strategic priorities and key stakeholders across the community. This strategy will guide the work required to drive Kingston’s long-term sustainable economic prosperity by leveraging strong partnerships made by the City of Kingston, the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, the not-for-profit sector, post-secondary educational institutions, and the business community,” says Lanie Hurdle, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Kingston.

“With Council’s endorsement of the new Integrated Economic Development strategy, the exciting work of plan implementation begins. This new strategy harnesses the many strengths in our community and provides a bold new vision of an inclusive, vibrant and prosperous Kingston. To all of the stakeholders and residents that provided input and advice into the creation of this strategy, thank you for your interest and commitment to our collective future,” says, Craig Desjardins, Director, Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships, City of Kingston.

The Integrated Economic Development Strategy was developed after significant community and stakeholder consultation. Input was gathered from residents, local businesses, community partners, City staff, and elected officials. Discussions involved individuals from various industries including manufacturing, real estate, education, employment services, health, tourism, and digital media. The sessions evaluated Kingston economic health pre- and post- COVID-19 and discussed community gaps, opportunities, strengths, and challenges.

To read the full report and recommendations visit

Media Contact:
Nour Mazloum
Communications & Events Officer
Kingston Economic Development Corporation
[email protected]