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Sites To Visit

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Thornhill Cluster

Heintzman House

Ladies' Golf Club of Toronto

Thornhill Village Library

Wong Dai Sin Temple

Markham Centre Cluster

105 Gibson Centre

St. Maurice and St. Verena Coptic Orthodox Church

Railview Model Railroad Club

Unionville Cluster

Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church

Bethesda Lutheran Cemetery

McKay Art Centre

St. Philip's-on-the-Hill Anglican Church

Unionville Presbyterian Church

Unionville Stiver Mill Community Centre & Farmer's Market

Unionville Train Station Community Centre

Varley Art Gallery

Markham Village Cluster

Markham Fire Station 97

Markham Heritage Estates

Markham Museum

Markham Village Library

Markham Village Train Station

William Grant House and Rhenish Lutheran Church


Heintzman House  Heintzman House

  • 135 Bay Thorn Drive [map]
  • Year Built: c.1816
  • Website

The earliest part of this country mansion is an adobe brick cottage dating from the early 19th century. Colonel George Crookshank enlarged the house in 1816-17, and it became known as Sunnyside Manor. Charles T. Heintzman, the grandson of the founder of Toronto’s Heintzman Piano Company, purchased the property in the 1930s and transformed the house into its present, elegant form.

Activities: Guided tours of the mansion showcasing its history and architectural splendor.



Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto  

  • 7859 Yonge Street [map]
  • Year Built: 1922
  • Website

Ada Mackenzie, a Canadian golf champion, was the driving force behind the establishment of the Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto in 1924. The golf course was designed by the distinguished course architect Stanley Thompson and opened in 1926. The clubhouse, built in the Georgian Revival style, was originally a country estate house known as the Watson Estates constructed for Strafford Watson, the son of lawyer George Watson. The club is unique in North America as the only remaining private golf club established by women for women.



Thornhill Village Library  Thornhill Village Library

  • 10 Colborne Street [map]
  • Year Built: c.1851
  • Website

This mid-19th-century house in the classic revival style was converted to a public library in the 1970s under the direction of restoration architect Napier Simpson Jr., whose office was next door.  It is a cherished local amenity that fits comfortably into the exceptional historic streetscape of Colborne Street, the highlight of old Thornhill. Recently, the library was featured in Deborah Kerbel’s ghost story, Lure, published by Dundurn Press in 2010. The ghost of Ellen Ramsden, the original owner, is said to make an appearance from time to time.

Activities: Guided tours of this historic and haunted site.

 


Wong Dai Sin Temple Wong Dai Sin Temple

  • 378 Steeles Avenue [map]
  • Year Built: 2015

This remarkable expression of contemporary architecture designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects is home to the Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism, dedicated to inner spiritual development through the practice of the ancient art of tai chi. It is a modern sacred space that houses a dynamic Taoist community. The cantilevered form recalls the measured balance of a tai chi pose. Winner of the 2016 Governor General’s Medal for Architecture.

 


105 Gibson Centre 150 Gibson Centre

The 105 Gibson Centre is a Christian faith-based community centre devoted to bringing positive changes to the surrounding neighbourhood. The centre is an active place offering recreational facilities and programs, youth services, abundant life program for retirees and semi-retirees, wellness awareness, interest classes, a food bank and a thrift store. At the heart of the facility is the Cultural Café, a friendly gathering place offering food, drink and fellowship.

Activities: Tours offered in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

  • Free Hot Dogs and Beverages 11:30 AM to 1 PM
  • Workshops and Seminars 12 noon to 4 PM
  • Cultural Café concert 1:30 to 3 PM
  • Visitors are invited to bring non-perishable food items for the food bank



St. Maurice and St. Verena Coptic Orthodox Church 

  • 3300 Highway 7
  • Year Built: 2015-16
  • Website

This new place of worship boasts a unique architectural design combining ancient tradition with contemporary appeal. The Coptic Church was established in Egypt in the first century A.D. and came to Canada with Coptic immigration in the middle of the 20th century. The complex features a place of worship and a community centre providing a gymnasium, banquet hall, day care centre, recording studio, and classrooms.

Activities: Tours of the new church building in a variety of languages, and function watch the ceremony of the church receiving a second priest at 2 PM.



Railview Model Railroad Club  Railroad Club

George's Railview Model Railroad Club hosts one of the largest HO-scale layouts in Ontario at over 3,000 square feet (279 square metres) in size. The club models the Hamilton/Bayview Junction from three time periods: 1940s-1950s (steam to diesel), 1960s (second generation diesel) and 1980 to present (modern era rail transport).

