This week we officially opened the Keith Bridge on Davis Drive and revealed a public artwork installation that tells the story of the history of transportation in Newmarket, dating back 10,000 years. This public art was made possible by the expansion of the Keith Bridge to accommodate the Viva Rapid Transit system. Both public art and an advanced transit system are key components of our transition towards urban place making in our urban centres.

Newmarket will continue to preserve existing neighbourhoods wherever possible by focusing our growth in identified urban corridors (Davis Drive and Yonge Street). By concentrating the majority of our development in designated areas, it will protect the integrity of the Town’s fabric.

The majority of our growth in the coming years will be shaped by our Secondary Plan. This will be a critical time for our community as we continue to balance the character and suburban elements of our Town with the increasing urban elements that will shape our corridors. The Secondary Plan sets out intensification targets that will see 33,000 residents and 32,000 jobs in our corridors over the next 40 years.

While the secondary plan has laid the framework for our vision, we know that we need to accelerate timelines for mid-to-high-rise developments to make this a reality. This includes condominiums or mixed use developments that blend residential, ground-floor retail and offices to support the growth of Newmarket’s expanding community.

This is why the Town is launching a detailed Marketing and Communications strategy aimed at attracting more commercial and multi-residential investment in Newmarket, particularly in the Davis Drive and Yonge Street corridors. Two projects that are currently underway, perfectly illustrate the type of development that will begin to shape our growth corridors – The York Region Administrative Annex and the Stratus Centre on Davis Drive.

Construction of the York Region Administrative Centre Annex, at the corner of Yonge Street and Eagle Street, is well underway. The 422,000 square foot Annex will consolidate a variety of public services and is expected to save $26 million over a 30-year period.  Housing approximately 900 employees, the annex will spur significant economic benefits for our community.

The Stratus Centre, which will be located at 514 Davis Drive, will be a hybrid of technology, innovative design and social responsibility. This modern facility will combine ground floor retail with 4-storeys of office space. It will be built with renewable and energy efficient principles and will create up to 500 jobs in the community.

This upward development will be balanced with amenities that will support intensification. Our vision is to create a livable community where trails and pedestrian facilities connect the entire town. Pockets of urban amenities will be interwoven among existing neighbourhoods and green spaces. These urban centres will evolve into vibrant, thriving, safe, walkable areas filled with outdoor cafes, restaurants and public art. I look forward to what the future holds for Newmarket and to this exciting next chapter in our story, which is definitely to be continued…