Downtown Markham, Ontario

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Not to be confused with Markham Centre.
Downtown Markham
Motto: the Place To BE
Downtown Markham, Ontario is located in Regional Municipality of York
Downtown Markham, Ontario
Location within York
Coordinates: 43°51′N 79°19′W / 43.85°N 79.32°W / 43.85; -79.32Coordinates: 43°51′N 79°19′W / 43.85°N 79.32°W / 43.85; -79.32
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Regional Municipality York
City Markham
District Markham Centre
Established 2001[1]
 • Total 0.98 km2 (0.38 sq mi)
Time zone Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)
Canadian postal codes L6G
Area code(s) 905, 289
Website Downtown Markham

Downtown Markham is a central business district of Markham, Ontario, Canada currently under construction. The development is located within the subdivision of Markham Centre as well as Unionville and is proposed to serve as the heart of Markham. Downtown Markham, once completed, will serve as a Central Business District to the city, hiring as many as 16,000 employees,[2][3] as well as a home to approximately 10,000.[4] The development will have a high density of residential, retail, commercial and mixed-use structures. The community is being developed, built and wholly financed by The Remington Group Inc.

Downtown Markham[edit]

A vibrant, entertaining, culturally infused mixed-use development, Downtown Markham is one of the Greater Toronto Area’s newest urban hubs and the largest planned mixed-use development in Canada. The development spans 243 acres and is situated in one of the fastest growing regions in the province. Downtown Markham will be the commercial district within Unionville, which is located in the center of The City of Markham and will consist of a wide mix of residential, office and retail uses.

Downtown Markham’s planned two million square feet of retail space will include international retailers, best-of local shops, gourmet restaurants and entertainment venues. Downtown Markham will also offer more than 3.4 million square feet of office space in a Commercial District adjacent to Highway 407, one of Canada’s major inter-regional highways.

More than homes, offices, shops and dining, Downtown Markham will be an urban destination with arts and culture at the heart. The development will feature the world’s first power-producing, fine-art carousel, street wall art, an outdoor museum, and a 2,500 seat Cineplex Cinemas.

The vibrant urban centre is being designed and developed following sustainable guidelines, including energy efficient power sources and LEED certified residential and commercial projects. Aside from allowing greater density, the development also enjoys 72 acres of natural and landscaped green space, improved walkability and easy access to public transit, including Viva Rapid Transit and GO Transit.

Downtown Markham refers to an area south of Uptown Markham / Highway 7, west of Kennedy Road / Main Street Unionville, east of Warden Avenue, and north of Highway 407 ETR.

On the other hand, Markham Centre or Unionville refers to a broader area. Markham Centre is bounded north to Apple Creek Boulevard / Carlton Road, east to Kennedy Road, west to Rodick Road, and south to 14th Avenue.

Recent History[edit]

Downtown Markham construction site in 2009.

The City of Markham is a 1971 fusion of three historic villages: Thornhill, Unionville and Markham Village. Each had its own main street, but there was no single downtown / Central business district for Markham as a whole. The area south of Unionville to the east of Warden Avenue was frozen for development by the province during the planning and construction of express toll road Highway 407. In fall 2001, a plan was approved to develop the area with higher commercial density. The Town of Markham has approved the plan, according to Markham's former mayor, Donald Cousens.[2] It was planned out that the community situated in Unionville will be entirely self-sustained, transit-oriented, using Smart Growth. Construction began in 2005, when Enterprise Drive was completed.

Notable sites in Downtown Markham[edit]



  • Cineplex Cinemas Downtown Markham VIP & IMAX[5][6] (under construction)
  • Digi Deco (coming 2015)
  • Marriott Hotel (under construction)
  • Me Va Me Mediterranean Restaurant (coming 2015)
  • Chatime (coming 2015)
  • Aroma Espresso Bar (coming 2015)
  • South St. Burger Co. (coming 2015)
  • Royal Bank (coming 2015)
  • Curry's Artists' Materials (coming 2015)
  • Thai Express (coming 2015)
  • Deco-it (coming 2015)


  • Remington Corporate Centre - WorleyParsons commercial office building
  • Honeywell commercial office building
  • Aviva commercial office building (under construction)


  • The Benchmark Luxury Town Manors
  • Rouge Bijou condominiums
  • Verdale condominiums
  • Nexus condominiums
  • The Signature condominiums (under construction)


Strategies of Downtown Markham[edit]

Downtown Markham located in the City of Markham's Unionville Village is using a development strategy named smart growth. The community will try to limit urban sprawl by creating a denser urban centre. The urban centre is planned to be a transit-oriented community, with everything close by and fully transit dependent.[3] In addition, the community was also planned to have be environmentally sustainable as well.

The community was planned by the City of Markham, in co-operation with The Remington Group. The Remington Group is mainly in charge of constructing most of the structures across this new community.

According to the plan approved by the city council, the community will contain residential condos and townhouses, commercial, and retail buildings.[2] Some of these structures have already begun construction. Updates as to what is built is underway.

Downtown Markham in Unionville has been nominated as the country's largest mixed-used development, as well as North America's largest LEED (leadership-in-energy-and-environmental-design) registered development.[7]


The primary modes of transportation in Downtown Markham are: Regional Roads, municipal roads, a toll highway, bus rapid transit, and GO Trains.[3]

York Regional Roads[edit]

The community is bounded with three York Regional Roads, which are numbered as 3 (Kennedy Road), 7 (Highway 7), and 65 (Warden Avenue).

Municipal Roads[edit]

Most of the roads across the community are municipally maintained local roads. The only two roads serving as major arterials are Enterprise Drive and Birchmount Road. Both roads have four lanes and a median divider.

Toll Highway[edit]

Highway 407 serves the community with exits on Warden Avenue and Kennedy Road. The highway leads east to Pickering and west to Burlington.

Bus Rapid Transit[edit]

The community is served by the Warden, Enterprise and Unionville stops on the VIVA bus rapid transit system. Warden and Enterprise are served by three lines: Viva Purple, Viva Green, and Viva Pink, while Unionville Station is only served by Viva Pink. As of 2011, Viva Purple is the only line with all-day service, the other lines operate only during rush hour. It is scheduled that when Downtown Markham is fully functional and occupied, Viva Green will return to full service. The community is anticipated to be highly dependent on these transit routes, as part of the planned smart growth.

Viva Purple connects the locale to Cornell and York University; Viva Green connects the locale to Don Mills Station and Cornell; Viva Pink connects the locale to North York City Centre.

Other bus routes that serve the area include:

  • TTC 68 Warden
  • YRT 8 Kennedy
  • YRT 1 Highway 7

GO Transit[edit]

GO Transit also serves the area. Unionville Station is located within Downtown Markham. It is on the Stouffville Line, which operates only during rush hours. The GO Train connects the locale to Stouffville and Downtown Toronto.

Environmental Sustainability[edit]

The community reserves 72 acres (290,000 m2) as a natural reserve, which includes an ecologically sensitive area, Rouge River.


  1. ^ a b "Downtown Markham:About". 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  2. ^ a b c Guelph Civic League. "Downtown Markham Makeover". Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  3. ^ a b c The Toronto Star (2007-08-11). "Digging for an elusive dream". The Star. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  4. ^ Remington Group, and the Town of Markham (March 2006). "Downtown Markham Facts at a glance". Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  5. ^ Cineplex Unveils Plan for Downtown Markham -
  6. ^ -
  7. ^ 100 Thousand Club. "New York. Paris. London. Toronto?". Retrieved 2008-06-16.