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markham, ontario city profile

Markham, changing its status from town to city on July 1, 2012 and dubbed as the high tech capital of the world, is made up of many original 19th century communities that has incorporated new communities with flavours of the past. Nested in York Region, the City of Markham is divided into eight wards and is a blend of four original communities: Markham, Milliken, Thornhill, and Unionville.


  • Box Grove
    Box Grove is located at 9th Line and 14th Avenue. Residential development
    began in the late 1990s and continues today.

    An Iroquian settlement existed on the west bank of Little Rouge Creek in the fourteenth century. The hamlet changed to its present name during Canada's Confederation in 1867 when it was granted a post office. The Box Grove Church and Box Grove Schoolhouse are the only reminders of the once-vibrant hamlet.

  • Brown's Corners
    Brown's Corner is located at Woodbine Avenue and Hwy 7. The community was founded in 1842 and named after local settler Alexander Brown, Sr. who had acquired 100 acres in 1838. Beaver Creek flows through what was once farmland, having given way to commercial development. All that remains of the old settlement is the Brown's Corner United Church and a small cemetery.

  • Cathedraltown
    Cathedraltown is a community bounded by Hwy 404, Major Mackenzie Drive, Cachet River, and Elgin Mills Road. It is a new and developing community gaining its name from the Cathedral of the Transfiguration landmark. Originally farmland, the area has seen increasing pressure to redevelop as a residential neighbourhood.

  • Cornell
    Cornell is located within 9th Line, Don Cousens Parkway, 16th Avenue, and ETR 407 on the East side of Markham. The community is an example of new urbanism, designed as a walkable neighborhood with a variety of housing types and retail.

    Cornell's name was a suggestion by Paul Mingay, a local lawyer, in the 1990s. Mingay's family roots can be traced back to Susan Emily Cornell, a descendant of William Cornell who was a distant relative of Ezra Cornell, the founder of Cornell University. Later Cornells settled in Markham and married into the Reesor family.

  • Dollar
    Dollar is a former community of the City of Markham, located Leslie Street and Hwy 7. By 1871, Dollar had a post office, a general store, a blacksmith shop and a Methodist church. With the arrival of the railroad through Markham Village and Unionville in the 1870s, the importance of smaller communities like Dollar began to fade.

    In 1962 the name "Dollar" was rescinded and the hamlet ceased to exist. In 1971, the north side of Highway 7 was annexed to Richmond Hill.

  • Dickson Hill
    Dickson Hill is a small community near Hwy 48 and 19th Avenue, on the border of Whitchurch-Stouffville. Unlike many parts of Markham, the area around Dickson Hill has remained largely agricultural. The hamlet has a small church and a school. The original school house, built in 1861 has been relocated to Black Creek Pioneer Village in north-west Toronto.

  • Greensborough
    Greensborough is one of the easternmost communities in Markham and, with the exception of Dickson Hill, it is also the northernmost. It is bounded by 16th Avenue, 9th Line, Major MacKenzie Drive, and Markham Road. Historically agricultural, housing development began in 2005 near the completion of the Don Cousens Parkway.

  • Legacy
    Legacy is a posh community bounded by 9th Line, 14th Avenue, ETR 407,
    and the Markham Green Golf & Country Club.

  • Locust Hill
    Locust Hill is an historic communitycentred on Hwy 7 and the Canadian Pacific Railway and within the boundaries of the future national Rouge Park. Locust Hill was first settled in 1799 by Samuel Reynolds from New York. By 1890, the settlement contained a general store, a blacksmith shop, a Methodist Church, a brick schoolhouse, and a post office was opened in 1886.

  • Markham Village
    Markham Village, originally Reesorville, was founded and settled in 1825 by Mennonites from Upstate New York and Pennsylvania.

  • Milnesville
    Milnesville is a historic community on Hwy 48. It was founded in 1851 by Peter Milne. In 1852, Milnesville was granted a post office which was run out of the general store operated by John Harrington. By the end of the 19th century, the community had a mill, a blacksmith shop, and a cobbbler shop.

  • Mongolia
    Mongolia is an historical community in Markham, Ontario centred on Reesor Road and Elgin Mills Road East, immediately south of the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville. The hamlet lies completely within the expropriated federal Pickering Airport lands and also within the proposed boundaries of a future national Rouge Park.

