Smart Cities Challenge

The City of Markham has entered the Smart Cities Challenge with a proposal to solve critical City challenges through data and connected technologies.

Read the full text of Markham's Smart Cities Challenge Submission [PDF] to learn more.

The Smart Cities Challenge was introduced by Infrastructure Canada to empower communities of all sizes across Canada to address local issues through new partnerships, using a smart cities approach.

Proposed technology based solutions must improve the quality of life for residents, address the community's most pressing challenges, and achieve meaningful outcomes. Markham has applied for grant levels of - up to $10 million.

This program will promote partnerships across sectors, including business, education, health, industry and community groups to make positive change in Markham.

The Approach

The aim is to achieve meaningful outcomes for residents by leveraging the fundamental benefits offered by data and connected technology:

  • Openness - Open and accessible data makes decision-making processes transparent, empowers citizens and strengthens the relationship with public organizations
  • Integration - Data and connected technology empower communities to break down silos that exist within public organizations
  • Transferability - Tools and technological approaches that are open-source, transparent and standardized can be used by communities across the country, no matter their size or capacity
  • Collaboration - Connected technology enables communities to bring traditional and non-traditional partners together to collaborate

Key Benefits

  • Realize Outcomes for Residents - The focus is on achieving outcomes. Communities must measure where they are starting from (baseline), the progress they make and the successes they achieve.
  • Empower Communities to Innovate - Communities should take risks and think big, identify significant, pressing, and perceived “un-solvable” problems, and achieve outcomes through data and connected technology.
  • Forge New Partnerships and Networks - Communities will need to undertake meaningful engagement with residents and forge relationships with new and non-traditional partners.
  • Spread the Benefits to all Canadians - Smart cities approaches should not only benefit a single community; they should be scalable and replicable across Canada.

Selection Process and Timeline

Selection Process and Timeline

Depending on the nature and scope of the final proposal, the implementation phase is expected to span between 2-5 years.

Payments will be made to winning communities once projects attain key milestones that demonstrate progress towards outcomes.


"We are an innovative city and we have some of the best talent,” says Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “I am calling on the thought leaders, the change makers and the best creative minds as we plan Markham’s future together. What’s on your mind? How can we make it better for you? This is your city, your country and your voice matters.”

"The Smart Cities Challenge aligns with our Digital Markham strategy, which envisions the 'City as a platform' for innovation, and will expedite our digital journey," says Nasir Kenea, Markham's Chief Information Officer. "Through the use of data and connected technologies, our community can realize an impactful positive experience."

Community Engagement

We consulted with Markham residents, community associations, service groups, advisory committees, educational institutions, business representatives and the general public through a variety of methods, including an online engagement platform, surveys and focus group sessions. Participants identified key challenges and outlined their suggested solutions.

Further consultation with business, academia, health services, industry thought leaders and technology experts helped us to refine and identify the critical challenge area to be addressed and to determine how it could potentially be solved through data and connected technologies.

Next Steps

Stay tuned to this page - We will be posting further information about the Smart Cities Challenge as it becomes available.

If you have questions, please send an email to

Complementary Content