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Markham is a city in the Regional Municipality of York, Ontario, Canada. It is approximately 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Downtown Toronto. In the 2021 Census, Markham had a population of 338,503, which ranked it the largest in York Region, fourth largest in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and 16th largest in Canada.
The city gained its name from the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe (in office 1791–1796), who named the area after his friend, William Markham, the Archbishop of York from 1776 to 1807.
Indigenous people lived in the area of present-day Markham for thousands of years before Europeans arrived in the area. The first European settlement in Markham occurred when William Berczy, a German artist and developer, led a group of approximately sixty-four German families to North America. While they planned to settle in New York, disputes over finances and land tenure led Berczy to negotiate with Simcoe for 26,000 ha (64,000 acres) in what would later become Markham Township in 1794. Since the 1970s, Markham rapidly shifted from being an agricultural community to an industrialized municipality due to urban sprawl from neighbouring Toronto. Markham changed its status from town to city on July 1, 2012.
As of 2013, tertiary industry mainly drives Markham. As of 2010, "business services" employed the largest proportion of workers in Markham – nearly 22% of its labour force. The city also has over 1,000 technology and life-sciences companies, with IBM as the city's largest employer. Several multinational companies have their Canadian headquarters in Markham, including: Honda Canada, Hyundai, Advanced Micro Devices, Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, Avaya, IBM, Motorola, Oracle, Toshiba, Toyota Financial Services, Huawei, Honeywell and Scholastic Canada.
The city council is at the Markham Civic Centre at the intersection of York Regional Road 7 and Warden Avenue. The site of the previous offices on Woodbine Avenue has been redeveloped for commercial uses. The historic town hall on Main Street is now a restored office building. The Mayor's Youth Task Force was created to discuss issues facing young people in the city and to plan and publicize events. Its primary purpose is to encourage youth participation within the community.
There are no courts in Markham, but the city is served by an Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket, as well as an Ontario Small Claims court in Richmond Hill. There are also served by a Provincial Offence Court in Richmond Hill. The Ontario Court of Appeal is in Toronto, while the Supreme Court of Canada is in Ottawa, Ontario.
Policing is provided by York Regional Police at a station (5 District) at the corner of McCowan Road and Carlton Road and Highway 7. Highway 404, Highway 407 and parts of Highway 48 are patrolled by the Ontario Provincial Police. Toronto Police Service is responsible for patrol on Steeles from Yonge Street to the York—Durham Line.
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