York University advances new School of Medicine plans


TORONTO, February 16, 2022 – Today, York University has announced the next steps in its plan to develop a new School of Medicine that will focus on training family and primary care doctors in an integrated community setting. The University’s plan for the new medical school has received wide support from health sector partners and governments in York Region.

The City of Vaughan’s Council has now voted in favour of proceeding with negotiations that will establish York’s role in the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct, together with Mackenzie Health, to build a hub of healthcare excellence in Ontario. The University has also submitted a Conceptual Proposal to the provincial government for a new School of Medicine that would be located in the Precinct.

“These two critical steps forward make clear that York’s advanced planning for a new School of Medicine is on track with strong, supportive partners to deliver the primary care physicians who will shape the future of health care in the province,” said Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University. “We are delighted that the City of Vaughan, Mayor Bevilacqua and Members of Council have expressed clear support to proceed with discussions related to acquiring and developing land within the Healthcare Precinct, working closely with Mackenzie Health and ventureLAB providing a unique opportunity to integrate health programming, research and innovation in building a stronger health care system in the province of Ontario and Canada.  As our proposal makes clear, York’s medical education will emphasize increased access to family doctors and other primary care physicians who are selected and trained to work in integrated health teams in the diverse and fast-growing communities stretching from North Toronto to York Region, Simcoe and Muskoka.”

A modern medical education that incorporates the determinants of population health, digital health solutions, and an integrated community-based approach to health care will inform York University’s vision of providing a holistic and preventive model of care extending beyond the the walls of hospital facilities. Our model will facilitate greater health equity for diverse and underserved communities in North Toronto, York Region, Simcoe County, and Muskoka, and the more than one million Ontarians who do not currently have access to a family doctor.

"I am pleased that York University continues to advance efforts to establish a new School of Medicine in Vaughan that will focus on training primary care physicians using an integrated community-based approach to health care.,” said the Honourable Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor, City of Vaughan. “Through the continued partnership between the City of Vaughan and York University, we remain focused on enhancing healthcare services, research and innovation to support the healthcare needs of citizens in Vaughan and beyond. The Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct – Enabling Next Steps Report marks yet another important milestone in the partnership between the City of Vaughan, York University, Mackenzie Health and ventureLAB. Our collective journey began in October 2019 when we came together to formally sign a memorandum of understanding with the goal of pooling and leveraging our resources to bring healthcare, innovation and jobs to our rapidly growing community. Our ongoing work is guided by the direction and priorities set for the future of the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct as a magnet for health and healthcare delivery, education, research, innovation and commercialization. Vaughan Council is pleased to support York University’s efforts to advance the proposal with other levels of government.”

York’s many strengths in basic and applied health research are fuelling successful innovation, commercialization, and collaborative community-centred partnerships.

The University is home to centres of research excellence in antimicrobial resistance, disease modelling, data visualization, advanced robotics, global health, healthy aging, muscle health, and health management and leadership, among others. York’s Centre for Vision Research is world-renowned and has an expansive network of global health partners. IP Osgoode provides thought leadership on the ownership, use and governance of data, including personal health data.

Quick facts: 

  • In February 2022, York submitted its Conceptual Proposal to the provincial government.
  • In February 2022, York submitted a Letter of Intent to the City of Vaughan that was endorsed by Council, beginning discussions related to developing land within the Healthcare Centre Precinct.
  • In November 2021,York announced a new local health partnership with Oak Valley Health in Markham, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Uxbridge and beyond.
  • In May 2021, York announced it would be moving ahead with plans to build a new School of Medicine, with strong support from local governments and health sector partners across the GTA.
  • In January 2021, York launched a community-focused health collaboration with Mackenzie Health to enhance health services, research and innovation, and health outcomes for York Region residents through a new Memorandum of Understanding.
  • In October 2019, the University further strengthened ties with the City of Vaughan to collaborate on its Healthcare Centre Precinct, which allows for a York campus focused on training the future health workforce in York Region.


About York University:

York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future.

Media Contact:

Barbara Joy, York University, 416-333-3374 or barbjoy@yorku.ca