Discover Newmarket, Ontario: A Blend of History and Modernity

Newmarket, Ontario, a town with a population of 87,942 as of 2021, is the regional seat of the Regional Municipality of York. It is part of the Greater Toronto Area in the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario. The town's name originates from its status as a "New Market" in contrast to York, the Old Market.

The History of Newmarket, Ontario

Newmarket's location on the Holland River facilitated travel between Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe. The Toronto Carrying-Place Trail, a portage route, ran one of its two routes up the Holland River through the Newmarket area, and over the Oak Ridges Moraine to the Rouge River and into Lake Ontario.

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 through Newmarket. He selected the eastern route as the better of the two, and began 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), north of Newmarket.

Early Settlement in Newmarket, Ontario

Quakers from the Thirteen Colonies moved to the area to avoid violence they were expected to take part in during the American Revolution. 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. He, Samuel Lundy and their group of Religious Society of Friends received the grant of 8,000 acres (3,200 ha) around the Holland River.

In 1801, Rogers returned along with several Quaker families who had left their homes in Vermont and Pennsylvania, and settled here between 1801 and 1803. Joseph Hill constructed a mill on the river, damming it to produce a mill pond today known as Fairy Lake. The settlement of "Upper Yonge Street" developed around the mill and the Holland River. Hill also built a tannery north of the mill, the first general store and house, and additional mills.

From Village to Town: The Growth of Newmarket, Ontario

Newmarket was incorporated as a village in 1857 with a population of 700, with Donald Sutherland as the first reeve. 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 1880, Newmarket became a town with a population of 2,000. William Cane was elected as the first mayor.

Recent Developments in Newmarket, Ontario

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.

Geography of Newmarket, Ontario

Newmarket's geographical coordinates are 44.05°N, 79.46°W, and its elevation above sea level is 252 m. 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.

Planning in Newmarket, Ontario

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.

Climate of Newmarket, Ontario

Newmarket has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb), with four distinct seasons featuring cold, somewhat snowy winters and warm, 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.

Demographics of Newmarket, Ontario

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Newmarket had a population of 87,942 living in 30,301 of its 31,239 total private dwellings, a change of 4.4% from its 2016 population of 84,224. With a land area of 38.5 km2 (14.9 sq mi), it had a population density of 2,284.2/km2 (5,916.1/sq mi) in 2021.

Arts and Culture in Newmarket, Ontario

Newmarket is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene. The NewRoads Performing Arts Centre (formerly the Newmarket Theatre) is the largest performing arts theatre in the town, with a capacity of 400. It hosts a selection of world-class artists and local performing arts events annually.

Main Street Heritage Conservation District in Newmarket, Ontario

For over 100 years, the town's downtown area, centred around Main Street, has acted as a hub of commerce and cultural activity. This area contains numerous early 19th century buildings worthy of preservation, and in October 2013, this area was recognized as a Provincial Heritage Conservation District.

Architecture and Heritage in Newmarket, Ontario

Numerous buildings and sites located in Newmarket possess a high degree of architectural and/or historical significance; most of these are concentrated in the historic Main Street area.

Infrastructure in Newmarket, Ontario

Newmarket is connected to Toronto by highways. It is served by two interchanges (Davis Drive, as well as Vivian Road / Mulock Drive) 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.

Library in Newmarket, Ontario

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.

Discover the charm of Newmarket, Ontario, a town that beautifully blends history with modernity.