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The community of Cornell in Markham, Ontario received the prestigious Markham 2006 Design Excellence award recognizing and promoting excellence in urban design. Architects, designers, planners, landscape architects, engineers, developers, consultants, owners and individuals are invited to submit projects from within Markham. A four-member jury reviewed the submissions, and on November 23rd,2006 at the Mayor's invitation, the Awards Dinner an Award of Merit was given to Cornell's Live Work units on Bur Oak just north of Whites Hill Avenue. See below for project details:

Project: Cornell Live-Work Units
Location: Bur Oak Avenue & 16th Avenue
Owner/Developer: Mattamy Development
Architect: Viljoen Architect Inc.
Landscape Architect: NAK Design Group

The Cornell live-work units are strategically located on a transit corridor which forms the central spine upon which several neighbourhoods meet. Rather than being set up under single ownership or in condominium ownership, these mixed- use buildings are broken into vertical sections. Purchasers were able to select either an apartment or commercial arrangement for the ground floor unit and residential on the floors above. The units can be used initially as residential and then transitioned to retail as market demand changes in the area. The streetscape design promotes an urban pedestrian environment.

The great appeal of a New Urbanist Community is that it falls within the “Smart Growth” or “Sustainable Community” envelope. And that just makes a lot of sense. The problems of urban sprawl have been perplexing City Planners for a long time as the issues of public transit, roads, the environment, and infrastructure become more confusing. Population growth in York Region, and especially Markham, has been and is forecasted to be overwhelming. The Region’s population is approaching 850,000, an addition of 120,000 in the last 3 years. Markham expects to have 375,000 people by 2030. Cornell’s target is still 10,000 homes and will grow as fast as the Region/ Town allocates water permits. New Urbanism in theory provides answers and a sense of reassurance.

We have come to know that the differences with Traditional Planning focus on people. That is, in the post-WWII subdivision building era, densities were 4 to 7 units per acre, car trips rose by 29%, and built form tended to the clustered design. Ecological habitat, creeks, swamps and nesting sites were sacrificed. Housing became less and less affordable. People became citified and lost their sense of community.

New Urbanism defines the liveable community by providing channels for sociability, personal development and community participation. The five keys are;

  1. Enhanced Public Realm
  2. Transit Supportive
  3. Pedestrian Friendly
  4. Mixed Use
  5. Ecological Protection


The Town of Markham Road Watch Program is a community-based program that addresses the public's concern over dangerous and aggressive driving practices. The Road Watch Program gives residents an opportunity to report aggressive and unsafe driving to the police through the use of Citizen Report Forms with the objective of making our roads safe for everyone. York Regional Police undertake the administrative and enforcement process with the support and participation of the Town of Markham.

> More Information on the Road Watch Program


In response to complaints about a large number of cars parking on Riverlands Avenue instead of at the hospital, the Town of Markham instituted a Daytime Parking Permit bylaw. Without a permit, no parking will be allowed in the affected areas. Only residents within the areas were issued permits.The Town approved extending the bylaw to Settlement Park and the affected portions of Country Glen and Walkerville.

If you require further information regarding the Daytime Parking Permit program or to request a parking exemption for a visitor, you can contact the Town's Parking Control Department, at 905 477-7000 ext. 2050.


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Email us to Volunteer on a regular basis or for an event such as the Cornell Picnic or Tree Lighting Ceremony.