It's Time for Change!


Don Hamilton

for Mayor of Markham

Don Hamilton Picture

An Open Letter to all Markham residents

City of Markham Communities

For over 53 years, I’ve been fortunate to have lived, worked and played in the City of Markham. After a successful teaching career at Thornlea Secondary School and Markville Secondary School, I entered the world of municipal politics. It’s been my pleasure to have served first as a local Councillor and then to represent all Markham residents as your Deputy Mayor and Regional Councillor.

I put my name on the ballot for Mayor because Markham deserves better leadership than is currently being offered. I believe that It’s Time for Change!

We need to change the political dynamic from one that is dominated by the current Mayor to one that is more democratic, representative and thoughtful. Councillors should always be working for what is right for the residents of Markham, however this has not always been the case during my time on Council.

I’ve been told that I am attempting the impossible by running for Mayor, but didn’t David slay Goliath?

I most sincerely hope that I can count on your vote in this October’s Municipal election as I run to be the new Mayor of the City of Markham.

If you believe in a better Markham, then you believe that It’s Time for Change!

Candidate Comparison

Don Other
Who supported Thornhill residents to keep the YNSE subway extension on Yonge?
Who will re-introduce a Lobbyist Registry for Markham Council?
Who supports a Vacant Housing Tax?
Who provides timely responses to inquiries?
Who supports City land being dedicated for Affordable Housing?
Who wants an Off-Leash Dog Park for each Ward?
Who is against Strong Mayor Powers for the City of Markham?
Who communicates frequently with residents?
Who has the best voting record on environmental issues?
Who believes It’s Time for Change?

Strong Leadership – Proven Track Record – Active Community Member

Don Hamilton

Proven Experience as a 13 Year Member of Markham Council

I served as the local Ward 3 Unionville Councillor from 2009 until 2018. During this current term of Council, it has been my privilege to be the Deputy Mayor and Regional Councillor representing all residents of Markham.

Throughout my time on Council, I have assisted all residents with both local and regional issues. For requests that were not within my jurisdiction, I connected residents to the right person at the proper level of government. Residents are entitled to have timely responses to their inquiries.

Often the best way to assess a candidate is to examine their record. During my time on Markham Council I have always done my best to bring the views of residents to Council. I believe my record in representing you is second to none and as your Mayor I will continue that effort.

Markham Resident for 53 Years

I have lived, worked, played, married and raised a family in our great City. I am proud to call Markham my home.

My family moved to Unionville 53 years ago. Shortly after moving here, we learned that Main Street Unionville was to be widened. This would have meant the removal of several heritage buildings and changes so severe that the character and actual physical structure of the street would have made it unrecognizable today. A group of dedicated residents, including my father, formed the Unionville Ratepayers’ Association which fought to preserve Unionville Main Street. Today Unionville Main Street is scheduled for a $10,000,000 upgrade. As your Deputy Mayor, I supported the approval of this project and as your Mayor I will ensure this project is completed so people can continue to visit the street and enjoy all that it has to offer.

Picutre of math sheet and hand of student working on it

Former Thornlea Secondary School and Markville Secondary School Mathematics Teacher

For thirty-two years I helped to educate many of Markham’s children. I see many of my former students in the City and they are proud to tell me of their success in life. To this day I receive emails, letters and calls from former students thanking me for my contribution to their academic careers. I am happy to know that I played a part in the success of my students.

Tree Planting - Improving our environment

Strong Supporter of a Greener Markham

As the City continues to grow outward and upward, more concrete and asphalt is appearing. It is more important than ever to preserve, enhance and grow green spaces within Markham. Through the Trees for Tomorrow program, I am committed to increasing our tree canopy. I will continue to fight for additional green space in our new developments. Even with our new Parkland By-Law, it’s important to insist on providing green spaces within condominium communities.

