More than 500 people will lose their jobs when Toronto’s Mr. Christie’s Bakery closes next year.

The company that owns the factory on Lakeshore Boulevard, Mondelez Canada, announced Thursday its plans to shut down the facility in about 10 months and move production to East York and Montreal.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether some 550 laid-off Mondelez employees will be offered jobs at those two locations.

“This is a very difficult decision and one that we don’t take lightly,” Mondelez Canada spokesperson Stephanie Cass told CTV Toronto.

“We are focusing on the employees and we will continue to treat them fairly and with respect.”

In a news release, the company’s vice-president of operations, Alvaro Cuba, said the factory faced “unique challenges” from its changing neighbourhood.

"While this was an appropriate location for a large bakery when it was first built, the significant residential development surrounding it has led to operating constraints that will become increasingly difficult with the further residential expansion that is underway,” he said. 

“With the facility's aging infrastructure, and underutilized manufacturing capacity, further investment is not a viable option. Therefore, we have determined it is best to close the facility because it no longer supports our strategy of making the most efficient use of our manufacturing assets.”

The 625,000 square-foot factory has been churning out Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers and other snack foods since 1948. Area residents and drivers along the Gardiner Expressway often noticed a sweet smell in the air when cookie production was in full swing.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Ashley Rowe