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September 27, 2014

Welcome to Doors Open Markham!

2014 marks the 12th anniversary of Doors Open events in our community. This year's highlight is the Stiver Brother's Grain Elevator and Feed Mill, circa 1900. The Stiver Mill has been restored as a landmark in historical Unionville, to serve as a community centre. Also featured is Thornhill's haunted library and the ever-popular Markham Heritage Estates, where you can dream of moving and restoring a heritage house to its original glory.

Markham officially became a city on July 1, 2012, but that hasn't changed the unique character of the municipality as a "community of communities," with its distinct historical villages and hamlets interwoven into the forward-moving urban fabric of the 2000s.

Markham's motto is "Leading while remembering," a reflection of the value our city places on cherishing the rich legacy of the past expressed in our heritage conservation districts, while enthusiastically embracing opportunities for the future.

Would you like to volunteer for Doors Open Markham? Hosts for our many sites are always needed. Contact our volunteer coordinator at bayne@rogers.com.

10 Sites
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Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Bethesda Lutheran Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
20 Union Street
Markham, Ontario
Year built: 1910
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

This centre of worship for descendants of Markham's founding families, the Berczy settlers, was originally located north of the village of Unionville where today the new community of Upper Unionville is being developed. In 1862, a brick church was built on the hill overlooking Unionville, next to a historic cemetery. In 1910, the buidling was dismantled and rebuilt on its current site to bring it closer to the community it serves.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Box Grove Community Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
7651 Ninth Line
Markham, Ontario
Year built: 1877
Style: Italianate
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
A classic example of a "little red schoolhouse" from Markham's rural past. The school served local students until the 1960s, then became a community centre for Box Grove, a village on the Rouge River. The architecture reflects the Italianate style that was popular in Markham in the 1870s and 1880s for public and commerical buildings.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Duchess of Markham

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
53 Main Street North
Markham, Ontario
Year built: c. 1860
Landscape type: Conservation area
Style: Period revival
Building type: Commercial
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Now a popular restaurant and local pub, the building the houses the Duchess of Markham was origianlly constructed as a residence in the mid-19th century. The decorative wood trim that runs along the eaves is an indication of the historical nature of the building. The exterior has for many years reflected the Tudor style of the classic British pub.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
First World War

Liberty Burger

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
144 Main Street North
Markham, Ontario
Year built: c.1845
Landscape type: Conservation area
Style: Regency
Building type: Commercial
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
This is a featured site for this year's Doors Open event that marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War One, 1914-1918. It was a time in history that forever changed Canada and the world. Thi small brick building, once a modest village clockmaker's house, has served a number of purposes over the years including a recruiting office for Markham residents wishing to enlist to defend teh values of their country.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Main Street Unionville Heritage Tour

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
197 Main Street
Markham, Ontario
Landscape type: Conservation area
Building type: Commercial
Guided tours begin at 197 Main Street at 11:00 a.m. and every half hour until final tour at 3:00 p.m.
Unionville's heritage architecture and stories are brought to life in this walking tour of the village, led by guides in historic costume. Unionville's history spans over 200 years, beginning with the arrival of the Berczy settlers in 1794. A written tour guide is also available.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Main's Mansion

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
144 Main Street North
Markham, Ontario
Year built: c.1888
Landscape type: Conservation area
Style: Queen Anne revival
Building type: Commercial
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
This fine example of late Victorian domestic architecture was built for local merchant Henry Wilson in 1888. It features beautiful original stained glass and decorative wood trim. Since the mid-1980s, the former residence has been part of Markham Village Lanes and has housed a number of restaurants.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Markham Guild of Village Crafts

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
11 Church Street
Markham, Ontario
Year built: Established 1971
Landscape type: Conservation area
Style: Vernacular
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The former Mission Church, c.1910,, has been the home of the Markham Guild of Village Crafts since 1991. Formed in 1971, the Guild works to preserve the crafting tradittions of the past while creating new styles for the future. It is one of the few mult-media craft guilds in Canada, offering a variety of courses and workshops. Visit and create a craft project to take away.
Parking
Guided tours available

Richard Lewis House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
28 David Gohn Circle
Markham, Ontario
Year built: c.1845
Style: Georgian
Building type: Private residence
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
This 1 1/2 storey farmhouse, typical of mid-19th century Ontario, displays elements of the Georgian and classic revival styles. The two-toned patterned brickwork was popular at the time of construction. Richard Lewis was tragically killed while blasting stone for the foundation, leaving his son Joseph to finish the house. This was later the home of the Francey family. The original site was in the the community of Gormley before relocation to Markham Heritage Estates.
Parking
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Trails Open Ontario

Rouge Valley Heritage Trail

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
139 Main Street
Markham, Ontario
Landscape type: Natural heritage
Saturday:11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. Meet at the gazebo at 139 Main Street.
History and nature are combined in this walking tour of the green space that forms the backdrop to Unionville's Main Street of shops and restaurants. Hear about the community's early industries and how Bruce's Creek, a tributary of the Rouge River, was harnessed to power the local grist mail and sawmill around which the village was formed in the early 1800s. Experience the quiet beauty of Toodgood Pond and the lovely old neighbourhood that borders it.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Shia Imami Ismaili Jamatkhana

