Canada and Ontario invest in post-secondary infrastructure at Centennial College

News Release

$44.2-million investment will create jobs, expand research and foster innovation

November 21, 2016 – Toronto, Ontario – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada values the role of post-secondary institutions as they help equip young Canadians with the education and training they need for future careers that will help them join a strong, healthy middle class. Today's $44.2-million investment in Centennial College will do just that by fostering the training needed for the well-paying middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow.

The funding was announced today by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre, was also on hand for the announcement.

Canada's Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation—one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. This investment exemplifies that vision in action.

Centennial College will receive $44.2 million for the creation of the new Centennial Downsview Park Aerospace Campus. This new campus, which incorporates part of the former de Havilland building at Downsview Park, is the first phase in the development of an aerospace hub. In bringing together academic institutions and industry under one roof, this hub will stimulate and accelerate collaborative efforts in post-secondary curriculum enhancement, research and development, and technology commercialization.

Federal-provincial funding announced today for this project includes:

  • $18.4 million from the Government of Canada; and
  • $25.8 million from the Province of Ontario.

Centennial College and other sources will provide an additional $28.23 million, for a total project investment of $72.43 million.

In total, universities and colleges throughout Ontario will receive more than $1.9 billion from the Government of Canada, the provincial government, the institutions themselves and private donors. Federal funding will be allocated through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, which will enhance and modernize research facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities.

As a result of these investments, students, professors and researchers will work in state-of-the-art facilities that advance the country's best research. They will collaborate in specially designed spaces that support lifelong learning and skills training. They will work in close proximity with partners to turn discoveries into products or services. In the process, they will train for—and invent—the high-value jobs of the future. And their discoveries will plant the seeds for the next generation of innovators.

That is how the Strategic Investment Fund will jump-start a virtuous circle of innovation, creating the right conditions for long-term growth that will yield benefits for generations to come.

Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history—about $160 billion over 12 years—which is supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province with projects such as hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit. Since 2015, the Province has announced support for more than 475 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life. To learn more about infrastructure projects in your community, go to


"This once-in-a-generation investment by the Government of Canada is a historic down payment on the government's vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation. That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle-class jobs and start-up companies into global successes. This investment will create conditions that are conducive to innovation and long-term growth, which will in turn keep the Canadian economy globally competitive."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"Encouraging scientific awareness in Ontario and across Canada depends on supporting our world-class scientists and researchers. Through investments such as those under the Strategic Investment Fund, we are strengthening the foundation of our middle class and building Canada as a global leader in scientific excellence."

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"We are focused on making sure our students have the skills to compete in the global marketplace. This new aerospace campus will benefit students and secure Ontario's position as an innovator in the economy of the future."

– The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

"This investment in Centennial College's new aerospace campus, the first step in the development of an aerospace hub, will be transformative for Downsview and the surrounding area. The Government of Canada's promotion of research and innovation will bring new jobs and growth to the area and will ensure that the Greater Toronto Area and Canada remain active global competitors in the aerospace industry."

– Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre

"Our government is proud to support Centennial College's new Downsview Park Aerospace Campus. It will provide a leading-edge learning environment for students to prepare for high-tech knowledge jobs in the aerospace industry. Providing access to high-quality education and training facilities is critical to building the highly skilled workforce we need to support good jobs and economic growth for today and tomorrow, and this investment will help us to do it."

– The Honourable Deb Matthews, Ontario's Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development

"Centennial's new training facility will anchor Ontario's first aerospace industry cluster, deemed vital to meeting challenges to Canada's fifth-place ranking as an aerospace technology provider in a global market. In addition, the rejuvenation of the historic de Havilland plant will benefit the local community by bringing new activity and will form a magnet for Canadian aerospace investment. It will also strengthen Centennial's ranking as one of the top 10 applied research colleges in Canada."

– Ann Buller, President and CEO, Centennial College

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario are providing more than $950 million for research infrastructure at institutions across Ontario.
  • Canada's Innovation Agenda is designed to ensure our country is globally competitive in promoting research, translating ideas into new products and services, accelerating business growth and propelling entrepreneurs from the start-up phase to international success.
  • The targeted, short-term investments under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada's universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery, and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.
  • The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund supports the Government of Canada's climate change objectives by encouraging sustainable and green infrastructure projects.

Associated links

Follow Minister Bains on social media.
Twitter: @MinisterISED


Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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