Newmarket, Ontario

Fairy Lake in Newmarket Ontariofrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Newmarket is a town in York Region located north of the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is part of the Greater Toronto Area and Golden Horseshoe of Southern Ontario.

In the Canada 2011 Census, the municipal population of Newmarket was 79,978. It is the regional seat of York Region.

Many Newmarket residents commute to Toronto and surrounding communities.

Some of Newmarket's most noticeable landmarks are the Upper Canada Mall, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Historic Downtown area, the Fairy Lake Conservation Area, as well as many other parks and recreation areas.

In 2013, MoneySense ranked Newmarket 10th out of 200 cities in Canada and 4th of the "Top 10 Small Cities" in Canada in its "Canada's Best Places to Live in 2013".


Newmarket's geographical coordinates are 44.05°N, 79.46°W, and its elevation above sea level is 239 m.[4] It has an area of 38.33 km². The town is bounded on the south by Aurora, on the west by King, on the north by East Gwillimbury and on the east by Whitchurch–Stouffville.

The main river in Newmarket is the East Holland River (known locally simply as "The Holland River"), and all other streams in the town are tributaries thereto. These include; Bogart Creek, a brook that weaves its way into the Town from the Oak Ridges Moraine by way of Bogarttown, emptying into the Holland River in north-central Newmarket; Western creek, another brook rising just west of the Town, and reaching the Holland River in the Town's north end; Tannery Creek, a stream that joins the Holland River in south Newmarket after flowing through Aurora; and a number of other small watercourses.

There are two reservoirs in Newmarket; Fairy Lake (which is managed by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority), a favourite recreational area in the centre of town, is a former mill pond on the East Holland River; and Bogart Pond, also a former mill pond, is fed and drained by Bogart Creek in Bogarttown. Furthermore, the water level in the reach of the East Holland north of Davis Drive is controlled from an unfinished Newmarket Canal lock, now used as a weir.

Newmarket also lies south of and above the Algonquin Shoreline, where elevations suddenly drop off from the gently rolling hills that characterize much of Newmarket to the much flatter, lower land down below in the Holland Marsh.

The land is characterized mainly by glacial deposits from the last ice age, known as "Newmarket Till". The town is underlain mainly by sand and gravel, ground by the icesheets that covered the area until about 10,000 years ago. No outcrops are to be found anywhere in Newmarket, so deep are the glacial deposits.


Newmarket has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) with four distinct seasons featuring cold, somewhat snowy winters and hot, often humid summers. Precipitation is moderate and consistent in all seasons, although summers are a bit wetter than winter due to the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes.


Newmarket's location on the Holland River long ago made the area a natural route of travel between Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe. A major portage route, the Toronto Carrying-Place Trail ran one of its two routes down the Holland, through the Newmarket area, and over the Oak Ridges Moraine to the Rouge River and into Lake Ontario. A more used route ran down the western branch of the Holland River, over the moraine, and down the Humber River. In 1793, John Graves Simcoe travelled the trail, northward along the main route to the west, and south to York (now Toronto) along the lesser used eastern route though Newmarket. Selecting the eastern route as the better of the two, Simcoe started construction of Yonge Street along the former trail in late 1795, starting in York in Toronto Bay, and ending at the newly named St. Albans (Holland Landing) just north of Newmarket.

In June, 1800, Timothy Rogers, a Quaker from Vermont, explored the area around the Holland River to find a suitable location for a new Quaker settlement. Some of the United States Quakers were interested in moving northward, disturbed by the violence they were expected to take part in during the American Revolution. In 1801 Rogers returned along with several Quaker families who had left their homes in Vermont and Pennsylvania.

By the Christmas of 1801, Joseph Hill had constructed a mill on the Holland River, damming it to produce a mill pond that is now known as Fairy Lake. The town of "Upper Yonge Street" sprouted up around the mill, which explains why its primary downtown area was centred on the Holland River, and not on the nearby Yonge Street. Hill also built a tannery just to the north of the mill, and the first store and house, as well as additional mills. By 1802, Elisha Beman had begun to establish businesses and buy land in Newmarket. A mill was first and other businesses (including a distillery) soon followed. The town continued to grow through the early 19th century, along with the formation of Aurora and Holland Landing, and a market held in the current downtown location gave rise to the name "Newmarket".

