York University has released the preliminary design by Diamond Schmitt Architects for a 10-storey building on 5 acres of grounds for the proposed York University Markham Centre Campus. Located at the southeast corner of Enterprise Boulevard and Rivis Road, the Campus will offer 4,200 students access to more than 20 degree programs, including a variety of professional programs as well as innovative joint programs with York’s academic partner on the project, Seneca College. In a press release issued November 29, 2017, it states that $253 million has been allocated to developing the new Markham Campus, $127.3 million coming from the Province of Ontario. 

Looking southeast at York University Markham Campus, image by Diamond Schmitt Architects

In a prepared statement, Mayor Frank Scarpitti of Markham said “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. This is a great example of a shared vision and collaboration from the Region of York, Province of Ontario, and York University.”

Rivis Road Entrance Hall at York University Markham Campus, image by Diamond Schmitt Architects

The initiative for a new campus began three years ago when the province asked post-secondary institutions to propose new projects that would serve areas of the province where future demand for undergraduate education will be strong and where gaps in access are expected. York University, in partnership with Seneca College, was selected by an evaluation committee to lead a Markham campus venture. Markham was identified as a priority location for academic programming because the number of residents aged 18-21 in York Region is expected to grow by 175,000 between now and 2036. To meet this need, the Ontario Government has committed to developing and investing in post-secondary education as part of their four-part economic plan—the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history. 

Initial Concept plan for York University Markham Centre Campus, image courtesy of York University

Initial renderings of the project released in 2014 showed three podium buildings with two towers at 13 storeys and 5 storeys. The new Diamond Schmitt Architects design departs from the initial concept (mapped in the image above), now only one building with a four-storey podium extending to the south and which is integrated with the landscape. Its façade is largely created with curtain wall and a gold coloured screen and staggered brise-soleils.

The site is adjacent to the Markham Pan Am Centre athletic complex, a YMCA, a retirement community, and Bill Crothers Secondary School. To the east at Kennedy Road are a handful of car dealerships, condos, and shopping centres. It is 5 minute walk to the Unionville GO station to the west. Beyond the GO station, Markham's new Downtown is being built through ongoing commercial and developments.

Looking northeast at York University Markham Campus, image by Diamond Schmitt Architects.

Approval of the design and budget for the project means that the design development phase will now begin, including production of construction documents in preparation for tendering. The university intends to start construction by the end of 2018 with an anticipated opening date of September 2021. Approximately 1,000 students will be welcomed each year, with the building accommodating 4,200 students by 2025.

As the design goes through development phase, we will keep you updated as new information becomes available. In the meantime, you will find more several renderings in our database file for the project, linked below. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the space provided on this page, or join the discussion in our associated Forum thread.

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