York Region isn’t just one of Canada’s fastest growing large urban municipalities, with close to 1.2 million residents and nearly 25,000 people choosing to move here each year it’s also Ontario’s second largest business centre bolstered by more than 50,000 companies.
In fact, some of the country’s top talent is leading the charge in key economic clusters like financial, business, and insurance services, and information and communications technology (ICT).
York Region, located immediately north of Toronto, includes nine cities and towns: Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Aurora, Georgina, Whitchurch-Stouffville, East Gwillimbury and King. The region is a diverse, vibrant and prosperous area with an excellent quality of life.
BUILT FOR BUSINESS
Over the last couple of years alone, many well-known global companies have made investments in York Region. They brought with them thousands of new jobs, including KPMG Canada’s new GTA north office, jobs at the new Canadian head office of Aviva Insurance, TD Insurance, GM Canada’s new Software Development Centre, the head office of Lenovo Canada and just recently, KPMG Canada’s new state-of-the-art Vaughan GTA North Office.
“Located in the heart of the GTA’s 905 area, Vaughan was a clear choice for us to set up a new office,” says Sebastian Distefano, GTA Regional Managing Partner at KPMG. “Building here allows us to best service our many clients situated in the area, today and tomorrow.”
“KPMG’s Vaughan GTA North location was built with an open concept to facilitate collaboration, modern furniture, internal staircases to encourage people to remain mobile and with the latest technologies,” says Distefano. “All of our workstations have dual monitors to help reduce reliance on paper, there are smart boards to capture and share ideas in meeting rooms, and Skype for Business instead of landlines. Actually, or office has more bells and whistles than what we have downtown [in Toronto].”
Occupying floors 9 to 14 in the 15-story building, Distefano says the facility was also created to have a low carbon footprint, on track to earn the distinctive gold LEED certification for design excellence that embraces energy efficiency and other environmental and human health considerations.
Distefano cites strong infrastucture as one of the drivers for KPMG’s planting of its feet in the Region. “The new [Spadina] subway line extension coming next year was also a big factor, to easily move people to and from the office, which will help with the already smooth commute even more,’ says the Richmond Hill resident. “Plus, there’s accessibility to highways like 407, and rapid transit along Highway 7 that also improves accessibility through the area.”
“It takes passion and commitment to take an idea on paper to a $3.6 billion dollar investment,” says Mary-Frances Turner, President of York Region Rapid Transit Corp.
The Region’s Viva-branded rapid transit system includes 36 kilometres of dedicated “rapid ways”: lanes with state-of-the-art and specialized vehicles, advanced signaling systems, and stations optimized to smoothly handle heavy foot traffic. Along with Highway 7, York Region Rapid Transit Corp. has recently completed an ambitious project on Newmarket’s Davis Drive, and is currently building up Jane Street in Vaughan, and parts of Major Mackenzie, Leslie and Green Lane, says Turner.
“York Region has been on this determined journey to see nothing short of a transformation of the Region,” says Turner. “We’re talking linked urban communities, pinned together with rapid and reliable transit, to address the density of the Region.”
Turner says she’s hopeful the Spadina subway extension into Vaughan will be just the beginning. One day – and perhaps not too far in the future – she hopes there will be a Yonge Street subway extending into York Region from Finch Station up to the Richmond Hill Centre Terminal. Preliminary engineering work has already begun, says Turner, along with the push for long-term funding commitments from senior government partners in Ottawa and at Queen’s Park.
York Region has a robust and diverse economy that continues to evolve and expand. To sustain this momentum and create conditions for further economic growth, the region will continue to make the necessary investments in modern infrastucture, including the streamlining of public transit. The ultimate goal is to ensure the entrepreneurs, innovators, and job creators who chose to locate in York Region, like KPMG and others, will continue to be successful now and well into the future.
-Marc Saltzman, Special to Financial Post
Full Article: business.financialpost.com