Newmarket played a central role in the Rebellion of 1837. The Town was a focal point of discontent against the manipulations of the governing Family Compact, of whom it was said "were robbing the country". Rebel leader William Lyon Mackenzie organized a series of meetings leading to the Rebellion. During the first of these meetings, on August 3, 1837, Mackenzie delivered his first campaign speech from the veranda of the North American Hotel at the corner of Botsford and Main Streets. This speech is largely credited for being the initial spark to the rebellion as it was heard by about 600 farmers and others sympathetic to Mackenzie’s cause, who later that year armed themselves and marched down Yonge St. to take the capital. A number of leaders from this area were later attainted for high treason, convicted and hanged.

Newmarket was incorporated as a village in 1857 with a population of 700. In 1880, with a population of 2,000, Newmarket became a Town and William Cane was elected as its first mayor. In later years Cane's sash and door factory became the first in Canada to manufacture lead pencils. In 1858, Robert Simpson co-opened "Simpson & Trent Groceries, Boots, Shoes and Dry Goods" in downtown Newmarket, the first store in what would become the Simpsons department store chain.

In June 1853 the first train pulled into Newmarket on the Toronto, Simcoe & Lake Huron Union Railroad, the first railway in Upper Canada. It eventually linked Toronto to Collingwood on Georgian Bay, a major shipbuilding centre.[6] Today, this line is the "Newmarket Subdivision" of the Canadian National Railway system, running north out of Newmarket towards Bradford, and south towards Toronto.

In 1899 the Toronto and York Radial Railway arrived in Newmarket. This operated along Yonge Street south of Newmarket, but turned east to run through the downtown area along Main Street; it would later be extended north. At the time, it brought significant numbers of day trippers to Newmarket to shop at the market. Automobile traffic on Yonge Street, and the already existing mainline railway, had a significant effect on ridership, and the Radial was discontinued in the early 1930s.[7]

North of Davis Drive in Newmarket, the East Holland River was straightened to prepare it for use as a commercial waterway to bypass the railway, whose prices were skyrocketing around the turn of the 20th century. Sir William Mulock, the local Member of Parliament, proposed a canal system running down the Holland River through Holland Landing and into Lake Simcoe. This would allow boats to connect from there to the Trent-Severn Waterway for eventual shipment south. The canal was almost complete by the summer of 1912, when it was cancelled by the incoming government of Robert Borden. Today, the locks are still visible and are known as the "Ghost Canal". The turning basin in downtown Newmarket was filled in and now forms the parking lot of The Old Davis Tannery Mall, on the site of the former Hill tannery.[8]

For much of the 20th century, Newmarket developed along the east-west Davis Drive axis, limited to the area between Yonge Street on the west and between Bayview and Leslie Street in the east, and running from just north of Davis on the north to the Fairy Lake area on the south. By the 1950s, Newmarket was experiencing a suburban building boom due to its proximity to Toronto. The population increased from 5,000 to 11,000 between 1950 and 1970. The construction of Upper Canada Mall at the corner of Yonge Street and Davis Drive in 1974 started pulling the focal point of the town westward from the historic Downtown area along Main Street.

By the early 1980s, the original historic Downtown area suffered as most businesses had built up in the area around Upper Canada Mall, with additional strip malls developing directly across the intersections to the south and southeast. A concerted effort to revitalize the historic Downtown area during the late 1980s was successful. More recently, a $2.3-million investment was made by the Town in 2004 in streetscaping and infrastructure improvements to roads and sidewalks in the historic Downtown. The historic area of Downtown's Main Street is once again a major focal point of the Town.

