An afternoon of food, music and family activities on Sept. 16 will celebrate the completion of improvements made to the Thornhill Community Centre and Library.

Visitors to the centre will now be greeted by a pollinator garden, lush planters and fresh paving at the entrance. New benches, picnic tables with fixed chess boards and bicycle racks further enhance the public space. As part of the revitalization project, the City of Markham has also installed a bronze monument to pay tribute to Benjamin Thorne, the founder of Thornhill.

Thorne arrived at Upper Canada in 1820 and, by 1830, was operating a gristmill, sawmill and tannery in the small settlement that came to be known as Thorne’s Mills and, then, Thorne’s Hill. As a successful businessman, his contributions and dedication to Thornhill became the foundation of a strong economic centre that valued a culturally and socially-oriented community.

“This is Markham’s final Canada 150 legacy project celebration, at one of our oldest community centres, honouring one of Markham’s founding fathers,” says Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “In preserving our heritage, we can reflect on where we came from as a community and as a nation. We are creating spaces that generations, now and into the future, can enjoy and be proud of.”