In what is certain to be a historic day for Brampton, the Province has made its official announcement for funding of a new university campus in downtown Brampton.
After more than a year of speculation, the location of the Ryerson University expansion was revealed at an event hosted by the Brampton Board of Trade this morning.
The new university is set to be located at the corner of Church Street West and Mill Street North in Brampton, presently the parking lot that forms part of the Metrolinx GO Train Station.
You can see our full broadcast, via Stand UP for Brampton, of this morning’s historic announcement by clicking the link at the bottom of this story.
Stand UP for Brampton’s Paul Vicente and Rowena Santos met last month with Mohamed Lachemi, the President of Ryerson University, where he discussed the importance of locating the new university close to transit, particularly, along the Kitchener Rail line, dubbed the “innovation super corridor” that connects Toronto and Waterloo, with Brampton positioned at the strategic center of the two major tech hubs.
“If you take the train from Toronto, going to Waterloo, Brampton is the mid-point. So I need to think about a way for us to capture this, and Metrolinx can be a strategic partner in that aspect, for sure,” explained Lachemi. “The location is extremely important, and the linkage to both cities, to Waterloo and Toronto, is extremely powerful.”
You can read the full interview series with President Mohamed Lachemi by clicking the links below:
- Part I: Community collaboration to build a city – Click here.
- Part II: Economic Benefits and the Innovation Hub – Click here.
- Part III: Brampton as a world leader with specialized programming – Click here.
Focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM), programming will be delivered in partnership by Ryerson University and Sheridan College. The new site will provide up to 2,000 new undergraduate spaces within five to 10 years.
The new campus will offer specialized programs on “cyber security“, a new and burgeoning field that is a primary concern for corporations around the world. Financial institutions, banks, police services, governments, and utilities are looking at their operations and the new risks presented by global hackers looking to steal information or potentially cause disruption. The area of cyber security has become a top priority with demand for skilled people on the rise.
Dr. Lachemi believes that the new university in our city is poised to become a world-class source for talent. “Brampton can be that hub; it can become a global center for cyber security. It will differentiate Brampton from anything else in the country, I tell you.”
Ontario will invest $90 million for the construction of the new postsecondary school and will also support the land purchase. The City of Brampton has pledged $50 million over ten years towards the new university campus, and an additional $100 million toward a “joint-use centre for education, innovation and collaboration” to be also located in the downtown.
At the announcement, Brampton’s Mayor Linda Jeffrey could hardly contain her excitement, saying that this is a once in a generation opportunity for Brampton. “This will transform Brampton forever,” a smiling Jeffrey said to the attendees in the packed hall.
“Today’s exciting announcement marks the start of transformation for Brampton, and new opportunities for our residents. We are looking forward to continuing our excellent partnership with Ryerson and Sheridan to make Brampton a destination for learning and innovation.”
Some attendees at the event, remarked that had the City of Brampton approved the proposed plan by Metrolinx to build an LRT line along Main Street, the construction of that project would have provided an essential link to the university, and that construction for both projects would have concluded around the same time.
In 2015, six Councillors voted against the HMLRT plan, and instead chose to stop the line at Shoppers World. The project was set to cost $1.6 billion, with the Province of Ontario committed to paying the full amount.
New economic activity is expected in Brampton as a result of today’s announcement, and the benefits to the community will include the fact that residents will have the option of attending a world-class learning institution in the heart of the city.
Impacts include the creation of 3000 new construction jobs and $650 million of economic activity, and once the facility opens, 1900 permanent jobs will be supported, and $300 million of economic impact is expected every year.
Planning and design on the new campus is expected to begin immediately, with construction to follow and its completion scheduled for the Fall of 2022.
Watch today’s university announcement here: