Mayor is joined by York University and Seneca College Presidents to discuss innovation and diversity
MARKHAM, ON ~ April 7, 2016 ~ The success of the City of Markham’s economic development strategy, Markham 2020, was celebrated at a public meeting earlier this evening. A full house of residents, media, and business and community leaders attended the event. Markham 2020 has been a successful blueprint for guiding the City’s economic development program and has positioned Markham as the premier destination in Canada to live, work, play and build a business.
“Markham’s strong diverse community of innovators and entrepreneurs is admired by other Canadian municipalities,” said City of Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Markham 2020 has guided us in establishing Markham as a vibrant centre for business growth and investment.”
This evening’s event highlighted Markham’s award-winning economic development strategy, the bright future ahead and the substantial contributions that York University and Seneca College will be making to the City’s success.
Markham’s economic success since the launch of Markham 2020 in 2008 can be attributed to the strategy’s many initiatives including:
Key Supports for Small and Medium Size Businesses
- Markham is Canada’s High Tech Capital with over 1,100 Information and Communications Technologies and Life Science businesses.
- Markham has added 22,000 jobs since 2008.
- Strong partnerships with the provincial and federal governments to deliver programs andservices to help new businesses get off the ground and existing businesses grow.
- Markham Convergence Centre supports the commercialization of innovative ideas andactivities.
Diversity Remains a Vital Component
- Markham is the most diverse community in Canada and diversity remains one of the City’s top priorities.
- Close to 60 per cent of Markham residents were born outside of Canada.
- Diversity makes Markham a great place to live, work, play and invest.
- Markham’s diversity contributes significantly to Markham’s social, cultural and economic enrichment.Working Hard for the Community
- Strong partnerships with post-secondary educational institutions, including Seneca College and York University; A new campus of York University in Markham will initially accommodate 4,000 students, and increase capacity over time to accommodate 20,000 students to meet the increased demand.
- This fiscal performance is unprecedented in the GTA resulting in an average annual tax rate increase of just over one percent in the past seven years.
- Markham’s prudent foresight has more than doubled its reserve funds from $105 million to $216 million.
• It is this growth that helped to attract the TO2015 Pan American Games.
Dr. Richard Florida – Urban Development Thought Leader – “The strategy, Markham 2020, is a landmark document for Markham…I see economic strategies all over the world. This is certainly the tightest, the smartest and the best one I’ve ever seen.”- Dr. Richard Florida
York University President Mamdouh Shoukri – “York University’s new state-of-the-art campus in Markham Centre will solidify York’s reputation as one of Canada’s leading multi-campus universities and will help to shape the future of the City of Markham and York Region as a leader in the knowledge-based economy,” said York University President Mamdouh Shoukri. “This truly integrated urban campus will meet the demand for high-quality education and workplace-based learning opportunities, and will spur economic growth, creativity and innovation in the City and the Region. We look forward to bringing a 21st-century campus to the vibrant and growing Markham Centre.”
Seneca College President David Agnew – “Seneca has been serving the Markham community for decades, including having the City of Markham as home to one of our main campuses,” said Seneca President David Agnew. “Markham’s economic development strategy aligns perfectly with our programming. Whether in business, high tech or life sciences, the City has been a long- standing partner for innovative applied research and entrepreneurial activities as well as providing career opportunities for thousands of our graduates over the years. As the academic partner for York University’s new campus in Markham Centre, we look forward to further contributing to the City’s economic future and expanding postsecondary access to more local students.”