​Brampton commits to investment strategy for a university

September 19, 2017

Brampton Councillors committed to an investment strategy for a new university facility and a centre for education, innovation and collaboration in downtown Brampton.

Council endorsed, in principle, investing up to $50M over 10 years into a post-secondary facility, and up to $100M into joint-use community space to support a university, business innovation and collaboration, community interaction, and cultural growth.

“Today, Brampton City Council has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to the future of Brampton,” said Mayor Linda Jeffrey. “Securing a university, and all the associated economic and social benefits, has been a priority for the City and I’m very pleased we’ve taken this bold step to support a positive outcome for our residents, our businesses, our youth, and our future. I want to personally thank the members of the Blue Ribbon Panel and all our city staff for getting the university conversation to where it is today.”

The commitment sets levels for the City’s funding, and specific decisions around timing, type of funding, and sources of funding will be made at a later time. Ryerson University and Sheridan College will be submitting its final proposal to the Province in early Fall, and the Province is expected to announce details later in the year. Once these plans are clear, staff will prepare a detailed report highlighting specific recommendations for Council, as well as explicit performance measures and targets.

A joint-use centre for education, innovation and collaboration could include a new central library, and entrepreneurial and cultural space in close proximity to a university facility in Downtown Brampton. This would be a creative space with unique attributes and advanced technology – embodying Brampton Library’s vision of ‘inspiring connections,’ reinventing the city’s cultural image across the country, supporting collaborative learning, and creating new business opportunities.

The City commissioned urbanMetrics Inc. to develop a report on the economic and social benefits of a new university facility and a centre for education, innovation and collaboration, which is expected to be complete late in October. urbanMetrics also delivered a similar study in 2015 that highlighted significant benefits for Brampton. The new report will build on those findings with more specific details based on plans and visions to date.
Staff will also begin working with the City’s partners on a Memorandum of Understanding, outlining details of the partnership and establishing a process for measuring the impact of the municipal investment.

All partners are fully engaged in planning new postsecondary facilities focused on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics – skills important to current and future employers, and often grouped together under the acronym STEAM.

Quick facts:
• An economic impact study of a 5,000 student post-secondary facility in Brampton estimated construction would add more than 1,800 jobs, and ongoing operations would add more than 1,500 jobs
• Graduates of Ontario universities earn $37,397 more per year than Canadian high school graduates
• Initial analysis by urbanMetrics Inc. suggests that a centre for education, innovation and collaboration in Brampton will result in visitor spending of $18.3 million a year
• Every dollar invested in a library in Canada generates a return of anywhere from $3 to $7