Conley Park, one of the many parks found in Thornhill
|Regional Municipality||York Region|
|Time zone||EST (UTC−5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC−4)|
|Forward sortation area||L3T (Markham)
|Area code(s)||905 and 289|
Thornhill (2011 population 110,430) is a neighbourhood in the Greater Toronto Area of Southern Ontario, Canada, located on the northern border of the city of Toronto. Once a municipal village, Thornhill is now a community and postal designation geographically split into two municipalities along Yonge Street, the city of Vaughan to the west and the city of Markham to the east. According to the 2001 Census, the population of Thornhill-Vaughan was 56,361, and the population of Thornhill-Markham was 47,333. It is immediately south and south-west of Richmond Hill.
Thornhill was founded in 1794. Its first settlers on Yonge Street in Thornhill were Asa Johnson (who settled on the Vaughan side) and Nicholas Miller (c.1760–1810; who settled on the Markham side). Of particular importance was the arrival of Benjamin Thorne (January 4, 1794 – July 2, 1848) in 1820 from Dorset, England, who was operating a gristmill, a sawmill, and a tannery in the community. The settlement came to be known as Thorne's Mills, and later, Thorne's Hill, from which its current name is derived. (Thorne committed suicide in 1848, after a serious wheat market crash.)
Between 1830 and 1848, Thornhill experienced a period of continued growth and prosperity. The business district of Thornhill developed on its portion of Yonge Street, between Centre Street and John Street. Stagecoaches travelled between Holland Landing (Lake Simcoe) and York (Toronto) as Yonge Street's road conditions improved with new stonework. During this prosperous period, several churches, many of which are still standing today, were constructed.
Thornhill's location along Yonge Street, a major transportation route, proved to be beneficial to the community's growth throughout much of the twentieth century. The implementation of an electric street railway along Yonge Street in 1898 towards Kleinburg, Georgina, King and Toronto meant that, for the first time, it was possible for people to reside in Thornhill and work in Toronto. By the 1920s, the prevalence of the automobile further facilitated travel along Yonge Street.
In 1931, Thornhill became a "Police Village"; before that time, Thornhill had no independent status and was split between the townships of Vaughan and Markham along Yonge Street, since the creation of municipal government in 1850. Before 1931, each township administered its own half of the village. The creation of the Police Village gave Thornhill its own political boundaries. The village was headed by a reeve.
In 1971, York Region was created, part of a wave of municipal re-organization which converted many townships into towns and eliminated many of the municipal forms of organization which had existed within those townships. The establishment of a regional administration effectively eliminated the Police Village of Thornhill. Thornhill's administration reverted to the newly formed towns of Markham and Vaughan at this time.
However, many political and social institutions remained organized around the former municipal entities eliminated in 1971. Like neighbouring communities such as Woodbridge, Maple, and Unionville – as is typical for most urbanized former Greater Toronto Area (GTA) villages outside of the City of Toronto – Thornhill remained the postal designation for addresses within the former village's boundaries, and community organizations such as local newspapers, sports teams, and schools continued to operate under the Thornhill name and designation. As an example, until the mid-1990s residents of Thornhill seeking to play high-level hockey were required to play for a Thornhill team.
While the old village of Thornhill revolved around Yonge Street between Centre and John Streets, the community is typically thought to be located between Dufferin Street to the west, Highway 7 to the north, Steeles Avenue to the south, and Highway 404 to the east.
Thornhill's growth since the 1960s and 1970s has been largely connected to its location bordering what is now the City of Toronto.
Growth has continued apace. Developments have sprung up across various areas of Thornhill in each of the municipal districts which encompass Thornhill, following the development patterns of the Greater Toronto Area.
Thornhill has a very ethnically diverse population. It is home to significant visible minority communities, particularly Chinese, Korean, and Iranian. Thornhill's traditional population consists of large Italian and Jewish communities.
According to 2001 Federal Census data, the electoral district of Thornhill (which is not entirely congruent with the neighbourhood) consists of Chinese, the largest visible minority, accounting for almost 11% of total residents (12,610), followed by South Asian (6,595), Black (2,665), Korean (2,660), Filipino (2,535), and West Asian (2,355).
