Friday, 12 July 2013

Markham, Ontario

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Markham —  City  — City of Markham The Corporation of the City of Markham Markham Civic Centre Flag Coat of arms Logo Nickname(s): The High-Tech Capital Motto: Leading While Remembering Location of Markham within York Region. Coordinates: 43°53′N 79°15′W / 43.883°N 79.250°W / 43.883; -79.250Coordinates: 43°53′N 79°15′W / 43.883°N 79.250°W / 43.883; -79.250 Country  Canada Province  Ontario Regional Municipality York Region Communities List of subdivisions Buttonville Cornell Greensborough Milliken Unionville Wismer Settled 1794 Incorporated 1872 (village) 1972 (town) 2012 (city) Government  • Mayor Frank Scarpitti  • Deputy Mayor Jack Heath  • Regional Councillors Jim Jones, Joe Li, Gordon Landon  • MPs List of MPs Peter Kent (Con) - Thornhill John McCallum (Lib) - Markham—Unionville Paul Calandra (Con) - Oak Ridges—Markham  • MPPs List of MPPs Peter Shurman (Con) - Thornhill Michael Chan (Lib) - Markham—Unionville Helena Jaczek (Lib) - Oak Ridges—Markham Area  • Total 212.47 km2 (82.04 sq mi) Elevation 200 m (700 ft) Population (2011)  • Total 301,709 (16th) Demonym Markhamite Time zone EST (UTC−5)  • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4) Forward sortation areas L6B, L6C, L6E, L6G, L3P, L3R, and L3S Area code(s) 905, 289 Twin cities  • Sister city Wuhan, China  • Sister city Nordlingen, Germany ISO 3166-2 CA-ON Website

Markham /ˈmɑrkəm/, a city in the Regional Municipality of York, lies within the Greater Toronto Area of Southern Ontario, Canada. At the 2011 Canadian census it had a population of 301,709. 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 (in office 1791-1796), who named the area after his friend, William Markham, the Archbishop of York from 1776 to 1807. 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 they initially planned 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 in 1794. Through 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.

As of 2013 tertiary industry mainly drives Markham. As of 2010 "business services" employed the largest proportion of workers in Markham - nearly 22% of its labour force. The city also currently has over 900 technology and life-sciences companies, with IBM as 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, Toshiba. and Honeywell.


Main article: History of Markham, Ontario

Markham was first surveyed as a township in 1793 by William Berczy, who in 1794 led 75 German families including the Ramers, Reesors, Wheters, Burkholders, Bunkers, Wicks and Lewis from Upstate New York to an area of Markham now known as German Mills. Each family was granted 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land; however due lack to roads in the region many opted to settle in York (now Toronto) and Niagara. German Mills later became a ghost town. Between 1803 to 1812, another attempt at settling in the region was made. The largest group of settlers were Pennsylvania Dutch, most of whom were Mennonites. These highly skilled craftsmen and knowledgeable farmers were able to settle the region and founded Reesorville, named after the Mennonite settler Joseph Reesor. In 1825, Reesorville was renamed to Markham having taken the name of the unincorporated village (see Markham Village, Ontario). By 1830, a large influx of Irish, Scottish and English families began immigrating to Upper Canada, many settling in Markham. Markham's early years blended the rigours of the frontier with the development of agriculture-based industries. The many rivers and streams in the township soon supported water-powered saw and gristmills and later wooden mills. With improved transportation routes, such as the construction of Yonge Street in the 1800s, along with the growing population, urbanization increased. In 1842 the township population was 5,698; 29,005 acres (117.38 km2) were under cultivation (second highest in the province), and the township had eleven gristmills and twenty-four sawmills. By 1850, the first form of structured municipal government formed in Markham. By 1857, most of the township had been cleared of timber and was under cultivation. Villages like Thornhill, Unionville, and Markham greatly expanded. In 1851 Markham Village "was a considerable village, containing between eight and nine hundred inhabitants, pleasantly situated on the Rouge River. It contains two grist mills ... a woollen factory, oatmeal mill, barley mill, and distillery, foundry, two tanneries, brewery, etc., a temperance hall and four churches... ." In 1871, with a township population of 8,152, the Toronto and Nipissing Railway built the first rail line to Markham Village and Unionville, which is still used today by the GO Transit commuter services.

