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University Education Closer to Home

Ontario Supports New University Campus in Markham

Markham-Unionville MPP Michael Chan is delighted to announce that Ontario is helping more students pursue a postsecondary education close to home by supporting a new York University/Seneca College campus in Markham.

The York/Seneca proposal will serve an estimated 4,000 students in York Region and was selected following a transparent and competitive process. It will deliver undergraduate education in a rapidly-growing community currently without a university campus, and received strong support from the City of Markham, York Region, area employers and other key partners.

“What tremendous news for Markham – a testament to what can be achieved with a strong provincial, municipal and academic partnership!  This campus will boost our local economy, building on significant investments in transit, infrastructure, and health care that our government has already made in recognition of our rapidly-growing communityStudents will be able to study close to home, supported by everything our great City has to offer.”
— Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville

The new campus will offer a broad range of programs, with a main focus on business, arts and social sciences. It will also have substantial access to local transit options, and complement local amenities like sports fields, the YMCA, and the Atos Markham Pan Am / Parapan Am Centre. 

In Spring 2016, the province will also issue a second targeted call for proposals to principally serve local demand in Peel and Halton regions. After York Region, this is the fastest growing area of the province and is currently underserved in terms of local university capacity. 

Expanding the province's world-class postsecondary education system supports the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

“Investing in Ontario’s world-class postsecondary education system is central to our government’s identity, and expanding undergraduate capacity in areas with strong long-term demand and gaps in local access is an important part of that.  With today’s commitments, we are ensuring that students in the highest-growth communities will have local access to high-quality programs for decades to come.”
— Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

"We are delighted that Premier Wynne and the Ontario government have recognized the strong merits of building a university campus in York Region. Today’s announcement acknowledges York University’s considerable strengths in supporting Ontario's vibrant knowledge economy and its position as a global innovation leader. This new campus will not only meet the increasing demand for high-quality education and workplace-based learning opportunities through a wide range of degree programs, including joint programs with Seneca College, but will also spur economic growth in one of the fastest growing major urban areas in Ontario."
— Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice-Chancellor York University

“We are delighted to be York University’s academic partner in this exciting and innovative initiative. The new campus, thanks to the support of the Ontario government, York Region and the City of Markham, will serve today’s and tomorrow’s students with unique collaborative programs.”
— David Agnew, President of Seneca College

“Today marks the beginning of a fabulous partnership to deliver a much-needed university campus to our region. This is a terrific investment from the province of Ontario considering this is the number one goal in our economic development action plan and will enhance the region as a destination of choice.”
— David Wayne Emmerson, Chairman and CEO, Regional Municipality of York

“We are thrilled with the announcement of the first York University campus in Markham and York Region, which further strengthens the opportunities for students to thrive in their local community.  Premier Wynne’s Government is to be congratulated for this commitment to higher education, which builds on the recent announcement of the GO line improvements to Markham Centre that will see 15 minute rail service. This is a great example of a shared vision and collaboration from the Region of York, Province of Ontario and York University.”
— Frank Scarpitti, Mayor, City of Markham


  • In 2014, the province issued a call for proposals to postsecondary institutions to expand or create new enrolment capacity in areas where demand for undergraduate education will be strong and gaps in access are expected.
  • The evaluation panel unanimously ranked the York/Seneca proposal first among the proposals they assessed.
  • The new Markham campus will be located north of Highway 407 between Kennedy Road and Warden Avenue, in York Region.
  • Population growth over the next twenty years is expected to be concentrated in areas in and around the City of Toronto, including York, Peel and Halton Regions.
  • Currently, the combined 18-24 year old population of Halton/Peel is almost 200,000 and is anticipated to grow by almost 20 percent by 2035.
  • The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities recently released a template for postsecondary institutions to update priority capital projects that do not address new enrolment growth.


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