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Thornhill, Ontario

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Time zone

Area code
Area code 905

Regional Municipality
York Region


110,430 (2011)


Thornhill, Ontario wwwhotelrnetimhotelgbthornhill20jpg

Forward sortation area
L3T (Markham) L4J (Vaughan)

CF Promena, Thai Room, Kobi Korean BBQ, Kuu Sushi, North Restaurant

Thornhill (2011 population 110,430) is a neighbourhood in the Regional Municipality of York in Southern Ontario, Canada. It is along Toronto's northern border and bisected by Yonge Street—thus, it is part of both the city of Vaughan and the city of Markham. Once a police village, Thornhill is now a community and postal designation. According to the 2001 Census, Thornhill-Vaughan's population was 56,361, and the population of Thornhill-Markham was 47,333. It is immediately south and south-west of Richmond Hill.


Map of Thornhill, Vaughan, ON, Canada

Early history

Thornhill was founded in 1794. Its first settlers on Yonge Street in Thornhill were Asa Johnson (who settled on the Vaughan side) and Nicholas Miller (c.1760–1810; who settled on the Markham side). Of particular importance was the arrival of Benjamin Thorne (January 4, 1794 – July 2, 1848) in 1820 from Dorset, England, who was operating a gristmill, a sawmill, and a tannery in the community. The settlement came to be known as Thorne's Mills, and later, Thorne's Hill, from which its current name is derived. (Thorne committed suicide in 1848, after a serious wheat market crash.)

Between 1830 and 1848, Thornhill experienced a period of continued growth and prosperity. The business district of Thornhill developed on its portion of Yonge Street, between Centre Street and John Street. Stagecoaches travelled between Holland Landing (Lake Simcoe) and York (Toronto) as Yonge Street's road conditions improved with new stonework. During this prosperous period, several churches, many of which are still standing today, were constructed.

Thornhill's location along Yonge Street, a major transportation route, proved beneficial to the community's growth throughout much of the twentieth century. The implementation of the electric radial Metropolitan line along Yonge Street in 1898 running north to Sutton and south to Toronto meant that, for the first time, people could reside in Thornhill and work in Toronto. By the 1920s, automobiles also facilitated travel along Yonge Street.

20th century

In 1931, Thornhill became a "Police Village"; before that time, Thornhill had no independent status and was split between the townships of Vaughan and Markham along Yonge Street, since the creation of municipal government in 1850. Before 1931, each township administered its half of the village. The creation of the Police Village gave Thornhill its own political boundaries. The village was headed by a reeve.

In 1971, York Region was created, part of a wave of municipal re-organization which converted many townships into towns and eliminated many of the municipal forms of organization which had existed within those townships. The establishment of a regional administration effectively eliminated the Police Village of Thornhill. Thornhill's administration reverted to the newly formed towns of Markham and Vaughan at this time.

However, many political and social institutions remained organized around the former municipal entities eliminated in 1971. Like neighbouring communities such as Woodbridge, Maple, and Unionville – as is typical for most urbanized former Greater Toronto Area (GTA) villages outside of the City of Toronto – Thornhill remained the postal designation for addresses within the former village's boundaries, and community organizations such as local newspapers, sports teams, and schools continued to operate under the Thornhill name and designation. As an example, until the mid-1990s residents of Thornhill residents who wanted to play high-level hockey were required to play for a Thornhill team.

While the old village of Thornhill revolved around Yonge Street between Centre and John Streets, the community is typically thought to be between Dufferin Street to the west, Highway 7 to the north, Steeles Avenue to the south, and Highway 404 to the east.


Thornhill's growth since the 1960s and 1970s has been largely connected to its location bordering what is now the City of Toronto.

Growth has continued apace. Developments have sprung up across various areas of Thornhill in each of the municipal districts which encompass Thornhill, following the development patterns of the Greater Toronto Area.


Thornhill has a very ethnically diverse population. It is home to a significant number of Jewish, Chinese, Korean, Iranian, and Italian people. According to 2001 Federal Census data, the electoral district of Thornhill (which is not entirely congruent with the neighbourhood) consists of Chinese, the largest visible minority, accounting for almost 11% of total residents (12,610), followed by South Asian (6,595), Black (2,665), Korean (2,660), Filipino (2,535), and West Asian (2,355).

According to the 2009 Report of Canada's Demographic Task Force, Thornhill-Vaughan is home to more than 33,000 members of the Jewish community.


Thornhill is a federal and provincial riding. The Member of Parliament for Thornhill is Peter Kent (Conservative), and the Member of Provincial Parliament is Gila Martow (Progressive Conservative).

