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By 1870, the Markham Village Train Station was established, bringing a significant increase in commerce and industry to Markham Village and the surrounding rural areas. In 2000 the Station was restored to its 1910 appearance. Today, the building serves as a GO Transit Station, meeting rooms and rental facility. Contextual Significance Constructed in 1870 and designed to a basic standard plan by the Toronto and Nipissing Railway Company, the Markham Train Station was the public interface for a railway line that was an important link in fostering the local and regional economy in the late 19th century. The full extent of the railway was 78 miles from Toronto to Coboconk. It was the first publicly operated narrow gauge railway in North America.
When the Toronto and Nipissing incorporated in 1868, the Township of Markham offered a subsidy of $30,000 to route the line within its boundaries. In exchange for the contribution, Markham received two stations.The station soon had a new owner. By 1885, it had become part of the GrandTrunk Railway system. In 1898, the station was remodelled. It was at this time that the passenger end of the building was clad is narrow clapboard siding and a stylish conductor bay was added. Within ten years, a freight extension of board and batten cladding added 31 feet to the southern end. Times were good for the station.
However, by the 1980s, the station had been crudely altered, poorly reclaimed and badly maintained. Conditions were so bad that GO Transit (the inter-regional transit authority) which had leased part of the station relocated its operations to a small kiosk building. By the early 1990&39's the owner, CN Rail was looking to rid itself of this liability. The Markham Village Conservancy took on the role of spearheading the fundraising for the restoration project. Chartered in 1998, the Markham Village Conservancy (MVC) is a citizen group that initiates projects that advance its mandate to strengthen the sense of community in Markham Village; to preserve the quality of life in the Village; and to conserve the heritage and natural elements of the Village. The Markham Village Train Station Restoration project was the founding project of the MVC. The management of the restored train station is one of the primary activities of the MVC today. The MVC was the lead organization in the inaugural and second years of Doors Open Markham, a town-wide open house of signigicant heritage resources in Markham, held each year in August. The Conservancy continues to be involved with the revitalization of Main Street Markham including the process to redesign the area north of 16th avenue.
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