George Redak, Local Journalism Initiative reporter
Earlier this year, Neil Lumsden, Ontario’s minister of tourism, culture and sport, announced a massive development coming to Markham. Stretching over 1.2 million square feet, Markham will be the home of a huge production studio.
This announcement came shortly after the release of York Region’s 2022 Business directory update, and news of the production studio is a great sign for Markham’s business landscape.
The multi-million dollar investment coming from the partnership between Watford Group and Maximum Effort will be bringing a slew of Canadian investors to Markham.
Among those investors is actor and Maximum Effort co-founder Ryan Reynolds. Watford Group is a Markham-based development group, making this partnership uniquely Canadian.
As of March of 2023, there are approximately 11,493 registered businesses in Markham and Whitchurch-Stouffville.
This represents a third of all business reported in the York Region’s Business Directory. Of those businesses, only 2,835 have head offices located in Canada.
The York Region’s Business Directory offers a wide range of information on all surveyed businesses in the York Region. This is done through an annual comprehensive employment survey, excluding all farm and home-based businesses.
According to the report, Markham is one of York Region’s central business hubs. The new production studio will not only bring more money to Markham, but it will also be expanding on the movie industry already present in Southern Ontario.
The Canadian connection here also shouldn’t be ignored. With foreign businesses outnumbering Canadian ones by nearly 4 to 1, Markham development group Watford Group is not just investing in their hometown but bringing A-list attention to the city. We can expect a surge in new businesses and expansions once the studio is complete. The potential for the City of Markham is at an all-time high, and residents should be excited about their city becoming one of Canada’s hubs for entertainment production.
No completion date has been set for the project.