Ontario Supports Local Manufacturers Producing Masks for Adults and Children

Investment will lead to greater domestic production of personal protective equipment

December 1, 2020

TORONTO – The Ontario government is investing $550,000 to help local manufacturers retool their operations and increase capacity in the manufacturing of masks for both adults and children. These initiatives will help keep the province safe by making Ontario self-sufficient in the production of critical PPE. Funding is being provided through the Ontario Together Fund.

“Wearing masks has become a new reality, but for kids it is not the easiest or most comfortable adjustment to make,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “By working together with our local manufacturers, we are making available the best-fitting disposable masks in order to make the experience as comfortable and as easy for children, and for parents, as possible.” 

The two companies receiving support are:

Viva Healthcare Packaging — Ontario is investing $450,000 in Viva Healthcare Packaging to retool its operations and begin making 3-ply, disposable surgical masks in both regular and children’s sizes at its Toronto facility. With Ontario’s support, the company will modify its facility to accommodate new equipment and set up new mask production lines in Ontario. Production will start at 7.5 million masks per month and ramp up to 22.5 million masks per month by March 31, 2021.

The masks will be ASTM-rated level 1 or 2, which means they will be tested and certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Developed using locally sourced materials, these masks are medical grade and can be used in hospitals.

Ckdpack Packaging — Ontario is investing $100,000 in Ckdpack Packaging to purchase cutting, fabric welding and sewing equipment at its Straffordville facility in southwestern Ontario to automate and expand its current production of surgical masks and disposable gowns. With Ontario’s support, the company will significantly increase its capacity to make 300,000 certified surgical masks per month, which is a 900 per cent increase from its current production. The company will also make 30,000 gowns per month, which is a 1,400 per cent increase over its current capacity.

“I am incredibly proud that the provincial government is supporting this made-in-Elgin County contribution to our PPE supply chain,” said Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “It is inspiring to see Arun and the team at Ckdpack pivot to address this important need, and for their dedication to our local business community.”

“I want to extend my congratulations to Viva Healthcare Packaging for their innovative thinking and for using locally sourced materials to make masks,” said Vijay Thanigasalam, MPP for Scarborough -Rouge Park. “These masks will keep our children safe during these unprecedented times.”

“Viva is extremely honoured to help support Ontario in making Canada more self-sufficient in PPE,” said James Bokla, CEO for Viva Healthcare Packaging. “We are both excited and proud to apply our manufacturing expertise towards helping ensure that shortages never happen again.”

“Support from the Ontario Together Fund has energized Ckdpack into investing in the modernization of its manufacturing capabilities to pivot and produce PPE products locally,” said Arun Modgil, CEO for Ckdpack Packaging Inc. “This joint investment will boost our efforts to develop technology and manufacturing capability to switch between green packaging solutions and PPE products when needed.”

Through the Ontario Together Fund, the government is continuing to deliver targeted investments that will increase the province’s stockpile of made-in-Ontario products and PPE. This increased manufacturing capacity will help the province to combat the current COVID-19 outbreak and prepare for potential challenges in the future.

Quick Facts

  • The government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses retool their operations to produce PPE and develop technology-driven solutions and services for businesses to reopen safely.
  • Businesses and individuals looking to help in the fight against COVID-19 can submit their proposals through the Ontario Together web portal.
  • In October, the government launched the Ontario’s Main Street Recovery Plan and introduced the Main Street Recovery Act, 2020, proposed legislation that would support small businesses and modernize rules to allow them to innovate and meet the challenges of today. If passed, the act will remove hurdles faced by small businesses and allow them to pursue new opportunities — while maintaining or enhancing protections for public health, safety and the environment.
  • The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory provides businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers.