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YORK REGION

A top business hub and headquarter location in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), York Region is a confederation of nine municipalities and home to:

  • 1.2 million residents
  • 52,000 businesses
  • 620,000 jobs
  • 4 urban growth centres
  • Canada’s highest concentration of technology companies

As Ontario’s fastest growing large municipality and third largest business hub, York Region is a top destination in the Toronto area and Canada for business, talent, and investment.

York Region and Greater Toronto Area Map

York Region’s business community is an economic powerhouse in Canada. The Region is home to two of the GTA’s four ‘employment megazones’ and leading industry clusters including Canada’s densest information & communications technology (ICT) hub, Ontario’s second largest financial services cluster, and strong engineering, manufacturing, construction, and logistics sectors.

York Region is home to more than 500 foreign companies, 60% of which are from the United States.

The Region is a Canadian headquarters location for major global companies including IBM, Honda, Staples, Allstate Insurance, Huawei, AMD, Hyundai, Magna International, Johnson & Johnson, Toshiba, Lexmark, Mazda, BMW, Lenovo, Levi’s, Bank of China, and Adidas Canada, to name a few.

Many other global companies such as Nokia, Siemens, GM, Philips, Oracle, Aecom, KPMG, and GE have major divisional operations in York Region.

In fact, one in 10 jobs in York Region are with foreign subsidiaries.

EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVES’ ON YORK REGION GALLERY

AMAZON CHECKLIST

HQ2 SITE REQUIREMENTS

POPULATION:
1 Million +

DISTANCE TO POPULATION CENTER:
30 Miles (48 KM)

PROXIMITY TO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:
45 Minutes or less

PROXIMITY TO MAJOR HIGHWAYS:
1-2 Miles (2-3 KM) or less

ACCESS TO MASS TRANSIT:
On-site

HQ2 BUILDING REQUIREMENTS

INITIAL SQUARE FOOTAGE:
500,000+ (Phase I – 2019)

TOTAL SQUARE FOOTAGE:
UP TO 8,000,000 (BEYOND 2027)

YORK REGION HAS IT!

HQ2 SITE REQUIREMENTS

POPULATION:
1.2 Million (York Region) | 6.4 Million (GTA)

DISTANCE TO POPULATION CENTER:
0 Miles (0 KM) | Toronto: 10 Miles (16 KM)

PROXIMITY TO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:
15-20 Minutes

PROXIMITY TO MAJOR HIGHWAYS:
Under 1 Mile (0.5 KM)

ACCESS TO MASS TRANSIT:
Available on-site

HQ2 BUILDING REQUIREMENTS

INITIAL SQUARE FOOTAGE:
500,000+ (Phase I – 2019)

TOTAL SQUARE FOOTAGE:
UP TO 8,000,000 (BEYOND 2027)

YORK REGION URBAN GROWTH CENTRES

High-quality growth centres are a catalyst for economic transformation

CITY BUILDING VISION

Toronto area’s York Region is leading the way in urbanization of formerly suburban metro area communities in Canada and North America.

The Region’s four provincially-designated urban growth centres are Markham Centre, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, Richmond Hill Centre, and Newmarket Centre

Urban Growth Centres

York Region’s four master-planned urban growth centres feature world-class mixed-use hybrid communities offering residents and businesses the best of both worlds: international urban amenities and suburban quality of life.

Collectively, the urban growth centres represent 1,700 acres of high-density zoned lands and by 2031 it is estimated they will be home to 135,000 new residents and 100,000 new jobs.

York Region is routinely recognized as one of the best regions to live in the Greater Toronto Area and Canada.

It is home to 22 of Toronto Area’s Top 25 Neighborhoods and three of the GTA’s Top Six “Places to Live”, as recently ranked by MoneySense Magazine, and six of the GTA’s Top Ten Secondary Schools as ranked by the Fraser Institute.

These urban centres are being linked by 34 km of modern Bus Rapid Transit infrastructure connected to downtown Toronto via all-day two-way GO commuter rail/bus lines and the new Toronto-York subway extension to Vaughan (opening Dec 2017).

The unparalleled quality of life and unique urban-suburban hybrid lifestyle are key reasons why York Region sees the highest growth rate of any 1M+ population municipal jurisdiction in Ontario; attracting up to 25,000 new residents yearly.

It is forecast that in the next 25 years York Region will grow to 1.8 million residents and 900,000 jobs.

YORK REGION IS HOME TO CANADA'S HIGHEST CONCENTRATION OF TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES

THE TECH SECTOR

York Region is home to over 4,300 Information & Communications Technology (ICT) business establishments (employers), the highest ICT sector concentration per population in Canada, and second largest overall.

Over 85% of York Region’s ICT companies are located around the Highway 7 corridor in its southern municipalities of Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.

York Region is also home to 6 of Greater Toronto’s Top 10 ICT corporate R&D investors and the highest tech talent concentration in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor, with 9.2% of the total workforce between the ages of 25-64.

The Region has been described by industry media as Canada’s “Largest Enterprise Solutions ICT Cluster” and “Densest Tech Hub.”

The Region is home to many global tech giants including IBM, AMD, Huawei, GE Digital, GM Tech Centre, Citrix Systems, Oracle, Philips, Qualcomm, Siemens, Lenovo, Toshiba, SAP, Nokia and McAfee, to name a few.

Hundreds of leading Canadian tech companies and scaleups such as CGI, OpenText, Compugen, VIQ Solutions, Redline Communications, Longview, Mircom, Real Matters, Spectra7, N-Dimension, and many others also call York Region home.

The most recent investment in York Region’s tech sector was General Motors’ new software development centre in Markham. The new facility will accommodate up to 700 engineering positions.

TECH SECTOR GALLERY

YORK REGION ICT SECTOR HIGHLIGHTS

  • 6 of Toronto Area’s Top 10 ICT Corporate R&D Investors
    – IT Business, 2017
  • Highest Concentration of tech workforce (9.2%) in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor
    – StatsCan
  • “Canada’s largest enterprise solutions ICT cluster” – Branham Group
  • 20 of Canada’s Top 100 IT Solution Providers – Computer Dealer News
  • Core ICT sector capabilities include enterprise networking and software, cloud computing, electronics design and manufacturing
TECH TALENT IN YORK REGION

LOCAL TALENT

York Region’s reputation as a major technology hub, the quality of life, and the diverse population has created an environment where tech talent wants to live and work.

The Region’s workforce has the highest concentration in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor in ICT technical occupations at 9.2% of the total workforce. Nearly half of post-secondary graduates living in York Region hold degrees in Business Administration, Information Technology, Engineering, and Sciences.

York Region is one of Canada’s fastest growing municipal jurisdictions attracting up to 25,000 new residents a year for many reasons including the housing mix, diversity, local employment opportunities, and the quality of life.

GLOBAL TALENT

“We must also have access to the best talent in the world, wherever it is. We have therefore introduced dedicated immigration services, allowing companies to attract highly-skilled global talent through an expedited review process to quickly recruit for the skills they need.”

– The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada

The Global Skills Visa administered by the Government of Canada can help Amazon access global talent immediately with processing time taking as little as two weeks.

Many companies within York Region are already utilizing this new visa to complement their employment base with local and foreign talent.

TAP INTO THE DIVERSITY:
47% of the population is foreign-born
120+ languages spoken locally

ACCESS THE GTA WORKFORCE:
3.6 Million+ with 15% in ICT occupations

POST-SECONDARY PIPELINE:
11 prominent universities and colleges
60+ tech related programs in the GTA

TECH TALENT GALLERY

CENTRAL ACCESS TO THE GREATER TORONTO AREA

PRIME GTA LOCATION

York Region’s central GTA location is compelling for the attraction, retention and movement of top talent for Amazon’s HQ2 and other businesses. A critical component in any corporate or technology business site selection decision.

HIGHWAY ACCESS:

York Region is a major Toronto-area highway corridor with direct access to downtown Toronto, the GTA, and the rest of Ontario via highways 404-DVP, 400, 407 and 427.

MASS TRANSIT GALLERY

PUBLIC TRANSIT TO/FROM TORONTO: 

The Provincial public transit service connects York Region to Toronto and the GTA including GO commuter rail and buses with all-day two-way service to downtown Toronto’s Union Station. With the upcoming opening of the Toronto-York subway extension to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre in December 2017, York Region is the only GTA community outside the City of Toronto to have a direct mass transit subway line to downtown Toronto and Union Station.

PUBLIC TRANSIT WITHIN YORK REGION:

Within York Region the movement of people has been a top priority for the Regional government underscored by a $2.3 billion 10-year roads and transit capital investment plan and an award winning public transit system with over 22 million passenger trips annually. Plus, 22 miles (36 km) of dedicated Bus Rapid Transit lanes under construction.

AIRPORT ACCESS: 

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport is only 7.5 miles (12 km) to/from York Region’s southwest boundary with immediate access via highways 407/427. Toronto Pearson – North America’s second largest international passenger airport – offers non-stop and same-plane service to over 180 destinations around the globe.

The GTA’s other major airport, Downtown Toronto’s City Airport (Billy Bishop) is also easily accessible from/to York Region via public transit, highways 427 or 404 or major arterial roads (25km or 15.5 miles to/from York Region). Billy Bishop offers service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S.

WELCOME HOME TO YORK REGION

HOUSING

York Region is one of Canada’s fastest growing municipal jurisdictions for many reasons including housing mix, diversity, local employment opportunities and most importantly quality of life.

York Region is home to 22 of Toronto area’s top 25 neighborhoods, as recently ranked by MoneySense Magazine and was ranked as the “Best Region to Live in Canada” by University of Toronto’s The Mowat Centre across nine social and economic indicators.

Top professionals are excited to live and work in the area because it’s an opportunity for the whole family to flourish, with six of the top 10 GTA secondary schools ranked by Fraser Institute being in York Region.

POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION

Over 18 post-secondary universities and colleges are located within commuting distance.

By 2021, York University – Canada’s third largest university – will open a new campus in York Region that will offer more than 20 degree programs for thousands of students.

Seneca College – Canada’s largest community college – has two campuses in York Region.

UNIVERSITY & COLLEGE GALLERY

CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

York Region’s diversity lends itself well to being able to taste and enjoy the world from right here at home.

Local festivals, theaters, music venues, restaurants, museums, and attractions like Canada’s Wonderland provide something to do, on any given day and night.

Plus, you’re close enough to take advantage of all that downtown Toronto has to offer.

LIFE IN YORK REGION GALLERY

THE COST-SAVING ADVANTAGE

TAX SAVINGS

York Region locations offer immediate operational cost savings for Amazon’s HQ2 as the southern three municipalities of Markham, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan have the lowest commercial tax rates in the Greater Toronto Area.

Companies located in York Region are also eligible for tax and other business incentives offered by Provincial and Federal Government levels.

Key programs include Ontario’s Jobs & Prosperity Fund (JPF), Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, Federal & Provincial Stackable R&D Tax Incentive Programs (SR&ED, ORDTC), Canada-Ontario Job Grant, and the Cooperative Education Tax Credit.

GTA Tax Rates

TALENT SAVINGS

Shorter commute times to local employment opportunities with free on-site parking (and/or direct public transit access) offers superior work/life balance for experienced corporate and technology talent living outside of Toronto’s downtown core.

This translates to operational savings for Amazon’s HQ2 related to financial compensation, talent retention, and employee turnover costs.

COST ANALYSIS CHARTS

REAL ESTATE SAVINGS

York Region locations offers immediate advantages for Amazon’s HQ2 as commercial lease rates for Class A office space are nearly 40% lower in York Region compared to downtown Toronto.

Another factor to consider is that most Class A office properties in Toronto area’s York Region offer free employee parking versus an average of $3,800 per year for parking spot in the downtown core, saving Amazon and its employees money.

AMAZON HQ2 PRIMARY SITES
Vaughan Metropolitan Centre

VAUGHAN METROPOLITAN CENTRE

The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) is one of Canada’s largest master planned urban growth centres, complemented by a world-class transit system offering residents and businesses seamless connectivity throughout the Toronto Region.

The VMC is served by a direct subway line to/from Downtown Toronto, a York Region Rapid Transit bus terminal, a VIVA Bus Rapidway transit system, and the 400 series highway network within the Greater Toronto Area.

Downtown Markham

DOWNTOWN MARKHAM

Downtown Markham offers between 25-55 acres of vacant development lands as part of a larger 243-acre urban centre project within a master-planned high density residential, retail and commercial development. New buildings are required to be LEED silver certified with district energy incorporated into future developments.

The site is ‘shovel-ready’ with utilities and has direct access to transit including rail, and a bus rapid transit route. Downtown Markham will be the home of York University’s new campus in York Region.

VAUGHAN METROPOLITAN CENTRE

Located only 16 miles north of downtown Toronto at the intersection of Highways 400/407, and a short 10-minute drive from Toronto Pearson International Airport, the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) is an emerging urban core within the Toronto Region. This planned downtown for the City of Vaughan will provide all the amenities of a vibrant city centre including direct access to a multi-modal public transit hub.

The VMC is one of Canada’s largest master planned communities, complemented by a world-class transit system offering residents and businesses seamless connectivity throughout the Toronto Region. The VMC is served by a direct subway line to/from Downtown Toronto, a York Region Rapid Transit bus terminal, a VIVA Bus Rapidway transit system, and the 400 series highway network within the GTA.

A crucial concept underpinning the VMC is that adjacent housing and urban amenities are being leveraged by top employers to attract talent. Among those employers are KPMG, which has located more than 600 staff in the VMC’s first office building, the 15-storey KPMG Tower at SmartCentres Place.

Other tenants that have moved into the area include GFL Environmental, Miller-Thomson, and the head office of Harley-Davidson Canada. An adjacent mixed-use regional office for PwC is also under development. These companies leverage Vaughan’s well-educated workforce, part of the wider York Region community of 1.2 million residents, including the highest technology workforce concentration in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor.

At the forefront of the VMC’s master plan is the creation of a signature nine-acre central park surrounded by office, residential and retail development. The park will form the central axis of the development and will provide residents, workers, and visitors a place to gather and enjoy. The SmartCentres Place master plan contemplates over 2 million square feet of new retail development which will be in immediate walking proximity to all VMC occupants.

VAUGHAN METROPOLITAN CENTRE GALLERY

LOCATIONS

The Regional Municipality of York
Economic Strategy Office
17250 Yonge Street
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
L3Y 6Z1

York Link
169 Enterprise Boulevard
Markham, Ontario, Canada
L6G 1B3

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