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Newmarket, Ontario

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Newmarket (2006 Population: 74,295; 2008 estimate: 80,400) is a town in Southern Ontario located approximately 25 km north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is part of the Greater Toronto Area and the Golden Horseshoe in an area known as the "905 Region" (a reference to the GTA's telephone area code outside Toronto proper). Newmarket is well connected by highway to the Toronto area, served by two interchanges along Highway 404 and connected to Highway 9. Newmarket is the seat of the County Courthouse of the York Region. Southlake Regional Health Centre (hospital) is located in Newmarket.

Newmarket's geographical coordinates are 44.05°N, 79.46°W, and its elevation above
sea level is 239 m. It has an area of 38.07 km². The town is bounded on the north by the Town of East Gwillimbury, on the east by the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, on the south by the Town of Aurora, and on the west by King Township, themselves all likewise part of York Region.

Newmarket lies north of the Oak Ridges Moraine, hence all drainage from the town flows northwards into Lake Simcoe. 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 wends its way into town from the moraine by way of Bogarttown emptying into the Holland in north-central Newmarket; Western Creek, another brook rising just west of town and reaching the Holland in the town's north end; Tannery Creek, a stream that joins the Holland in south Newmarket after flowing through Aurora; and a number of other small watercourses.

There are two man-made lakes in Newmarket. Fairy Lake (which is managed by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority), a favourite recreational spot in the centre of town, is a former mill pond on the East Holland River. Bogart Pond, also a former mill pond, is fed and drained by Bogart Creek in Bogarttown. The latter is much smaller than the former, but is wider. Furthermore, the water level in the reach of the East Holland north of Davis Drive is controlled from an unfinished Newmarket Canallock, 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 itself 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's location on the Holland River long 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, over the Moraine, and down the Humber River. In 1793 John Graves Simcoe traveled 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 (today's Holland Landing) to the north of Newmarket.

In June, 1800, Timothy Rogers, a Quaker from Vermont, explored the area around the Holland River and down to Lake Simcoe to find a suitable location for a new Quaker settlement. Some of the US 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 Christmas 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 is 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 followed shortly. 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 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 would become the first in Canada to manufacture lead pencils. In 1858, Robert Simpson co-opened "Simpson & Trent Groceries, Boots, Shoes and Dry Goods" in the downtown area, the first store in what would become the department store chain Simpsons.

 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. Today this line is the "Newmarket Subdivision" of the Canadian National Railway system, running north out of town towards Bradford.

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; 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, and the already existing mainline railway, had a significant effect on ridership, and the Radial stopped running north of Richmond Hill in the early 1930s, and in 1947 the remaining tracks between North Toronto and Richmond Hill were torn up.

North of Davis Drive 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 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, mostly silted up, although the turning basin in downtown Newmarket was filled in and now forms the parking lot of The Tannery Mall, on the site of the former Hill tannery.

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 Streets 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 5000 to 11000 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.

By the 1980s the original downtown area was run down. Most businesses had built up in the area around the Upper Canada Mall, with additional strip malls developing directly across the intersections to the south and southeast. A concerted effort to save the historic downtown area during the late 1980s was successful, and it 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 in the north to just north of St. John's Sideroad in the south, taking over the former hamlet of Armitage at Yonge Street south of Mulock Drive. The outer limits of the town are less than a kilometre from Sharon to the north, and almost continuous with Aurora to the south.


According to the 2006 Census, the town's population was 74,295. As of 31 March 2006, the Region of York Planning department put the total at 77,518. According to the same source, the population projection for 2011 is 87,000 and for 2026 it is 98,000.

Given the town's area, its latest population figure puts Newmarket's population density at just over 2036 inhabitants per square kilometer.

The town offers data about the cultural composition of its residents.

The median income for all families was $88,514 in 2005, well above the Ontario average. For households, it was $81,640. The median income of all men over the age of 15 was $42,755 and for women over the age of 15 it was $25,606. 9.8% of residents were classified as "low income" by Statistics Canada. The 2001 Census revealed Newmarket to be the 35th wealthiest municipality in Canada based on median family income.


Newmarket has 15 elementary schools and 4 secondary schools under The York Region District School Board, 6 elementary schools and 1 secondary school under The York Catholic District School Board, and Pickering College, a private school.

The four secondary schools under the York Region District School Board are (in order that they were originally built):

There is currently just one secondary school under the leadership of the York Catholic District School Board:

There are also several private coeducational day schools in Newmarket:


Tony Van Bynen became mayor in December, 2006, and will serve in the office until 2010. He succeeds Tom Taylor, who was the mayor from 1997 to 2006. See List of mayors of Newmarket, Ontario.

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 2006 are:

  • Regional Councillor: John Taylor

  • Ward 1: Tom Vegh

  • Ward 2: David Kerwin

  • Ward 3: Victor Woodhouse

  • Ward 4: Larry Blight

  • Ward 5: Joe Sponga

  • Ward 6: Dennis Ramsarran

  • Ward 7: Chris Emanuel

The current Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the town is Bob Shelton.

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.

Provincially, Newmarket became part of the riding of Newmarket-Aurora in the Ontario Provincial Legislature. The province realigned its ridings to match those of the federal government in 2004. Progressive Conservative MPP Frank Klees was elected to represent Newmarket-Aurora in the 2007 provincial general election.

Government offices in Newmarket:

  • Municipal Offices (Town Hall)

  • York Region Council

  • York Regional Police

  • Ontario Provincial Courthouse

Urban planning

Based within the limits placed on low-density urban forms, a small portion of Newmarket is subject to the Ontario Government's Greenbelt (Golden Horseshoe) legislation.

Newmarket's 2006 Official Plan seeks to balance the desire to maintain the present low-density urban form characterized by the segregation of residential, retail and employment uses and the need to comply with Ontario's Places to Grow legislation, which identified the Yonge Street & Davis Drive intersection of Newmarket as one of 25 sites of future intensification to be found throughout the Golden Horseshoe area.[12]

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 Provincial Urban Growth Centre, the Yonge Street Regional Centre (south of Green Lane), the Regional Healthcare Centre (surrounding 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.

Newmarket Public Library

Located downtown, 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 Newmarket Connections Community Information & Volunteer Centre, which provides information about local organizations, groups and services, and helps develop a stronger volunteer presence in the community by connecting people who want to volunteer with non-profit agencies looking for help. The library also produces a quarterly newsletter called Off the Shelf to inform patrons of its programs, services and events.

Sports and recreation


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.


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

Newmarket was previously home to the following teams:


Two golf courses exist within Newmarket's town limits:

  • St. Andrew's Valley (public), crosses the Aurora/Newmarket border

  • Glenway Country Club (public)

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


Four public swim places exist throughout Newmarket: Ray Twinney Complex, Gorman Pool, which is open only in the summer, The Main Pool, and the Magna Centre. Newmarket also has two swim teams: Team Aquadome, and the Newmarket Stingrays.


External links

Coordinates: 44°04′N79°27′W / 44.06°N 79.45°W