Cornell, Ontario

Cornell is a new community village being developed in northeast Markham, Ontario and bounded by Highway 407, 16th Avenue, Ninth Line, and the Donald Cousens Parkway. The 2011 population of this area was 9,880. Adding Cornell North's 2,178 (from 16th Avenue to Donald Cousens Parkway) it had 12,058 residents.[1]

Unincorporated community
Coordinates: 43°53′30″N 79°13′30″W
Regional municipalityYork
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s)905 and 289


Cornell was conceived in the 1990s planning process by the town of Markham. Unlike other Markham communities, Cornell is a planned community.

One of the original settlers was Christian Reesor. He and his family settled in Cornell. Their original homestead was on Reesor Road. The name 'Cornell' derives from the maiden name of the wife of Christian Reesor's youngest son, who continued to live at the family homestead.[2]

William Cornell

Cornell's name was selected in 1999 from a suggestion by local lawyer Paul Mingay.[3] Mingay's family roots can be traced back to Susan Emily Cornell, a descendant of William Cornell (1766-1860), settler from Rhode Island who came to Canada in 1799 and settled in Scarborough, Ontario in 1800. Later Cornells settled in Markham, Ontario and married into the Reesor family. William Cornell immigrated to Canada from Rhode Island and is a distant relative of Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University.

Community description

Most of the houses are townhomes, semi-detached, or detached houses with garages at the rear. The communities are built with central amenities in order to contain suburban sprawl. Cornell was seen by the Markham Town Council as a way to deter the ongoing sprawl by encouraging residential density. The community, particularly Cornell Village, is designed as a walkable neighborhood with a variety of housing types and retail. Cornell Village, between Highway 7 and 16th Avenue, is fully populated with medium density residential. The southern section of Cornell (south of Highway 7), however, is not populated, and remains as a wild field and a farm. In 2012, the City of Markham completed Fire Station 99 to serve the area.


Cornell is a diverse community.[4]

Canada census – Cornell, Ontario community profile
Population: Estimated 12,000 (+125.4% from 2001)
Land area: 30.33 km2 (11.71 sq mi)
Population density: 400/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Median age: 34.1 (M: 37.5, F: 39.0)
Total private dwellings: 4,568
Median household income: $78,317
References: 2006[5] earlier[6]

Subdivisions within Cornell

Cornell can be further separated by development phases:

  • Grand Cornell - located near Highway 7 and 9th Line and built by builders H&R (renamed as Lindvest), GreenPark and CountryWide
  • Upper Cornell - located near 16th Avenue and 9th Line and built by builders Aspen Ridge or Beaverbrook
  • Cornell Village - located between 16th Avenue and Highway 7 along 9th Line to Cornell Centre Blvd; built by builders Mattamy or Ballantry
  • Cornell Rouge - located east of William Forster Road/Cornell Centre Blvd to Donald Cousens Parkway between 16th Avenue and Highway 7; built by builders of Madison Homes and Forest Hill

The remaining portions of Cornell are still non-agricultural grasslands, but it will slowly disappear with further development.

In 2004 there was a plan to create a residential and retail development called "Cornell Town Centre" along the southern end of Cornell.[7] This plan never materialized and most of the area has since been re-developed as residential homes. The man-made recreational Cornell Lake is now a series of ponds that carries the waters of Little Rouge Creek in Grand Cornell development.



This area is mainly served by Toronto Pearson International Airport for civilian air travel.

The development is not far from the proposed Pickering Airport and once one of the sites for landfills in the Greater Toronto Area. While runway 10R/28L will still be within Pickering, the southwest end of the property will be located north of 16th Avenue and 9th Line.

Toronto/Markham Airport is located north in Dickson Hill, Ontario is a privately owned general aviation airfield.

Public transit

Transportation links to the community include GO Transit, and York Region Transit.

The Markham-Stouffville Hospital YRT Terminal temporarily serves Cornell with several YRT routes:

  • Route 1 Highway 7
  • Route 25 Major Mackenzie
  • Route 9 Ninth Line
  • Route 16 16th Avenue
  • Route 303 Bur Oak Express
  • Route 522 Markham Community

The Markham Stouffville Hospital Terminal is a temporary terminal serving Cornell and the nearby areas. The York Region Transit authority is currently building a permanent bus terminal, Cornell Terminal, located at Donald Cousens Parkway and Highway 7. The temporary terminal at Markham Stouffville Hospital will shut down upon completion of the new terminal. The plans for the new terminal may include connections with Durham Region Transit. The completion date is not yet to be known.

