York University has officially received the green light from the provincial government to move forward with its long-awaited Markham Centre Campus (MCC).

Construction for the campus, which will focus on courses geared toward themes of technology and entrepreneurship, will commence July 2020 and will be completed in time for the fall semester 2023. The campus will accommodate up to 4,200 students in Phase 1, with the flexibility to respond to future growth demands.

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The Ontario government will help fund the new campus, which will become the first publicly assisted university in the York Region.

York University Rendering courtesy of Your University

According to the province, this new campus expansion is the first project proceeding under the government's updated Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework, which 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.

The new state-of-the-art campus will offer students innovative, relevant job-ready academic programming and research opportunities focusing on digital media, engineering and technology, entrepreneurship, new media and communications.

The campus will also consolidate York University’s already strong academic presence in the City of Markham (YSpace, IBM Innovation Space – Markham Convergence Centre and the IBM Partnership). Finally, the campus will help to fulfill York Region’s future labour market and civic leadership needs by providing transferable 21st-century skills that are at the core of future economic competitiveness and community development in Markham, York Region, and across Ontario.

York University Rendering courtesy of Your University

"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 Doug 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.

The economic impact of COVID-19 has noticeably 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 Markham campus will specialize in flexible learning formats to serve a diverse population of students, including young adults, as well as mature and mid-career learners, newcomers to Canada and workers impacted by technological change.

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