5 Things to Know About Thornhill | Know Your Community
A community split between two bustling cities, Thornhill has the unique benefit of being a location which defines “the best of both worlds”, but is rich in its own
Benjamin Thorne settled in the valley now named after
him in 1820. He established a saw and grist mill on the banks of the Don River, later adding a flour mill,
tannery and general store. For his early contributions to the development of the valley, it’s fitting that the
community would be named after him as Thornhill in 1829 when the village post office was first opened.
1. Thornhill, by the numbers
- Population: based on the 2016 Canadian Census, the
total population of Thornhill, tallying both its Vaughan and Markham sections, was 112,719
- Location: a suburban community in the
Regional Municipality of York, Thornhill his split between the City of Vaughan (its western portion) and the City of Markham (its eastern portion), with Yonge Street forming the municipal boundary
A few quick location stats:
- Time to Pearson: 45 minutes
- Time to the closest highway: 5
- Time to the closest hospital: 15
- Time to the closest shopping mall: 5
- Time to GO Bus, train station or TTC
station: 10 minutes
*commuting times are approximate only
2. Plenty of options for schooling at every level
Thornhill residents have access to many options when it comes to public, Catholic, Jewish and private schooling at the elementary and secondary levels, all offered by their respective regional operating school boards.
Some top-rated private school options within the area are:
- King Heights Academy – NS to grade 12 (coed) – this school provides a unique educational experience for toddlers to grade 12, which includes the IB Program. Preschool, Pre- Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Elementary, Intermediate & Secondary Programs
- The Toronto Waldorf School – NS to grade 12 (coed) – this educational institution promotes “a deeper perspective”, with a curriculum integrating academics, arts & movement with an emphasis on the intellectual, emotional, physical and social components of child development
3. Arts, culture and staying active
From community centres to farmer’s markets, the community of Thornhill offers residents plenty of options when it comes to staying engaged and active within the community.
These are just a few of the many popular recreational destinations for residents:
- Thornhill Community Centre – the centre is located on Bayview Avenue at John Street, and features twin ice rinks with an accessible heated viewing platform, a therapy pool, two squash courts, a cycle studio, a gym, one of three City of Markham Health and Fitness Centres, a dance and wellness studio, and the largest of the city’s halls for rent (with a capacity of up to 500 people)
- Visitors can also find the Thornhill Seniors Club located here
- Thornlea Pool – located along Bayview Avenue, near the Thornhill Community Centre, this indoor pool offers lessons and programs for all ages (there is also the Thornhill Outdoor Pool, located on Old Yonge Street, open during the summer season only)
- Grandview Park – this 8 acre park features two ball diamonds (1 lighted), 2 lit tennis courts, a playground and a woodlot
- Pomona Mills Park conservation area – 11.6 acres of scenic walking trails and features a playground, soccer field, and the Pomona Valley Tennis Club (which features 3 hard courts)
- Ladies’ Gold Club of Toronto – located along Yonge Street, this club was founded in 1924 and features an 18-hole course designed by golf course architect Stanley Thompson and promotes the message of “beauty, grit and grace” on their website and is the only North American golf club to offer priority access to women (though men are allowed to play here as guests or seasonal guest card holders)
4. Thornhill is a great place to do and invest in business
Being divided between two economically booming cities means doing business in Thornhill affords its residents the best of not only their community but also that of Markham and Vaughan. Once again this community’s division between two major cities proves to be a benefit, as Thornhill residents are able to capitalize on the resources and opportunities available to them on either end:
- To the east of Thornhill, Markham’s business resources are limitless and include some excellent programs and support for emerging businesses. The Markham Small Business Centre is committed to nurturing local business, and in an effort to continue their support of local ventures during the Covid-19 pandemic, is also offering support virtually. The Small Business Centre will help community members in their business planning with their array of support services, programming, workshops and more.
- York Region’s “innovation hub”, Markham is at the center of the second-largest “tech cluster” in Canada, focusing on innovation, technology and talent
- Using Markham’s Economic Alliance Program, the city has seen success in attracting foreign investment and raising awareness for specific markets
- Vaughan ranks as the third-largest employment centre in the Greater Toronto Area, and is the largest contributor to York Region’s economy
- Vaughan’s economy is dominated by the manufacturing industry, which accounts for 22% of employment. Other major local industries of note within Vaughan are construction, retail trade, wholesale trade and transportation and warehousing
- The Vaughan Business and Enterprise Centre (VBEC) is all about fostering innovation and helping to nurture and support entrepreneurs and local business owners via resources, training and other methods of assistance at every stage of business development and growth. The VBEC is part of Small Business Centres of Ontario as well as the Ontario Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network
For a full list of local businesses, check out this directory.
5. This diverse community is a great place to call home
Being interconnected between the culturally-rich cities of Markham and Vaughan, the community of Thornhill is a resulting melting pot of diversity which is visibly reflected in its population, with a significant number of Jewish, Chinese, Korean, Iranian, and Italian people amongst its residents.
As far as homes within this community, there are many distinct areas where unique architectural designs from the past have been carried into the present. Along John Street, the Thornhill Markham Heritage Conservation features many properties which were built between the mid 1800’s and early 1900’s, in a variety of traditional styles from that period, including Victorian Gothic, Georgian, Craftsman style bungalows, and more. These areas have lent inspiration to the present-day designs in the community’s other residential pockets.
Many of Thornhill’s residential communities are in high demand for their charming and rustic neighborhood feel, larger lot sizes and manicured landscaping. Townhomes and condominiums are also abundant in this community, and provide for a more reasonable point of entry for those first-time buyers looking within the area.
8000 Yonge Street
Thornhill, ON, L4J 1W3
Office: (905) 889-9330
Fax: (905) 889-5822