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Cornell was conceived in the 1990s planning process by the Town of Markham. Unlike other Markham communities, Cornell is a planned community.
Cornell's name was selected in the 1990s from a suggestion by local lawyer Paul Mingay.Mingay's family roots can be traced back to Susan Emily Cornell, a descendant of William Cornell, settler of Scarborough, Ontario. Later Cornells settled in Markham, Ontario and married into the Reesor family. William Cornell immigrated to Canada from Rhode Island is a distant relative of Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University.
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 an example of new urbanism, 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.
The development is not far from the proposed Pickering Airport and once one of the sites for landfills in the Greater Toronto Area. Toronto/Markham Airport is located north in Dickson Hill, Ontario. This area is mianly served by Toronto Pearson International Airport for normal civilian air travel.
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, namely Cornell Terminal, located at the Don Cousens Way and Highway 7. The temporary terminal at Markham Stouffville Hospital will shut down upon completion of the new terminal. The completion date is not yet to be known.
There is also one VIVA line serving the area, namely Viva Purple. Viva Purple terminates at the Markham Stouffville Hospital as well, with plans in the future stretching to Cornell Permanent Terminal. Viva Green, currently ending at McCowan Vivastation, is also planned to extend its service into Cornell via the Highway 7 corridor.
Parks and Recreation
Most children in the area are bused to schools outside Cornell. There are no official plans for schools to be built in the area until more development in the area is completed.
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