Markham Real Estate & Homes for Sale
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Markham is a city in the Regional Municipality of York, located within the Greater Toronto Area of Southern Ontario, Canada. The population was 301,709 at the 2011 Canadian census. The city is the fourth largest community within the Greater Toronto Area after Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton. Markham changed its status from town to city on July 1, 2012.
The city gained its name from the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe, who named the area after his friend, William Markham, the Archbishop of York at the time. The first European settlement in Markham occurred when William Berczy, a German artist and developer led a group of approximately sixty-four German families to North America. While initially planning to settle in New York, disputes over finances and land tenure there would eventually lead to Berczy to negotiate with Simcoe for 64,000 acres (260 km2) in Markham Township. Throughout much of Markham's history, the community has been described as an agricultural community. A turn towards a more urbanized community within the township began after World War II when the township had began to feel the effects of urban encroachment from Toronto. The completion of Highway 404 during the mid 1970s further accelerated urban development in Markham.
Markham today is mainly driven by its tertiary industry. Business services is currently the number one employer in Markham with nearly 22% of its labour force employed in it. The city also currently has over 900 technology and life sciences companies, with IBM being the city's largest employer. A number of multinational companies also have their Canadian headquarters located in Markham including Honda Canada, Advanced Micro Devices, American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Apple Inc., Avaya, IBM, Motorola, Oracle, Honeywell and Toshiba.
In the 2011 Census, the City of Markham had a population of 301,709 living in 90,534 of its 93,202 total dwellings, a 15.3% change from its 2006 population of 261,573. With a land area of 212.58 km2 (82.08 sq mi), it had a population density of 1,419.27/km2 (3,675.90/sq mi) in 2011.
In the 19th century, Markham was a vibrant, independent community with distilleries and breweries around the Highway 7 and 48 intersection. The Thomas Speight Wagon Works exported products around the world, and it was said that Markham was more active than York (former name for Toronto) was early on.
Today, it claims to be "Canada's Hi-Tech Capital" with a number of key companies in the area, such as IBM, Motorola, Toshiba, Lucent, Honeywell, Apple, Genesis Microchip, and is home to the head office of graphics card producer ATI (recently merged with AMD).
Major highways passing through Markham include Highway 404 (from Toronto to Newmarket) and Highway 407, a toll highway that passes north of Toronto and connects Markham with Vaughan, Brampton and Burlington.
Highway 407 runs parallel to Highway 7, also known as York Road 7, which is a major east-west artery suffering from congestion due to development along its route. Other major east-west routes include 16th Avenue, Major MacKenzie Drive, and Steeles Avenue which forms Markham's southern boundary with Toronto.
Passenger rail service in Markham is provided by the GO Transit Stouffville line, which is a commuter rail line stretching from Lincolnville to downtown Toronto. The line operates only at rush hour and uses tracks owned by Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency. Five stations on the Stouffville line serve Markham, of which 4 are within the municipal borders.
York Region Transit (YRT) connects Markham with surrounding municipalities in York Region, and was created in 2001 from the merger of Markham Transit, Richmond Hill Transit, Newmarket Transit and Vaughan Transit. YRT to connects to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway system by way of Viva bus rapid transit from Finch station along Yonge Street, and Don Mills station through Unionville and on to Markville Mall.
The TTC also provides service in Markham on several north-south routes, such as Warden Avenue, Birchmount Road, McCowan Road and Markham Road. These routes charge riders a double fare if they are travelling across the Steeles border and most Markham residents choose to travel by car instead of public transportation.
GO Transit provides train service on the old trackbed of the Toronto and Nipissing Railway, which connects Markham with downtown Toronto on the Stouffville commuter rail service. The line has stops at several stations in Markham, namely Unionville GO Station, Centennial GO Station, Markham GO Station, and Mount Joy GO Station. The Richmond Hill commuter rail line provides service to the Langstaff GO Station, which straddles Markham and Richmond Hill but is used primarily by residents of west-central Markham and southern Richmond Hill.