In 1972, Markham was incorporated as a town, as its population skyrocketed due to urban sprawl from Toronto. In 1976, Markham's population was approximately 56,000. Since that time, the population has more than quintupled with explosive growth in new subdivisions. Much of Markham's farmland has now disappeared, but is still found north of Major Mackenzie Drive. Controversy over the development of the environmentally sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine will likely curb development north of Major Mackenzie Drive.

As of 2006, Markham comprises six major communities, which include Buttonville, Cornell, Markham Village, Milliken, Thornhill, and Unionville. Since the 1980s, the city has been recognized as a suburb of Toronto. Many high-tech companies have head offices located in Markham for the relative abundance of land, low tax rates and good transportation routes. Broadcom Canada, ATI Technologies (now known as AMD Graphics Product Group), IBM Canada, Apple Computer Canada, Motorola Canada, Honeywell Canada and many other well-known companies have chosen Markham as their home in Canada. Hence, the city has been branding itself as Canada's "High-Tech Capital". An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected in front of the Markham Museum by the province to commemorate the founding of Markham's role in Ontario's heritage.

Town council voted on May 29, 2012, to officially change Markham's legal designation from "town" to "city"; according to councillor Alex Chiu, who introduced the motion, the change of designation merely reflects the fact that many people already think of Markham as a city. Some residents objected to the change because it will involve unknown costs without any demonstrated benefits. The designation officially took effect on July 1.


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 / 43.883°N 79.250°W / 43.883; -79.250. It is bounded by 5 municipalities; in the west is Vaughan with the boundary along Yonge Street between Steeles Avenue and Highway 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's average altitude is at 200 m (660 ft) and in general consists of gently rolling hills. The city is intersected by two rivers; the Don River and Rouge River, as well as their tributaries. To the north is the Oak Ridges Moraine, which further elevates the elevation towards the north.


Markham borders and shares the same climate as Toronto. On an average day, Markham is generally 1 °C (1.8 °F) cooler than in downtown Toronto. Under the Köppen climate classification, Markham has a humid continental climate (Dfb) with generally cold, damp, and snowy winters, though with occasional mild periods exceeding 5 °C (41 °F). The highest temperature recorded was 37.8 °C (100 °F) on August 8, 2001, and the lowest temperature recorded was −35.2 °C (−31 °F) on January 16, 1994 according to The Weather Network.

