Markham Township was settled in 1794 by sixty-four families, originally of German descent, who emigrated here from upstate New York. Their leader was William Berczy who negotiated free land grants for the settlers in exchange for their labour clearing roads (including a portion of Yonge Street) and waterways which enabled them to operate very successful mills on the banks of the Rouge River and its many tributaries. Markham has always welcomed newcomers and been viewed as a land of opportunity. Today, Markham is recognized as one of the most multicultural communities in the Greater Toronto Area. Markham Centre situated on the northwest corner of Warden and Highway 7, is the head of government for Markham which has four main population centres including: Markham Village, Thornhill, Unionville and Milliken Mills.
Markham proudly proclaims itself to be the “High-Tech Capital of Canada”. Apple, ATT, I.B.M., and Toshiba, are just some of the multinational companies that have corporate offices here. Honda Canada, American Express Canada, TD Waterhouse and Allstate Insurance all have headquarters in Markham. The highly regarded Markham-Stouffville Hospital is also one of the pillars of this community. Markham has been recognized as a leader in City building and neighbourhood building. The focus has been on smart growth and sustainable growth as well as quality of life for all of its residents. Many of the newer neighbourhoods in Markham follow New Urbanism principles which mesh nicely with the charm and character of Markham's older neighbourhoods. Markham became a City in 2012 and is already Canada's 16th largest City and growing.