York University welcomes $127 million in Ontario government funding for new Markham Centre campus

It was a day to celebrate York University’s promising future.

On Friday, June 9, York President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri joined representatives from the Government of Ontario, the Regional Municipality of York, the City of Markham and Seneca College for the official announcement of a $127 million commitment by the Ontario government that will enable York University to open a Markham Centre campus in 2021.

MPP Michael Chan (at the podium) announces the Ontario Government's funding commitment. Looking are students from Ashton Meadows Public School and dignitaries

Michael Chan, minister of international trade and MPP, Markham-Unionville (at the podium) announces the Ontario Government’s funding commitment for the new Markham Centre campus. In the audience are Grade 8 students from Ashton Meadows Public School. Dignitaries seated beside Chan, are, from left, Lesley Beagrie, chair of the York University Senate, Helena Jaczek, minister of community and social services and MPP, Oak Ridges-Markham, Steven Del Duca, minister of transportation and MPP, Vaughan, and York President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri.

The $127 million funding commitment was announced by Michael Chan, minister of international trade and MPP, Markham-Unionville. “This is a thrilling and transformative day for our community here in Markham. Our government’s multi-million dollar investment in this beautiful new campus delivers on our commitment to expand postsecondary education options in high-growth locations and will offer thousands of students a broad range of programs from which to learn, experience, grow and prepare for the future, close to home,” said Chan. Joining Chan for the announcement were Helena Jaczek, minister of community and social services and MPP, Oak Ridges-Markham, and Steven Del Duca, minister of transportation and MPP, Vaughan.

An artist’s concept of the new Markham Centre campus

Within a few years of opening, the Markham Centre campus will meet the rapidly growing demand for access to leading-edge postsecondary education in York Region, with capacity for up to 4,000 students that is expected to grow to 10,000 in future phases.

“With this announcement of dedicated funding to our new Markham Centre campus, York University and our partners are one important step closer to opening its doors in 2021,” said Shoukri. “The $127 million in funding from the Government of Ontario will ensure we are able to meet the growing demand for access to leading-edge postsecondary education in York Region, partner with local businesses and industry to provide unique experiential learning opportunities for our students, and contribute to the expansion of the Region’s major economic clusters. We are delighted that Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario government are dedicated to the success of our new York University campus in Markham Centre.”

Students from Ashton Meadows Public School react to the news that a new York University campus will be built in Markham

Also present at the announcement were 36 Grade 8 students from Ashton Meadows Public School in Markham who participated in a special “future graduate” convocation ceremony. The ceremony was presided over by Professor Lesley Beagrie, chair of the Senate of York University and was symbolic as some of the students present at the event will be among the first cohort to study at the new campus, which will open in 2021.

A student from Ashton Meadows Public School receives a congratulatory handshake from York University's president

A student from Ashton Meadows Public School receives a congratulatory handshake from York University’s president

The Markham Centre campus will be built on a five-acre site contributed by the City of Markham. York Region will contribute $25 million and York University has embarked on a fundraising campaign for the Markham Centre campus.

“We have been working in collaboration with York University to get the new campus built in Markham. I applaud the Provincial government for their financial support making our dream a reality,” said City of Markham Mayor Frank Scapitti. “This new campus will help build a vibrant cultural and academic hub within Markham and York Region. Markham is already home to Canada’s tech and life sciences leaders and this addition of a world-class university will allow us to attract and retain some of brightest minds in the world, work with industry leaders on research and development, support and grow our local talent pool and provide opportunities for students to thrive in their local community.”

The new campus will offer more than 20 degree programs and York University will work with academic partner Seneca College to offer several joint programs. Markham Centre campus will also form partnerships with the community to design research programs to meet regional needs, offer experiential education to students and create opportunities for commercialization and jobs.

Following the announcement, Ashton Meadows students gather for a group photo with the government and university representatives

Following the announcement and special convocation, the Ashton Meadows students joined officials for a photograph

“A university campus has been identified as the top economic priority for York Region,” said Wayne Emmerson, chairman and CEO of the Regional Municipality of York. “The $25-million investment our council is making to support a York University campus in Markham is an investment in our people, the economy and our future. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to advance this important project.”

Located near the corner of Enterprise Boulevard and Rivis Road, near the Markham Pan Am Centre, the Markham Centre campus is already serviced by 15 transit routes and is anticipated to accommodate up to 10,000 students in future phases.

More Information about York University−Markham Centre: http://markhamcentre.yorku.ca/.