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York Expands into Markham

by Deirdre Kelly

Markham Centre Campus, York University’s highly anticipated new campus, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2023, with a first phase accommodating a projected 4,200 students. This major construction project, whose formal groundbreaking ceremony took place in the fall, is expected to generate more than 2,000 community jobs.

Diamond Schmitt Architects of Toronto designed the 10-storey bronze structure described by principal architect Don Schmitt as a new type of academic building for the 21st century.

“The 400,000-square-foot first phase of York University’s new Markham Centre Campus is designed to connect a diverse academic community via multi-storey spaces of gathering and interaction,” Schmitt says. “Curved form animates the built interior with fluid, collaborative crossroads supporting teaching and research within a vertical campus.”

Generously supported by a one-time $10 million donation from Toronto’s Bratty family, MCC will be located near the intersection of Enterprise Boulevard and Rivis Road in Markham. The campus will focus on what the Ontario Government, in a summer press conference announcing its approval of the new $275.5 million project, identified as the “high-demand fields” of business and entrepreneurship. Courses will include data analytics, digital technologies and experiential education in new media.

It’s the latest development for the University in York Region and the City of Markham.

Innovation York, the University’s research and innovation arm, is a major partner in the IBM Innovation Space–Markham Convergence Centre, and York’s community innovation hub YSpace supports budding entrepreneurs in Markham.

The University introduced academic programming in Markham for the first time last fall, with classes at the IBM Canada headquarters. Erecting a new dedicated campus building will help keep talent local and be a magnet for jobs and investment, says York President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton.

“Through the new Markham Centre Campus, York University will be helping to meet the future needs of York Region by offering innovative new programs, work-integrated learning and community-engaged research. By creating new opportunities for higher learning and entrepreneurship in the heart of one of Canada’s fastest-growing regions, the new campus will continue York’s long-standing role in building more prosperous, inclusive and resilient communities.”  ■

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