Markham’s Ready for Growth
With precious little room for growth in greater Toronto, GTA businesses are looking to communities such as Markham to give them the freedom, land, and transportation routes to improve their companies. Markham is one of the fastest growing communities in the GTA and is now incorporated as a city (2012). With low tax rates and a number of competitive business advantages, companies are considering the value of relocating to Markham.
Known as Canada’s high tech capital, Markham has attracted some of Canada’s most prestigious and successful businesses because of its skilled and creative workforce. Companies such as AMD, American Express, IBM, CGI, AC Nielsen, Toshiba, Honeywell, Phillips, Ceridian, Honda, Avaya, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Apple, Allstate Insurance, Ravenshoe Group, and Oracle continue to make Markham their company location of choice. 400 corporate head offices and almost 900 high technology and life sciences companies make Markham their home.
Aside from parks, beautiful new neighborhoods, and strategic location on highway 407, Markham has one of Canada’s highest concentrations of Asian residents. Almost one third of the population is of Asian descent, many of whom are immigrants from Hong Kong, China, and the Philippines. Because of this, Markham has tremendously helpful business connections to the Pacific Rim countries.
The present population of 310,000 is expected to grow to 420,000 in the next 20 years, and there will be 100,000 new jobs created. Many of the people who work in Markham reside in adjacent cities and towns such as Stouffville, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Aurora, Thornhill, Scarborough, King City, Ajax, Oshawa, and Pickering.
One fifth of the population work in business services. The high tech and life sciences sector perhaps has the highest profile, yet Markham has strong business capabilities in many diverse industries. For ease of transportation, Markham centers on the 407 and 404 intersection providing excellent access to the cities, of Vaughan, Toronto, and eastward to Oshawa.
Currently, Markham has lower commercial and industrial tax rates than Vaughan, Toronto, and Mississauga. More than $1 Billion dollars has been invested in commercial, residential and industrial development in 2011. 2012 is expected to report another strong year for development here. York Region’s transit department’s Via Next Plan will build two subway extensions, two light rail transit (LRT) lines, and a bus rapid transit (BRT) network featuring dedicated lanes (rapidways) for Viva vehicles. This is expected to be a key part of an urban core area along Highway 7 from Warden Ave to McCowan Rd.
One of the most exciting new developments in Markham is a proposed new Markham entertainment centre called the GTA Centre which would seat 20,000 people. It will house an NHL level hockey arena.
Are you considering moving your business to Markham? Which advantage do you think is key: low taxes, transportation, proximity to the countryside and Lake Simcoe/Haliburton cottage country, or the availability of high skilled workers?
If you live or do business in Markham, how do you feel about the new corridor development area on Highway 7? Some businesses are complaining about construction in the area, that it’s hurting their businesses right now. Growing pains.
Markham is also home to The Ravenshoe Group, a group of companies involved in Media, Printing, and Packaging.