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TORONTO-Southern Ontario has long had a thriving manufacturing industry, accounting for half of all of the exports sent out of the country. Now imports are heating up due to the growth of the Canadian dollar and the following consumer demand.

That has led to increased pressure on industrial facilities such as ports, railroads and airports, and AMB Property Corp. has reacted to that activity by building three million sf of industrial facilities around the area. Gene Reilly, president of the Americas for the San Francisco-based industrial REIT, will speak about his firm’s experiences and the overall southern Ontario market in a keynote address at the inaugural RealShare Toronto conference on May 6.

Earlier this month, the company pre-leased 309,000 sf to 3M at AMB Milton 401 Business Park that will start construction later this year and is scheduled for completion in 2010. The Toronto area is considered by AMB as the fourth-largest industrial market in North America behind Los Angles, Chicago and the New York City area.

Besides Reilly, the conference will feature a town hall meeting on what to expect in the Toronto real estate market across its sectors for the remainder of the year. That panel includes moderator Peter Senst, an EVP at CB Richard Ellis; Michael Emory, president and CEO of Allied Properties; Joe Nestic, SVP of Merkes Development; Graham Senst, managing director of Kingsett Capital’s Canadian Real Estate Income Fund; and Seymour Temkin, senior business advisor of Goodmans.

The conference will also address the volatile capital markets situation, Toronto’s industrial market, US companies expanding north of the border and other topics. RealShare Toronto is taking place at the Holiday Inn on King. Real Estate Media, which is also the parent company of GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum magazine, is hosting the event.

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