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COMMUNITY & FIRE SERVICES COMMISSION 2011 Key Service-Focused Accomplishments


Completed construction of the seven Stimulus / RInC funded projects, valued at $25 million, on time and on budget. Enhanced the Emergency Management Program with training curriculum and new Emergency Operations Centre. Finalized location, functional program, and commenced detailed design for the Markham Pan Am Centre – 50m-pool and field house for water polo, badminton, and table tennis venues. It will become a full-service community centre after the Pan Am Games. Enhanced municipal service delivery by re-organizing a number of departments, namely Environmental Services, Operations, and Recreation Services. Commenced outreach to residents in South East Markham on the design and construction of a new community centre. Provided leadership on advancing Council’s goals outlined in “Building Markham’s Future Together” in the areas of Municipal Services and the implementation of the Integrated Leisure Master Plan.


Completed the $3 million Facility Accessibility Retrofit Stimulus Project by retrofitting nine buildings. Completed Main Street Markham Washroom and Stiver Mill stabilization. Oversaw the construction of Cornell Fire Station, East Markham Community Centre and Library, Varley Art Gallery expansion, facility life cycle upgrade projects, and awarded prime architect contract for South East Markham Community Centre and Library. Completed rehabilitation works on six Bridges & Culverts. Received approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Markham Council to commence with the West Thornhill Stormwater Flood Remediation Class EA Study.


Completed the first strategic plan, known as “Live Arts Matter”, for the Markham Theatre. Opened the new Museum Collections Building with the launch of the exhibition, “Favourite Things”. Completed construction of the $2.5 million expansion at the Varley Art Gallery that provided additional space for displaying the permanent collection and supporting community programming. Organized Markham International Indian Film Academy Buzz events with $300,000 in Celebrate Ontario grant.

Markham is an inter-connected community of 310,000 residents making up over 80,000 households. Through the services and programs it provides, the Community & Fire Services Commission contributes to Markham’s quality of life.

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Implemented, with assistance from the Operations Department, the ‘Big Belly’ public space recycling on Unionville and Markham Main Streets – a more eco-friendly approach. Implemented the 4 day/wk waste collection schedule that generated efficiencies and reduced the impact of statutory holidays on the collection schedule. Implemented the polystyrene densifier that improved handling of polystyrene waste and reduced transportation costs. Achieved 72% diversion rate for waste – best in Canada. Completed Phase 1 of Backflow Prevention Program with 99.8% compliance from 856 subject properties. Achieved 100% compliance rating on Markham’s Quality Management System from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for its drinking water. Implemented the ‘Water on Wheels’ (WOW) trailer at various special events to raise public awareness about drinking water and water conservation.


MEMORIAM: Sadly, Markham lost one of our firefighters to a recognized work related illness,

considered a line of duty death, on October 27. Firefighter Larry Pilkey succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 52. Broke ground for the 9th fire station, Station 99 (located at 3255 Bur Oak Avenue), which will be constructed to a Silver LEED standard. Along with a new station comes the requirement for additional staff, 26 firefighter recruits have been hired and commenced training along with one dispatcher and one prevention officer. Recognized leader in the area of Public Education and hosted the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Annual Fire and Life Safety Educators Conference. Our affiliation with Fairchild Radio and the annual Junior Firefighter Day are tremendous avenues for providing our diverse community with fire and life safety education. Expanded community outreach through schools, faith-based organizations, service clubs, and the media.


Opened renovated Thornhill Community Library, with improved space for study and learning, more public computers, improved children’s and teen areas, and more self-service options for customers. Improved operational efficiency, service convenience, and customer satisfaction through self-service technology, which accounted for 80% of checkout transactions. Completed conversion of library collections to C3 (Customer Centred Classification) at 3 branches – Thornhill Village, Thornhill Community, and Unionville – to improve customer access and increase turnover of collection to more customers. Increased e-book checkouts by 187% over 2010. Established email notification service to inform customers of reserved items that are available for pickup, materials that are overdue, and outstanding service charges. Renewed partnership agreement with Literacy Council York South to clarify expectations and define mutual responsibilities and benefits.

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Initiated a six-year Pedestrian Accessibility Program to improve accessibility needs of physicallychallenged pedestrians at 60 signalized intersections in the Town (10 intersections per year). Installed 34 Automatic Vehicle Locators in the municipal fleet to monitor fuel consumption and improve vehicle deployment and routing. Planted 60,000 trees as part of the Trees for Tomorrow Program for a total of 190,000 trees, thereby, exceeded the program goal by 153%. Redesigned the deployment strategy through the Service Planning Project, which resulted in the meeting of service levels for park, boulevard, and planting bed maintenance. Completed the 2010 backlog of pavement preservation work, as well as the scheduled 2011 work for a total combined area of 195,000 m2. The overall completed length of road rehabilitation was 11.2 km. Implemented a cross-Commission project to replace the hard copy map with Roads E-map that is electronic, user-friendly, and more accurate. It provides information on road classifications, service levels, pavement projects, and traffic information, and saved approximately $20,000.


Fulfilled all obligations on the Stimulus projects, including successful completion and opening of: Thornhill Community Centre, Civic Centre Ice Rink, Angus Glen Tennis Centre, and St. Robert Artificial Turf & Bubble. Developed an approach that received Council approval on the creation of a Pricing Strategy and Subsidy Strategy. Completed first phase of the Pricing Strategy. Received over 7,795,000 visits to our Community Centres in 2011 and 86,602 program registrants. Permitted over 207,000 hours of available time in Town of Markham facilities to user groups and members of the community. Partnered with the School Boards to deliver over 50 programs as part of the Healthy Schools Initiative. Received funding to deliver the Grade 3 Swim to Survive Program in the 2011/12 school year, which will see 2,439 students participate from 38 elementary schools.


Green Fleet Leadership Award by Fleet Challenge Ontario, awarded to Laurie Canning, Manager of Fleet and Supplies. Two Gold Awards by Recycling Council of Ontario, awarded to Waste & Environmental Management for Markham’s Diversion Rate of 72% and for its unique program for Polystyrene foam densification. Award of Excellence by Heritage Markham, awarded to Asset Management for its design and construction of the Main Street Markham Washroom project. Certificate of Bird Friendliness by Fatal Light Awareness Program, awarded to Asset Management for achieving urban wildlife sustainability by making 8100 Warden Avenue building safe for migratory bird.

Community Services Senior Management Team (SMT): Gary Adamkowski, Catherine Biss,

Mary Creighton, Paul Ingham, Brenda Librecz, Peter Loukes, Sue Olin, John Ryerson, Bill Snowball, and Sara Tam.

2011 Community & Fire Services Accomplishments at the Town of Markham  

Community & Fire Services Commission is the largest service group in the organization, comprising approximately 60% of the organizational bu...

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