Terrance Carter puts forward a convincing argument for companies to move to Dufferin County. Carters Professional Corporation (carters.ca) illustrates well the points he makes. It is one of the leading law firms in Canada in charity and not-for-profit law and is the largest full-service legal firm in the area.
Terrance moved here from Toronto in 1980 to practice with another firm and then started his own firm in 2001. Today, with head office in Orangeville, another office in Ottawa, and meeting locations in Toronto and Mississauga, Carters provides legal services for clients locally and regionally, and has clients across Canada and internationally as well. “We started out with three lawyers,” he says, “and now we have fourteen in all.”
“Dufferin County is attractive not just for local or regional business but also as a platform for operations provincially, nationally and internationally. After all,” he said, “there are operations out of India serving Canada.” Any business can be set up in Dufferin County and when you have to meet face-to-face, we’re right at the four corners, highway 9 east and west, highway 10 north and south. Downtown Toronto is just an hour away outside of rush hour and you can get to the airport in about 45 minutes as well.
While some people revel in the anonymity and edginess of the city, others, like Terrance, don’t like that kind of pressure. They prefer the kind of laid-back energy Dufferin County provides. “I didn’t want a practice in the downtown core,” he said. “This is a great community to live in. There’s a good client base here, a good platform to build on. Orangeville is attractive not just for local, but also for regional businesses. This is an ideal head office location for provincial, national and even international operations, any kind of business can connect here via the Internet.”
When a lot of companies think about moving out of Toronto, they think west – Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington – but Terrance says they should “think bigger than that” and move to where the overhead is lower. “We have the infrastructure that companies need, but here you can keep costs down – and you can have a life as well.”
The area has everything you need – stores, restaurants, cultural activities – movies, professional live theatre, art galleries, live music, and the great outdoors, is, well, right out your door. There are five golf courses within ten minutes of downtown Orangeville, and many more if you drive a little farther… ski hills, too. Many hiking and cycling trails double as cross-country ski or snowmobile trails in the winter. You can walk to Island Lake, take a canoe out for a paddle, or go fishing… and the proximity of the great outdoors is going to last. “This is not going to be Brampton or Newmarket,” says Terrance. “The Greenbelt around Orangeville will ensure appropriate development.”
There are many practical reasons for companies to set up or move to Dufferin County and some things that go beyond practicality. Just ask Terrance how long it takes him to get to work. His answer is short, “five minutes… you can’t beat the lifestyle.”