On Wednesday, much to the relief of many residents, Brampton Council approved a $150 million investment strategy for the future university and a centre for education, innovation, and collaboration slated for downtown Brampton.

The commitment promises investment of $50 million over 10 years towards a post-secondary facility and up to $100 million invested in a joint-use community space to support the institution.

The investment will mean major upgrades for the aging Four Corners library which already acts as an innovative space, housing MakerSpace, a project run in partnership with the library and Sheridan College.

The investment would bring a new central library downtown and create an entrepreneurial and a cultural space all in one. It would be a space where students, businesses and the community at large can interact and collaborate.

Even though the city has committed the money and has essentially rubber stamped a university in downtown Brampton, the ultimate decision still lies in the hands of the Province of Ontario. Later this fall Ryerson University and Sheridan College will move forward with their bid, submitting a final proposal. The Province will announce final details later this year.

Though deciding where the school will go falls in the hands of the Ministry of Education, the city’s willingness to invest in the new institution by committing this $150 million will play an important part in influencing the location of ground zero. There’s little doubt Ryerson, which tends to favour urban campuses will be on the same page as the city.

The university is expected to add a total of 1,800 jobs during construction and 1,500 in ongoing operations. In addition, reports suggest a centre for innovation could create upwards of $18.3 million a year in visitor spending.

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