Markham to create new innovation hub

Markham is set to become home to one of the largest innovation districts in North America. The new Markham Innovation Exchange – the MiX – will be located on about 1,900 acres of private and city-owned land, from Hwy. 404 to Warden and from 19th Ave. to Elgin Mills Rd.

Located near the Canadian offices of several major technology companies, including IBM, GM, Honda, AMD and Qualcomm, the land will be developed into a home for innovators and entrepreneurs, with a potential for academic partnerships and mixed attractions that will draw creative talent and tourism.

“There needs to be a bit of a different feel and buzz in the area,” says Mayor Frank Scarpitti, who made the announcement at the Collision technology conference in Toronto on May 22. “The new (MiX) will give new and growing companies the opportunity to build their businesses in close proximity to one another, providing an environment that helps foster collaboration among start-up companies.”

From l-r: Joe Li; Khalid Usman, Alan Ho, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, MP Mary Ng, Amanda Collucci, Isa Lee at the 2019 Collision Conference in Toronto.

Markham is Canada’s second-largest tech city, home to industry leaders like IBM, Qualcomm, AMD, Motorola and leading innovators like Pond Technologies, Book4Time, Bluewrist. It is also home to the country’s largest automotive innovation hub. It includes GM’s Canadian Technical Centre, which focuses on developing software for the next generation of autonomous vehicles.

The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville expects to benefit from the urban innovation district, which will be located minutes away from the Gormley GO station and the Hwy. 404 interchange at Stouffville Road. “It is vital that we attract more commercial and industrial development to help augment our tax base and the development of these lands would be of great benefit to our municipality,” Stouffville Mayor Iain Lovatt says.

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Main photo: Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti announces the new Markham Innovation Exchange, the MiX, at the York Region Experience Pavilion at the 2019 Collision Conference at the Enercare Centre in Toronto.

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