YORK LINK BLOG SERIES
It’s an exciting future for York Region with a university campus coming to Markham, rapid transit being integrated throughout Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, and Newmarket; each with its unique urban growth centres attracting new residents and businesses every year.
But let me tell you why York Region has an exciting future from my perspective; as someone who lives, works, and is raising a family here. A quick note for you is that I work for York Region within the Economic Strategy branch, but even if I was working somewhere else I’d like to think my thoughts on the future for this Region would remain the same.
My early fascination with culture and the world economy was sparked at a young age by my widowed mother’s quest for a better life for her young family. With little funds, my mother began her search from China to Vietnam and Thailand where we were stationed for our final destination; a move to Canada in the late ‘70s.
We managed to create a better life in Canada, even with my mom struggling to raise us as a single parent and my brothers working hard in blue-collar jobs to provide extra support.
If you know anything about Chinese stereotypes, family prosperity is measured by a child’s education performance and their career once they are in the workforce. The parent and/or relatives get the bragging rights for family members that successfully acquired job security or high paying salaries such as a doctor, lawyer, accountant, computer programmer, government – you get the picture.
As the youngest sibling, I didn’t want to disappoint and completed my university education at York University with a double major in Urban Geography and Economics. I believe it was fate that I got my career start as an Economic Researcher for a local government. However, being young I wanted to explore a more fast-paced environment where I could interact with people. I did a career change to a local non-profit multicultural festival organization.
As I matured, I gravitated towards large-scale projects and decided to join a national grocery chain as a marketing professional. It was an amazing experience, but I reached a tipping point in my career where I wanted to contribute to the greater good of my community and at the same time provide a better future for my children – just like my mom.
I’m now happily working at York Region, as an Economic Business Analyst. As a plus, my commute from Markham to Newmarket is relatively stress-free as I carpool with some of my colleagues.
Outside of work my family frequents local shops and restaurants. The parks and trails near our home keeps us connected to our neighbours and friends. We keep active by hiking at surrounding forests, conservation parks, and joining local recreation programs.
Our nightlife activity is a mix of local eateries offering tasty ethnic foods, catching a movie at the Markham Centre, and enjoying the liveliness of the area afterwards at one of the cafés.
We have lots of fun going out with friends to community events, multicultural festivals, exploring local artisan farms, and getting our amusement-ride thrills at Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan.
I feel happy that my children can choose to go to University close to home, when York University opens a Markham campus in 2021. The continually improving transit options throughout the Region, including bus rapid ways and new subway stations, will reduce their need for a car and make it easy for them to go meet friends, get to their jobs, or enjoy a day trip down to Toronto.
I hope people who are considering York Region as a place to live and work will come to appreciate its amazing amenities. Especially, the future opportunities for jobs and housing at the four new urban centres that we’re starting to see grow.
However, it’s not just my life experience that you should rely on. Check out third-party benchmark sources that have ranked York Region as the Best Places to Live for New Canadians.
Most importantly, York Region is a welcoming place that celebrates cultural diversity, and I’m excited for what’s to come for my family and the Region.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sally Chau is an Economic Business Analyst with York Region’s Economic Strategy Team. Sally brings her extensive research and marketing experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors to support the Region’s economic development initiatives including business retention, expansion, attraction and marketing. Her passion is travelling with her family to tropical destinations, eating exotic foods, watching Sci-Fi movies and documentaries.