The arrival of Highway 404 reversed the westward movement, pulling development eastward again, and surrounding the formerly separate hamlet of Bogarttown at the intersection of Mulock Drive and Leslie Street. Since then, Newmarket has grown considerably, filling out in all directions. The town limits now run from Bathurst Street in the west to Highway 404 in the east, and from just south of Green Lane to just north of St. John's Sideroad, taking over the former hamlet of Armitage at Yonge Street south of Mulock Drive. The outer limit of the Town is contiguous with Aurora to the south.

According to the 2011 census, the town's population was 79,978. The York Region Planning Department projects a population of 98,000 by 2026.[9] Newmarket's population density is just over 2000 inhabitants per square kilometer, ranking the census subdivision it third in Ontario[10] and 33rd in Canada.[10]

English is the mother tongue of 77.4% of Newmarket residents, according to the 2011 Census. Italian is the mother tongue for 1.8% of the population, followed by French at 1.4%, and Russian and Spanish, each at 1.3%.[11]

In 2005, the average household income in Newmarket was $96,680.00, far exceeding the provincial average for the same year of $77,967.00[12]


Newmarket features a diverse and growing economy based largely in the business services and knowledge industries, and the administrative, manufacturing and retail sectors.

The following are some of the Town's major public sector employers:

  • Southlake Regional Health Centre
  • Regional Municipality of York Headquarters
  • Town of Newmarket
  • York Regional Police Headquarters
  • RCMP Headquarters
  • Ontario Court of Justice
  • York Region District School Board
  • York Catholic District School Board
  • Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

The following are some of the town's major private sector employers:

  • Allied International Credit
  • Dortec Industries
  • Flextronics Renewable Energy
  • TS Tech Canada Inc.
  • Global
  • Slide Master
  • Pearson Canada
  • Orchid International
  • Engineered Air
  • Cintas

Notwithstanding these major employers, a large percentage of Newmarket's population commutes to Toronto for employment.


Newmarket is connected to Toronto by freeway. It is served by two interchanges along Highway 404 and connected to Highway 400 via Highway 9.

Local public transit is provided by York Region Transit, which operates the Viva Blue bus rapid transit route from the Newmarket Bus Terminal to the Finch Bus Terminal in Toronto. YRT/VIVA is building a Rapidway along Davis Drive between Yonge Street and highway 404, with fully separated bus only lanes and center street station platforms between Yonge and Patterson Street. The Project is expected to be complete in 2015.

Commuter rail is provided by GO Transit through the Newmarket GO Station with service south to Toronto and north to Barrie, with five trains each direction during rush hour. Regular bus service is also operated by GO Transit, with service operating between 5am and 2am.

The town has many trails, the most useful of which is the Tom Taylor, which extends from the border of Aurora on St. John's side-road all the way North through downtown and up into Holland landing.

Historic downtown

For over 100 years, the downtown area has acted as a hub of commerce and cultural activity. Today, this historic area acts as the social and cultural centre of the town and offers residents and visitors alike numerous shopping and dining options. Recent investments have been made to improve the aesthetics and function of the historic Downtown area. These investments include:

  • In 2003, Newmarket completed approximately $3 million of streetscape and infrastructure improvements along Main Street South.
  • In 2009, the Town received $3.4 million from the Build Canada Fund for renovations to the Old Town Hall. These funds will allow a number of major renovations that will restore the cultural landmark to its former glory and provide a new and improved venue for numerous community activities.
  • In 2010, construction began on a new rapid transit service called vivaNext which will greatly enhance the look and functionality of Yonge Street and Davis Drive. This will provide increased transit options in the Historic Downtown area and provide Newmarket's residential and business community with a convenient, reliable, fast alternative to driving.
  • In 2011, an urban park called "Riverwalk Commons" was created east of Main Street South, north of Water Street. This park is an innovative multi-use, multi-season recreational and cultural space for community events. This park hosts a pond that converts to an ice skating rink in the winter, a new Community Centre, a dedicated Farmer's Market area, a performance area with canopy, new landscaping and trail extensions connecting the existing Fairy Lake Park and Holland River Trail systems. This space has strengthened the role of historic Downtown as the cultural centre of the community.
  • In 2011, extensive renovations were completed to the Newmarket Community Centre & Lions Hall, located in the Riverwalk Commons. These renovations included complete external refinishing as well as internal changes to make the facility more accommodating for community programs.
  • As of March 2012, the Town of Newmarket is in the final stages of establishing a "Heritage Conservation District" for the downtown's Main Street South. This status will protect and officially recognize many of the historic sites and buildings along Main Street.

