Mayor Linda Jeffrey is calling for Brampton to start being more bold and challenging the status quo to step out of its reputation as a bedroom community.
Jeffrey’s annual “State of the City” address, hosted by the Brampton Board of Trade, was full of optimism and the desire for Brampton to establish a presence on the Innovation Supercorridor between Waterloo Region and Toronto
“We have the ability to connect 13,000 companies, attract 3,000 start-ups, and create over 40,000 new jobs by connecting knowledge workers and creative talent with reliable all-day, two-way GO rail,” Jeffrey noted.
She revealed that city and regional economic development organizations have been working together to strengthen Brampton’s presence in health science and biotechnology.
Brampton is home to 250 biotech firms and 550 support companies. Together, they already employ 6,700 workers. A new specialized hospital has been built on the grounds of the old Peel Memorial Hospital, which will help boost this sector.
This focus on health sciences has triggered new developments, including a new condo tower and office expansion development at Queen and Lynch, as well as a new six storey medical office at Queen and Kennedy that will employ 200 people. The new development by Atlas Healthcare will begin construction this fall.
The new university campus announced by the province last year is also key to Jeffrey’s vision. While allowing Brampton residents to study close to home, she also outlined potential partnerships with the health care sector and key institutions such as ErinOakKids, a care centre that focuses on therapy and help for children.
The city is also focusing on Advanced Manufacturing, Food and Beverage Processing, and Innovation and Technology as part of their economic focus and work with regional organization Toronto Global.
Jeffrey also touched on other ongoing projects that will play a part in transforming Brampton, such as the Hurontario LRT, the potential $150 million redevelopment of Shopper’s World, and the Etobicoke Creek regeneration “Riverwalk” project.
“My vision is that we start acting like the big city we are. We are not a small town that happens to have over half a million people. We are a cosmopolitan city,” said Jeffrey.
She closed her remarks by saying, “I believe we are at a crossroad where we can take this bedroom community and transform it into a hub of innovation and jobs, but only if we disrupt the status quo and think bigger.”
Read the full address here.