As 2015 comes to a close, this is always the time of year to look back and look forward. I am very proud to reflect back on all that we have been able to achieve in our first year of the recent Council term. We have continued to garner recognition as a progressive and forward-thinking community. Recently we received seven MarCom Awards, which demonstrates our commitment to telling our story and sharing the many innovative projects and initiatives that are underway here in Newmarket. We have rounded the corner on Davis Drive with buses now operational. This major initiative has virtually transformed Davis Drive from a place people have to go to a place people will want to go.

Early this year we established Council’s strategic priorities to act as our roadmap today and well into the future. One of the key priorities that we identified was economic development and job creation. This is an area that we have made great steps forward in 2015. I would like to highlight some of our recent accomplishments in this area:

Community Collaborative Ecosystem (CCE)

The CCE is an innovative team of volunteers that have come together to generate ideas that will keep Newmarket outside of the box and on the map. With a focus on technology and innovation, this highly skilled group includes representation a number a number of private and public sector partners including IBM, CISCO, VentureLAB, Southlake Regional Health Centre (Southlake), and the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce (to name a few). To put it simply, the CCE is a melting pot of ideas that will reshape the way we think and help keep us a step ahead to respond to an increasing changing and technological world.

ORION connection at Southlake

Health Sciences will play an integral role in Newmarket’s economic future. Recently, the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION) established a point of presence at Southlake. We live in a world where the entire contents of a library can be downloaded in one minute. The ORION network is one hundred times faster than commercial high speed internet. With the technological capabilities supported by ORION, there is no limit to what our libraries, our schools, our hospital and our Town can achieve.

CreateIT Now

The CreateIT Now innovation Centre was born out of our visit to Finland three years ago to explore International strategic partnerships. As a launching pad for high-impact initiatives, CreateIT Now will provide the perfect venue for healthcare-focused innovators around the world to get into North American markets. By bringing together private sector organizations with academic institutions and Southlake’s resources – it could create endless possibilities. The doors this will open could lead us to the next major medical breakthrough – right here in our own backyard.

This is just a snapshot of our progress in 2015. There are more big things in store for 2016. Newmarket might be small in area but we have a big vision and an even bigger brighter future ahead. I wish you and your family a very safe and happy holiday season and look forward to another successful year.