There is also one VIVA line serving the area, Viva Purple. Viva Purple terminates at the Markham Stouffville Hospital as well, with plans in the future stretching to Cornell Terminal.


Major roads and highways in the community include:

Arterial roads

  • 16th Avenue runs east-west on the northside of Cornell.
  • 9th Line runs north-south on the west side of Cornell.
  • Donald Cousens Parkway runs north-south on the east side of Cornell.
  • Highway 7 is an east-west road that cuts through the centre of Cornell from Donald Cousens Parkway to Ninth Line. It is a regional road from Ninth Line and east of Donald Cousens Parkway.

Secondary roads

Cornell Centre Boulevard

Cornell Centre Boulevard is a secondary road in the east side of Cornell that runs north-south from Highway 7 to 16th Avenue to divert traffic from Highway 48.[8] Formerly known as Markham Bypass and renamed in 2004. The section south of Shady Oaks Avenue to Highway 7 will be closed to be re-routed and connected as part of the existing William Forster Road. The northern section from Shady Oaks will remain and likely become part of Church Street. Small signage has been added referring to this road as Old Markham By-Pass

Bur Oak Avenue

Bur Oak Avenue is a secondary road in the north side of Cornell mainly north-south and curves around north of 16th Avenue to Ninth Line.


  • Ontario Highway 407 is an east-west highway on the southern boundary of Cornell with two exits (Donald Cousens and Ninth Line)

The above roads are heavily travelled by commuters during the weekdays to get around Markham, York Region and down to Toronto.

Parks and recreation

  • Cornell Village Park is community park located next to Cornell Village PS
  • Donald Cousens Parkway North Berm and Flatlands - naturalized area on the northeast corner of Ninth Line and Donald Cousens Parkway in Upper Cornell.
  • Grand Cornell Park - features clock tower and bell commemorating the Reesor settlers in the area; par is unfinished due to stoppage of development east of the Little Rouge Creek
  • Oakmoor Pond - man made marshes that drains Little Rouge River
  • New Union Park - renamed and signs installed after local veteran McCowan Freeman in 2017
  • Burkholder Parkette
  • Shania Johnstone Parkette

A number of smaller parks dot the area and do not have any names. City owned parks are maintained by parks staff year round.

Cornell Community Centre

Cornell Community Centre is the City's newest community centre featuring a library, community rooms and an indoor swimming pool

Planned development

  • Lindvest Condo and Retail Development - 1,300 condo units, 50 live/work and commercial/retail/office space located on the South side of Highway 7. A small park will be located at the corner of Highway 7 and Ninth Line.
  • Jade Garden at Cornell.
  • YRT/Viva bus terminal - location to at Rose Way.
  • Future community park to be built near the re-routed Cornell Centre Boulevard.


  • Cornell Village P.S: accepts students mostly from Cornell.
  • Little Rouge P.S: located in Cornell North. Students living in Grand Cornell, Cornell Rouge, Cornell and Upper Cornell and students from the farmlands northeast of Markham attend Little Rouge Public School.
  • Black Walnut P.S: The significance of the school's name is from the fact that Black Walnut trees grow best in deep, fertile soil. When settlers came to Markham, more than two centuries ago, they saw Black Walnut trees growing. They knew this was a good sign that they had found an area that would be good for farming. More than 65 German Pennsylvanian families, many of them Mennonites, came to Southern York Region because of, indirectly, the Black Walnut.[2]
  • St. Joseph C.P.S. - opened in 2015
  • Bill Hogarth Secondary School - opened in September 2017 with a secondary French Immersion program serving east Markham and Whitchurch-Stouffville, located on Bur Oak Avenue near Cornell Community Centre.[9]
  • The York Region Catholic School Board has a site reserved for a secondary school.

See also

a descendant of William Cornell in 1858 (relocated from Markham Road)

  • Cornell Campbell House - built in 1836 on land settled by William Cornell.


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