Markham is a suburban city directly north of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. It includes the historic village of Unionville, which is now a heritage district, and can offer the traveller some cheaper accommodation options if you don't mind the distance from the attractions of Toronto.


Markham is host to a wide variety of technology company headquarters, which included video card maker ATI Technologies, Motorola, IBM Software Labs and Sun Microsystems (with the exact list prone to change as companies are acquired by rivals). The Town's slogans 'The Mark of Excellence' and 'Canada's High Tech Capital' are well emphasized, with a multicultural community, a variety of events and attractions, and an embracement of old town nostalgia and modern high-tech living.

Get in

By plane

If you have a private jet, you can fly to Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport (airport code: YKZ), . Otherwise, you'll have to be like the rest of us plebes and stick to public transit or the car.

By transit

Public transit access to Markham typically begins in Toronto, either in the form of TTC or GO Transit (stops in Markham on the Stouffville line include Milliken, Unionville, Centennial and Markham). York Region Transit also has numerous routes that operate in Markham, with connections for buses heading north to Newmarket and East Gwillimbury and south towards Toronto.

If you are visiting Pacific Mall and Market Village, the cheapest way to access these malls by transit is via TTC route #53 (Steeles East) which departs from Finch Station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. If you are travelling in the east-end, TTC route #43 (Kennedy) going north from Kennedy Station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line and Scarborough RT line may be more useful for you. If you are nearer to Union Station in downtown Toronto and it's rush hour, a direct GO Train to Milliken station may be faster.

By road

Unsurprisingly for a suburb, most travel is typically done by private automobile, with numerous highways and arterials leading in and out of the town.

Highway 404 goes north to south, starting at Green Lane in East Gwillimbury and ending in Toronto as the Don Valley Parkway.

Going from east to west is the privately-held toll Highway 407, which begins in the east at Brock Road and ends 108 kilometres west in Burlington. The 407 is the most overpriced toll road in North America, per kilometre; this road is problematic for rental car drivers as the inflated bill is sent to the vehicle's owner. Alternatives are old Highway 7 (a very busy local east-west surface street) or a trip south on the 404 to Toronto to pick up Ontario Highway 401, Canada's busiest freeway.

Get around

A YRT Viva bus terminal

By road

The main street of Markham is nominally Markham Road (old Highway 48). There is a small downtown, which is largely lost in all the Toronto suburban sprawl.

Like the rest of the Greater Toronto Area, Markham is laid out in grid fashion. The main east-west local avenues in Markham (from north to south) are Stouffville Road, Elgin Mills Road East, Major Mackenzie Drive East, Highway 7, 14th Avenue and then Steeles Avenue East which is the border between Markham and Toronto. Most businesses are located on Highway 7 and Steeles Avenue East.

From west to east, the major roads are Yonge Street (border between Markham and Vaughan), Bayview Avenue, Leslie Street, Woodbine Avenue, Warden Avenue, Kennedy Road, McCowan Road, Markham Road (sometimes known as Highway 48) and then Ninth Line.

By transit

If you are travelling by public transit, three transit agencies operate within Markham: YRT, GO Transit, and TTC (see the Get In section). The visitor will likely find the YRT route #1, Viva Purple, Viva Pink (Viva is YRT's bus rapid transit brand) and TTC route #53 to be the most useful routes in Markham. These bus routes typically have very good service frequencies, with buses coming at least every 15-20 minutes. Though the first three routes stop running around 1AM, TTC route #53 has overnight service from 2AM to 5AM, coming every 30 minutes. Rush hour frequencies are particularly good for this route (every 3-5 minutes), reflecting the fact that it is the 19th busiest TTC bus route out of 148.



Unionville Main Street
Stiver Mill

Unionville is a historic village that developed in the 1840s in what was then rural Markham Township. It's now amalgamated into city of Markham but the quaint period buildings have been preserved as a heritage conservation district, Main Street Unionville. Many of the old buildings now house pubs, eateries or other small businesses, and the area is worth a stop if you're in the area and have some time.

The heritage district is north of Highway 7 which intersects Main Street Unionville at a traffic light. On the north side of the intersection there are signs marking the entrance to the district. There is parking off Carlton Road on the south side, east of Main Street. York Regional Transit operates a Viva Blue express route from Finch Station on the Toronto subway to the Richmond Hill Centre Terminal. From there, the YRT route 1 bus runs to Main Street Unionville; cross the street to enter the heritage district. TTC fares are not valid on Viva/YRT buses (and vice-versa) but one may transfer between Viva and YRT freely.

From Highway 7 north to the railway grade crossing, Main Street is lined with elegant old houses which are private residences. From the railway grade crossing north to Carlton Road, Main Street is commercial with most businesses having a tourist orientation. Many of the businesses are located in former houses. Station Lane branches from Main Street just north of the railway grade crossing and has a few old residences as well as the former Unionville railway station and Stiver Mill; the latter two buildings serve a community functions today.




Markham has a large variety of foods to choose from in a variety of price ranges. The Chinese population is especially high in this area (~40% in the last census), so if you enjoy Chinese food, this is the place to look for it!




Monte Carlo Inn & Suites

Go next

Routes through Markham

Newmarket Richmond Hill  N  S  Toronto END
Kitchener Richmond Hill ← becomes  W  E  Pickering Peterborough
END Whitchurch-Stouffville  N  S  Scarborough Toronto

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 09, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.