Guelph, Ont.- and Bible Hill, NS-based vertical farming startup GoodLeaf Farms has announced that it will open a production facility in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil with the help of a $7 million loan from the Government of Quebec.

Slated to open by the middle of 2023, the new indoor farm is also being funded by several smaller grants, including one from Développement économique de l'agglomération de Longueuil, a local economic development agency.

GoodLeaf, a subsidiary of TruLeaf, uses high-tech indoor farms to grow microgreens, such as micro radishes and baby spinach. Its process relies on LED lights designed to mimic sunlight, as well as sophisticated climate control systems. TruLeaf was founded by former CEO Gregg Curwin, with frozen food giant McCain Foods now its largest shareholder.

“With Quebec’s limited growing season, most open-field farms can harvest one crop a year, where GoodLeaf’s climate-controlled indoor farms are able to grow and harvest more than 40 crops of a microgreen each year, and more than 20 crops of a baby green — a dramatic increase in productivity,” said the company in a statement.

And notably, GoodLeaf’s facility will offer consumers a local alternative to the roughly 90 percent of leafy greens sold in Quebec that are imported from the American Southwest.

The new farm will have about 100,000 square feet of floor space and will be capable of producing 1.9 million pounds of produce annually. GoodLeaf estimates the project will employ about 70 people.

The company has previously said its goal is to become the largest vertical farm operator in North America. In February 2021, McCain invested an additional $30 million in GoodLeaf, building on shares it purchased several years previously for a total $65 million stake.