- What kind of programming will be available at this new university?
“In expanding to Brampton, Ryerson University will provide much-needed university programs to students in one of the fastest-growing and most diverse communities in Canada,” said Mohamed Lachemi, president and vice-chancellor of Ryerson University. “We are looking forward to working with Sheridan to provide students in the region with innovative academic programs that offer the critical thinking and problem solving skills needed to succeed and thrive in the modern economy.”
In addition to delivering a mix of data driven science, business programs and experiential learning opportunities, Ryerson’s Brampton expansion will also include: participation in a centre for innovation, including a $100 million commitment by the City of Brampton; an Innovation Hub, connecting students with external organizations in the region; and a National Centre for Cybersecurity.
- How many enrolment spots are expected at the new university?
The Province of Ontario announced a campus for 2,000 students. We anticipate continuing studies students and international students to grow that number.
Additionally, it is the City’s goal to support enrolment growth even further, to 5,000 students and above to fully realize the economic and social benefits a new campus and centre for innovation can bring to Brampton.
- Where will the university and centre for innovation be built?
The Province of Ontario announced the university campus location will be built adjacent to the downtown Brampton GO station. The centre for innovation will be located nearby on the land surrounding the existing Nelson Square parking garage. See an aerial view of the locations here.
These sites are just a starting point. As the facilities grow, our plans will grow along with them.
- Why were these locations chosen?
The Province of Ontario announced the university campus location will be built adjacent to the downtown Brampton GO station.
Ryerson University preferred the location because it is affordable, accessible, close to transit, and acceptable to all partners.
This location offers a number of advantages. Adjacent to our downtown transit terminal and the GO station, it allows city-wide transit access to the new university and centre for innovation, as well as connectivity with the Innovation Corridor and the GTA. It supports the City’s Official Plan and vision for the downtown as an urban growth centre, and vision for an anchor mobility hub. It transforms an under-utilized surface parking lot into high-value space with community benefit. And, it supports the development of a signature downtown destination and will enhance social and economic vitality.
- What do you mean by a “centre for innovation?”
As part of Ryerson’s expansion, the City of Brampton has committed to building a centre for innovation in the downtown.
While a specific building program is still under development, this facility will be a visionary, joint-use, centre and may include components like a new central library, entrepreneurial and cultural space in close proximity to the new university campus. This would be a creative space with unique attributes and advanced technology housed in an awe-inspiring iconic structure. A new central library, supporting a downtown university, can be a key component in transforming the Downtown, supporting collaborative learning, and new cultural and business opportunities.
- What is a CyberSecure Catalyst: A National Centre for Cybersecurity
Ryerson has a vision for a CyberSecure Catalyst: A National Centre for Cybersecurity, leveraging Sheridan’s strengths in cybersecurity and partnered with the City of Brampton, where learning, research and business come together to operate a centre of excellence and innovation in cyber science and security.
Outreach has begun to business and public sector security organizations to develop partnerships and source funding for this Centre.
Ryerson University is leading an application to the Federal Economic Development Agency for funding. The plans for a Centre like this match very well with recent provincial and federal budget allocation announcements targeted to enhancing and developing cybersecurity capabilities and skills.
- How will a university benefit Brampton?
Studies and historic data show that a university can be a major economic driver for a local economy.
The City commissioned urbanMetrics to do an economic impact study for a university in Brampton. Using an assumption of 5,000 students, a new university campus and centre for innovation has incredible economic and social benefits – thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity. You can see all the details here
- What has the Province of Ontario committed to this project?
On October 22, 2018 the Province made an announcement stating that Ministry is no longer in the position to fund the university projects, given the province's new fiscal restraints. On October 26, the province stated that they "would entertain a business case that would not require the use of public funds." Ryerson and the City of Brampton remain committed to the project and will be working together to build a case for Provincial and Federal funding.
- I understand the City committed $150 million, which is more than any municipality has committed to a university – why so much?
It’s important to understand the two components to the investment strategy. Council supported funding of up to $100 million on a centre for innovation, and up to $50 million for the university facility. The centre for education, innovation and collaboration is not specifically a university facility – it’s a community facility.
While the goals for activity here are very much supportive of a university and amplifying positive outcomes, and our post-secondary partners are very interested in this space – it’s also for all Bramptonians.
The commitment of up to $50 million over 10 years is specifically for a university, and will be subject to performance measures and targets. Across Ontario and Canada, other municipalities have recognised the benefits of having a university institution in their community, and have made investments ranging from $8M to $50M in a new facility or renovated existing space. Milton’s contribution of land to their partnership and facility with Laurier University is valued at about the $50 million level.
- How will the City be paying for this? Will tax rates increase?
At this time, there’s not enough information for staff to recommend or Council to decide on any specific funding mechanisms. The City is working on agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding with Ryerson University and Sheridan College. With these in place, the City will be able to prepare a report and recommendations about specific funding requests and how the City will accommodate those for Council to consider.
- What will happen to the parking garage on Nelson Street?
The City has an active Request for Prequalification for architectural services for the new centre for innovation – which is to be located on the land surrounding the existing Nelson Square parking garage. Details regarding the existing parking garage will be further evaluated during the design process.
- It looks like we will be losing many parking spaces in the downtown area. What’s being done about that?
This exciting and transformative project is just getting started from a planning and design perspective. We will continue to work with Metrolinx, Ryerson and other partners to ensure we have a parking strategy that addresses community concerns.