London Inc. Weekly 10 • 25 • 2019

A&L Canada Laboratories announces facility and staffing expansions

Photo: A&L Laboratories Inc. is located on Jetstream Road

A&L CANADA LABORATORIES Inc., one of Canada’s leading analytical labs serving the in agriculture, food processing, pharma and cannabis industries, has announced the addition of new 4,000-square-foot facility to increase services and capabilities to clients in the area of precision agriculture and core analytical testing services.

The investment at its Jetstream Road facility complements the recent acquisition of analytical equipment and increased staffing—17 new staff including a PhD plant pathologist—to meet the growing diagnostic demands of clients.

A&L will now operate three laboratory facilities with over 30,000 square feet of lab and office space. The company also conducts agronomic and production research on customer farms, greenhouses, grow operations and universities across Canada.

Additionally, A&L recently installed a walk-in Biora Plant Growth Chamber to support the testing needs of the industry. The chamber provides the control and repeatability needed to efficiently sustain precise conditions for superior testing and research.

“We take great pride in being the largest agriculture and cannabis analytical laboratory in the country,” said Nevin McDougall, A&L president & COO. “We have earned this leadership position by not only best-in class service, reporting and analysis to our customers but expanding our cannabis analytics and expertise. Research is a priority and this state-of-the-art research growth chamber helps us solve production challenges and fine tune recommendations.”


Two high-profile creative agencies announce merger

Photo: Laurie Lashbrook and Wendy Smith

TWO OF THE city’s high-profile creative agencies, RedRhino and Lashbrook Marketing & Public Relations, have announced a merger. The merged firm will operate under the RedRhino banner from its office at 205 Horton Street East.

“This is a great move for both of us because we bring our leadership and expertise under one roof to create an agency that is unmatched in the city for its depth and breadth of talent,” said Laurie Lashbrook, former president and founder of Lashbrook, and the new chief strategy officer at RedRhino. “Together, we offer clients more.”

“We are thrilled that Lashbrook has merged with us,” said Wendy Smith, president of RedRhino. “They have built a fantastic reputation and we are excited to add their proven strategic communications planning and digital PR expertise to round out our services.”

Founded in 1991, Lashbrook Marketing and Public Relations specialized in the healthcare, non-profit, education and municipal sectors. RedRhino was launched in 1996 as a design agency and has since evolved into a full-service integrated agency with a separate development team operating as RhinoActive Inc.


Sifton unveils Canada’s largest solar parkade at West 5

Photo: The solar parkade at West 5 supplies power to the Sifton Centre office and retail building

SIFTON PROPERTIES LIMITED has completed construction of Canada’s largest solar parkade at West 5, London’s first neighbourhood powered by the sun and Ontario’s first community to target net zero energy.

The two-level, 49,000-square-foot parkade provides 164 covered parking spots for tenants and customers of West 5’s first three commercial buildings. The solar parking canopy consists of 1,116 solar modules with annual energy generation estimated at 452,000 kWh, which is enough to power 45 Canadian homes for a year on average.

The solar canopy supplies energy to the Sifton Centre, home of Sifton Properties’ head office, a second office and retail building immediately adjacent to the parking structure, as well as an electric vehicle charger.

“Becoming a net zero community is not easy, and there is never enough space on buildings for the number of solar panels needed. So, you must become creative,” said Richard Sifton, president and CEO of Sifton Properties Limited. “This is why we looked at the top level of our parking garage as an opportunity for more solar.”

The solar parking canopy was designed by Architects Tillman Ruth Robinson and engineered by German Solar Corporation, both London-based firms. The solar canopy shields parked cars from sunlight and heat in the summertime, and offers protection from snow accumulation in the winter, as well as rain year-round.

“While solar parking structures are a common approach in many other jurisdictions around the world, provincial regulation and restrictions have slowed the progress and uptake in Ontario,” shared Dennis German, president of German Solar Corporation. “Energy costs and economies of scale are now in a place that further justifies the deployment of solar arrays using this approach in Ontario.”


Heeman’s a finalist for national green economy award

Photo: Will Heeman, chief daymaker at Heeman’s

HEEMAN’S IS ONE of five finalists for a new award celebrating organizations driving the green economy.

The Green Economy Builder Award will be presented at an event in Toronto on November 5. An initiative of the national not-for-profit organization Green Economy Canada, the award will go to a business implementing sustainability practices and encouraging its employees and other organizations in its community to do the same.

“One of the reasons we’ve been able to be in business for this long is because we’ve made sustainability a priority in our family and in our business for a number of years,” said Will Heeman, chief daymaker at Heeman’s. The family-owned garden centre and strawberry farm has been in operation since 1964.

As a member of Green Economy London, Heeman’s is working to set targets to reduce their GHG emissions and waste. They have made a number of retrofits to improve the efficiency of their facilities, cutting energy usage by installing in-floor heating, energy curtains, and a water catchment and re-use system. They are also looking at installing solar panels for on-site electricity generation.

“Heeman’s has been a green leader since their inception. They have acted as stewards of the land and made conscious business decisions for decades,” said Marianne Griffith, hub manager for Green Economy London. “We hope to see them recognized for their choices in energy efficiency, water and waste reduction strategies, and for their commitment to sharing best practices within their industry and beyond.”

Heeman’s is one of 250 businesses in the Green Economy Canada network working to set and achieve sustainability targets through the support of their local Green Economy Hub. There are six other Hubs like Green Economy London across Ontario, supported by Green Economy Canada.


Featured Business Event

Celebrate London Entrepreneurs with BDC  | November 6, 2019, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Museum London

Join BDC for a cocktail reception as they celebrate Canadian entrepreneurship and 60 years working alongside London entrepreneurs. The event features

Keynote presentation by David Ciccarelli, co-founder & CEO of Voices.com, followed by a fireside chat with David and his wife, Stephanie Ciccarelli, co-founder and chief brand officer of Voices.com. 

Insights from BDC’s latest study, A Nation of Entrepreneurs: The Changing Face of Canadian Entrepreneurship, from BDC president and CEO, Michael Denham, including tips and strategies to achieve higher sales, profits and employment growth.

Networking reception to mark BDC’s 75th anniversary and 60 years working alongside London entrepreneurs to help them build and grow their businesses, featuring a mouthwatering assortment of food and complimentary cocktails.

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