Municipally, Thornhill is split into Wards 4 and 5 in the City of Vaughan and Ward 1 in the City of Markham. It is represented by Sandra Yeung Racco (Vaughan Ward 4), Alan Shefman (Vaughan Ward 5), and Valerie Burke (Markham Ward 1).

Public schools

Secondary schools

Elementary schools

Catholic schools

  • Blessed (Bishop) Scalabrini Catholic Elementary School
  • Holy Family Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Elizabeth Catholic High School, established in 1987
  • Our Lady of the Rosary
  • St. Joseph the Worker
  • St. Robert Catholic High School
  • St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Michael Catholic Academy
  • St. Luke Catholic Elementary School
  • Private schools

  • Blyth Education
  • Toronto Waldorf School
  • Jewish Schools




    There are no general hospitals in the Thornhill area; the nearest are Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital in Richmond Hill and North York General Hospital in Toronto. A private hospital, Shouldice Hernia Centre, is in Thornhill.


  • Salam Toronto – Bilingual Persian-English weekly paper.
  • Film and broadcasting

  • Hayden Christensen – Actor, most notable for playing Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequel trilogy
  • Sidney M. Cohen – TV Director and Producer The Mad Dash and Thrill of a Lifetime & "Accessibility in Action"
  • Lauren Collins – Actress, notable role of Paige on Degrassi: The Next Generation
  • Jian Ghomeshi – musician and radio personality
  • Corey Haim – Actor, best known for roles in movies, such as Lucas, and The Lost Boys
  • Tajja Isen – Voice actress
  • Simcha Jacobovici – Known as "The Naked Archaeologist"
  • Hadley Kay – Voice actor
  • Rishma Malik - Bollywood actress
  • Paul McGuire – Host on CMT (Canada)
  • Dan Shulman – Sports broadcaster who works for ESPN
  • Stu Stone – Actor and voiceover performer
  • Daniel Magder – Actor
  • Literature

  • Gordon Korman – Author, especially of children's and young adult books
  • Music

  • By Divine Right – indie rock band
  • Gerald Eaton – R&B singer-songwriter, producer and lead singer of The Philosopher Kings
  • Moxy Früvous – Musical group of the 1990s whose songs featured satirical themes (included CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi)
  • Robert Goulet – singer/performer – lived in Thornhill on Vista View Blvd for at least one year in the 1960s
  • Hayden – Folk rock musician and songwriter.
  • hHead – alternative rock band of the 1990s
  • Judy & David – children's recording artists, composers, television personalities, and live concert artists
  • Ryan and Dan Kowarsky – Singers, members of the music group b4-4
  • Jon Levine – Musician, Producer – The Philosopher Kings
  • Anne Murray – singer – lived in one of Thornhill's oldest districts near the pond for several years
  • The Philosopher Kings – R&B band
  • Jackie Richardson – Gospel, blues and jazz singer
  • Visual arts

  • Fred S. Haines – Painter (1879–1960)
  • J. E. H. MacDonald – Group of Seven painter
  • Thoreau MacDonald – illustrator, designer and calligrapher
  • Sports

  • Adrian Cann – Professional soccer player
  • Gillian Ferrari – Women's ice hockey player; won gold medal for Canadian women's hockey team in 2006 Winter Olympics
  • Alison Goring – Women's curling champion
  • Adam Henrich – Professional ice hockey player for Coventry Blaze of the Elite Ice Hockey League
  • Michael Henrich – Professional ice hockey player for Dornbirner EC in Austria
  • Eric Himelfarb – Professional ice hockey player for Linköpings HC in the Swedish Elitserien (SEL)
  • Joshua Ho-Sang – Professional ice hockey player in the New York Islanders organization, currently playing with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League
  • Dominic Moore – Professional ice hockey player with the New York Rangers
  • Steve Moore – Professional ice hockey player with the Colorado Avalanche until a career-ending injury
  • Milos Raonic – Professional tennis player
  • Paul Rosen – Paralympic ice hockey player; won gold medal for Canadian men's paralympic hockey team in 2006 Winter Olympics
  • Daniel Spivak – Professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL
  • Andrew Wiggins – Professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA
  • Mitchell Marner- Professional hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL
  • Other personalities

  • John Beck – Heir to the Beck Taxi Company, and candidate for the Reform Party in 1993.
  • Craig Kielburger – Creator and founder of Free the Children, child-run campaign against child labour and injustice.
  • Robert McGhee – Archaeologist and author specializing in the archaeology of the Arctic, currently Curator of Western Arctic Archaeology at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
  • Sue Rodriguez – Advocate of the right to die with dignity. Her story was the topic of the 1998 feature film At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story.
  • Eh Bee family – internet personalities
  • References

    Thornhill, Ontario Wikipedia

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