St. Clair Township, Ontario – Lambton County

March 26, 2024

St. Clair Township, Ontario

A Beacon of Economic Growth and Prosperity.


Boasting a rich history and a dynamic future for its residents

A thriving community, with a rich industrial landscape, St. Clair Township was formed in 2001, when two lower-tier municipalities, Sombra and Moore, were amalgamated. Home to approximately 15,000 residents, St. Clair is situated near a major highway, rail, water, and air corridors, and is only minutes from a US border crossing, making it accessible for residents, visitors, and industry.

Set against the sparkling waters of the St. Clair River, this picturesque township offers a true Southwestern Ontario experience, with an abundance of recreational opportunities, from camping and boating, to golf and riverside trails, as well as museums and historic towns to be explored.

“It’s just a great spot to live,” summarizes Mayor Jeff Agar. “We live on a beautiful river. We have a good agricultural section, and we have a great industrial section.”

Industrial Triumphs

Mayor Agar highlights St. Clair’s impressive industrial landscape, which includes three Nova refineries, a Shell refinery, an ethanol refinery, a fertilizer plant, and three gas hydro plants. He notes that the township’s substantial 4000 hectares of industrial land set it apart in Ontario, offering unparalleled growth potential compared to neighboring areas like Sarnia, which is near its maximum capacity.

“Our major growth is our Nova’s, and that’s a big player in the world. They just installed over a $3.5 billion expansion, which is unheard of nowadays. Places don’t build that kind of stuff anymore,” he boasts. Once home to an Ontario Power Generation plant, which was shut down in 2013, the township is looking for something to fill this space. “I’d like to see some bio stuff, batteries, come down the pike. I don’t know what’s going to be coming in on the OPG plant site, but we’re versatile,” the mayor adds.

St. Clair Township serves as a hub for numerous smaller industries, catering to the ‘Chemical Valley’ in the neighboring city of Sarnia, which boasts over 60 plants and refineries. In addition, the township’s industrial park is at full occupancy, after witnessing a surge in demand driven by Nova’s substantial expansion project.

“There’s several industries that are in our industrial park that are geared towards doing maintenance and or construction for the Chemical Valley. And so obviously, when they have a project that’s of that size, it does nothing but help the smaller industries as well,” says Agar. Key players in the industrial park include Great Lakes Fabricating, Chemfab, ANJ Industrial Fabrication, and Sterling Crane, among others.


Education and Workforce Development

Recognizing the importance of education and workforce development, the township has a strong partnership with Lambton College.

“The municipality has financially supported the community college in Sarnia, which is Lambton College. We have a room that’s named after St. Clair Township,” elaborates CAO John Rodey. “The college provides a wide range of programs, a lot of them supporting Chemical Valley. They have programs for kids that are involved in the refining industry. They also have nursing programs, instrumentation, and engineering.”

As for attracting skilled workers, it isn’t a problem, as Mayor Agar relays, “All the local trade unions are here, and they supply the workforce for the area. They’re all high-paying jobs, and we have to keep that in the back of our mind, too.” The township also offers co-op opportunities for high school and university students.

Housing Initiatives and Future Growth Challenges

St. Clair Township is not just an industrial powerhouse; it also places a high priority on residential development. Mayor Agar recounts, “We have numerous builders here, and they’ve been building steadily. We have a pretty good inventory of new housing, and some townhomes have started up that are a little less expensive.”

One of the issues facing continued industrial and residential growth in St. Clair Township is the need to upgrade a wastewater plant. “There’s a major subdivision in Corunna, they have 500 new builds, and that has all been calculated into what we have now. So, we’re good at that. But to bring in anything new on top of that for affordable housing, we can’t do it,” he asserts.

The current wastewater facilities, built a decade ago with a projected lifespan of 50 years, are nearing capacity sooner than anticipated due to increased demand from industries. Working through a strategic plan, the township is at the environmental assessment stages of the new treatment plant and is waiting for additional government funding for the project which is estimated at $45 million.

“We pretty well have our share of the money in the bank right now,” relays Agar. “It would be nice to be able to get a third from the feds, a third from the province, and we kick in a third. We’re at that point now where it’s just about ready. As soon as we have the money, we can put a shovel in the ground and start going.”

Covering a large geographic area, the municipality has had to make a major investment in its bridges, many of which are in rural areas. “I think this year, we have to do five. One of the bridges is a $3 million bill. So, we’re spending a lot of money on doing this, and that plays in with our waste stream and we can’t put as much into that. Because you have to keep your bridges intact, so people can drive on them, and go to work,” he conveys.


Police Fire and Public Safety

Mayor Agar sheds light on the robust fire protection infrastructure in St. Clair Township, boasting six fire stations with high-end equipment, including advanced ladder fire trucks crucial for the industrial landscape.

“I’m told, in Ontario, there’s really nothing else like them. And that’s just because of all the industry that we have here. We needed them. So, that’s a big attraction here for industry to come in, that we supply, and we look after our infrastructure that way.” Rodey elaborates on the dual purpose of having six fire stations, adding, “Our equipment is probably higher end because of the industry, but our fire stations are there because of coverage and the need to cover a very large municipality.”

Shifting to police and paramedic services, Mayor Agar says the township has a contract with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). “They look after the whole township,” he explains. “A few years ago, we had to build a new station in Corunna. They have a big operation too, and that’s costly also.” Two ambulance stations service the township, although Rodey admits, “These days with 911 calls, sometimes the first person there is your firefighter, not necessarily your ambulance,” further acknowledging the importance of St. Clair’s 188 volunteer firefighters.

Quality of Life Amenities and Recreation

Maintaining a delicate balance between industrial growth and providing quality-of-life opportunities for its residents, St. Clair Township has invested in infrastructure, recreational facilities, and green spaces. “We are actually a green space heaven,” says Mayor Agar, a truth which is evidenced by the 12 waterfront parks in the community, all connecting to the extensive St. Clair River trail.

With six splash pads, top-notch baseball parks, and a newly funded $8 million sports complex with ice pads, a pool, and a fitness facility, the municipality has recreation options for all ages. The township also attracts camping enthusiasts, with three municipally owned campgrounds, two of which are along the river.

Looking to the future, Mayor Agar says it would be ideal to have a high school in the township, something that is a possibility as soon as the wastewater treatment plant is complete, and the community can attract a larger population. Underscoring this as his main priority, he remarks,

“Aside from that, there are so many more. I want to bring more jobs here. I want to keep our infrastructure going, we do a good job of paving and looking after our municipality that way. For the kids, sporting stuff, that’s a top thing for me too. We have to support all of that.”

As it continues to navigate growth challenges, St. Clair Township emerges as a versatile and promising community, uniquely positioned for future growth and prosperity. Mayor Agar concludes, “It’s a great place to live, and play.”


St. Clair Township

What: A township in Southwestern Ontario with a dynamic industrial presence

Where: Lambton County, Ontario



Advanced Finishing Technologies, Inc. –

Invenergy –

Lambton Fleet Maintenance Inc –

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