Climate data for Markham (Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high Humidex 13.2 14.4 29.2 35.7 40.6 44.6 50.9 44.4 43.6 35.0 24.9 20.6 50.9 Record high °C (°F) 13.6 (56.5) 14.9 (58.8) 26.0 (78.8) 31.7 (89.1) 33.5 (92.3) 36.6 (97.9) 37.2 (99) 37.8 (100) 32.8 (91) 27.1 (80.8) 22.1 (71.8) 18.0 (64.4) 37.8 (100) Average high °C (°F) −1.4 (29.5) −0.9 (30.4) 4.4 (39.9) 11.6 (52.9) 19.3 (66.7) 24.5 (76.1) 26.9 (80.4) 25.6 (78.1) 20.8 (69.4) 14.0 (57.2) 6.5 (43.7) 0.8 (33.4) 12.7 (54.9) Daily mean °C (°F) −5.9 (21.4) −5.8 (21.6) −0.5 (31.1) 6.2 (43.2) 13.1 (55.6) 18.4 (65.1) 20.9 (69.6) 19.7 (67.5) 15.0 (59) 8.5 (47.3) 2.5 (36.5) −3.3 (26.1) 7.4 (45.3) Average low °C (°F) −10.3 (13.5) −10.6 (12.9) −5.5 (22.1) 0.9 (33.6) 6.8 (44.2) 12.2 (54) 14.9 (58.8) 13.7 (56.7) 9.2 (48.6) 3.0 (37.4) −1.6 (29.1) −7.3 (18.9) 2.1 (35.8) Record low °C (°F) −35.2 (−31.4) −25.7 (−14.3) −22.0 (−7.6) −10.1 (13.8) −2.1 (28.2) 1.9 (35.4) 6.9 (44.4) 4.2 (39.6) −2.0 (28.4) −7.4 (18.7) −20.9 (−5.6) −25.3 (−13.5) −35.2 (−31.4) Wind chill −42.6 −37.4 −33.5 −18.6 −5.1 0.2 6.0 2.2 −4.2 −8.8 −23.9 −36.6 −42.6 Precipitation mm (inches) 66 (2.6) 46 (1.81) 54 (2.13) 74 (2.91) 77 (3.03) 79 (3.11) 82 (3.23) 85 (3.35) 85 (3.35) 68 (2.68) 79 (3.11) 63 (2.48) 858 (33.78) Rainfall mm (inches) 29 (1.14) 22 (0.87) 31 (1.22) 68 (2.68) 77 (3.03) 79 (3.11) 82 (3.23) 85 (3.35) 85 (3.35) 66 (2.6) 66 (2.6) 30 (1.18) 720 (28.35) Snowfall cm (inches) 40 (15.7) 26 (10.2) 22 (8.7) 6 (2.4) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (0.4) 13 (5.1) 35 (13.8) 143 (56.3) Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 16 13 12 13 12 11 11 10 12 13 15 13 151 Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 6 4 7 11 12 11 11 10 12 11 13 6 114 Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 13 10 7 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 9 48 Source: The Weather Network


Suburban tract housing in northeastern Markham

Markham is made up of many original 19th century communities (many of which, despite being technically suburban districts today, are still signed with official 'city limits' signs on major roads) and/or each with a distinctive character:

Almira Angus Glen Armadale Berczy Village Box Grove Brown's Corners Buttonville Cachet Cashel Cathedraltown Cedar Grove Cornell Crosby Dollar Downtown Markham Dickson's Hill German Mills Greensborough Hagermans Corners Langstaff Legacy Locust Hill Markham Village Milliken Mills Milnesville Mongolia Mount Joy Quantztown Raymerville – Markville East Rouge Fairways Sherwood - Amber Glen South Unionville Thornhill Underwood, Ontario Unionville Uptown Markham Victoria Square Vinegar Hill Wismer Commons

Thornhill and Unionville are popularly seen as being separate communities. Thornhill actually straddles the Markham-Vaughan municipal boundary (portions of it in both municipalities). Unionville is actually single community with two sub-communities:

original Unionville lying along Highway 7 and Kennedy Road South Unionville is a newer residential community (beginning from the 1990s onwards) south of Highway 7 to Highway 407 and from McCowan to Kennedy Road Upper Unionville is a new residential development being built on the northeast corner of 16th Avenue and Kennedy Road


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.

Historical populations Year Pop.   ±%   1871 1,000 —     1901 967 −3.3% 1911 909 −6.0% 1921 1,012 +11.3% 1931 1,008 −0.4% 1941 1,204 +19.4% 1951 1,606 +33.4% 1961 4,294 +167.4% 1971 36,684 +754.3% 1981 77,037 +110.0% 1991 153,811 +99.7% 1996 173,383 +12.7% 2001 208,615 +20.3% 2006 261,573 +25.4% 2011 301,709 +15.3% Canada 2006 Census Population  % of Total Population Ethnicity group Source: White 89,815 34.4 Chinese 89,300 34.2 South Asian 44,995 17.3 Other visible minority 17,520 6.7 Black 8,005 3.1 Filipino 7,370 2.8 Southeast Asian 1,970 0.8 Latin American 1,380 0.5 First Nations 215 0.1 Métis 155 0.1 Total population 260,755 100

Mother Tongue Percentage English 38.5% Cantonese 15.8% Chinese, not otherwise specified 10.4% Tamil 4.9% Mandarin 4.8% Urdu 2.1% Persian (Farsi) 1.9% Tagalog (Pilipino, Filipino) 1.6% Gujarati 1.6% Panjabi (Punjabi) 1.5% Italian 1.4%

46.1% of residents stated their religion as Christian, almost evenly split between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Non-Christian religions include Hinduism: 5.7%, Judaism: 5.3%, Islam: 5.3%, Buddhism: 3.4%, Sikhism: 1.1%, and 23% indicated no religion.