    The first settler at Mongolia was Peter de Guerre, a French Huguenot, in 1803. Pennsylvania Dutch (Mennonite) families began to settle in the area in the 1820s. In 1824, a tavern licence was granted using the name California Corners. The community had a general store, an inn, a blacksmith shop, wagon-making shop, a cobbler shop, and a Temperance Hall. In the early years, school was held in the general store. In 1855 and 1882, schools were built. When the rail lines to Stouffville and Claremont by-passed Mongolia, the area reverted to farmland.

    In March 1972, the federal government announced plans for a future international airport on the Pickering side of the York-Durham Line. The lands around Mongolia were expropriated for the Pickering Airport. The last merchant in Mongolia closed his business on Dec. 31, 1974. Very few original families live in the area; most of the homes in Mongolia have been boarded or demolished. The land has been rented by the federal government to local farmers since expropriation.

  • Mount Joy
    Mount Joy is a community located in north part of Markham, Ontario, Canada near Hwy 48 and 16th Avenue and part of the former Village of Markham. Like Quantztown, the former farm land in the area has given way to new homes.

  • Vinegar Hill
    Vinegar Hill is an unincorporated community bounded by Hwy 7, ETR 407, and streets bordered by the Rouge River. Markham Village south of Hwy 7 is known as Vinegar Hill. It received its unusual name by two barrel makers (coopers) who raced barrels filled with vinegar down the steep hill every Good Friday to determine who was the better cooper. The annual competition gave the area its rightful name.

  • Wismer Commons
    Wismer Commons is bounded by 16th Avenue, Hwy 48, and Kennedy Road. The community is named after David Wismer from Germany, after arriving from Pennsylvania in 1806.

    After the deaths of both David and Lydia Wismer in 1856, the Family continued to donate property to various community organizations, including the land for the construction of the first school in the area. The original one-room schoolhouse, located near the south west corner of 16th Avenue and Hwy 48, was replaced in 1864 where the present Markham Museum now stands.

Milliken or Milliken Mills is bounded by 14th Avenue East, Markham Road, Finch Avenue East, and Warden Avenue. The community is named after Norman Milliken from New Brunswick. He settled in the area in 1814, then called Milliken Corners, and operated a lumber business. The community's post office was established in 1859 and the Ebenezer United Church was built in 1878.

  • Armadale
    Armadale is a historical community situated in the south-east of Markham and north-east of Scarborough at Markham Road and Steeles Avenue. The Markham portion was developed in the 1980s and 1990s as a residential community from farmland.

    Armadale’s past began long before the first European settlers even reached the area. Archaeological initiatives spearheaded by the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum led to a wealth of First Nation artifacts like arrowheads and pottery being unearthed.

  • Cedar Grove
    Cedar Grove is located at 14th Avenue and Reesor Road and within the boundaries of Markham's future National Rouge Park. It is best known as the home of Cedarena, an outdoor olympic-size skating facility built in 1927 that is still operational today.

    James Osborne and family of North Carolina first settled in the Cedar Grove area in the late eighteenth century. In 1804, Peter Reesor and Mennonite settlers from Pennsylvania arrived. Reesor bought the Osborne lot and and other surrounding lots. By 1878 the hamlet had a school house that also served as a place of worship for Presbyterians and Mennonites, four mills, a post office and general store, tavern and inn, and blacksmith shop.

  • Hagermans Corners
    Hagerman's Corners is an unincorporated community located at 14th Avenue and Kennedy Road, geographically between the communities of Milliken Mills and Unionville.

    Hagerman's Corners was founded in 1803 by Nicholas Hagerman. By 1878 the village had a hotel and tavern, a general store, a post office, and a wagon maker.
    Today, the west side of Kennedy Road is home to a new public housing project for the City of Markham. Two small strip malls with mostly Chinese stores are located on the southwest corner of 14th Avenue and Kennedy Road.

  • Underwood
    Underwood is an unincorporated community located at the corner of Birchmount Road and Steeles Avenue and considered to be part of Milliken. Farmland disappeared in the 1980s to residential development.

Thornhill, once a municipal village, is a community and postal designation geographically split into two municipalities along Yonge Street with the city of Vaughan to the west and the city of Markham to the east.

Thornhill was founded in 1794. Its first settlers on Yonge Street were Asa Johnson (Vaughan side) and Nicholas Miller (Markham side). By 1820, a gristmill, a sawmill, and a tannery were established in the community by Benjamin Thorne. The settlement came to be known as Thorne's Mills, then Thorne's Hill, and finally Thornhill was derived.

  • German Mills
    Located in the Thornhill area, German Mills was named for its early German settlers. It became the first significant industrial complex due to brilliant entrepreneur William Moll Berczy.

