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Markham Profile

The Town of Markham which recently passed the 200,000 population mark, is the largest municipality in York Region. Markham is known as one of the most multicultural communities in the Greater Toronto Area. Markham Centre situated on the northwest corner of Warden and Highway 7, is the head of government for Markham Township which has four main population centres including: Markham Village, Thornhill Village, Unionville Village and Milliken Mills.


Markham proudly proclaims itself to be the “High-Tech Capital of Canada”. Apple, At&T, I.B.M., Lucent Tech and Toshiba, are just some of the multinational companies that have corporate offices here. The highly regarded Markham-Stouffville Hospital is one of the pillars of this community.



In 1791, John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, named this Township, Markham, after his good friend William Markham, the Archbishop of York. Markham’s first settler was William Berczy, a German artist and developer. In 1794, Berczy negotiated with Simcoe to acquire 64,000 acres in Markham Township, which became known as the German Company Lands.


Berczy would lead a group of 64 Pennsylvania German families to Markham. These first settlers were soon joined by other groups including: French Revolutionary Emigres, United Empire Loyalists, and people from the British Isles. The industriousness of these pioneers was self evident in the many homesteads, working farms, and mill sites, that defined Markham’s early growth. Industry, such as wagon works, furniture makers, and tanneries flourished in the mid to late 1800s.


The railway arrived in Markham in 1871, signalling a new period of prosperity that led to the incorporation of the Village of Markham in 1873. Markham would remain a primarily rural settlement, until the 1950s and 60s when new home subdivsions began sprouting up in the countryside. In 1970, Markham graduated to its current Town status. The opening of Highway 404, in the mid 1970s, paved the way for the rapid urbanization that continues to unfold in Markham to this day.


Ever since 1991 the Town of Markham has championed the principles of “New Urbanism” in its official plan. New Urbanism expounds the virtues of ‘old fashioned’, pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods, where shopping, schools, and parks are within walking distance, and garages are tucked away out of site, off laneways at the rear of the house. Heritage style homes with whimsical front porches are also hallmarks of New Urbanism style homes.

 The award winning Cornell subdivision situated in the northeast end of Markham, north of Highway 407 and east of Ninth Line, was the first New Urbanism subdivision built in Ontario. Other award winning Markham communities include Angus Glen,, a golf course community, located north of Sixteenth Avenue just east of Kennedy Road, and Swan Lake Village, an adult lifestyle community consisting of 1,200 homes, situated north of Sixteenth Avenue between Highway 48 and Ninth Line.

 The Town of Markham is continuing to incorporate New Urbanism principles in its push towards “smart growth” as a way to combat urban sprawl. At the forefront of this “smart growth” will be the ambitious development of a new downtown core called “Markham Centre” which will be built on 992 acres of land, located north of Highway 407 and south of Highway 7, between Warden Avenue and Kennedy Road. This landmark mixed use project will consist primarily of townhouses and condominium buildings that will create 10,000 new homes. A large amount of retail stores, offices, and greenspace will define this community, allowing residents to walk to work, shopping and recreation facilities; thereby reducing the need for cars.

 The Town of Markham is known for it commitment to preserving it’s heritage homes. This dedication is exemplified in the Markham Village Estates subdivision located at Sixteenth Avenue and Highway 48. This unique subdivision is home to more than 20 century homes that were saved from the onset of urban sprawl and relocated to this site. These historical homes have been lovingly restored by their owners who purchase their lots from the Town of Markham and then must adhere to strict restoration guidelines set down by the Markham heritage planning department.

 Markham is also proud of its three landmark heritage conservation districts. They are: Markham Village located north of Highway 7 at Markham Road, Unionville Village at Highway 7 and Kennedy Road, and Thornhill Village at Yonge and John Streets.

Home price in new market is vary from $200,000 +


Markham is bursting at the seams with a myriad of shopping options. If you enjoy quaint old-fashioned main street villages head to Unionville or Markham Village. There you will find antique shops and galleries, clothing stores, gift shops and restaurants. Unionville boasts an excellent collection of well preserved heritage building storefronts, and a picturesque streetscape that attracts tourists from all over Toronto. Markham Village hosts a popular farmers market every Saturday from May through September.

 If you prefer shopping centres, the Markville Shopping Centre located at Highway 7 and McCowan Road, is anchored by The Bay, Sears and Wal-Mart, and features over 200 shops and services. The Promenade shopping centre on Bathurst Street, north of Centre Street is anchored by Sears, and Old Navy and includes over 175 shops and restaurants, plus movie theatres. “Big Box” mega retailers, are clustered along the Highway 7 corridor from Woodbine Avenue over to Kennedy Road. For something different check out the Pacific Mall located on the northeast corner of Steeles Avenue and Kennedy Road. This massive 23,000 square foot indoor Chinese shopping mall is known for its many fine restaurants and herbal medicine stores.




Markham has three major community centres: Thornhill C.C, Centennial C.C., and Milliken Mills C.C., as well as 14 additional multi-use centres that together offer: skating rinks, tennis courts, sports fields, a soccer dome, and ski runs. Markham also has numerous public and private golf courses including the award winning Angus Glen Golf Club, at 10080 Kennedy Road, which hosted the 2002 Bell Canadian Open.

Nature enthusiasts will want to visit Toogood Park located in the heart of Unionville, off Carlton Road. This picturesque park has been built around Toogood Pond, which features a fishway and observation platform. Weather permitting there is skating on Toogood pond in January and February.

Art & Entertatment

The Markham Theatre For Performing Arts located at 171 Town Centre Boulevard, in the Highway 7 and Warden Avenue area, offers award winning professional entertainment as well as community, cultural, and social events.The Frederick Horsman Varley Art Gallery located on Main Street in Unionville, offers numerous exhibits featuring Canadian artists. This gallery hosts numerous workshops and studio courses.

History buffs will love the Markham Museum which organizes a variety of year-round family events. This museum is located off Markham Road, north of Highway 7. Milliken Mills, Thornhill and Unionville all have a community library. For pure fun and entertainment you can’t beat the Markham Fair, held each fall at the Markham Fairgrounds located at McCowan Road and Elgin Mills Road. This fair features a midway, concerts, and livestock exhibits.



York Region District School Board, (416) 969-8131,



Markham Transit operates bus routes that provide commuters with direct access to Toronto and Go Transit lines. There are also Go Train stations in Markham Village, Unionville and Milliken. The train ride from Markham to downtown Toronto’s Union Station takes approximately 20 minutes.


Markham is conveniently situated right at the northeast border of Toronto, along Steeles Avenue. Motorists commuting from Markham to anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area enjoy quick and easy access to the new toll Highway 407, and to Highway 404 which provides direct links to Toronto’s 400 series highways.



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