Want to learn how to fly? Toronto Airways Ltd., which operates Buttonville Municipal Airport, has a very successful flight school and training centre. But you better hurry; Cadillac Fairview has plans to redevelop the airport lands to include condos, retail shops and office space.
The Markham Museum offers a variety of buildings representing the continued growth of the city, including mills, businesses and family homes. There are 30 buildings on the 25-acre site, including the James Maxwell Log Cabin (1850), the Ninth Line Baptist Church (1848), the Wilson Variety Hall (1875), the Locust Hill Train Station (1936), the Acadian Train Car (1921), the Blacksmith Shop (1862) and the Cider Mill and Saw Mill.
The Flato Markham Theatre offers over 300 live performances each year, showcasing the wide cultural diversity of the city.
The Varley Art Gallery encompasses the historic Kathleen McKay house (1840), which was the home of Group of Seven member Frederick Horsman Varley for the last 12 years of his life. Now measuring 15,000 square feet, the gallery is the second most popular tourist attraction in York Region.
Markham has a long and storied history, dating back to 1793 when 75 German families settled in the area. However, because of the lack of roads and the hardships settling in such a remote area, many chose to move to York (now Toronto) or Niagara. But between 1803 and 1812, another attempt to settle the region was made with migrants, mostly Mennonites from Pennsylvania and New York. There was another growth spurt starting in about 1830, when there was a large influx of Irish, Scottish and British families. In 1973, Markham was incorporated into a town, which also included the villages of Cornell, Markham Village, Milliken, Thornhill and Unionville. In 2012, Markham council voted to legally change its designation from town to city. The population of Markham was 301,700 in 2011, according to Statistics Canada, and is considered one of the most diverse communities in Canada.
What was once considered a suburb of Toronto, Markham’s housing options were primarily single-family detached homes, both in new subdivisions and heritage villages. But the city has grown up and is now offering any number of condominium and townhouse developments. Many condo developers are building in Markham, including:
• The 6th Angus Glen and Kennedy Manors by Kylemore Communities
• The Grand Residences at Remington Centre and York Condos by The Remington Group
• Grand Cornell Brownstones by Lindvest
• Boxgrove Village by Arista Homes
• Varley Condominium Residences by Tribute Communites
• Fontana Condominiums and Townhomes by H&W Developments
• Unionville Gardens by Wyview Group
• Riverside Uptown, River Park at Uptown and River Walk East Condos by Times Group Corporation
• Markham Meadows by Greenpark
• UNION Towns and Condos by Aspen Ridge Homes
• The Essential Condos by Emery Homes
• 68 Main Street by Sierra Building Group
• ArtHouse Condos by Flato Developments
• Cornell Rouge by Forest Hill Homes and Madison Homes
• The Towers at Castlemore by Norstar Group
• Jade Garden at Cornell by Primont Homes
• Towns of Cornell by Tiffany Park Homes and Andrin Homes
• The World on Yonge and The Parkside Towers at World on Yonge by Liberty Development
Parks & Rec
Markham has dozens of parks with baseball diamonds, soccer pitches and children’s play areas and splash pads. The city also boasts over 22 kilometres of scenic pathways with 12 bridges that provide recreational activity for joggers and cyclists.
The largest park in Markham is the Milne Dam Conservation Park. Measuring 305 acres, it is bordered by thick forest on the south and east and the Rouge River runs through the middle. The park is a stop-off point for many migratory birds.
Mount Joy Park is over 16 acres and has an outdoor ice skating rink adjacent to a community centre. Toogood Pond is an 82-acre park that features a partially naturalized pond and marsh. The pond recently underwent revitalization, including sediment removal, restoration of the shoreline and the planting of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers.
Public transit in Markham is provided by York Region Transit/Viva, which connects with all nine York Region municipalities, as well as connecting with transit services in Toronto and the Region of Peel. GO Transit also serves Markham with train and bus service, taking riders to a variety of locations in the GTA and beyond. Markham also has easy access to Highways 404 and 407 and the DVP.
Downtown Markham offers some of the best shopping in the GTA, with great little restaurants, cafés and boutique stores. With the revitalization of the downtown, The Remington Group will add another two million square feet of retail and dining space.
Markville Shopping Centre is currently the largest mall in Markham with over 160 shops and services. But the Pacific Mall — the largest Chinese indoor mall in North America — is a must for anybody looking for a bargain, with over 500 shops and services. It incorporates a traditional Asian-style market with over 450 mini shops selling everything from herbs, Asian fashions, flowers, accessories, cellphones, eyeglasses and computers.
Many high-tech companies have their head offices in Markham because of the abundance of land, the low tax rates and the great transportation routes. Broadcom Canada, ATI Technologies (now known as AMD Graphics Product Group), IBM, Apple Computer, Motorola and Honeywell have all chosen Markham as their home in Canada. As well as high-tech companies, the top employers in the city include TD Waterhouse, Markham Stouffville Hospital and Amex Canada Inc.