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One of Canada’s Most Livable Cities: Markham

Posted By: Rachel Kavanagh

February 13, 2024

Finding a house for sale in Markham has long been one of the most attractive prospects for buyers seeking a home in Ontario. As part of the GTA, Markham offers the perfect balance of history and modern amenities, offering plenty of charm and all the conveniences you desire. 

In this article, we will look at what Markham has to offer as one of Canada’s most livable cities to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Where is Markham?

Markham is the seventh largest city in Ontario, located just northeast of downtown Toronto. With a population of nearly 350,000, its perfect combination of city conveniences and country living continues to attract a growing number of new residents. 

Transportation in Markham

Markham has become the suburb of choice thanks to its impressive transportation system and convenient location, just 45 minutes by GO Transit. Why drive when a comfortable train ride gets you right to Union station for an easy commute from any of the five GO stations servicing the area at Unionville, Mount Joy, Langstaff, Centennial, and, of course, Markham?

You also have access to the York and Toronto transit systems, as well as highways 404 and 407.

What’s unique about houses for sale in Markham?

We think that one of the most unique opportunities in Markham lies in its heritage homes. While subdivisions are common throughout suburbs of the GTA, Markham is one of the most historic communities where heritage areas like Unionville, Markham Village, and Locust Hill offer the rare opportunity to own a piece of history. 

Perhaps even more interesting is Markham’s Heritage Estates, Canada’s first heritage subdivision. While most think of subdivisions as a collection of cookie-cutter builder homes, the Heritage Estates consist of 42 lots designed to conserve local heritage houses.

The project relocates heritage homes facing demolition due to infrastructure projects, such as the 407, road expansion, and stormwater management facilities, to meet the needs of a growing population.

Markham sells city-owned subdivision lots below market value, providing incentives to purchase and relocate threatened homes. The project has successfully eliminated the destruction of precious heritage buildings while offering a unique opportunity for homeowners. 

However, there are a wide variety of subdivisions and historic neighbourhoods in high demand, including Cachet, Devil’s Elbow, Wismer Commons, German Mills, and Cornell. 

The Globe and Mail’s 100 Most Livable Cities in Canada

The Globe and Mail has its own data-driven ranking system to help Canadians identify communities suited to their circumstances. While price is always a consideration, The Globe identified attributes we value as Canadians, making it easier to consider what each community offers. 

You can choose the attributes most important to you to see how the cities you’re considering rank. They researched 439 cities to create their top 100. 

We’re impressed by the fact that out of those cities, Markham ranks 8th for access to healthcare. This is a huge concern in Ontario, not to mention across Canada, with patients experiencing record emergency room and procedure wait times that can delay necessary care and impact patient outcomes.

Some of the other categories that Markham ranked quite well included:

  • Demographics: 19
  • Education: 26
  • Community: 69
  • Transportation: 35

Diversity in Markham

Ranking 19th for demographics speaks to Markham’s rich diversity. In fact, 60% of Markham’s population was born outside of Canada, with 16% naming Cantonese or Mandarin as their first language.

Diversity is an essential part of a community, as it speaks to how included you’ll feel in your new area. Moving to a diverse city like Markham helps everyone feel welcome, without any one demographic standing out. 

Even from an age perspective, most people would feel Markham is suited to their lifestyle, with a majority falling in the 40 to 64 age group and younger millennials starting to make their mark, representing 19% of the population.

Education and Opportunities in Markham

Markham is ideal for young families, offering 47 elementary schools and nine high schools, including many of the highest-ranked schools in Ontario.

It also provides attractive career prospects with 10,000 employers, including over 1,500 high-tech and life sciences companies, and more than 400 prominent head offices, including companies such as IBM. For those who still choose to work in Toronto, easy access to highways and public transportation makes commuting easy. 

Affordability in Markham

Markham is definitely one of the more affluent cities in the GTA, sitting on par with housing prices and the cost of living in Toronto.

However, what sets Markham apart is its lovely rural countryside, large properties, and a slower, calmer lifestyle that’s perfectly suited to families. The average home sits at about $1.3 million, offering more houses and property for your investment compared to the typical Toronto home. 

Things to Do in Markham

The proximity to over 300 parks, including Rouge National Urban Park, the largest urban park in North America, make it a wonderful town to keep you active all year round. Other local amenities that keep you moving include prominent golf courses, tennis clubs, and the multipurpose PAN AM sports centre.

If you love to shop and dine, then Markville and the Pacific Mall, in hand with charming boutique shops and restaurants in Markham’s heritage areas, offer plenty of shopping and dining experiences. In fact, Pacific Mall is one of the largest indoor Asian markets in North America.

Culture and Events in Markham  

Markham isn’t short of events, including the Fall Fair, which has been attracting locals and visitors since 1844. Exciting live performances, concerts, comedy shows, and family entertainment are available throughout the year at Flato Markham Theatre, Studio 9, MFG Complex, and more. There are also local attractions, including art galleries and museums, offering something for everyone.

Contact the Real Estate Experts

As you can see, there are many reasons The Globe ranked Markham as one of Canada’s top 100 cities to live. If you’re interested in a house for sale in Markham, the Benczik Kavanagh team is ready to help. We are happy to discuss your needs, and can recommend the best Markham neighbourhood to find your dream home
Click here to learn more about the advantages of buying with Benczik Kavanagh. You can also call us at 905-477-7766 or contact us online.


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