Other Wholesaling

The Other Wholesaling archetype includes wholesaling in all industries except those included in other Archetypes (that is, computer equipment and other machinery wholesaling included in Hard Tech, Business-to-Business electronic markets included in Soft Tech, and pharmaceuticals wholesaling in Pharma, part of the Special Archetype).

Wholesalers generally buy goods to resell to retail shops, businesses, and institutions. The main difference between wholesalers and companies in the Logistics Archetype is that wholesalers buy and sell the goods they handle, while warehouse and logistics operations do not own the goods they handle, manage, and store. Wholesalers often operate out of warehouses where they store their goods, but offices and warehouses may be located separately, or in some cases wholesalers arrange shipping directly from manufacturers to their clients. Other Wholesaling includes a wide range of products: food, vehicles, building materials, household goods, etc.

This Archetype represented almost 122,000 jobs in 2016 in the GGH. However, the industry has been losing employment, with a decline of 18,000 jobs since 2006. The losses were experienced across the full range of wholesaling industries, with just a few showing some modest gains (such as beverage wholesalers).

Table 17: Other Wholesaling Archetype Employment, GGH, 2006 and 2016




% Change

Other Wholesaling





Archetypes total





Total GGH core employment





Total GGH employment





In the GGH, Other Wholesaling employment is distributed across the region's suburban areas, especially in the three megazones, but in other employment areas as well (including the inner suburban areas of northeast Scarborough and Etobicoke, and along the QEW and Highway 401 in Milton). There is also some Other Wholesaling employment in Downtown Toronto.

The megazones are large, contiguous areas of employment. Their urban environments can be quite mixed; they are not uniform. Two contain SKIDs: the Airport and Tor-York East. Outside the SKIDs and some other office environments, the megazones are more industrial in nature. They are low density, generally with single-storey, large-footprint buildings, and significant lands for truck access and surface parking. Little attention is paid to the public realm, which is not intended for walking or cycling, and few roads have sidewalks.

These areas accommodate many of the manufacturing and warehousing activities that underpin the GGH economy, as well as telecoms, utilities, and construction. Shops and restaurants are located along flanking arterial roads and accessible by car only. Some older, denser areas have permitted additional uses, such as warehouse retail, recreation facilities, and places of worship. Transit service to all three megazones has been improved in recent years with BRT in Mississauga and Markham and an extended subway to Vaughan. But the megazones extend well beyond the limited areas served by these lines, and transit service levels are low overall.

Despite a net loss of wholesaling jobs in the GGH overall, there are areas of employment growth, particularly at the outermost edges of the region's urban area, in municipalities such as Vaughan, Mississauga, and Markham, but also in locations scattered along the QEW. Notably, one of the areas with some employment growth is central Toronto.

Employment loss generally follows the spatial pattern for Other Wholesaling employment, scattered across the megazones and other employment areas, with some areas of more significant loss in the three megazones and south Etobicoke. (See Maps 23 and 24.)

Employment decline in Other Wholesaling is likely related, at least in part, to the rise of e-commerce. As manufacturers supply their products directly to online retailers like Amazon, the need for the intermediary function provided by wholesalers is eliminated - an example of the "disintermediation" effect of new technologies. This has the effect of shifting the warehousing function from wholesaling to distribution and logistics - indeed, the Logistics Archetype has seen employment growth during the period in which Other Wholesaling experienced a net loss.

The GGH may experience a spatial shift away from the Other Wholesaling pattern towards a Logistics geography, with employment and facilities more closely associated with transportation facilities like multimodal terminals and airports.

Map 23: Other Wholesaling Archetype Employment, GGH, 2016
Map 23:  Other Wholesaling Archetype Employment, GGH, 2016

Map 23: Other Wholesaling Archetype Employment, GGH, 2016

Map 24: Other Wholesaling Archetype Employment Change, GGH, 2006-2016
Map 24:  Other Wholesaling Archetype Employment Change, GGH, 2006-2016

Map 24: Other Wholesaling Archetype Employment Change, GGH, 2006-2016