Club members will showcase their work and welcome new members. If you’ve seen the layout before come back and see what has been added. If you haven’t seen it before, visit and be amazed!

Activities: See the trains running all day through the miniature landscape layout.

 


Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church Bethesda Lutheran Church

  • 20 Union Street [map]
  • Year Built: 1910

Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church is one of the longest-established churches in York Region. The congregation began with the arrival of William Bercy group of German settlers in 1794. Today it remains a centre of worship of descendants of these founding Markham families. The present building dates from 1910, incorporating materials from the earlier church building constructed in 1862 north of Unionville. Visitors can admire the early 20th century Gothic Revival interior with beautiful memorial windows and a century-old pipe organ.

Activities: Tours of the church featuring archival photos, stained glass windows, historic pipe organ and history timeline wall hanging.



Bethesda Lutheran Cemetery Bethesda Lutheran Cemetery

  • 9423 Kennedy Road [map]
  • Established 1803

Bethesda Lutheran Cemetery is the original site of the Lutheran Church that served the German settlers who came to Markham with William Berczy in 1794. The church was dismantled and moved into the village of Unionville in 1910. The cemetery remains as a special site that commemorates the founding families of Markham/Unionville and is marked with two Provincial plaques. Many of the first pioneer families rest here in the midst of the new community of Upper Unionville.

Activities: The cemetery is open all day guided tours are offered at 1 PM and 3 PM. On-street parking is recommended on Aksel Rinck Drive, accessed via Beckett Avenue.



McKay Art Centre McKay Art Centre

  • 197 Main Street, Unionville [map]
  • Year Built: c.1850
  • Website

This distinctive example of Ontario vernacular architecture in board and batten features dramatic gothic revival and classic revival detailing. It was originally the home of Salem Eckardt, the local auctioneer in the Village of Unionville. Group of Seven artist Frederick Varley lived here in his later years as a guest of Kathy McKay, and had a studio in the basement.  The space now showcases the work of local artists and provides a studio for art instruction in an environment that overlooks a landscaped garden and the Bruce Creek valley.

Activities: See the work of local artists and visit the site of Fred Varley’s studio.

 


St. Philip's-on-the-Hill Anglican Church 

  • 9400 Kennedy Road [map]
  • Established 1794
  • Website

St. Philip's-on-the-Hill’s history goes back to Unionville’s early settlement period when Lutherans and Anglicans worshipped together under Reverend Vincent Mayerhoffer. The congregation split during the tumultuous times of the 1837 Rebellion in Upper Canada when those that supported the government decided to establish their own Anglican church across the road. In 1913, the congregation moved to a new location in Unionville. The historic cemetery remained to mark the original site of St. Philip's. In 1986, the congregation moved back to the first location in a new larger new church building.

Activities: include church tours and children’s activities.

 


Unionville Presbyterian Church  Unionville Presbyterian Church

  • 600 Village Parkway [map]
  • Year Built: 1990
  • Website

The history of Unionville’s Presbyterian congregation goes back to the mid-1870s, when the first members met at the home of Isabella Mustard. As the church grew, the congregation acquired the former original Congregational Church at 149 Main Street, and in 1892, moved to the larger brick church constructed by the Congregationalists in 1879, locally known as the Unionville Veteran’s Hall. They worshipped there until church union in 1925. In the 1980s, the Unionville Presbyterian Church began again, initially worshipping at William Berczy Public School. In 1990, a new church building was constructed in a post-modern architectural style that is a landmark building on Village Parkway.

Activities: Visitors can enjoy some snacks while learning about the history of the congregation.



Unionville Stiver Mill Community Centre & Farmer's Market  Stiver Mill Cultural Centre

  • 9 Station Lane [map]
  • Year Built: c. 1916
  • Website

Unionville’s restored Stiver Mill is a local landmark that now serves as a community centre and farmer’s market. Originally built as a grain elevator, the western portion of the structure is one of the last of its kind in the region. A feed mill was added to the east end in the 1930s. On Sundays there the mill hosts a popular farmers’ market with live entertainment and fresh produce. Guided tours of the Stiver Mill are available throughout the day.

Activities: Tours of the mill and photographic exhibit about the historic mills of Markham Township.



Unionville Train Station Community Centre  Unionville Train Station

  • 7 Station Lane [map]
  • Year Built: 1870

This restored train station is one of the oldest in Canada remaining on its original site. It originally served the Toronto & Nipissing Railway, the first narrow-gauge railway in North America. The line from Toronto to Coboconk opened in 1871. Today, the station is a busy community centre. The Unionville Historical Society is hosting an exhibit of Unionville’s fascinating railway history, featuring many vintage photographs of steam engines and early views of the station and its surroundings.