    Berczy led a group of 64 families with 182 people in total to York in the summer of 1794. This group consisted of bakers, blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, weavers, a preacher, school teacher, brewer, cartwright, locksmith, miller, potter, tanner, stonemasons as well as farmers. It represented the first classic immigration model in Canada to fill the critical need of its time. In the fall of 1794, William Berczy hired men to erect a large house, a sawmill building, and a warehouse for the Northwest Fur Trade Company as an intermediate stop for the northern route of the fur trade on the Rouge River at what is now Unionville.

    The German Mills industrial complex consisted of a grist mill, saw mill and a blacksmith shop. The grist mills produced flour and the saw mill produced shingles and various kinds of lumber for the buildings in the German Mills area. It also supplied lumber for the first houses in Toronto.

    German Mills is now primarily a residential neighbourhood with homes built in the 1970s and 1980s.

  • Langstaff
    Langstaff is a residential community near Langstaff Road and Yonge Street with the homes from the 1960s and 1970s. The East Don River and CN Rail run through the community.

Unionville is a suburban village in Markham with highly debated and undefined boundaries. It was founded north of 16th Avenue in 1794 and many of the farms on and around Woodbine Avenue considered themselves a part of Unionville. Today, residents of Ward 3 retain the address for Unionville. Ward 3 is bounded by Warden Avenue, 16th Avenue, McCowan Road, and ETR 407. Rouge River runs north of the central part of Unionville and to the southeast.

  • Angus Glen
    Angus Glen is a community in Unionville. The area was originally farmland, but as the land south has been developed, pressure is increasing to redevelop this area into residential neighbourhoods.

    In addition to the famous golf course, the area is home to the Unionville William Berczy Historic Cemetery that contains the burial sites of the early settlers of the area.

  • Berczy Village
    Bercy Village is the neighbourhood bounded by Kennedy Road, McCowan
    Avenue, Major MacKenzie Drive, and 16th Avenue over what was once farmland. The community is named after the founder of Markham and one of its earliest settlers, William Berczy. The name can be found on limestone plaques found throughout the community's many arterial road entrances.

    The Village is particularly known for its eclectic variety of mixed-income dwellings and the vast amount of green space that is found in most parts within the subdivision.

  • Buttonville
    Buttonville is a community in the western part of Unionville. Rouge River is to the northeast and Buttonville Airport is directly west of Buttonville. The village was named after John Button who acquired the land in 1808. By 1878, the village had a post office, a grist mill, a wagon maker, a school, a Lutheran church and a Methodist church. Housing developments began in the 1960s and continued until 2004.

  • Cachet
    Cachet is a community in Unionville bounded by 16th Avenue, Major Mackenzie Drive, Warden Avenue, and Woodbine Avenue. The Rouge River and Berczy Creek flows through the community, but most of the natural areas of the community has disappeared to residential development.

  • Cashel
    Cashel is located at the intersection of Elgin Mills Road and York Regional Road 67 and home to the Markham Fairgrounds. Originally called Crosby Corners after the village's first store owner John Crosby, the name was changed to Cashel in 1851 with the opening of its first post office. In 1851 the community had a sawmill, cobbler shop, blacksmith shop, wagon shop, inn and tavern, Masonic Lodge, and Presbyterian church. Today, most parts of this community remains farmland.

  • Downtown Markham
    Downtown Markham is the area south of Hwy 7, west of Kennedy Road, east of Warden Avenue, and north of 407 ETR. It is located within the subdivision of Markham Centre which is bounded by Apple Creek Boulevard / Carlton Road, Kennedy Road, Rodick Road, and 14th Avenue. Downtown Markham is to serve as the heart of Markham with mostly commercial buildings.

  • Quantztown
    Quantztown is an unincorporated community located in the community of Unionville near McCowan Road and 16th Avenue. The actual Quantztown exists more so on the south-west corner of McCowan Road and 16th Avenue, where there is notably Quantztown Cemetery. Quantztown Pond is located on the south side of Carlton Road just east of Kennedy Road.

    Since the late 1990s, the land has given way to single family homes.

  • Victoria Square
    Victoria Square is bounded by 19th Avenue, Warden Avenue, Woodbine Avenue and Major Mackenzie Drive. Primitive Methodist Church was built in the1830s on the east side of 4th Line, where the cemetery is still located. By 1849, Victoria Square had an inn with a tavern licence and, in 1854, the post office opened.

    Residential development of the area began in the 1990s. Most homes in the area are single family dwellings.
Web page content last updated Thursday, February 21, 2013

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