Markham public transit

The City of Markham developed an integrated sustainable community plan to serve as a blueprint for environmental, economic, social and cultural development over the next 50-plus years. One of the fastest-growing municipalities in Ontario, the city wanted to develop a plan that would preserve the best of Markham as it grows - its green spaces, safe neighbourhoods, good jobs.

The plan covers 12 areas including water and energy efficiency, climate protection, and economic vibrancy. One of the objectives is to get to net zero energy, where use and production are balanced and the city can meet its own needs. It also wants to achieve net zero water, zero waste and carbon neutrality by 2050.

The plan aims to create a Markham is that is livable, healthy and prosperous.


Environmental Economic Social
  • An energy strategy will reduce GHG emissions from buildings, transportation, waste and agriculture
  • Rainwater harvesting and wastewater reuse will reduce consumption of potable water
  • Preserving green space and farmland will help capture greenhouse gas emissions
  • 5 city buildings already have solar panels on their roofs
  • Promoting eco-business districts will attract new businesses and investment and create jobs
  • Greening of businesses will make for a more resilient economy
  • A "buy local" campaign will promote locally produced goods and services
  • Well-connected sidewalks, pathways and bicycle routes will encourage active transportation
  • Supporting accessible arts, heritage and cultural opportunities will improve quality of life


  • Finding ways to get young people - the critical next generation - to participate in developing the plan.
  • Connecting with ethnic communities and getting them involved in the process.
  • Scoring some "early wins" that make sustainability a reality, not just a concept.

Lessons learned

  • Consider using "edutainment" to engage people. For example, the "Quest for the Best Markham" website and contest was successful in this case.
  • Dedicate more money for educating not just the community but city staff and politicians on the plan and its purpose.

Partners and collaborators 

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