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.

Is Your Garden Disappointing You? Can't tell the Weeds from the Flowers?

There are many beautiful gardens in our neighbourhood but  many of us are confused or frustrated when we look at our own yards. As a benefit of belonging to GARA (Grandview Area Residents Association), every year members are entitled to a free garden consultation with our local master gardeners led by Peter Cox.  To make arrangements, contact Peter at or 647 225-8963.


On Sunday June 4th , a dozen local high school students and residents working very hard planted  150 small trees and shrubs in our Grandview Park woodlot.

These trees were supplied by the City of Markham and will serve to ensure the health and long life of our own tiny forest into the future.

Special thanks go particularly to Peter Cox who has spearheaded the community's efforts to protect and enhance this irreplaceable woodlot.

Welcome Spring!

For many years, Earth Day has been celebrated and honoured  by Grandview area neighbours meeting at Grandview Park for a clean up after the long winter. This year’s celebration attracted a lively, hardworking group including many families with their children.

Besides lots of unsightly rubbish, they found some crazy stuff like a sleeping bag, a coat hung in a tree, lots of dog poop bags dropped and left behind, 2 butcher knives and broken bottles. By the end of the morning, they created a significant mound of garbage to be picked up by the city.

The children helped plant three Butterfly Way gardens along the edge of the woods sowing  seeds of White Snakeroot, Joe Pye weed, and Heart Leaf Aster, all native plants in our area.

Many thanks are due to Peter Cox who organized the day and all the hardworking volunteers who came out to help.

Garbage collected during cleanup with a family who helped
newspaper picutre and headlines about HAPS fire

Did you know that our neighbourhood still has a school  because the community fought for it?  To find out more about the community's struggles and accomplishments aided by here.

Bill 23: Why It Matters

Members of the GARA Executive are very concerned about the passage of Bill 23 which will have serious negative impacts on critical areas of the  Greenbelt and farmlands, and will  put a significantly increased tax burden on all GTA residents. There have been so many changes, it has been hard to keep track of them all and realize how they fit together. Environmental Defence has helped make sense of it all in this summary.

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% for a tax increase, which would be between $600-$1000 each year on every property owner.

The GARA Executive will continue to seek out opportunities to join the grassroots resistance to this bill and invite community members to join us. For more information click here.

The Latest Neighbourhood Development Proposal

For some years, GARA has been monitoring the application by the Zonix Group to develop the area between  Steeles and Highland Park and between Dudley and Willowdale  (36-48 Steeles Avenue East and 37-49 Highland Park Blvd).  The original plans have now been put aside.  The new application calls for two residential buildings, including:  Building A (fronting Steeles Avenue East), a 27-storey building with a nine-storey podium (407 units); Building B (fronting Highland Park),  a six-storey residential building (126 units). FSI (Floor Space Index) refers to the maximum permitted area on a piece of land for construction. Comparing these plans to other recent developments World on Yonge has a FSI of 3.5 and Vanguard 3.4.

Since the application does not conform to current zoning for our area, the developer has chosen to apply to the Ontario Land Tribunal for permission to override municipal restrictions.  A video case conference has been set for Monday, February 6th. GARA Executive members will attend.  If you would like further information please contact us.

The planning documents submitted by Zonix  are availabe hereAlso, with thanks to Councillor Irish, the table below summarizes some of the critical issues.

Project Lot Area FSI Units Parking GFA




Description Other
Zonix Group Inc 0.9143 ha

(2.26 ac)

5.32 533 513 (800 required) + 397 bicycle spaces 48, 610 m2

(523,232 sf)


(Removed in second submission on which  the appeal is based)

Two residential buildings including:

Building A (fronting Steeles Ave E.) a 27 storey building with a nine storey podium;

Building B (Fronting Highland Park Ave) a six storey residential building (126 units)


OLT appeal March 30, 2022;

Case Management Conference February 6, 2023