According to the 2009 Report of Canada's Demographic Task Force, Thornhill-Vaughan is home to more than 33,000 members of the Jewish community.
Municipally, Thornhill is split into Wards 4 and 5 in the City of Vaughan and Ward 1 in the City of Markham. It is represented by Sandra Yeung Racco (Vaughan Ward 4), Alan Shefman (Vaughan Ward 5), and Valerie Burke (Markham Ward 1).
- Bakersfield Public School, established in 2003
- Baythorn Public School
- Bayview Glen Public School
- Bayview Fairways Public School
- Brownridge Public School
- Carrville Mills Public School, established in 2007
- Charlton Public School
- Doncrest Public School
- E.J. Sand Public School
- German Mills Public School
- Glen Shields Public School
- Henderson Avenue Public School
- Herbert H. Carnegie Public School
- Johnsview Village Public School
- Julliard Public School
- Louis Honoré Fréchette Public School, established in 1991
- Roberta Bondar Public School, established in 2008
- Rosedale Heights Public School
- Stornoway Crescent Public School
- Thornhill Public School
- Thornhill Woods Public School, established in 2005
- Ventura Park Public School, established in 1999
- Westminster Public School, established in 1983
- Willowbrook Public School
- Wilshire Elementary School
- Woodland Public School
- Yorkhill Elementary School
- Blessed (Bishop) Scalabrini Catholic Elementary School
- Holy Family Catholic Elementary School
- St. Elizabeth Catholic High School, established in 1987
- Our Lady of the Rosary
- St. Joseph the Worker
- St. Robert Catholic High School
- St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School
- St. Michael Catholic Academy
- St. Luke Catholic Elementary School
- UMCA Rich Tree Academy
- Blyth Education
- Rutherford Private School & Daycare (formerly known as Eligor School)
- Toronto Waldorf School
There are no general hospitals in the Thornhill area; the nearest are Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital in Richmond Hill and North York General Hospital in Toronto. A private hospital, Shouldice Hernia Centre, is in Thornhill and is one of the world's premiere facilities for the treatment of hernias.
- Thornhill Post – Monthly publication.
- Vaughan Today – Monthly publication.
- Salam Toronto – Bilingual Persian-English weekly paper.
- Shalom Toronto – Bilingual Hebrew-English weekly paper.
Notable people from Thornhill
Film and broadcasting
- Hayden Christensen – Actor, most notable for playing Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequel trilogy
- Sidney M. Cohen – TV Director and Producer The Mad Dash and Thrill of a Lifetime & "Accessibility in Action"
- Lauren Collins – Actress, notable role of Paige on Degrassi: The Next Generation.
- Jian Ghomeshi – musician and radio personality
- Corey Haim – Actor, best known for roles in movies, such as Lucas, and The Lost Boys.
- Tajja Isen – Voice Actress
- Simcha Jacobovici – Known as "The Naked Archaeologist".
- Hadley Kay – Voice Actor.
- Paul McGuire – Host on CMT (Canada)
- Dan Shulman – Sports broadcaster who works for ESPN.
- Stu Stone – Actor and voiceover performer.
- Daniel Magder – Actor.
- By Divine Right – indie rock band
- Gerald Eaton – R&B singer-songwriter, producer and lead singer of The Philosopher Kings
- Moxy Früvous – Musical group of the 1990s whose songs featured satirical themes (included CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi)
- Robert Goulet – singer/performer – lived in Thornhill on Vista View Blvd for at least one year in the 1960s
- Hayden – Folk rock musician and songwriter.
