Three Ontario universities are planning a joint graduate program in downtown Toronto to train the next generation of software developers and digital entrepreneurs and help companies prepare for the digital economy. In a speech March 5 to the Empire Club in Toronto, Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy said his school, the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo are negotiating to create a new digital media program. The program is part of a larger vision to turn Toronto into another “Silicon Valley” and help Ontario reorient the province from a manufacturing to an information technology economy. Currently Ontario's entertainment and creative cluster ranks third largest in North America, after California and New York. But he said Toronto has to make a shift from implementing solutions to designing the solutions itself. “Our strategy will focus on attracting the strongest researchers and innovators at our universities and others, in Ontario, Canada and internationally. Our approach is going to be a practical one - where industry, business and government tell us what the economy needs. Our goal is to devise made-in-Toronto solutions for i-banking, i-news, i-business, i-industry, i-medicine, and i-everything,” said Levy. Levy also envisions turning Yonge Street in Toronto into a digital corridor of high-end digital stores. As part of the Ryerson’s Master Plan, it has acquired a Yonge Street gateway through the purchase of Sam the Record Man and is developing plans for a Student Learning Centre on that site. Construction has also started on the Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre.