Canada and Ontario invest to renew infrastructure at OCAD University

$4.5 M investment will create jobs, expand research and foster innovation

TORONTO, Jan. 24, 2017 /CNW/ - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canadians will be better equipped for the well-paying middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow as a result of a $4.5 M investment in OCAD University.

This joint federal-provincial investment was announced today by Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina-Fort York, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and by Han Dong, Member of Provincial Parliament, Trinity-Spadina.

The Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda, along with Ontario's continued investment in public infrastructure, the largest in the Province's history, 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 is a prime example of that vision in action.

The funding will support two OCAD University projects: the Centre for Experiential Learning and the Campus for the Connected World.

The Centre for Experiential Learning will expand OCAD U's research and innovation space and nurture the existing campus culture of creativity, collaboration and innovation. The building and its operations will be a model of social and environmental sustainability, incorporating healthy, innovative building materials.

The funding will also support Phase 1 of OCAD University's Campus for a Connected World, which will house an expanded university initiative around innovation training, design thinking, Big Data design research, and accelerator capacity that supports digital commercialization initiatives and brings design skills to emergent companies. Of the investment, $4.5 M will come from the federal government. OCAD University, together with fundraising and industry partnerships, will contribute an additional $3.8 M for the Centre for Experiential Learning and $7.5 M for Campus for the Connected World, for a total investment of $11.3 M.

The funding from the Government of Canada is being 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


"Supporting OCAD's expansion is not only good for Canada it's good for Toronto. OCAD is at the forefront of delivering new ideas and new leaders for a new economy. Innovation drives Toronto as much as it defines OCAD and the federal government is proud to play a role."
Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina-Fort York

"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 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 continuing to lay the groundwork for making Canada a global leader in scientific excellence."
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"OCAD U has been a vital part of our community for many years and it has embraced magnificently the imagination and innovation of our young artists and designers. The projects will strengthen the foundation of OCAD U, enabling it to further grow and thrive in the 21st century." 
– Han Dong, Member of Provincial Parliament, Trinity-Spadina.

"As we continue to renew and expand our campus, we look forward to amplifying OCAD University's digitally-focused learning and research, as well as its connections to industry and community partners, says Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. "OCAD University is proud to provide experiential learning that will ensure our grads are members of a highly-skilled workforce that supports talent innovation and entrepreneurship, crucial to STEAM + D disciplines. We are grateful to the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario for their support and recognition." 
– Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda is designed to ensure Canada 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 
Instagram: ministerised 

SOURCE OCAD University

For further information: Elizabeth Cheesbrough, Office of Adam Vaughan, M.P., Spadina-Fort York, 613-992-2352,; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 343-291-1777,


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