Ontario invests $1.8 million in Niagara Pallet, as Smithville company significantly expands operations

Investment will help create 30 new jobs. Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Graydon Smith (third from left) was on hand last Thursday with local officials and representatives from the company to announce the funding. Photo credit: Twitter/Graydon Smith


Last week, the province announced it is investing $1.8 million to help Smithville’s Niagara Pallet expand its production facility and install automated pallet-making equipment. The investment will reportedly triple pallet production, increase the company’s sales by 46 per cent, and create 30 new jobs.

“This investment in Niagara Pallet is giving a thriving forest sector business the facilities and the tools to take its operations to the next level,” said Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Graydon Smith, who was on hand for the announcement in West Lincoln last Thursday. 

“We are building prosperity and creating jobs right here in the Niagara Region and investing in a strong, sustainable forest sector across Ontario.”

Niagara Pallet’s $9 million expansion project will see the addition of 60,000 square feet of production space and the installation of automated sorting, measurement, and lumber-cutting equipment. 

The project is expected to double the company’s U.S. export sales.

“As one of the province’s largest manufacturers and recyclers of pallets and shipping materials, Niagara Pallet continues to be a leader in innovation and sustainability in our region,” said MPP for Niagara West Sam Oosterhoff. “I congratulate the Vrugteveen family and the hardworking team at Niagara Pallet as they plan to expand their growing operation in Smithville.”

Niagara Pallet was established in 1993 as a small pallet repair operation and has grown into a multi-service wood products facility with 65 full-time employees. It manufactures new, custom, and refurbished pallets, as well as wooden bins, crates, and mulch.

The company’s pallet repair and resale business helps meet an increasing commercial demand for pallet recycling and diverts used pallets from landfill.

“Ontario’s growing manufacturing sector is second to none, and we continue to grow the sector by supporting local manufacturers like Niagara Pallet,” said Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli. 

“Niagara Pallet’s project will build on what our government is doing to make sure people across our province have good-paying jobs, while also growing the manufacturing sector and strengthening our province’s forest sector supply chain.”

Funding for this project is being provided by the Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program, a business support program designed to improve productivity and innovation, enhance competitiveness, support new market access and strengthen regional economies.

The expansion will enable Niagara Pallet to increase its purchases of Ontario lumber by 60 per cent, providing greater opportunity for lumber harvesters, sawmills, and trucking.

“We are thankful for the support of Ontario’s Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program,” said Mike Vrugteveen, Vice-President of Niagara Pallet. 

“This investment has allowed us to purchase and install new equipment for the processing of lumber in our facility, which will allow our business to produce wood packaging products more efficiently.”

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