As with many of the smaller cities and communities that comprise the “GTA”, Markham evolved from a wilderness, to farmland and is now today a busy urban centre. In 1791 the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, Colonel John Graves Simcoe, named the township of Markham Ontario after then-Archbishop of York and a personal friend of his, William Markham. In those first years, the area was largely populated by groups of ethnic immigrant settlers who arrived, struggled with the harsh climate and crude conditions, and soon left. First it was German families from New York state, then French nobility fleeing the revolution in France.
It was only when skilled German Mennonites emigrated from Pennsylvania in the early 1800′s that homesteads began flourished. During the remainder of the 1800′s, they would be joined by immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, and England. In 1891 the recently incorporated Village of Markham’s population was 1100 and could boast of a railway station.
The modern-day Town of Markham Ontario is part of the greater Regional Municipality of York, and the City of Markham website touts itself as “Canada’s High Tech Capital, with over 800 High-Tech and Life Science companies”. Wikipedia advises Markahm is one of the most affluent and fastest growing cities in Canada; and with more than 30% of it’s current 261,000+ population having Asian (Chinese and East Indian) origins, Markham’s early, struggling European immigrant farmer days are almost forgotten.
The Write Imprint is proud to have representation in this thriving City and we will explore other aspects of the Markham and surrounding communities, in future blogs. Stay tuned!
Blog post courtesy of Anita Hamilton