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
350 Apple Creek Boulevard
Markham, Ontario
Year built: 1991
Style: International
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Unionville Jamatkhana offers a serene space for prayers for Ismaili Muslims, with inside and outside courtyards, classrooms, meeting rooms and a library. The exterior blends harmoniously with the area, providing a sense of balance with the environment. The interior woodwork and symmetrical patterns foster a serene ambiance for deep reflection. The building is also a space for interaction and dialogue, sharing of ideas and fostering relationships with other local communities.
Parking

Eckardt-McKay House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
197 Main Street
Unionville, Ontario
Year built: c. 1850
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This circa 1850 house is a distinctive example of Ontario vernacular architecture, and features dramatic Gothic revival and classic revival detailing. The exterior cladding is mostly board and batten, and the rest coarse stone. Group of Seven artist Frederick Varley lived here in his later years and had a studio in the basement. See his work in the nearby Varley Art Gallery.
Parking
Full wheelchair access

Markham Village Farmers' Market

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Robinson Street and Main Street North
Markham, Ontario
Building type: Food and drink
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Located in the centre of old Markham Village, the Markham Farmers’ Market offers local produce as well as other fresh and seasonal goods. A walk through the market will take you back to a time when markets were an essential part of many Ontario villages.
Parking
Guided tours available

Markham Heritage Estates Walking Tour

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Meet opposite 11 Heritage Corners Lane
Markham, Ontario
Saturday: Guided tours at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. only
Markham Heritage Estates, a subdivision of relocated and restored heritage homes, has captured the imagination of would-be house restorers since its establishment in the 1980s. It's a must-see destination for anyone who dreams of rescuing a historic treasure and bringing it back to its former glory.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Markham Village Train Station

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
214 Main Street North
Markham, Ontario
Year built: 1870
Building type: Transportation
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Built in 1870 during Canada’s golden age of railway development, the station was restored by the City of Markham in co-operation with the Markham Village Conservancy in 2000. Today, it serves as a community meeting space and waiting room for the GO train. The exterior has been restored to its 1910 appearance.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Sanatan Mandir Cultural Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
9333 Woodbine Avenue
Markham, Ontario
Telephone: 416-386-1777
Year built: 1996
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Sanatan Mandir Cultural Centre was initiated by a group of Indian immigrants in 1985, with the building constructed in 1996 to promote Indian culture and heritage in Canada. The centre serves over 3,000 Hindu families in the Greater Toronto Area, with the objective to preserve and promote Indian Hindu culture through a wide variety of social and cultural programs.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Stiver Brothers Grain Elevator and Feed Mill

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
9 Station Lane
Unionville, Ontario
Year built: 1900
Style: Vernacular
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Stiver Brothers of Unionville was established in 1916 next to the village railway station. They sold grain, seed, coal and feed. The grain elevator, built c. 1900, is a landmark reminiscent of Canada's prairie provinces. After many years of disuse, the grain elevator and feed mill have been restored and re-purposed as a community centre.
Parking
Washrooms

The Old Curiosity Tea Shop

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
91 Main Street North
Markham, Ontario
Year built: Established 1998
Landscape type: Conservation area
Style: Italianate
Building type: Commercial
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The Old Curiosity Tea Shop offers a true Victorian tea room experience. The tall, 3 storey brick building in the Italianate style was constructed c.1885 to house the local branch of the Standard Bank of Canada. The interior features an elaborate pressed metal ceiling and the original bank vault.
Parking

The ONE Gallery

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
190 Main Street
Markham, Ontario
Telephone: 416-859-3337
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The ONE Gallery, famous for its poetic art creations, features the work of William Ho, an artist of international renown. His art has been exhibited and installed in international museums, galleries and public venues, including in the headquarters of the United Nations and on Canada's Parliament Hill. Mr. Ho is the founder of the "One Heartbeat around the World" movement.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available

Thornhill Village Library

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
10 Colborne Street
Markham, Ontario
Year built: 1851
Landscape type: Garden
Style: Neoclassical
Building type: Library
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The building that now houses the Thornhill Village Library was originally the home of Ellen Frizzell Ramsden, who is said to return to visit from time to time. This excellent example of classical revival architecture and adaptive reuse was restored under the direction of B. Napier Simpson, whose architectural office was next door.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Unionville Train Station

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
7 Station Lane
Unionville, Ontario
Year built: 1870
Building type: Transportation
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Unionville’s train station, built in 1870 for the Toronto and Nipissing Railway, is one of Canada’s oldest. Restored by the Town of Markham, the station is a popular community meeting facility. Nearby is the Stiver Brothers’ Mill, another local landmark, recently restored by the City of Markham.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Varley Art Gallery

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
216 Main Street
Unionville, Ontario
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Situated at the top of Unionville’s historic village core, the Varley Art Gallery is an excellent example of postmodern architecture. The gallery, named after Group of Seven artist Frederick Horsman Varley, is home to a fine collection of the artist’s oils, watercolours and drawings.
Parking
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Warden House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
8840 Warden Avenue
Markham, Ontario
Year built: c. 1860
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Warden House is a community facility that incorporates a heritage farmhouse into its structure. The eastern part of this board-and-batten, Gothic revival building was constructed around 1860 as the home of William and Susan Stiver. Additions made to it are in a style similar to that of the original house.