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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Announces Support for York University's New Markham Centre Campus

The Ontario government announced support for York University's new Markham Centre Campus, the first publicly assisted university in York Region. This new campus expansion is the first project proceeding under the government's updated Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework. The Policy Framework encourages the responsible development of new postsecondary campuses, ensuring minimal cost to the taxpayer, a high-quality education that aligns with labour market needs, and expansion plans that align with community planning and industry partnerships.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford and Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor of York University, Wayne Emmerson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the Regional Municipality of York, Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of Markham, and Billy Pang, MPP for Markham—Unionville.

"The time has come for a new, innovative approach to financing college and university expansions. Instead of the province writing multi-million-dollar cheques, we have developed a system that encourages the development of new campuses with a much smaller cost to the taxpayer," said Premier Ford. "The new Markham Centre Campus is a model of responsible expansion which will offer local students access to a world-class education and prepare them for the jobs of the future."

The construction of the Markham campus will begin this month and will aid in York Region's post-COVID-19 economic recovery, as it is expected to generate over $350 million in immediate economic benefits and to create over 2,000 jobs.

"Our province's postsecondary institutions play a fundamental role in Ontario's economy and will be key players in Ontario's economic recovery," said Minister Romano. "By supporting self-funded campus expansions like the one by York University, we are encouraging independence and accountability, expanding choice and opportunities for our students, and protecting taxpayers."

York University's new Markham Centre Campus is expected to open in Fall 2023 and will provide students in York Region greater access to university programs in the high-demand fields of technology, commerce, data science and entrepreneurship at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The economic impact of COVID-19 has increased the need for postsecondary institutions to modernize and focus on job-market relevance by preparing students to succeed in the global job market. The new Markham Centre Campus addresses the need for skilled graduates, by combining academic programs with on-the-job learning opportunities, to prepare students for the workforce when they graduate.

Quick Facts

  • York University will begin construction on the new Markham Centre Campus in July 2020 and will welcome its first student cohort in Fall 2023.

  • The government will provide funding support for the operations of the campus when it opens its doors in 2023, linked to student enrolment.

  • The campus will include over 400,000 square feet of space and will be able to accommodate 4,200 students.

  • The campus will be located on a five-acre site just north of Highway 407 and west of Kennedy Road, near the Pan Am Centre. It will be within a 10-minute walk of the Unionville GO Station and the Highway 7 VivaNext transit corridor.

  • Once open, the campus is expected to contribute $54 million annually to the province’s gross domestic product (GDP). The presence of a new campus in the region will be a draw for businesses, residents and employment that will continue to contribute to future economic growth.

  • Ontario is working towards the goal of graduating over 70,000 students a year from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs by 2025.

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