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May 14, 2001
Toronto Council committee backs proposal for a biomedical discovery district
Economic Development Division -- The City of Toronto's Economic
Development and Parks Committee today approved a proposal to designate a
Biomedical Discovery District in an area of downtown Toronto bounded by Bloor,
Bay, Dundas and Spadina streets.

"Toronto is Canada's leading center for biotechnology. Designating the
Biomedical Discovery District will help raise awareness of the need to
encourage growth in this area of the economy," said Councillor Michael Feldman,
Chair of the Committee.

The plan calls for placing specialized street signs at key intersections and
establishing a biomedical "Walk of Fame" that would spotlight important
contributions to biomedical research that have been made in the district. It is
part of a broad initiative to promote and strengthen Toronto's competitive
position as a biomedical leader in North America.

"Toronto is a leader in biomedical development in North America and it is in
the top 10 in the world. The biomedical cluster employs more than 140,000
people in the Toronto area," said Brenda Librecz, Managing Director of the
City's Economic Development Division.

The plan also encourages the establishment of a commercialization centre that
would house new biotechnology companies and would increase the speed at which
research turns into commercial applications. Another element of the plan calls
for developing joint marketing opportunities with biomedical companies, major
hospitals and research institutions.

The biomedical cluster today is in the same position that the
telecommunications sector was 15 years ago -- poised for rapid, explosive
growth. Much of the foundation for an internationally competitive biomedical
cluster is already in place in Toronto, including first-class hospital and
research facilities, mature companies and investor financing for commercial

"Our challenge is to build on those advantages. This involves making the city
and world aware that Toronto is an international leader in this sector,"
Librecz said.

The Economic Development and Parks Committee has forwarded the plan to City
Council for approval at Council's meeting at the end of May.

Available on-line beginning May 15, 2001

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