Downtown Markham: A Masterplan in the Making

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Downtown Markham: A Masterplan in the Making

In the centre of downtown Markham lies the “Pride of Canada Carousel”, a symbol of what Downtown Markham is becoming. The 243-acre project near Warden Avenue and Highway 407 is the most ambitious mixed-use development in Canada. Amongst, the 2 million square feet of retail and dining space, the 7,000-8,000 residential units in condo towers and townhouses and 3.4 million square feet of office space, you will find a wide range of public art.

In the lobby of 179 Enterprise Drive you will find EON by Julie Tremblay, Gregory Skolozdra’s illuminated Flower and a resin security guard by Milwaukee based sculptor Marc Sijan. The security guard is so life like that you often find yourself doing a double take.

Art is also being used to slow down drivers in the underground parking. Various columns and walls have been wrapped with photographer Hank O’Neals XCIA Street Art taken from New York and Los Angeles. The infusion of public art is one way to introduce urbanity and a pause-for-thought setting within the downtown Markham Community.

During the planning process, no detail was overlooked. All the building podiums featuring piazzas will have connections to side streets. The emphasis is on suburban developments engineered to function like urban downtowns thanks to a combination of commercial, residential and cultural spaces with an importance on walkability. Anchored by a 13-Screen Cineplex Cinema and other stores such as Milestones, Aroma Espresso Bar, South St Burger, Good Life Fitness, Golf Town and Curry’s Art Supplies, downtown Markham is turning into the desired location for many businesses. In March 2018, the Marriott Markham will open with 198 rooms and will feature a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Cartier Jewelry store.

In the future, downtown Markham will look to complement its already impressive group of retail stores and restaurants with a food hall, an urban grocer and perhaps even a cooking school.

It is not all about retail and restaurants, the government is building the first university campus in York Region within downtown Markham. Scheduled to be completed by 2021, York University will bring more postsecondary education opportunities to local students and provide a capacity of 4,000 students with the potential of 10,000 in future phases.

Downtown Markham is already home to some notable companies with insurance giant Aviva Canada and athletic apparel company Under Armour both setting up head offices. Already being known as Canada’s tech and life sciences leader, the addition of a world-class university will attract some of the brightest minds in the world. It will also allow for the development, support and growth of our local talent pool and provide opportunities for students to thrive in their local community.

When this project is complete, downtown Markham will end up being the largest group of LEED-certified buildings on the continent. Meaning its green-minded and sustainably designed.

Behind the banner “THE PLACE TO LIVE”, downtown Markham is well on its way to earning the title.

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