City of Mount Pearl

A strong and vibrant business community
Once upon a time, in the 1950s, a newly married couple from St. John’s, Newfoundland wanted to celebrate their honeymoon somewhere distant, somewhere sylvan and exotic. They went to Mount Pearl.
The anecdote is interesting because it illustrates how much and how quickly the City of Mount Pearl has developed since then. It’s amusing to think of the ideally situated and dynamic city as distant or sylvan! Located on the border of the capital city of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, and only 13 km from its busy downtown harbour, the City of Mount Pearl has certainly developed at a rapid pace. That young couple may have been at the official town designation celebrations that took place on February 15, 1955, when the population was 1,979. If they were present on July 21, 1988, when Mount Pearl was officially designated a city, they would have no doubt marvelled at its evolution—growing to the second largest city within the province.
Because it is a relatively young city, Mount Pearl has been able to design itself to accommodate modern residential and business needs in a quality urban environment. It is a city that reaps the benefits of being close to the business and administrative activities of the capital, while boasting the space and lower cost of being (just) outside of it. As a result of its modern infrastructure, the City of Mount Pearl has a strong high-tech industrial base and an exemplary record of sustained and rapid growth.
For these reasons, coupled with having a proactive city council, Mount Pearl is a business gem. The city council has taken a decidedly pro-business stance for years, promoting new business, expansion of existing businesses and extensive infrastructure planning.
“Mount Pearl has always been in favour of having a strong and vibrant business community,” says Mayor Randy Simms. “About 60 per cent of our tax revenue comes from our business sector.” A recent survey of Mount Pearl businesses agreed that the City offers their companies a strong consumer base, steadily increasing industrial areas, reasonable municipal tax rates and proximity to essential services, to name a few benefits.
“We offer competitive tax rates, of course,” says Simms. “And we also point to the three rules for business : location, location, location. We are located very close to the Port of St. John’s, and the international airport. The end result of that is our prosperity.”
Donovans Business Park
With business in Mount Pearl “experiencing huge growth”, according to Simms, Donovans Business Park is an important commercial destination in Mount Pearl.  Donovans Business Park was initially developed to accommodate the boom of urban development in Mount Pearl in the 1960s, and today is the province’s largest industrial/business park.
With construction of the Hibernia platform and gravity base structure starting in the 1990s and oil production starting in 1997, the Avalon Peninsula is experiencing a new type of boom, one that Mount Pearl has steadied for. “It is primarily businesses that service the oil and gas industry, and businesses that service the contracting industry that are going into our business parks. There is a tremendous amount of building happening,” says Simms. “There is a building boom going on in the northeast. Mount Pearl is a beneficiary of that.”
Donovans Business Park is zoned as a Light Industrial area, and in addition to the oil industry also permits storage, transfer and transportation, offices, general garage, service stations and ancillary retail and personal services. As of 2009, the last of the 470 acres of land in the development have been sold. Under the guidance of the Mount Pearl Economic Development Division, Donovans Business Park is presently the site for the operations of more than 375 businesses, employing over 5,600 workers. 
Companies in Donovans Business Park enjoy direct access to the Trans-Canada Highway, Newfoundland’s primary business artery, giving immediate access into St. John’s and the rest of the province. Partly because of its advantageous location (13 km from St. John’s harbour, 14 km from the St. John’s Airport) Donovans Business Park is one of the major truck terminals in the province.
Mount Pearl has three business parks in total, (Donovans,Beclin Business Park and Kenmount Business Park).
Pearlgate Recreation Multiplex and Glacier Arena Complex
“We believe that the more businesses we have, the better sharing of the tax burden and the more investment dollars you have to do public works,” says Simms. “We are frontrunners at maintaining our infrastructure—particularly underground. We’re very conscious and work very hard to keep our infrastructure up to standard above and beyond everyone else. Mount Pearlers are very dedicated to their community, and the community to them.”
To illustrate this commitment, Mount Pearl has invested heavily in the Pearlgate Recreation Multiplex, “the largest, single capital project we’ve ever invested in—at approximately $45 million when it’s completed,” beams Simms. 
Slated for completion by the spring of 2013, the Pearlgate Recreation Multiplex was designed to be an inclusive facility to offer activities for all age groups within Mount Pearl. Whereas Donovans Business Park is a commercial destination, the Pearlgate Recreation Multiplex is the recreation, health and wellness destination. 
It’s going to be a multiplex with a new 25,000 sq. ft. aquatic centre including a 25-metre, 8-lane pool, 2-lane lap pool, therapy pool and splash pad; an expanded gymnatorium, , banquet facilities, meeting rooms, a new 3,500 sq. ft. Youth centre and a 12,000 sg. ft. State-of-the-art fitness centre with a 3-lane walking track. It will be a ‘green’ building, one of the most environmentally friendly in Atlantic Canada.
Glacier Arena complex
The Glacier Arena complex has been a staple for most residents of Mount Pearl for decades. It has housed countless tournaments, hockey games and free-skates, figure skating lessons and birthday parties. This year, the council has slated the arena for an expansion to fit a new, national standard ice pad to replace the aging, yet loved, old Smallwood Arena. The new ice pad will be attached to the existing Glacier arena and form a two pad ice complex, totalling 74,000 square feet. 
Both projects are ‘green’ buildings, with the Multiplex being one of the most environmentally friendly buildings built in Canada. The work done on both the Arena and Multiplex has been designed for maximum energy efficiency and environmental consciousness, making Mount Pearl again a leader in Newfoundland and Labrador for its use of advanced technology that will meet LEED (Leadership in Environmental Efficient Design) standards
“The City wants to demonstrate our commitment to environmental, economic and social stewardship and yield savings for our taxpayers,” says Simms. “We are committed to providing healthy environments for our residents and visitors and contribute to the city’s goals of enhancing our environment.”
That honeymooning couple, Walter and Olga Davis, would marvel at the direction Mount Pearl has taken. “Mount Pearl has grown up,” says Simms. The City of Mount Pearl has tailored itself to the growing needs of its community and the economy and has carved out a niche for itself as the province’s first stop for commerce. In half a decade, Mount Pearl has distinguished itself as a gem on the island.“I’m delighted to say Mount Pearl is still a great place to do business.”