GARA brings together and advocates for everyone living in the Grandview Area of Thornhill in the city of Markham, Ontario.
Our neighbourhood stretches from Yonge Street to Bayview Avenue and Steeles Avenue to the CN rail line.
We welcome you to our site and look forward to hearing from you.
Be a Part of Our Neighbourhood
GARA's AGM was held virtually (Zoom) on Thursday, October 28th. We were very pleased many local residents registered for the meeting and Councillor Keith Irish's important presentation. David Sherman, the area Public School Trustee also provided an update.
The subway is coming. Thornhill as a whole and our area, in particular, are about to experience almost unimaginable changes. Councillor Keith Irish updated us on the various projects currently in the planning stages and what we can be done to maintain our neighbourhood. The scale of what is coming was shocking to many who attended
Following Councillor Irish's presentation, there was time for questions and discussion and a brief business meeting and elections of the GARA Executive.
Coming Together and Getting to Know Each Other Better
Let’s get to know one another! How can we build an even better community? Tell us your thoughts.
Most of us on the GARA Executive have lived here for many years. We work with GARA because we feel our neighbourhood is important to take care of and enjoy the sense of community. However, we also know the 2016 census said that 40% of residents have moved to the neighbourhood within the last five years. We believe old neighbours and new have a great deal in common. We have come here looking for so many of the same things. We asked ourselves how can we connect and get to know each other.
To start to build those plans, we have created a neighbourhood survey that we ask you all to complete. Please take a few minutes to complete and encourage neighbours to join in too.
Huge Changes are coming to our Neighbourhood
The Yonge subway extension plans have spurred redevelopment proposals for the area around Yonge and Steeles and at the sites of planned stations further north. The size of the buildings and the number of people who will live in them is astounding. The future of our neighbourhood will be very different from what we have known and enjoyed. Read more here.
Back By Popular Demand
Your GARA membership has a remarkable extra benefit. Again this summer, members are eligible for a free one hour at-home garden consultation. Do you have questions about lawn care; tree and shrub pruning; selecting the right tree, the right shrub, or plant for the right place; vegetable gardening, or do you need general garden coaching? Our team of very experienced and talented garden volunteers would love to help. If you had an appointment with the team last year but have more questions you’re welcome to call again. The volunteers will, of course, socially distance, and wear masks.
Please remember this is a one hour consultation. We will not do physical work in anyone’s garden or promote the use of any landscape company or product. Nor can we offer guarantees on the suggestions we make. Based on our many years of gardening, we know plants and weather can be fickle.
Ready to sign up? If you are already a GARA member, you can contact Peter Cox 905-889-8963 or email@example.com to set up an appointment. If you are unsure if you renewed your membership or need to join for a first time, contact Rhonda Duma at firstname.lastname@example.org and then you can set up your appointment.
Need Local COVID 19 Information?
Over the past few months, we have all experienced constant change and much uncertainty as COVID has impacted our lives. Unfortunately, much of the media coverage has centred on the City of Toronto. Up to date information for the City of Markham can be found here. Updates regarding schools for the York Region Board of Education and York Catholic District School Board are also available.
A lovely feature of Grandview Park is the small woodlot on the south side. It is easy to imagine it was once part of the local farm on which all our homes were built.
Although the woods feel natural and almost wild, as time has passed, they have needed care and attention to maintain their health. A small group of local residents, with the approval of the City of Markham, originally spearheaded by Jane McCullough and more recently by Peter Cox, has worked over a number of years to ensure garbage is removed and invasive species like buckthorn and grapevines as well as pests such as black knot fungus and gypsy moth are dealt with. Next year this dedicated team hopes to be able to add some more native shrubs and wildflowers continuing to enrich the site.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered to make this happen including Dayna Black, Lyn Vrensen, Maria and Bruce Telfer, Anne Marie Marchionni, Alice Leung, Majda Ambrozic, Jane McCulloch and Peter Cox
Looking for Local News?
Many of us miss having a regular source of local news. Media coverage is almost entirely focussed on the City of Toronto. If you are interested in local updates you may wish to check out the City's Deputy Mayor, Don Hamilton's newsletter. You can see a copy and subscribe if you chose at https://www.donhamilton.ca
Also for updates about projects in our specific area you can check Counsellor Keith Irish's page www.markhamward1.ca or on the City's website https://www.markham.ca/wps/portal/home/about/city-hall/regional-ward-councillors/ward-1/councillor-1. The section entitled Proposed New Developments and Reference Material gives updates on various projects such as the Zonix proposal at 36 Highland Park and the rebuilding of E.J. Sands.