Newmarket has been designated as one of four Urban Growth Centres in York Region, which is a distinction that presents both opportunities and challenges. For example, we are required to accommodate a population of about 100,000 people by the year 2031, but discussions at public meetings for our Official Plan Review in 2007 highlighted the reality that Newmarket has developed virtually all of its land. The only options for us to accommodate the population growth required under the Provincial Places to Grow legislation would be through intensification along Yonge Street and Davis Drive. The Official Plan confirming these targets was approved in 2008.
Newmarket residents already enjoy many amenities that improve the quality of life as a community. This includes a world-class hospital that provides over 3,500 home grown jobs, as well as a first class recreation complex at the Magna Centre. Many regional service providers have selected Newmarket to be their home because of it.
The real challenge will be to maintain and grow that “sense of community” where people still say “Hi” to their neighbours and find the time to chat with them at the Farmers Market or along our many trails or events at Fairy Lake. We need to keep the feeling that our community is a safe and healthy place to live and raise a family.
- How do you think we can achieve that balance between growth and community character?
Like many other municipalities Newmarket is feeling the impact of global competition and the repositioning of manufacturing industries. We need to create employment opportunities in areas where we have a competitive advantage. Our Economic Development Advisory Committee has identified Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, and Arts &Culture as key strategic priorities to pursue, in addition to growing our community as a Regional Centre.
- To what extent do you think should the town be investing in opportunities that create jobs and attract businesses to Newmarket?