|Regional municipality (Markham section)||York|
|Cities||Toronto and Markham|
|Elevation||176 m (577 ft)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||905 and 289|
Armadale is the name of a neighbourhood that overlaps into the city of Markham and the former city of Scarborough in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The historical community is situated in the south-east of Markham and north-east of Scarborough.
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. On the west half of Lot 2 Concession 8, there is even a dark patch of soil that demarcates the position of an age-old Iroquois longhouse.
As early as 1805, United Empire Loyalist settlers moved into the region (Steeles Avenue and 8th Line). The community's name was first known as Magdala. A postal station was established in 1869 along what is now Passmore Avenue, but the name Magdala was not accepted and the post office became known as Armadale. It was aptly named after a small village near Edinburgh, Scotland.
Between 1840 and 1860, the hamlet thrived as a small mercantile center boasting two blacksmith shops, a hotel and a post office. The fortunes of the bustling community were brought to a premature end when the establishment of the Toronto and Nipissing Railway, built in 1871, which by-passed Armadale. When rural mail delivery was introduced in 1917, the community's post office was closed. Only the historic Armadale Free Methodist Church (1880) remains as a reminder of the hamlet's early settlement.
Other buildings in the small community included:
- blacksmith shop
- brick making yard
- several farms
- general store operated by the Beare Family
- Temperance hotel
The Markham portion was developed in the 1980s and 1990s as a residential community from farm land. This area of Markham is home to predominantly middle-income families. There is also a visible infrastructural decay of neighbourhoods located here.
South of Steeles Avenue, the land has remained undeveloped with many abandoned farms and apple orchards. Small industrial and commercial parks were built in the area. There are many businesses and factories along Passmore Avenue. A plaza, containing T & T Supermarket along with many shops catering to Asian customers, was recently opened to the east of the farm along Middlefield Road and Steeles Avenue. Along Steeles Avenue east of Markham was a small farm selling vegetables with industrial parks lining the south part of the farm, however this farm will soon disappear as a new Asian-oriented shopping centre will be built on the property.
Armadale Community Centre
Armadale Community Centre is a small multi-purpose facility on Denison Street west of McCowan Road. Built in the early 1990s, the facility has community rooms, small gym as well as outdoor tennis courts (used by Armadale Tennis Club), two soccer pitches and a baseball field.
Places in Armadale
- Armadale Public School
- Armadale Tennis Club
- Elson Park
- James Edward Park
- Milliken Park
- Milliken Crossing Plaza
- St.Vincent de Paul CES
- Coppard Glen Public School
- For a fuller history, cf. Isabel Champion, ed., Markham: 1793-1900 (Markham, ON: Markham Historical Society, 1979), pp. 226-228; also Scarborough Historical Society, Armadale[permanent dead link]. See also the detailed 1878 map, "Township of Markham," Illustrated historical atlas of the county of York and the township of West Gwillimbury & town of Bradford in the county of Simcoe, Ont. (Toronto: Miles & Co., 1878).
- Cf. the Ontario Heritage Foundation's historical plaque for the Armadale Free Methodist Church 1880.