Investments in innovative and modern learning spaces will ensure students have high quality education in a safe and healthy environment

February 7, 2023

As part of Ontario’s ongoing efforts to build and improve local schools, the province provided the Bluewater District School Board with approval for a scope change and approval to proceed to tender for the new replacement Beavercrest Community School in Markdale. This is supported by an investment of nearly $15.5 million, which includes additional funding of $6.9 million.

The Government of Ontario is delivering more than $26.6 billion in education funding for the 2022-23 school year, the highest investment in public education in Ontario’s history. Investing in the province’s schools is an integral part of Ontario’s Plan to Catch Up, focussing on the priorities of parents and includes five key components:

  • Kids being back in the classroom with a full school experience that includes extracurriculars such as sports, band and field trips;
  • Investing more than $175 million for enhanced tutoring support programs delivered by school boards and community partners, with a focus on reading, writing and math;
  • Updating the curriculum to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, including opportunities in the skilled trades;
  • Providing more money to build schools and improve education; and
  • Allocating $90 million – the highest amount in Ontario history, and a 420 per cent increase from 2017-18 – to support student mental health.

Once completed, this re-scoped project will deliver 328 student spaces and 39 childcare spaces for local families. The investment is part of the Ontario government’s commitment to provide $14 billion to support school construction, repair and renewal over 10 years. Since 2018, the government has approved nearly 200 school construction projects and the development of more than 300 child care and education building-related projects, of which, more than 100 are actively under construction.

“The funding for the new school in Markdale is great news for our community,” said Rick Byers, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. “This investment will ensure families and students have access to a quality learning environment in the years ahead.”

“Our government is investing $14 billion over ten years to build new schools, improve existing facilities and create child care spaces to ensure young people can reach their full potential,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “By building the new state-of-the-art Beavercrest Community School in Markdale, as well as investing in tutoring and mental health supports for the year ahead, we are getting students in Markdale back on track now and well into the future.

While we make progress building this new school to support hard-working parents, we remain committed to keeping students in more normal classrooms with extra curriculars, sports, and clubs.” 

“This is fantastic news for the community of Markdale and Grey Highlands. It’s great to see, not only a commitment of 328 new student spaces, but an additional 39 new child care spaces, 2 new child care rooms and 2 room EarlyON and Family Centre. Working with the Bluewater District School Board has proven by working together we could build a new school, with the co-operation of Devonleigh Homes,” said Grey Highlands Mayor Paul McQueen. “Thanks to Ministers Lecce and Surma for supporting the new school and Premier Doug Ford who visited Markdale in 2019.  It has been great working with our local MPP Rick Byers who delivered this wonderful news.”

“Under Premier Ford’s leadership, we’re building more state-of-the-art schools to support the needs of Ontario’s students, families and growing communities. By investing in innovative and modern learning spaces, we’re ensuring students have access to the quality education that will provide them with lifelong skills and education in a safe and healthy environment,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “These investments are one of the ways we’re delivering on our promise to build Ontario, with an infrastructure budget of more than $148 billion over the next decade.”

Highlights of the project include:

  • 328 new student spaces
  • 39 new child care spaces
  • 2 new child care rooms
  • 2 room EarlyON and Family Centre

“We are extremely pleased to receive this latest update so that the Beavercrest Community School replacement build project can move forward,” said Lori Wilder, Director of Education for Bluewater District School Board. “Thank you to the Ministry of Education for continuing to recognize the need for a new school in Markdale by approving our board’s request for a project scope change. We are excited to get shovels in the ground and see this project transform from concept to reality so that we can support area students as they learn and grow in an amazing facility.”

The new Beavercrest Community School will be located at Devonleigh Gate in Markdale.


  • Since 2018, the Ontario government has invested over $2.0 billion in capital projects in education, including 100 new schools, 88 additions and renovations to existing facilities and 6,410 new licensed child care spaces.
  • For the 2022-23 school year, the province is providing school boards with $1.4 billion in funding to revitalize and renew aged building systems and components.
  • Through the COVID-19 Resilience Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, the governments of Canada and Ontario are providing $656.5 million in funding for critical infrastructure projects to protect students and staff from COVID-19 in the province’s schools.
  • In March 2022, the Governments of Canada and Ontario signed a $13.2 billion agreement that will lower child care fees in stages for families, delivering an average of $10 a day child care by September 2025.