I will continue to support increased waste diversion through our Blue and Green bin programs, recycling of household textiles, enhanced recycling at our Depots and by introducing curbside “give away” days. By recycling as much as possible we all can make Markham Greener! Check my environmental voting record at

Continued Involvement with Local Ratepayer Groups

As a former Director of a local residents association, I know how important the voice of ratepayers associations can be for our community. I will continue to work with all ratepayers groups across the City. As Mayor, I will encourage active resident participation with local ratepayers groups and recommend that Ward Councillors engage their local ratepayers associations.

Street Sign with Effective Communication

Committed to Effective and Timely Communication with Markham Residents

You have every right to expect a proper response when you email or call the Mayor or a member of Markham Council. I have been told many times that the current Mayor’s response time is lacking. That will not be the case if you elect me as your Mayor. I will continue to respond to resident emails in a timely manner. Our City staff is committed to service excellence and I am too.

As Deputy Mayor I created a weekly eNewsletter to provide residents with information about Markham and York Region. I will continue this initiative post election. Subscribe at

Strong Advocate for Responsible Use of Your Tax Dollars

Markham has an outstanding record of maintaining low tax increases. However this may be difficult to maintain due to the higher levels of inflation we are all currently experiencing. It will be a top priority as your Mayor to work with the City Budget Committee to maintain reasonable tax increases.

Keep the Subway on Yonge Rally with Ward 1 Councillor Keith Irish


We need a better public transit system if we’re going to ask people to leave their cars at home. The bus rapid transit system has improved along the main corridors with a move towards electrification of the bus fleet. Poor north-south connections still need to be improved. High rise communities must continue to have a public transit focus.

The announcement of the Yonge North Subway Extension has been a double-edged sword. While I welcome the YNSE, I did NOT support the rerouting of the subway line under Thornhill residents’ homes. Your current Mayor did little to fight this. We should not favour future residents at the expense of current residents.

Exotic Car Show Unionville 2017

Community Safety

We hear that there are more home break-ins, car jackings and other crime taking place in our neighbourhoods. Even though Markham is one of the safest communities, we must continue to support York Regional Police and their work to protect us. As your Mayor I will be a strong advocate for public safety.

Opening of the Stiver Mill

Supportive of Heritage Preservation

I served on Heritage Markham for 9 years. The Committee is made up of dedicated residents and staff who seek to preserve the heritage buildings that reflect our past. I’m proud of my work to support heritage. As your Mayor, I’m committed to the creation of a second Heritage Estates community which will allow us to preserve orphaned heritage buildings that exist throughout Markham.

Chalkboard with TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More

Advocate for a Team Approach

All members of Council should be working together to improve the City of Markham, however that is not currently always the case. I believe in consensus building and finding common ground on which to build towards a reasonable outcome. I want to change the direction of the political administration from one that is dominated by the Mayor to one that is more collaborative, independent and broad based. Council members should not be aligning themselves with the Mayor because the Mayor is seen as the base of power, but rather for what they believe is in their residents and Markham’s best interests. It’s Time for Change!

Logos for Markham and Unionville BIAs

Working with Local Business Improvement Areas (BIA’s)

How bad would it be for our neighbourhoods if our Main Streets and local businesses were not healthy? As the Mayor I will continue to work with local BIAs to keep them strong and vital. I will advocate for our local BIAs at the Provincial and Federal government levels. I will continue to work with local businesses and Destination Markham to bring “feet to the street”. This Mayor will work to keep City and Regional business taxes low.

Lemonwood Opening March 2021

Working with Our Economic Development Department to Bring New Businesses to Markham

Having a strong business base in Markham is a key to having a healthy economic climate. I am pleased to have worked with many businesses as they chose Markham for their new headquarters. Small business is the backbone of our economy. We have many thriving businesses, both small and large, here in our City. I am also pleased to have helped support York University coming to Markham. York will bring a new vitality to our city. As your Mayor I will be even more actively involved in bringing economic prosperity to Markham.