Architecture & heritage

Numerous buildings and sites located in Newmarket have a high degree of architectural and/or historical significance, most of which are concentrated in the historic Downtown area along Main Street South. The following is a list of some of these sites:

  • Charles Hargrave Simpson Building, 184 Main Street South
  • Wesley Block (origin of the 1837 Rebellion), 200 Main Street South
  • Robert Simpson Store (first "Simpsons" Store in Canada), 226 Main Street South
  • King George Hotel, 232 Main Street South
  • Cawthra House, 262 Main Street South
  • Roadhouse And Rose building, 157 Main Street South
  • William N. Starr building, 189 Main Street South
  • Old Town Hall, 460 Botsford Street
  • Canadian National Railway Building and former Station, 470 Davis Drive
  • Christian Baptist Church, 135 Main Street South
  • Doane House, 17100 Yonge Street
  • Quaker Meeting House and Cemetery, 17030 Yonge Street
  • Hicksite Cemetery, 16580 Yonge Street
  • Elman W. Campbell Museum (North York Registry Office), 134 Main Street South
  • Pioneer Burying Ground, Eagle Street
  • Al Casale Ristorante (Rogers House), 17766 Leslie Street
  • St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 484 Water Street
  • St. Paul’s Anglican Church and Rectory, 227 Church Street
  • Trinity United Church, 461 Park Avenue

As of March 2012, the Town of Newmarket is in the final stages of establishing a "Heritage Conservation District" for the downtown's Main Street South. This status will protect and officially recognize most of the aforementioned historic sites and buildings along this section of Main Street.


Public elementary and secondary education in Newmarket is overseen by York Region's two school boards: the York Region District School Board (YRDSB), and the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB).

The YRDSB operates four secondary schools in Newmarket: Dr. John M. Denison Secondary School, Huron Heights Secondary School, Newmarket High School, and Sir William Mulock Secondary School, in addition to 15 elementary schools.

The YCDSB operates one secondary school in the town: Sacred Heart Catholic High School, and six elementary schools.

Newmarket is also the home of Pickering College, a prestigious private day and boarding school.

The Town also houses a campus of Seneca College.


Tony Van Bynen became mayor in December 2006, and will serve in the office until 2014. He succeeds Tom Taylor, who was the mayor from 1997 to 2006.

The Town's Council includes the Mayor, seven Councillors elected on the basis of one per ward, and a Regional Councillor who is elected to join the mayor at meetings of York Region Council. The members of council elected in 2010 are:

  • Regional Councillor: John Taylor
  • Ward 1: Tom Vegh
  • Ward 2: David Kerwin
  • Ward 3: Jane Twinney
  • Ward 4: Tom Hempen
  • Ward 5: Joe Sponga
  • Ward 6: Maddie Di Muccio
  • Ward 7: Chris Emanuel

Provincially, Newmarket is part of the riding of Newmarket—Aurora represented by Frank Klees, a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. The province realigned its riding to match those of the federal government in 2004.

Federally, the town is part of the federal riding of Newmarket—Aurora. As of 2008, the riding is represented in the Canadian House of Commons by Lois Brown, a member of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Urban planning

The part of Newmarket built before World War II surrounding Main Street is very typical of a small Ontario city, in terms of walkability and mixes of use. Other areas of the Town are typical of post-war development commonly found throughout many suburban areas.

Newmarket is identified as one of the Golden Horseshoe's 25 Urban Growth Centres in Ontario's Places to Grow Growth Plan.

Four areas of Newmarket have been selected to absorb the majority of planned population growth and accommodate mixed usages on sites well served by transit. These are the Yonge-Davis intersection, Yonge Street (south of Green Lane), the Regional Healthcare Centre (Southlake Regional Health Centre) and Historic Downtown Centre (surrounding Main Street South). Further construction of big box retail stores in the Yonge Street corridor will not be permitted and the long-term objective of the town is redevelopment or the addition of new buildings to these areas through controlled intensification.

