Burlington is building on its successful partnerships with local post-secondary institutions McMaster University and Mohawk College and embarking on a new collaboration with Brock University.
Having thriving post-secondary institutions in and around the community are essential to the city’s priorities, including workforce development, talent attraction, and research and development.
Earlier this summer the City of Burlington started the formal process to purchase the Robert Bateman site with the long-term goal of relocating Brock University to the now defunct school.
Brock had previously declared its intention to relocate its Hamilton campus to Burlington in the fall of 2020.
The expansion of post-secondary offerings pushes forward key objectives laid out in the City of Burlington’s 25-year strategic plan. Specifically, it focuses on making Burlington a city that grows through attracting talent, good jobs, and economic opportunity to the community.
Burlington was named in the top 5 cities in the Greater Toronto Area by Maclean’s in 2021 and it is one of the most highly educated cities in the region, with a workforce of more than 4.5 million people in commuting distance. In addition to exploring a relationship with Brock, the City also plans to partner with other institutions on the adaptive reuse strategy for the high school site. This includes the Burlington Public Library relocating its Appleby Line branch to this location to develop a hub for learning and education.
“Our community has made it clear just how important it is to retain the Robert Bateman High School site as a community hub, and a place of learning,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.
“Our council has also had a longstanding goal of attracting postsecondary education to Burlington. Both commitments will now be realized with the relocation of Brock University’s faculty of education to the site, along with other partners like our library moving in. The site will remain a cherished part of our community and bring additional jobs and investment to Burlington.”
Lynn Wells, interim President and Vice-Chancellor at Brock, echoes the Mayor’s excitement: “Brock has experienced tremendous enrolment growth from students living in the Burlington area, and the City of Burlington has been a terrific partner for Brock University. We look forward to working with the City on the next phase of our partnership and working to improve access for area students.”
The former high school is located on New Street east of Appleby Line, about a five minutes’ drive south of the QEW.
Burlington also boasts a campus of McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business that offers MBA, Professional Masters, and Executive Education programs the City also has close proximity to Mohawk College’s IdeaWorks research hub, which collaborates with a wide range of Burlington businesses on applied research projects.
The partnership between the City and Brock has been in the works for a number of years, says Anita Cassidy, executive director of Burlington Economic Development.
“This strategically located site being made available presents a unique economic development opportunity and aligns with our strategic objectives of attracting a postsecondary institution to Burlington. We see this as a big opportunity for the City and look forward to continuing our work with Brock University and the City of Burlington to attract a new post-secondary institution to Burlington.”
TechPlace, Burlington’s innovation space, will be relocating to the former Bateman site as well. Having TechPlace at the site will help to further support the direction as a hub of innovation, learning and education. Connecting TechPlace with Brock University and other community partners, will make it a dynamic and robust environment for residents and businesses alike.