The high-tech capital of Canada
Markham is often the forgotten Toronto suburb. Why, you ask? Its positioning is not as prime as cities such as Thornhill and Richmond Hill. At the same time, it is not far enough away to develop a complete identity in its own right. That leaves Markham as the in-betweener. At least, that is how many non-residents think of it. Locals know that Markham is actually a lively city with a passion for the environment and a strong Chinese community. So, if you are looking at moving to Toronto’s suburbs, do yourself a favour and give Markham a chance.
Homeownership is the norm in Markham, but there are still plenty of rentals. Most rentals are not especially affordable, particularly if they are close to transit in and out of Toronto. If you are looking for a whole house, you are likely best searching of places that are being privately rented out by the homeowners. For apartments and condos, you don’t have that option, so expect to pay a premium. Luckily, the amenities and swanky buildings will help take some of the sting out of the price.
Typical housing type:
Avg. rent by housing size:
Avg. rent compared to other Canadian cities:
Markham is 18% higher than the Canadian average
Apartment hunting in Markham can be a bit of a challenge as homeownership rates and prices are high. You can find something that works for your family – as long as you aren’t looking for a cheap apartment. Start by searching the listings on a number of rental websites. Houses have the greatest likelihood of being pet-friendly and allowing dogs. The condos and apartments, however, have the most amenities, with laundry, balconies, dishwashers, and pools being common. It is not as important to be downtown, but do try to stay close to transit, especially if you work in Toronto proper.
While Markham is often overlooked, it is one of the best Toronto suburbs in which to raise a family. The community is warm and the schools are strong. There are also gifted programs available for advanced students in the area. Plus, there are plenty of family-friendly activities on offer. Again, we think it is worth giving Markham a chance because we think it may just wow you.
Markham is full of families, especially those with older children, and seniors. There is a strong Chinese community, which has a significant influence over culture in the area, as well as several other, smaller immigrant populations. Locals often work in tech fields or in business. Work is not their primary interest, though. Often Markham-ites are more passionate about their families and their causes, including protecting the environment.
Perfect for: Families with older children and seniors who cared about green issues.
Not-so-perfect for: Swinging singles.
Life & Style
The Chinese community has a significant influence over life and style in Markham. There are Chinese restaurants, stores, groceries and events, including extensive Chinese New Year celebrations. The environment also plays a key role in Markham. It is common for residents to not just spend time outdoors, but also engage in community clean-ups and green development projects.
Markham has a number of elementary and high schools, as well as several libraries. Highway 401 runs on the southern edge of the city. There are also transit options that allow you to move within the city and outside it. For shopping, head over to the Markham Mall and the many close-by shops and restaurants. There are plenty of grocery stores, but don’t forget to also pop by the local farms with onsite markets. For entertainment, check out the theatre or head outside Markham to catch a movie in one of the surrounding suburbs. Most of all, make sure to enjoy the city’s conservation areas and other green spaces!
Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area
Reesor Farm Market