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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.

Parks Renaissance Survey – We want your input!

Markham is beginning a Parks Renaissance Project to improve our city parks and bring them closer to current park development standards.

We’re asking residents to choose two city parks from a list of eligible parks, and complete a short survey to give us some suggestions for what kinds of features they would like to see in those parks.

Please keep in mind the following criteria:

• The park must be owned by the City of Markham. Check the list of eligible parks [PDF] for parks that qualify.
• The suggestions we’re looking for are "light touches" to existing parks, such as new furniture, shade structures, interpretive signage or outdoor fitness equipment. We are not looking to replace play structures.

Take the survey online or fill out the Parks Renaissance Survey [PDF] and email it to or mail it to:

Operation Department
Attention: Parks Renaissance Planner
101 Town Centre Blvd.
Markham, ON, L3R 9W3

Thank you for your input in helping keep Markham beautiful!

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]