- hHead – alternative rock band of the 1990s
- Judy & David – children's recording artists, composers, television personalities, and live concert artists
- Ryan and Dan Kowarsky – Singers, members of the music group b4-4
- Jon Levine – Musician, Producer – The Philosopher Kings
- Anne Murray – singer – lived in one of Thornhill's oldest districts near the pond for several years
- The Philosopher Kings – R&B band
- Jackie Richardson – Gospel, blues and jazz singer
- Fred S. Haines – Painter (1879–1960)
- J. E. H. MacDonald – Group of Seven painter
- Thoreau MacDonald – illustrator, designer and calligrapher
- Adrian Cann – Professional soccer player
- Gillian Ferrari – Women's ice hockey player; won gold gedal for Canadian women's hockey team in 2006 Winter Olympics
- Alison Goring – Women's curling champion
- Adam Henrich – Professional ice hockey player for Coventry Blaze of the Elite Ice Hockey League
- Michael Henrich – Professional ice hockey player for Dornbirner EC in Austria
- Eric Himelfarb – Professional ice hockey player for Linköpings HC in the Swedish Elitserien (SEL)
- Joshua Ho-Sang – Professional ice hockey player in the New York Islanders organization, currently playing with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League
- Dominic Moore – Professional ice hockey player with the New York Rangers
- Steve Moore – Professional ice hockey player with the Colorado Avalanche until a career-ending injury
- Milos Raonic – Professional tennis player
- Paul Rosen – Paralympic ice hockey player; won gold medal for Canadian men's paralympic hockey team in 2006 Winter Olympics
- Daniel Spivak – Professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL
- Andrew Wiggins – Professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA
- John Beck – Heir to the Beck Taxi Company, and candidate for the Reform Party in 1993.
- Craig Kielburger – Creator and founder of Free the Children, child-run campaign against child labour and injustice.
- Robert McGhee – Archaeologist and author specializing in the archaeology of the Arctic, currently Curator of Western Arctic Archaeology at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
- Sue Rodriguez – Advocate of the right to die with dignity. Her story was the topic of the 1998 feature film At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story.
- Statistics Canada. 2012. Thornhill, Ontario (Code 35104) and Ontario (Code 35) (table). Census Profile. 2011 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-XWE. Ottawa. Released October 24, 2012. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/prof/index.cfm?Lang=E Retrieved October 22, 2014
- "Vaughan side Thornhill population, using Highway 7, Yonge Street, Dufferin Street, and Steeles Avenue as boundaries". Geodepot.statcan.ca. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
- "Markham's side Thornhill population, using Highway 7, Yonge Street, Woodbine Avenue, and Steeles Avenue as boundaries". Geodepot.statcan.ca. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
- For a fuller account of Thornhill's early history, see Isabel Champion, ed., Markham: 1793–1900 (Markham, ON: Markham Historical Society, 1979), 297–301; 70f., 97f., 140f., 170, 335.
- "Federal Electoral District Profile of Thornhill, Ontario (1996 Representation Order), 2001 Census". 2.statcan.ca. November 10, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
- "2009 Report of Canada's Demographic Task Force". April 10, 2013.
- "Now Playing: Thornhill's Hottest Export – Thornhill Post – September 2011 – Toronto, Ontario". Postcity.com. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "May 16th-The force is with Thornhill teen « DESIRING HAYDEN.NET PRESS ARCHIVE". Desiringhayden.net. 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- Li, David (28 March 2014). "Thornhill's Ghomeshi enjoys family reunion during Junos". Metroland Media. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "Corey Haim to Be Buried in His Native Toronto". UsMagazine.com. 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "Client Biography – Paul McGuire". Iegroup.ca. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "Prodigy or precocious?". Thestar.com. 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "By Divine Right – Post City Magazines – March 2010 – Toronto, Ontario". Postcity.com. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- tiny_love (2006-06-08). "Tiny things are nice: highschool". Tinythingsarenice.blogspot.ca. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- Erin Silver. "Judy & David – Jumping up and down". Judy and David. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "Sony/ATV Music Publishing : Jon Levine". Sonyatv.com. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "A Community North of Toronto that is Home to Several Music Bands | PRI's The World". Theworld.org. 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "Thornhill singer a spark for Spark Gala". YorkRegion Article. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "Fred Haines – Famous Meaford Artist | Network News". Networknewsdaily.com. Retrieved 2012-06-12.[dead link]
- "Walking Tour of Historic Thornhill – Thoreau MacDonald House". Thornhillhistoric.org. 2005-04-12. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thornhill, Ontario.|
- Ontario Plaques – Founding of Thornhill
- City Of Vaughan Official Website
- City Of Markham Official Website
- Thornhill on Jewishtorontonline.net
- Photographs from the Thornhill Group on Flickr