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AutoTech Thrives in York Region


  • Canada’s largest independent automotive parts and electronics manufacturing cluster
  • 250+ companies [core sector]
  • 15,000 direct jobs and 34,000 sector-relevant jobs
  • An associated tech cluster that is the second largest in Canada – 4,600+ ICT companies
  • Significant sector-related investments over the last few years including Tesla, General Motors, Celestica, Multimatic, Magna, and more

“York Region is one of the largest and most comprehensive autotech ecosystems in North America.”

– Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing


  • Global headquarters of 3 of the 5 largest Canadian auto parts companies – Magna International, Martinrea, and Multimatic
  • Canadian head office location for BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, and Volvo
  • Canada’s largest corporate automotive innovation hub – General Motors Canadian Technical Centre (CTC) Markham Campus, and other private sector AutoTech R&D and technical centres
  • Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) Demonstration Zone sites in the cities of Markham and Vaughan that provide small- and medium-sized enterprises access to a real-world, urban environment to pilot and demonstrate emerging transportation and mobility technologies and solutions, such as connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) technologies, electric vehicle (EV) solutions, shared and integrated mobility solutions, and robotics
  • OVIN Regional Technology Development Site (RTDS)  ventureLAB Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI) automotive hardware stream — leveraging Canada’s only lab and incubator for hardware and semiconductors

Data sources: Statistics Canada, Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing – Western University;  Statistics Canada Canadian Business Counts; York Region Planning & Economic Development

Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network Demonstration Zones

The OVIN Demonstration Zone consists of sites in the downtown areas of Markham and Vaughan – Markham Centre and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. Each area will serve as a platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the province to test, pilot, and showcase innovations, such as electric vehicle advancements, integrated mobility solutions, robotics, and connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technologies in real-world environments.

Area in Markham that's part of the new OVIN zone

Markham Centre

Area in Vaughan that's part of the new OVIN zone

Vaughan Metropolitan Centre

In addition to the dedicated OVIN Demonstration Zone areas, the cities of Markham and Vaughan will be open to city-wide demonstrations in other designated areas. Responding to a Call for Applications, companies will submit their advanced automotive and/or smart mobility technologies and solutions to be tested and/or showcased in the Zones. Applicants will have the option to respond to specific challenge areas identified in each Call or to submit a project outside of those identified challenge-areas.
Project areas may include (but will not be limited to):

  • Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technologies such as testing autonomous shuttle(s) and technologies that integrate with their systems
  • Service or Goods Movement Robots such as testing delivery of municipal service robots (i.e. snowplow, lawn mower) or goods delivery robots (i.e. food, parcels delivery robots)
  • Smart Traffic, Smart Intersection and Smart City Solutions such as testing new software and traffic control signaling to promote greater pedestrian, cyclist safety and traffic flow
  • First Mile, Last Mile and Transit Solutions such as solutions aiming to solve urban transportation challenges
  • Electrification and Charging Solutions such as demonstrating new and innovative charging infrastructure

A Call for Applications will be launched in October 2023. Stay tuned for more information on how to get involved.

OVIN Regional Technology Development Site (RTDS)

OVIN has designated ventureLAB, located in Markham, as the only Regional Technology Development Site in the Greater Toronto Area and the only hardware focused RTDS in Ontario.

ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI) is Canada’s only lab and incubator for hardware and semiconductors, enabling technology companies to accelerate the development of hardware and technology platforms to power software and apps. The lab and incubator can now be leveraged for those producing hardware and semiconductors specifically for automotive and mobility sectors.

The HCI is a competitive program that is offered at no cost and with no equity requirement to eligible companies. To see full program benefits and to apply: Hardware Catalyst Initiative | ventureLAB

Hardware Catalyst Initiative Lab
Equipment in the HCI Lab

Third-Party Funding Opportunities

The R&D Partnership Fund includes funding to support the development and demonstration of automotive technologies and mobility solutions such as connected, autonomous, electric, and smart mobility technologies.

NGen is looking to invest up to $35 million in innovative, business-led, collaborative projects that strengthen Canadian capability and content, for integration into Canada’s supply chain for ZEVs.   The program will target the manufacturing scale-up of innovation along the ZEV value-chain, specifically those of road-based Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), fuel Cell Electric vehicles (FCEV) and their respective systems and components.

To see full program information and to apply visit: https://www.ngen.ca/funding/challenge/ev-manufacturing

Programs are provided for informational purposes only. York Region Economic Development does not administer these programs or have involvement in deciding which companies receive funding.

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AutoTech & Automotive News in York Region