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Public Realm

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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.


The Light Pole Banner Student Art Competition!

The City of Markham is hosting a design competition for the light-pole banners within the parking lot of the Markham Civic Centre, and along Town Centre Boulevard. The competition is open to all high school students attending high school in the City of Markham. The theme of your designs should incorporate the seasons of the year as well as the identity of our City.

Where are your favorite places in Markham? When do you visit them? What is the most important place in Markham and what is the future direction of the City? Examples of appropriately themed banners could be our Canada Day celebrations at the Milne Dam Conservation Park in the summertime or a winter day highlighting skating at the Civic Centre ice rink.

Click here for full contest details!

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]