The southwest portion of the Town is located in the Oak Ridges Moraine and is therefore subject to the Ontario Government's Greenbelt Legislation.

Newmarket Public Library

Located in the historic Downtown area, the Newmarket Public Library provides residents with free access to 175,000 items, including books, audio books, magazines, multilingual materials, DVDs, CDs, video games, e-books and online databases. The library also runs the York Info service, which provides information about local organizations, groups and services, and helps develop a stronger volunteer presence in the community by connecting people who would like to volunteer with non-profit agencies looking for assistance. The library also produces a quarterly newsletter called "Off the Shelf" to inform patrons of its programs, services and events. The Library is a founding member of the Shared Digital Infrastructure (SDI) project, an initiative to plan for an Intelligent Community in Newmarket.


"The Newmarket Theatre" is the largest performing arts theatre in the Town with capacity of 400. The Theatre hosts a selection of world class artists annually.

"The Resurgence Theatre Company" is a smaller professional company that is focused on resurging the classics and igniting new and contemporary works within York Region and beyond. The company produces an annual Shakespearean production with live performances in the Fairy Lake Conservation Area near the historic Downtown.

Old Town Hall has hosted organized theatre and performing arts for over 100 years, however in March 2012, the Town of Newmarket announced that a formal 250-seat theatre would be included as part of its revitalization. Construction on this initiative started in May, 2013.

Sports and recreation

Favourite Badminton Club is training at the Magna Recreation Centre. The club is a part of Georgian Bay District Badminton Association (GBDBA) and actively participates in the district's league plays, junior circuits, as well as various Ontario tournaments. The founder of the club, Masha Zakharenkova, is integrating various methods of training in the program and is focused on Long Term Athlete Development. The program is provided for players 6-20 years old.

Newmarket soccer is represented by the Newmarket Soccer Club which is located in the Magna Centre. The club is host to a house league, rep league, senior league, and special needs league. The Newmarket rep teams are known as Newmarket United (formerly York United), and have been very successful representing the town with some teams making it to the provincial and national levels. Toronto FC former captain Jim Brennan played in Newmarket in his youth.

The Newmarket Hawks Senior Baseball Club plays in the Greater Toronto Baseball League (GTBL) and the York Simcoe Baseball Association (YSBA), one of the most competitive Baseball leagues in Canada. The Hawks have been in the league since its inception.

For younger and less competitive play, the Newmarket Baseball Association has provided a quality baseball program for players 4 to 21 years of age for over 50 years. The Association consists of approximately 850 players spread over 9 divisions.

Newmarket is represented in the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League by the Newmarket Hurricanes (originally called the "87's"), whose home rink is currently the Ray Twinney Complex. The "'Canes" have an ongoing rivalry with the nearby Aurora Tigers.

Newmarket was previously home to the following teams:

  • Newmarket Saints from 1986 to 1991, an American Hockey League franchise and farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs who moved from St. Catharines. The franchise was later moved to St.John's, Newfoundland and became the St. John's Maple Leafs.
  • Newmarket Royals from 1992 to 1994. This was a franchise of the Ontario Hockey League who were previously the Cornwall Royals and in 1994 moved again to become the Sarnia Sting.
  • Newmarket Flyers from 1975 to 1986, OPJHL Jr. A (formerly The Seneca Flyers).
  • Newmarket Redmen from late 1920s to 1972 Jr. B.

One golf course is located within Newmarket's town limits; St. Andrew's Valley (a public club), which straddles the Aurora/Newmarket border. Glenway Country Club was a private club with a course within Newmarket's boundaries, but it was closed before the 2012 season and is slated for redevelopment.[15]

There are also several courses in the surrounding communities and countryside.

Four public swimming places exist throughout Newmarket: Ray Twinney Complex, Gorman Pool, which is open only in the summer, Aquacenter Swim School, and the Magna Centre. Newmarket also has two swim teams: The Aquacenter Vikings, and the Newmarket Stingrays.

