Cornell Rouge National Urban Park Gateway Study

Banner for Cornell Rouge National Urban Park Gateway

The Cornell Rouge National Urban Park Gateway is envisioned to be an exciting public space connecting Cornell Centre to the Rouge National Urban Park (RNUP). It will serve both Markham residents and visitors to the RNUP by providing urban amenities in Cornell Centre and additional amenities and services for those seeking to explore the natural, cultural and agricultural landscapes of the RNUP.

There are several objectives for the Gateway:

  1. Provide for integration and an appropriate transition between urban development and the Park.
  2. Create an animated and vibrant streetscape along Highway 7 with activities and land uses that are complementary and

The Cornell Rouge National Urban Park Gateway is envisioned to be an exciting public space connecting Cornell Centre to the Rouge National Urban Park (RNUP). It will serve both Markham residents and visitors to the RNUP by providing urban amenities in Cornell Centre and additional amenities and services for those seeking to explore the natural, cultural and agricultural landscapes of the RNUP.

There are several objectives for the Gateway:

  1. Provide for integration and an appropriate transition between urban development and the Park.
  2. Create an animated and vibrant streetscape along Highway 7 with activities and land uses that are complementary and supportive of the community and Park visitors.
  3. Support alternative transportation options including pedestrian, cycling and transit connections between Cornell Centre and Rouge National Urban Park.
  4. Respect and protect the residential community of Locust Hill.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the Cornell RNUP Gateway Study is to identify streetscape and design solutions to create an exciting and memorable public space. The study will provide recommendations: to improve landscaping and walking/biking conditions along Highway 7 and Reesor Road; to provide an animated and active public realm; and to provide for a clear interface and transition between urban development and the RNUP.

Location and Context

The Rouge National Urban Park is the first and only National Urban Park in Canada and is the largest urban park in North America. The Park comprises 79 square kilometres in Toronto, Markham, Pickering and Uxbridge. The Park comprises over 16% of the total land area in Markham. The Government of Canada has tabled the Rouge National Urban Park Management Plan and are proceeding with the implementation of programming and park infrastructure throughout the Park including the construction of visitor centres and trails.

Cornell Centre is located at the western end of the Gateway and is planned to become the largest urban centre located directly next to the Park. The development of this community as a high density, mixed-use centre can help support the Park’s objectives and create a unique visitor experience through high quality urban design, an animated public realm and by providing services that cater to both local residents and Park visitors. A review of the Cornell Centre Secondary Plan is currently underway.

The hamlet of Locust Hill is located at the eastern end of the Gateway. Locust Hill is a small residential hamlet located on Highway 7 which traces its roots to the historic Locust Hill railway station. The Markham Official Plan seeks to protect and maintain the historic and rural residential character of these settlements while addressing improved streetscape conditions.

Study Area Map of Cornell Rouge National Urban Park Gateway

What is being proposed?

  • Pedestrian and cycling facilities along Highway 7 and Reesor Road to connect Cornell Centre and Rouge National Urban Park
  • Opportunities to improve the pedestrian environment in the Gateway Area such as landscaping, planters, seating, enhanced urban design, architectural design and interactive public art.
  • Parks Canada is also planning to construct a welcome area, trail systems and other visitor facilities within and adjacent to the Gateway Area.

For more detailed information, access the presentation and display boards for the April 2019 Public Open House which can be found in the 'Documents Library' tab on the right side of the screen.