York University breaks new ground in Markham 

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Construction of York University’s Markham Centre Campus formally began last Tuesday with a groundbreaking event at the site for the $275.5 million project, expected to open in fall 2023.

The 10-storey, 400,000 sq. ft. campus building near the corner of Enterprise Boulevard and Rivis Road in Markham, was designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects. The project’s construction manager is Stuart Olson Ltd.

York University president and vice-chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton was joined by supporters of the project representing all levels of government:  Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities; MPP Billy Pang (Markham-Unionville); York Region Chairman Wayne Emmerson; Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti; and representing the federal government, Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion and International Trade (MP Markham-Thornhill).

The Ontario government announced its approval for the project in late July and site preparation work began immediately for the new campus, which will offer up to 4,200 students in the first phase a range of professionally relevant degree programs and micro-credentials.

“Through the new Markham Centre Campus, York University will be helping meet the future needs of York Region by offering innovative new programs, work-integrated learning and community-engaged research,” Lenton said in a statement. “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 longstanding role in building more prosperous, inclusive and resilient communities.”

The built form will be a five-storey podium with a five-storey tower above, clad in bronze-anodized aluminum, with welcoming and flexible indoor spaces and a Campus Green for outdoor gatherings.

Construction milestones include the following:

  • The enabling works − excavation, piles and shoring – begin immediately.
  • Construction of the building’s foundation and superstructure starts in December of 2021.
  • The building will be closed in during the spring of 2022.Completion and move-in is scheduled for August 2023.

York University says it introduced a comprehensive Social Procurement Policy in January to reflect its values of equity, inclusivity and social justice by ensuring that projects such as the Markham Centre Campus support local economic and social development.

The university says in a statement it is inviting organizations to register as a Diverse Vendor or Social Enterprise to supply goods and services for the construction of the new campus.


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