Swimming in the East Holland River has not been possible since the erection of a concrete dam in 1955 near Water and Main streets that has negatively effected water quality and bacteria levels. Efforts to remove the dam have been thwarted by the municipality who sees the dam as an aesthetic asset to the park surrounding it.

Newmarket is home to the Newmarket and District Ringette Association. The Newmarket Rays have Regional and Provincial teams. Home games are at the Magna Centre. Ringette is a truly Canadian sport that promotes fun, fitness and friendship for players of all ages.

Newmarket is home to the York Curling club. In 2010 the club was renovated to accommodate 6 sheets of ice.

The Newmarket Huskies Track Club represent the town in provincial, national, and international track and field and cross country championships. It was 2012 Olympian Sheila Reid's first track team.


Local print media is provided by "The Newmarket Era" (formerly the Era Banner). The Newmarket Era traces its lineage back to 1852, when English immigrant printer G.S. Porter first published The New Era in Newmarket. Today, it is published three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday).

Newmarket is well served by radio stations from Toronto.


Newmarket Coat of ArmsNewmarket's coat of arms is actually taken from the town's old corporate seal. The Town flag is a navy blue field with this same design in the middle. The beehive and bees are said to represent industry. There are nine bees, representing the Town's first nine businesses. The latest form of the seal was introduced in 1938 with the arms somewhat altered from – but very similar in concept to – one that was earlier used. The arms' origin is something of a mystery, however. It is unknown what artist created the current version – or indeed the earlier version – and the town has no official record as to the purchase or redesign of the arms.

Famous Residents (past and present)

  • Jim Brennan, Canada men's national soccer team member, first player signed to Toronto FC soccer club
  • Jim Carrey, comedian/actor
  • John Candy, comedian/actor
  • Herb Cain, former NHL hockey player, 1944 NHL scoring champion
  • Munro Chambers, Actor
  • Dit Clapper, Hall of Fame hockey player
  • Clarknova, alternative rock band
  • Steve Downie, NHL Hockey player currently with the Colorado Avalanche
  • Brian Elliott, goaltender for the St. Louis Blues of the NHL
  • Glass Tiger, rock band
  • Scott Goodyear, Indycar racing driver
  • Wes Jarvis, AHL and NHL hockey player (Washington Capitals, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, and Toronto Maple Leafs). Jarvis was also head coach of the Newmarket Hurricanes of the OPJHL and an assistant coach with the Barrie Colts.
  • Marcel de Jong, a Dutch-Canadian soccer player for Roda JC
  • Mike Kitchen, former head coach for the St. Louis Blues
  • Corey Locke, AHL hockey player and NHL draft pick
  • Lorne Lofsky, jazz guitarist
  • Chuck Luksa, former WHA hockey player with Cincinnati Stingers
  • H.R. MacMillan, CBE, C.C., forestry specialist and industrialist, wartime administrator, philanthropist
  • Jamie Macoun, former NHL hockey player
  • William Mulock, former Cabinet Minister and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario
  • Joe Murphy, member of the 1990 Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers
  • Carlos Newton, Former UFC Welterweight Champion, Trainer/Teacher at Warrior Martial Arts
  • Steven Lee Olsen, country musician
  • Peter Orr, Olympic baseball player and Washington Nationals infielder
  • Kevin Pangos, basketball player at Gonzaga University and Canada youth international
  • Sheila Reid, Olympic cross country runner
  • Mazo de la Roche, author of the Jalna series
  • The Salads, punk rock band
  • Lindsay Seemann, Swimmer - 200m Backstroke, 2008 Olympics - Beijing, China
  • Serial Joe, rock band
  • Shayne Stevenson, former NHL player Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Tyler Stewart, drummer for Barenaked Ladies
  • Belinda Stronach, Canadian businesswoman, philanthropist, and former politician
  • Bill Thoms, former NHL star for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Black Hawks and Boston Bruins
  • Tokyo Police Club, rock band
  • The Elwins, rock band