Economic Assets

In addition to its 140,000 jobs, the TYW megazone contains important economic assets that can be strategically leveraged to promote economic development in the zone and beyond. They include "anchor" firms, head offices, major institutions, and infrastructure assets. Leveraging these assets would mean acknowledging, planning for, and actively promoting the contributions of urban environments and of agglomeration economies - sometimes characterized as "sharing, learning, and matching"1 - to competitiveness. Other jurisdictions are employing deliberate strategies to take maximum advantage of these economic assets.2

For example, in the Downsview area, Bombardier's presence represents a significant advanced manufacturing asset in the aerospace industry. This asset is being leveraged by the creation of an aerospace hub, with the relocation of Centennial College's aerospace technology programs from Scarborough to a new Aerospace Campus in Downsview, where aircraft and avionics technicians will receive training. In addition, the area will anchor the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research (DAIR) cluster, which will bring together aerospace firms such as Bombardier with the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and York University.3

The TYW megazone also includes a major knowledge economy asset in York University, with more than 7,000 employees and more than 50,000 students.4

The CN intermodal facility is a regionally significant transportation facility, with links to firms in transportation, wholesaling, distribution, and logistics. CN is a major employer in the area, as are firms such as Ganz, a wholesaling firm, and United Parcel Services.

Other major employers with over 500 workers include Mytox, a division of auto parts manufacturer Magna, and Bondfield, in the construction sector.

However, TYW is not a major focus for company headquarters. There are only three Financial Post 500 company headquarters in TYW: Martinrea International (an automotive parts supplier), Calloway Real Estate Investment, and Progressive Waste Solutions.

The dense and diverse collection of manufacturing industries in the megazone represents a significant cluster, however, with opportunities to leverage, strengthen, and further diversify.

TYW IS BECOMING AN AEROSPACE TRAINING AND RESEARCH HUB, WITH THE RELOCATION OF CENTENNIAL COLLEGE'S AEROSPACE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS TO THE MEGAZONE AND THE CREATION OF THE DOWNSVIEW AEROSPACE INNOVATION AND RESEARCH CLUSTER.


[1] G. Duranton and D. Puga, "Micro-Foundations of Urban Agglomeration Economies." In Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, ed. J.V. Henderson and J.F. Thisse, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2004.

[2] See, for example, Brooking Institution's Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking, http://www.brookings.edu/about/projects/innovation-and-placemaking

[3] For more information, see www.dairhub.com

[4] http://about.yorku.ca