York University and City of Markham formally acknowledge Indigenous lands at Markham Centre Campus site


Toronto, ON, Monday, July 23, 2018 – Today, Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University, together with Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of Markham and Amy Desjarlais, Traditional Knowledge Keeper, York University, formally acknowledged the traditional lands at the site of York’s future Markham Centre Campus. The ceremony comes in advance of the construction phase, set to begin this fall.

The City of Markham is in the process of transferring almost five acres of land, located at Enterprise Boulevard and Rivis Road, over to York University. The new campus is set to open in 2021 and includes an important academic partnership with Seneca College.

“It was very important to me personally, and to the University, to participate in a ceremony that acknowledges the original stewards of the land and to further commit to be a responsible steward and a good partner in the years to come,” said Lenton. “Connecting with communities and community members is one of my highest priorities. Today’s milestone represents a beginning, and we look forward to continue building our relationship with the Mississaugas of the New Credit.”

“Through this land acknowledgement we are recognizing the fundamentals of Indigenous traditions and values,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “We are showing our respect to the original inhabitants of the land we now know as Markham while charging toward an exciting future driven by innovation and fueled by talent. The new York University campus fits well with the vision we have for Markham Centre and will build on Markham’s highly skilled, highly educated and diverse workforce."

The Markham Centre Campus is already connected by 15 transit routes and is anticipated to welcome more than 4,000 students by 2024. York is already part of a robust and thriving ecosystem of start-ups and industry leaders working out of two Markham-based locations, including:

  • YSpace, York’s state-of-the-art innovation and entrepreneurship centre; and
  • As a partner in IBM’s Innovation Space which focuses on research and development and commercialization.

The University has approved a $253 million design and build budget for the new Campus, with construction set to begin this fall. Last year, the Ontario government contributed $127.3 million toward the cost of the new campus and earlier this year, York Regional Council formalized their $25 million contribution. York is also raising funds for this important project from its alumni and friends as part of Impact - The Campaign for York University.

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.


  • For more information about York’s Markham Centre Campus click here
  • For a high-resolution photo of York’s Markham Campus, click here
  • President Lenton shares her thoughts on why York chose Markham in this video

Media Contact:

Barbara Joy, York University Media Relations, p: 416-333-3374 e: barbjoy@yorku.ca