Welcome to the Town of Markham? No. You mean, welcome to the City of Markham. Councillors voted unanimously in favour of obtaining city status. Markham will officially become Ontario's newest city on July 1.
The Greater Toronto Area will welcome a new city on Canada Day. Following a 90-minute public consultation with more than 50 residents Tuesday night, Markham councillors voted unanimously to make Markham a city.
Many of the residents expressed concern that Markham will lose its quiet rural structure, but councillors argue they want to revitalize the town’s image and making it Ontario’s newest city will help that.
Markham, which is just northeast of Toronto, will officially become a city on July 1.
Over the years, the town has become one of the largest growing municipalities in the province, only behind Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton. Not only is it undergoing a condominium boom and a population increase, council voted in favour of constructing an NHL-calibre to compete with Toronto’s Air Canada Centre – some are hoping for an NHL team one day.
Not everyone is in favour of the change.
“Our residents don’t see any tangible benefit to them as taxpayers. Is it going to ease congestion, curb growth, bring an LRT to Markham faster?” said resident Gordon Walter, reports Brampton Update. “This is really about trying to establish a corporate identity
It maintains a population of more than 300,000 and estimates suggest that the town’s population will soar to 337,800 in 2016 and 423,500 in 2031. Settlers came to the area in 1794 and it was named after William Markham, a friend of the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada John Graves Simcoe. Frank Scarpitti is the mayor.
Will Markham receive any extra benefits for the name change? According to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, there are no added subsidies or perks. There are also no requirements in terms of population or size to become a city as long as the place uses a name that doesn’t already exist.