Markham is home to several large malls of 100+ stores. These include:
- Market Village (170 stores)
- Markville Shopping Centre (250 stores)
- Pacific Mall (450 mini-shops)
- The Mall at South Unionville Square (300 stores)
There are also a lot of higher-profile malls in nearby Toronto, and elsewhere in York Region. Many shopping centres in Markham are also Asian-oriented. This is a reflection of the large Asian, particularly Chinese Canadian, population found in Markham. They carry a wide variety of traditional Chinese products, apparel, and foods.
On Highway 7, between Woodbine and Warden Avenues, is First Markham Place, containing numerous shops and restaurants; this is several kilometres east of Richmond Hill's Chinese malls. Further east along Highway 7 is an older plaza is at the southwest quadrant with the intersection with Kennedy Road.
Pacific Mall is the most well-known Chinese mall in Markham, located at Kennedy Road and Steeles Avenue East, which, combined with neighbouring Market Village Mall and Splendid China Tower, forms the second largest Chinese shopping area in North America, after the Golden Village in Richmond, British Columbia. In close proximity, at Steeles East and Warden Avenue, there is the New Century Plaza mall and a half-block away there is a plaza of Chinese shops anchored by a T & T Supermarket.
The Mall at South Unionville Square is well located with direct public transit and ready access to Highways 7 and 407, and focuses on the Chinese community. With its T&T Supermarket and Asian themed retail mall, professional offices, commercial retail, restaurants and residential, it provides a venue for living, working, shopping and entertainment.
There are also some smaller shopping centres in Markham, such as:
- Alderland Centre
- Markham Town Square
- Metro Square
- Peachtree Centre
- New Kennedy Square
- The Shops on Steeles and 404
- Thornhill Square
Markham currently does not have any universities itself, but Seneca College has campuses at Highways 7 and 404 and at Buttonville Municipal Airport. Most high school graduates continue to post-secondary education in universities across Ontario. There are local transit services that connect to various post-secondary institutions in the Greater Toronto Area.
- Public schools
- Catholic schools
Markham covers an area of 212.47 km2 (82.04 sq mi) and Markham's City Centre is at 43°53′N 79°15′W. It is bounded by 5 municipalities; in the west is Vaughan with the boundary along Yonge Street between Steeles Avenue andHighway 7 and Richmond Hill with the boundary along Highway 7 from Yonge Street to Highway 404 and at Highway 404 from Highway 7 to 19th Avenue and Stouffville Road. In the south, it borders Toronto with the boundary along Steeles Avenue. In the North is borders Whitchurch–Stouffville with the boundary from Highway 404 to York-Durham Line between 19th Avenue and Stouffville Road. In the East it borders Pickering along the York-Durham Line.
Markham has retained its historic past in part of the town. Here a just few places of interest:
- Frederick Horsman Varley Art Gallery
- Heintzman House - Home of Colonel George Crookshank, Sam Francis and Charles Heintzman of Heintzman & Co., the piano manufacturer.
- Markham Museum
- Markham Village
- Markham Heritage Estates - a unique, specially designed heritage subdivision owned by the City of Markham
- Reesor Farm Market
- Cathedral of the Transfiguration
- Thornhill village
Heritage streets preserve the old town feeling:
There are still farms operating in the northern reaches of the town, but there are a few 'theme' farms in other parts of Markham:
- Galten Farms
- Whittamore's Farm
- Forsythe Family Farms
- Adventure Valley
Markham's heritage railway stations are either an active station or converted to other uses:
- Markham GO Station - built in 1871 by Toronto and Nipissing Railway and last used by CN Rail in 1990s and restored in 2000 as active GO station and community use
- Locust Hill Station - built in 1936 in Locust Hill, Ontario and last used by the CPR in 1969; re-located in 1983 to the grounds of the Markham Museum
- Unionville Station - built in 1871 by the Toronto and Nipissing Railway, later by Via Rail and by GO Transit from 1982 to 1991; it was sold to the city in 1989 and restored as a community centre within the historic Unionville Main Street area
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