Markham, a municipality of more than 350,000 residents, is located in the Greater Toronto area, as the home to more than 1,100 high tech and life science companies. Markham is Canada’s most diverse community, also enjoying outstanding community services winning the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple environmental awards.
In 1972, Markham was incorporated as a town, as its population skyrocketed due to urban sprawl from Toronto. On July 1st, Markham’s legal designation changed from “town” to “city”, in 2012, representing the city’s fast growth.
Markham is made up of six major communities, including Berczy Village, Cornell, Markham Village, Milliken, Thornhill, and Unionville. The city has been recognized as a suburb of Toronto since the 1980s. Markham is seen as Canada’s “High-Tech Capital”, with many famous companies settling in the city as their head office.
- McKay Art Centre (197 Main St Unionville, Unionville, ON L3R 2G8, 905-9461733)
Originally the home of a local auctioneer, Salem Eckardt, the McKay Art Centre is now a community studio for art instructions. The house’s unique architecture style of the gothic and classical revival period reminds visitors of the famous artists who once lived in the house, including Frederick Varley, who actually constructed the studio in the basement!
- Stiver Mill Cultural Centre (9 Station Ln, Unionville, ON L3R 1R5, 647-9839054, only open on Sunday)
The Stiver Mill Cultural Centre located in Unionville is one of the last architectural buildings which still resembles the old classic style of farming mills in the past. The mill is now a local landmark that also functions as a community centre and a farmer’s market. Despite of being more than 2 centuries old, the mill is still full of excitement with fresh farm products and new live entertainments available each Sunday on the farmer’s market. Guided tours of the building are also available throughout the day for new visitors.
- Varley Art Gallery (216 Main St Unionville, Unionville, ON L3R 2H1, 905-4777000)
The Varley Art gallery is named after artist Fred Varley who enjoyed his late years in Unionville. With a contrasting Postmodern architectural style, the gallery stands out from the neighbouring heritage buildings. Featuring excellent collections of oil, watercolour paintings and drawings, the gallery also has changing exhibits throughout the year showing different unique art pieces.
- Markham Museum (9350 Markham Rd, Markham, ON L3P 3J3, 905-3055970)
Since its establishment in 1971, the Markham Museum has hold countless exclusive preservations of Markham’s past. Over decades of its establishment, artefacts, documents, and buildings have continued to be moved to the property, showing the city’s glorious history.
- Thornhill Village Library (10 Colborne St, Thornhill, ON L3T 1Z6, 905-5137977)
Converted into a public library in the 1970s, this mid-19th century house has not lost its fine classic revival style by being a local amenity. The house fits adequately into the streets of old Thornhill, resembling the classic landscape of the area. The library was recently featured in author Deborah Kerbel’s ghost story, “Lure”. With its new appearances in horror stories, and the rumoured ghost appearances of its original owner Ellen Ramsden, this “haunted” house is visited by many curious tourists.
- Railview Model Railroad Club (550 Alden Rd, Markham, ON L3R 6A8)
One of the largest HO-scale layouts in Ontario is hosted by the Railview Model Railroad Club, with its size being over 279 square metres. The Hamilton/Bayview Junction from three different periods of time are modeled, ranging from the steam to diesel look from the 1940s-1950s, the second generation diesel look of the 1960s, and 1 the modern era rail transport look from 1980 to present day. More works are showcased frequently, and new members are vastly welcomed!
- Bethesda Lutheran Church (20 Union St, Unionville, ON L3R 2H5, 905-4771731)
This long established religious centre dates back to 1794, when the first community gathering were held by a group of German settlers. Today, the Bethesda Lutheran Church remains as a centre of worship for the descendants of these founding families. Travellers can also enjoy the visit by admiring the beautiful early 20th century Gothic Revival style interior.
Ontario, located in east-central Canada, is Canada’s most populous province, accounting for nearly 40 percent of Canada’s population, and the second-largest province in total area. It is home to the nation’s capital city, Ottawa, and the nation’s most populous city, Toronto. Ontario is also home to more than 250,000 lakes, making up of one-fifth of the world’s total fresh water.
People have lived in what is now Ontario for more than 12,000 years. The word Ontario comes from an Iroquois word for beautiful water and lake. It was first settled with native aboriginals, and later became the home of many French and British settlers. Canada was previously separated into two parts, with Ontario as Upper Canada and Quebec as Lower Canada, separated by the St. Lawrence River.
During the 1800s, many immigrant groups moved to Upper Canada, mostly from Germany, and Scotland. In 1867, Ontario and Quebec joined Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to form the federal union – the Dominion of Canada. The new country’s capital was the small town of Ottawa and had Sir John A. Macdonald as its first prime minister.
With a population of more than 13.5 million, Ontario is home to about 2 fifths of Canadians. More than 85% of the population live in urban centres, mostly in cities on the shores of the Great Lakes. More than 9 million people live in the “Golden Horseshoe”, consisting of the Great Toronto Area, Hamilton, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.
Toronto has been called the most multicultural city in the world, where more than 100 languages and dialects are spoken. Languages other than English such as Chinese, Italian, German, Polish, Spanish, Punjabi, Ukrainian and Portuguese are all spoken.