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Newmarket (2021 population 87,942) is a town and regional seat of the Regional Municipality of York in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is part of Greater Toronto in the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario. The name stems from the fact that the settlement was a "New Market",in contrast to York as the Old Market.
The town was formed as one of many farming communities in the area, but also developed an industrial centre on the Northern Railway of Canada's mainline, which was built in 1853 through what would become the downtown area. It also became a thriving market town with the arrival of the Metropolitan Street Railway in 1899. Over time, the town developed into a primarily residential area, and the expansion of Ontario Highway 400 to the west and the construction of Ontario Highway 404 to the east increasingly turned it into a bedroom town since the 1980s. The province's Official Plan includes growth in the business services and knowledge industries, as well as in the administrative, manufacturing and retail sectors.
Landmarks include Upper Canada Mall, Southlake Regional Health Centre, the Main Street Heritage Conservation District, and Wesley Brooks Conservation Area (locally called "Fairy Lake Park" or "Fairy Lake").
For over 100 years, the town's downtown area, centred around Main Street, has acted as a hub of commerce and cultural activity. This area contains numerous early 19th century buildings worthy of preservation, and in October 2013, this area was recognized as a Provincial Heritage Conservation District. This status serves to protect and officially recognize many of the heritage sites and buildings along this historic thoroughfare and its many side streets.
Recent investments have been made to improve the aesthetics and function of the historic area. These include:
Numerous buildings and sites located in Newmarket possess a high degree of architectural and/or historical significance; most of these are concentrated in the historic Main Street area. The following is a list of some of these sites; many of the below-listed buildings located along Main Street are within the Main Street Heritage Conservation District:
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