Community Centres, Parks, Trails and Libraries

One of the most important parts of any community is its recreation facilities. This can refer to indoor areas such as community centres or outdoor areas such as parks and trails. I am pleased to have added many new parks to the City’s inventory. Just walk through your neighbourhood to see the welcome additions.

Having served on the Library Board, I realize how important libraries are to everyone in our community.

As your next Mayor, I will continue to support additional accessible recreation facilities such as splash pads, walking trails, parks and the expansion of our library system. I will also advocate for the inclusion of one off-leash dog park in each Ward.

Affordable Housing and Seniors Housing

If the Provincial government was serious about creating more affordable and rental housing, they could mandate it through inclusionary zoning. Currently York Region is responsible for affordable housing through Housing York Inc. (HYI) which I have been an active member of for the past 4 years. HYI has requested that each Municipality in York Region, make available 2 acres of suitable land every 5 years on which affordable/rental/seniors housing could be built. The current Mayor does not support this initiative, but I do.

There is an increased need for seniors housing in Markham to allow residents to age in place. In 2023, Markham Council’s “age friendly guidelines” for new housing developments should be finalized.

My work with York Region has brought a new seniors facility, Unionville Commons, that will open soon. However, we need more buildings for seniors with independent living, assisted living and long-term care.

The City of Markham should continue to work in close partnership with the Province and the Region to increase affordable, rental and seniors housing options.

Lobbyist Registry

If elected as Mayor, I will be asking that a Lobbyist Registry be reconsidered by the new Council. The current Mayor has opposed a Lobbyist Registry because he says he wants “to be able to meet with anyone at anytime”. He doesn’t seem to understand that a Lobbyist Registry does NOT prevent meetings; rather it allows for transparency for the public and other members of City Council and City staff. I have no problem with Markham residents knowing who the Mayor is meeting with. In speaking with the development community, they have no problem with a Lobbyist Registry and neither should the current Mayor.

Vacant Home Tax

Earlier this year Markham Council was asked to consider a Vacant Homes Tax (VHT). Your current Mayor was not supportive of a VHT. Since then, York Region Council has asked its staff to consider introducing a VHT. An extensive background report was recently brought forward. Further discussion will take place at York Region Council in the new term. At this time I am in support of a VHT.

Diversity in Our Community

Markham is recognized as one of Canada’s most diverse cities with a multitude of languages spoken. There is already great respect shown for differing cultural backgrounds. The City has a Diversity Action Plan (DAP) that has been developed and put into place after consultation with many stakeholders. Council will continue to review, refine and implement the DAP. The City has a Diversity Specialist on staff and we also have a Race Relations Committee that meets regularly to discuss any issues and bring forward suggestions to Council. As Mayor I will continue to support these efforts.

Green Check Mark

Some of My Accomplishments

  • worked in planning: the Pan Am Centre, Aaniin Community Centre, Angus Glen Tennis Centre, York University Markham campus, Stiver Mill, Cornell Community Centre and Library, numerous parks, Varley Art Gallery expansion, Markham Museum expansion, Markham Soccer dome, Mt. Joy Soccer dome, Markham Premier Racquet Club, Morgan Park and Pool enhancements, pickleball courts
  • ongoing work with: local BIAs, ice skating and hockey communities, tennis and soccer clubs, ratepayers associations, festivals and events, charitable organizations, seniors groups
  • worked to create better communication with residents via email, telephone and weekly eNewsletters
  • worked with Council in support of responsible development
  • worked with Federal and Provincial Members of Parliament for the benefit of the community
  • worked with residents, businesses, consultants, City staff and Council to create and complete the Unionville Main Street Revitalization Plan
  • worked for improvements to local infrastructure such as LED street lighting, sewer upgrades, new pathway and trail systems
  • worked with our Cycling Pedestrian Advisory Committee to improve cycling and pedestrian infrastructure including enhanced school crossing safety measures
  • worked with Council to introduce an Integrity Commissioner and Auditor General to increase accountability and transparency for the City

Learn more about what Markham residents are saying

Voting information can be found here or at