Introduction to Old Markham & Markham Village
Old Markham & Markham Village community is one of the central areas of Markham from which the rest of the city began to grow. There are some lovely old buildings, a great shopping street, century and modern homes and great amenities. Find out more about this lovely community below.
These two communities are adjacent to each other. The north and south boundaries are 16th Avenue and Highway 7 (although Markham Village does extend a little further south toward the rouge river on the east side of Markham road. The east boundary of Markham Village is Ninth Line and the west boundary of Old Markham Village is along the creek that runs parallel with Main Street until it reaches Bullock and then runs straight up west of Peter Street to 16th Avenue. The dividing line between the two communities runs along another creek that runs parallel to Paramount Road and Elm Street down to Highway 7.
History of Old Markham & Markham Village
Old Markham is the historic centre of Markham. 64 families of Mennonites from Upstate New York led by William Berczy settled here in 1794 and began farming the land and developing industry around the saw and grist mills. This community was known as Reesorville for a while after a prominent mill owner Joseph Reesor. Over the years other groups moved to the area and industry grew. When the first post office was opened in 1828 the name was changed to Markham. The area has known unrest in the Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837 with tensions between reformers and the family compact. Captain John Button raised armed troops of militia to end the violence. Markham was a divided region during this time.
By 1857, improvements in transportation, a growing population, and urbanisation invited the growth of new industries like tanneries, farm implements, and furniture manufacturers. Markham Village Station opened in 1871 but after the turn of the century, the industries found themselves competing and losing to larger companies in Toronto and so by 1900 Markham Village was back to being a largely agricultural community.
After World War II, Toronto was expanding and Markham became attractive to immigrants from all over the world. Additionally, in the 1970s highway 404 was established to improve transport links between Toronto and its northern neighbours.
Through all the development, Markham Village has retained its charm and we can see its roots, still visible through the ensuing urbanisation over the years. Markham Main Street especially is proud of its heritage and is careful to preserve it.
Homes in these communities vary greatly from historic century homes to brand new-builds. Most homes are built on large lots with no sidewalks on tree-lined streets which gives a very country feel to the area. The majority of the homes are mid-century back splits, side splits or ranch bungalows. Many of the homeowners in the area have remodelled their homes over the years as opposed to moving out. The houses that are being sold are being rebuilt and transformed into much larger homes.
Transport & Commuting
These communities have Markham Village GO station located on Markham Main Street. The proximity of Highway 7 and Highway 407 makes this area extremely convenient for both commuters who use the railway and who drive downtown. You can drive or cycle to the station from any part of the community in less than 10 minutes. The commute from the station to downtown Toronto is usually around 30 – 40 minutes. It is relatively easy to get around by bus to other parts of Markham via York Region Transport as there are four main roads inside the community and four arterial roads surrounding it.
Shopping in Old Markham & Markham Village
The main shopping area is in Main Street Markham which is north of Highway 7 to the Bullock Drive area, where most of the stores are individually or family-owned businesses. There is a plethora of choices and very interesting wares to see, food to eat and services offered. There is something for everyone. In the summer months, there is usually a Farmers Market on a Saturday. Other plazas include Station Plaza – opposite the Station, a plaza at Wooten Way and Highway 7, Mintleaf Plaza at the corner of Mintleaf Gate and 16th Avenue and a plaza at the corner of Fincham Avenue and 16th. All of these have lots of independently owned stores, restaurants and fast food takeaways.
Parks & Recreation
Old Markham & Markham Village has a lot of parks to offer. Here is a list:
- Walker Park – Children’s playground, outside gym equipment, large grassy areas, soccer field
- Morgan Park – Children’s playground, baseball diamond, outdoor pool, splash pad
- Carmen Lewis Park – natural wooded area with walking trails
- Paramount Park – natural wooded area with walking trails
- Reesor Park – Children’s playground, large grassy area, baseball diamond, 2 soccer pitches
- Mintleaf Park – Children’s playground, practice soccer pitches, baseball diamond, large grassy area
- Fincham Park – Children’s playground, soccer field, large grassy area, baseball practice nets.
The communities are host to Markham Tennis Club. Additionally, Markham Village Library is large and has meeting spaces for hire. Next door to the library is Markham Village Community Centre which offers a large ice rink with changing rooms and meeting rooms for hire. For fitness facilities and a gymnasium, Markham Centennial Community Centre is nearby.
There are 3 elementary schools: Edward T Crowle Public School, Reesor Park Public School and Franklin Street Public School. Additionally, there is a high school – Markham District High School. All of which are highly regarded. For more information about schools in these communities click here for a complete guide to schools in Markham.
Old Markham Village and Markham Village communities retain a huge amount of charm whilst still offering modern amenities, a mix of housing varieties, some lovely local shopping opportunities, and great schools. Pride of heritage and community is evident here and it is an incredibly popular part of Markham!