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Public Realm

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Urban Forest Walks

Shared Places Our Spaces

Markham’s public realm is defined as all the visible and accessible spaces, connections and buildings which enhance public life, promote civic pride and enliven the spirit of the City.

The public realm is where we live, work, socialize and play. It is made up of all the areas to which the public has access, including parks, walkways, bikeways, trails, boulevards, streets, laneways, parks, open spaces, wetlands and bridges. It also includes the publicly accessible space between buildings, along with the buildings and other structures that surround them.

The City of Markham is committed to enhancing and sustaining a unique and vibrant place to live, work, play and invest. It is based on providing quality designed, sustainable communities and developments which reflect and recognize a rich historical legacy.

Markham’s Public Realm Strategy aims to deliver an enhanced and complete public realm across the entire City.

Urban Forest Walks

Joint Forest Therapy & Natural Heritage Education Guided Autumn Walks

Let’s take a walk in the forest. We will wander, observe and reconnect with nature along trails of Markham’s beautiful parks.

This free guided program will take you on an immersive experience in the forest.  We will take the time to stop, relax and reconnect with nature. 

The first part of the walk will be led by a trained Shinrin-Yoku guide from the Global Institute of Forest Therapy.  It is well known that spending time in nature is good for your health. High stress levels can compromise your immune system. However, spending time under the canopy of the forest can restore your mood, focus and energy.   Originating in Japan in the early 1980s, Shinrin-Yoku, also known as Forest Therapy or Forest Bathing, is an integral part of preventative healthcare and healing in Japanese medicine. Learn more about the science behind it here.

On the later portion of the walk we will be led by a representative from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, learning about our Greenbelt protected urban river valley systems and the abundance of plants and animals that call them home.

Join a guided walk and discover your local urban forest!




Friday, Sept. 28

1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Springdale Park and Valley (meet in the parking lot off of Norwich Dr.)

Saturday, Sept. 29

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Pomona Mills Park (meet in the parking lot off of John St. – This parking lot is adjacent the Pomona Valley Tennis Club located at 200 John St.)

Wednesday, Oct. 3

12:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Toogood Pond Park (meet at the north section of the Parking lot off of Carlton Rd. – This parking lot is adjacent the Varley Art Gallery located at 216 Main St. Unionville)

Friday, Oct. 12

1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Rouge Valley Community Centre woodlot (meet outside in front of the Rouge River Community Centre at 120 Rouge Bank Dr. #2)

Saturday, Oct. 13

12:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Rouge Valley Park (meet at the south entrance of Rouge Valley Park beneath the 407 bridge – The closest access point to meeting location is from Charlotte Angliss Rd. to the north of the meeting spot)

Wednesday, Oct. 17

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Springdale Park and Valley (meet in the parking lot off of Norwich Dr.)

Saturday, Oct. 20
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Pomona Mills Park (meet in the parking lot off of John St. – This parking lot is adjacent the Pomona Valley Tennis Club located at 200 John St.)

    [Register Here]

    If registration is full please email Marlise Eguchi, Parks Renaissance Planner at to be put on a waiting list.

    A Parks Renaissance Initiative.  Funded in part by the Greenbelt River Valley Connector Program – A collaborative grant offered by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and Park People.

    Public Realm Speaker Series

    The Importance of the Urban Forest -the Cultural Value

    Video presentation by Edith George, Advisor, Ontario Urban Forest Council and Ben Cesar, Owner, Fiddlehead Nursery. 

    The Importance of the Urban Forest - the Health Value

    Video presentation by Dr. Karen Morrison, Member of the Steering Committees of Ecohealth Ontario and The Ontario Biodiversity Council.

    The Importance of the Urban Forest - the Economic Value

    Video presentation by Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environmental Officer, TD Bank Group. 

    The Nature Effect: how investment in green space can improve a municipality’s bottom line

    Watch the video presentation below by Dr. Faisal Moola of the David Suzuki Foundation.  

    Watch the video presentation below by Emily Munroe of the 8-80 Cities.

    News, Information and Resources

    Learn more by reading the Public Realm Overview Brochure [PDF]

    Public Realm Strategy Brochure

    Download the full Shared Places Our Spaces: Markham's Public Realm Strategy: [PDF]