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.

Members of the GARA Executive are very concerned about the passage of Bill 23 which will have serious negative impacts on the Greenbelt and farmlands plus put a heavy increased tax burden on all residents.

A protest is planned for Saturday, December 3rd, at 11:00am starting at the Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Blvd, Markham. Parking is available.  The group will all meet there and then walk down towards Highway 7 where MPP Billy Pang has his office. Attendees are asked to dress warmly and bring homemade posters.

Bill 23 is not just about the Greenbelt or farmland. It means a significant loss of incoming municipal funds through development charges, parkland dedication and community benefit charges that will, in turn, place a much greater burden on the city to fund services and infrastructure projects necessary to support future residential development. This loss of revenue will be made up by an increase in the municipal taxes we pay. The city of Markham estimates are 50-80% of a tax increase, which would be between $600-$1000 each year on every property owner.

More information is available from shanta@thegivingtreeunionville.ca or 647 389-8828.

Did you miss GARA's AGM?

Members of   GARA and our guests recently enjoyed  our virtual  Annual General Meeting. Graham Churchill, Director with Ontario Federation of Neighbourhoods, was the keynote speaker. The audience very much appreciated his presentation entitled "Sprawl, Tall, and Infill: Are these really our only options?" A recording of the meeting is  available here.

A Year in the Life of our Neighbourhood

For GARA, this has been a wonderful, busy, busy year. A year of community coming back together again.

The GARA Executive looks back on a year of accomplishment and fun!

Thanks to the tireless work of the Volunteer Hosers, we began the year with the rink at the park ready for the traditional Family Skate Day.  A very welcome return after three years!

Spring brought out our volunteers for a clean-up in the woodlot and we hosted a Provincial all candidates meeting.

The start of summer brought the Sunshine Fair and official Park opening organized jointly by GARA and the HAPS Parent Council.   Hundreds of our neighbours enjoyed a a great day.

During the summer, every month Peter Cox, the GARA Garden Guy, organized fascinating nature walks with a different expert each time.  He also offered garden consultations.  Having coordinated the donation of over 200 native trees and shrubs, he raised a small army of high school students to help plant them in spring and fall.

GARA's work wasn't all fun and games. We produced and distributed two editions of the newsletter. We worked closely with Markham staff to ensure that the park is well maintained and safe. We also coordinated with and supported other residents associations regarding issues such as the subway alignment, development in neighbouring areas going to meetings and preparing presentations regarding local redevelopment, zoning and the Committee of Adjustment. The fall also saw us hosting an all candidates meeting for the municipal elections.

 

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.

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.