Varley Art Gallery  varley art gallery

  • 216 Main Street, Unionville [map]
  • Year Built: 1997
  • Website

Situated at the top of Unionville’s historic village core, the Frederick Horsman Art Gallery of Markham is an excellent example of Post-modern architecture that contrasts with the neighbouring heritage buildings. The gallery, named after Group of Seven artist Fred Varley who lived in Unionville in his later years, is home to a fine collection of the artists' oils, watercolours and drawings, as well as the art of many other Canadian artists. The main gallery features changing exhibits to enhance the visitor experience. The current exhibit features the contemporary art of Xiaojing Yan.

Activities: For Doors Open visitors can enjoy gallery and vault tours.

 


Markham Fire Station 97  Markham Village Fire Station

  • 209 Main Street North, Markham [map]
  • Year built: 1985
  • Website

The design of this building was inspired by late 19th-century fire halls, and features a 60-foot tall replica of a hose drying tower, common to most fire halls back in the day. The fire hall was designed to fit into the context of historic Markham Village. Young and old are fascinated by fire trucks and fire-fighting technology. Fire prevention and fire fighting are an important part of the City of Markham’s municipal administration. A favourite site for young and old.

 


Markham Heritage Estates  Heritage Estates

  • Heritage Corners Lane & 16th Avenue [map]

For anyone who has dreamed of rescuing a heritage house from the brink of destruction and restoring it to its former glory, a visit to Markham Heritage Estates is a remarkable experience. Established by the municipality in the mid-1980s, this unique community of relocated, restored heritage homes showcases a diverse range of architectural styles and time periods of Markham’s history. The oldest house dates from 1825, the newest, from 1910.

Activities: Guided walking tours of the heritage subdivision are available at 10 AM, noon and 2 PM. A self-guided walking tour is also available.



Markham Museum  Markham Museum

  • 9350 Markham Road [map]
  • Established 1971
  • Website

The Markham Museum is dedicated to the preservation of artefacts, documents and buildings from Markham’s past. The main building houses a reception centre, collections storage and archives. The museum started with the old Mount Joy Public School, built in 1907, and over time other historic structures have been moved to the spacious property.

Activities: For the Doors Open Markham event, visitors are invited to enjoy the current exhibit, “True or False,” a fun science exhibition free of charge. The newly restored Kinnee log barn, featuring early farm implements, and the Honey House, featuring an exhibit that explores the life cycle of the honey bee, will be open for viewing.



Markham Village Library  Markham Village Library

The Markham Village Library is an early and noteworthy example of post-modern architecture, designed by Phillip Carter Architects and constructed in 1982 on the site of the historic Markham Fairgrounds and Wellington Hotel. The library is an award-winning landmark building at the intersection of Main Street and Highway 7. When first constructed it was considered an “avant-garde” building due to its bold post-modern architecture – one of the first of its kind in the GTA. In 2006, a major addition designed by Shoalts and Zaback Architects Ltd. was made to the library in a complementary style to the original building.

Activities: Robotics demo, learn to code (2 and 3 PM – space is limited) and be creative at the building block challenge.

 


Markham Village Train Station  Markham Village Train Station

  • 216 Main Street [map]
  • Year Built: 1870

The restoration of this original Toronto & Nipissing Railway station was the first major project of the Markham Village Conservancy. The restoration of the building was completed in the year 2000. When the railway opened in 1871, the station and the area became a busy hub of commercial and industrial activity. The station continues to serve GO Transit commuters and functions as a local community centre for meetings and classes. The exterior paint colour scheme is reproduced from c.1910 when the rail line was part of the Grand Trunk Railway system.



William Grant House and Rhenish Lutheran Church  William Grant House and Rhenish Lutheran Church

  • 2667 Bur Oak Avenue [map]
  • Year Built: c.1884 and 2009
  • Website

In celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, and the 8th anniversary of the church building, the Rhenish Lutheran Church is inviting visitors to tour the church and adjoining William Grant House. The church was completed in 2009. The Grant House, serving a variety of uses in connection with the church, was originally built as a farmhouse c.1884. Its remarkable stucco finish, resembling cut stone blocks, was carefully restored as part of the church building project.

Activities: Visitors will enjoy refreshments and music on the porch of the Grant House, guided tours of the facilities every hour between 11 AM and 3 PM, craft sessions every house from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, children’s games on the lawn, and an art, antique, crafts and bake sale.