Upgrading trails, sidewalks parks and more: over $3 million to be invested in Markham's infrastructure and tourism projects

·2 min read

The Government of Canada is going to invest over $3.1 million into seven projects in Markham. Markham-Stouffville MP Helena Jaczek, who is also the minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced the news on Aug. 24.

With these investments, through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) and Tourism Relief Fund (TRF), recipients will build and enhance community infrastructure, safely welcome back visitors to tourist attractions and help to strengthen the local economy.

“It will protect local jobs in our region and drive resilient economic growth,” says Jaczek, “Our government will continue to make investments that benefit our communities and local economies.”

Markham’s infrastructure is vital to local businesses, as its tourism sector brings thousands of visitors to the region each year.

Markham-Unionville MP Paul Chiang welcomes the investments to help revitalize existing spaces, noting that “our parks and trails are vital for the tourists and residents of this region.”

The Corporation of the City of Markham is receiving a non-repayable contribution of over $2.9 million for six community infrastructure projects.

This includes support for installing new playground equipment at up to nine parks, installing a splash pad at Millennium Park, constructing off-road trails at Rouge Valley and improving 2.85 kilometres of new sidewalks.

Wismer Park is one of the locations of the Trees for Tomorrow initiative which will enhance 18 existing parks and valley lands through the addition of trees and saplings to welcome back visitors to the parks.

Mayor Frank Scarpitti believes these enhancements throughout the city will have a great impact on local economy and improve people's overall quality of life. “Now more than ever, our residents of all ages appreciate outdoor amenities and natural open spaces,” he said.

In addition, a $200,000 investment was also announced for Destination Markham to create a strategic plan for Markham’s tourism sector, including sports tourism, events and business travel.

“Sports tourism, events, business travel and conferences are a catalyst for growth to Markham's visitor economy,” says Shafik Jiwani, secretary of Destination Markham's board of directors. “The funding will support the capacity and guide our organization through the development and implementation of Destination Markham's first strategic tourism master plan, allowing the City of Markham to build a comprehensive road map for success."

The Government of Canada is providing a $500-million Tourism Relief Fund that aims to help tourism-oriented businesses and organizations recover from the pandemic and prepare for future growth, with a minimum of $50 million of the fund allocated to supporting Indigenous-led projects or Indigenous-focused projects. FedDev Ontario is delivering nearly $120 million of the Tourism Relief Fund across southern Ontario.

Scarlett Liu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Economist & Sun