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.
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. Learn 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com and then you can set up your appointment.
Our Neighbourhood Trees at Serious Risk!
High levels of gypsy moth caterpillars impact a tree’s health, making it more susceptible to diseases and weather fluctuations such as drought. These moths will always be with us but you may have noticed an increased number of trees have suddenly died. Currently, trees in our yards and Grandview Park are all at greater risk of defoliation and death because of significantly increased gypsy moth presence.
Peter Cox, a local resident and a certified arborist, does volunteer work with the Grandview Area Resident Association. He has been carefully taking a census of gypsy moth eggs on the trees in our area for the past two years and the results are alarming. For example, last year, trees on Delair Crescent had 17 egg masses but this year, 119; on Woodward they have gone from 40 to 57 and on Almond from 41 to 402!!
There were no egg masses in the Grandview Park woodlot last year but this year there are many. We have oak trees there which are 80 years and older. Each of these trees has hundreds of egg masses. They have already been stressed by four summers of drought-like conditions, in-fill housing construction and recent water and sewer upgrades. It would be tragic should we lose these older trees to the gypsy moth caterpillars.
GARA is working to find help for the trees in our public spaces, hopefully through the City of Markham or York Region. However, as residents, we also need to protect the trees on their own property. Learn how here You can also contact Peter directly either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at 905-889-8963 if you have questions or concerns. It takes 15 minutes to learn how to identify and remove the gypsy moth.
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.