See also: List of mayors of Markham, Ontario City Council

Markham City Council consists of Frank Scarpitti as mayor, four regional councillors and eight ward councillors each representing one of the city's eight wards. Scarpitti replaced Don Cousens, who was a former Progressive Conservative MPP for Markham and a Presbyterian church minister. The mayor and four regional councillors are elected by the community to represent the City of Markham at the regional level. Councillors are paid by the municipality for their services, but in many municipalities, members of council usually serve part-time and work at other jobs as well. The current members of council were elected by the residents to a four-year term of office, in accordance with standards set by the province. The selection of members for the offices of mayor and regional councillors are made town-wide, while ward councillors are elected by individual ward.

Members of Parliament Members by Riding Riding Name Party Prior Experience Education Assumed Office Born In Markham—Unionville McCallum, JohnJohn McCallum Liberal Bank of Canada University Professor Cambridge University (BA) Queens' College (BA) McGill University (phD) 2000 1950 Oak Ridges—Markham Calandra, PaulPaul Calandra Conservative Ontario Legislative Assembly 2008 1970 Thornhill Kent, PeterPeter Kent Conservative Canadian Coalition for Democracies Emmy Award Nominee 2008 1943 Markham Civic Centre Markham Civic Centre

The city council is located at the Markham Civic Centre at the intersection of York Regional Road 7 and Warden Avenue. The site of the previous offices on Woodbine Avenue has been redeveloped for commercial uses. The historic town hall on Main Street is now a restored office building. The Mayor's Youth Task Force was created to discuss issues facing young people in the city and to plan and publicize events. Its primary purpose is to encourage youth participation within the community.

Elections Main articles: Markham municipal election, 2006, Markham Ward 3 By-election, 2009, and Markham municipal election, 2010 By-laws

The city is permitted to create and enforce by-laws upon residents on various matters affecting the town. The by-laws are generally enforced by City By-Law enforcement officers, but they may involve York Regional Police if violations are deemed too dangerous for the officers to handle. In addition the by-laws can be linked to various provincial acts and enforced by the town. Violation of by-laws is subject to fines of up to $20,000 CAD. The by-laws of Markham include:

Toogood Pond Animal Control (see Dog Owners' Liability Act of Ontario) Construction Permits Driveway Extensions Fencing and Swimming Pools Heritage Conservation (see Ontario Heritage Act) Home-Based Businesses Noise Parking Property Standards Registration of Basement Apartments and Second Suites Sewers Site Alteration Waste Collection Water Use

City services


There are no courts in Markham, but the city is served by an Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket, as well as an Ontario Small Claims court in Richmond Hill. The Ontario Court of Appeal is located in Toronto, while the Supreme Court of Canada is located in Ottawa. Policing is provided by York Regional Police at a station (5 District) at the corner of McCowan Road and Carlton Road and Highway 7. Highway 404, Highway 407 and parts of Highway 48 are patrolled by the Ontario Provincial Police. Toronto Police Service is responsible for patrol on Steeles from Yonge Street to the York - Durham Line.


Markham Fire and Emergency Services was established in 1970 as Markham Fire Department and replaced various local volunteer fire units. There are 9 fire stations currently serving Markham. Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport is also served by Markham's Fire service.


The main healthcare facility in the city is Markham Stouffville Hospital, located in the far eastern end. Markham is also home to Shouldice Hospital, one of the world's premier facilities for people suffering from hernias. For those living near Steeles, they sometimes will be able to receive treatment at The Scarborough Hospital Birchmount Campus in Toronto/Scarborough.