Markham Butterflyway

In 2017, Rangers in Markham established a butterflyway through the former Town of Thornhill. Now we've recruited residents to create another butterflyway in Markham’s Ward 5.

About the Markham Butterflyways

The Butterflyway Project is a citizen-led movement that is growing highways of habitat for bees and butterflies through neighbourhoods in communities across Canada.

In 2017, our troop of Markham Butterflyway Rangers planted more than a dozen canoe gardens and pollinator patches in schoolyards, parks and gardens, establishing an official butterflyway through the former Town of Thornhill.  

Now we’ve recruited residents to help establish a second butterflyway in Markham’s Ward 5, which includes Markham Village, Cornell, Greensborough, the Markham Museum and Swan Lake Village.

The new Butterflyway Rangers attended a training session where participants heard from experts about local bees, butterflies and wildflowers. They also learned about community organizing, including tips on how to fundraise, host events and establish plantings at schools and parks.


The Thornhill Butterflyway

Markham Thornhill butterflyway map

In partnership with the City of Markham and Coun. Valerie Burke, in 2017 the David Suzuki Foundation’s troop of 22 Butterflyway Rangers planted canoe gardens and pollinator patches in schoolyards, parks and gardens throughout the former Town of Thornhill.

The planted sites included city parks, like Pomona Mills Park, Honsberger Field and Royal Orchard Park, plus St. Anthony Catholic School and backyards and gardens throughout the neighbourhood. The City of Markham generously supported the planting of three canoe gardens during the summer, bringing Markham’s fleet to four, and provided all materials for a large demonstration pollinator garden at the Thornhill Community Centre. The Rangers hosted a fall celebration in Royal Orchard Park, which included a musical parade, face-painting and native plant give-away.

Special thanks to the Thornhill Horticultural Society, City of Markham staff and Coun. Burke, plus TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, for supporting the project.

The full list of Thornhill Butterflyway pollinator patches can be found below and on our interactive map.

  • Pomona Mills Park canoe garden
  • Honsberger canoe garden
  • St. Anthony canoe garden
  • Royal Orchard Park canoe garden
  • German Mills Settlers Park
  • Kirk Drive backyard pollinator gardens
  • Annswell Park
  • Thornhill Village Library
  • Percy Bones Parkette
  • Royal Orchard Park pollinator patch
  • Markham Milkweed Nursery
  • Bayview-York Mills Parkette
  • Thornhill Community Centre Pollinator Garden
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  • Backyard planting in Markham, Ontario.

    A Butterflyway Ranger in Markham, Ontario leads children in planting a backyard pollinator patch.

  • A canoe planter in Markham, Ontario.

    A canoe planter in Markham, Ontario — part of the David Suzuki Foundation's Community Canoe and Butterflyway Projects.

  • Butterflyway demonstration in Markham, Ontario

    Children attentively engage in a Butterflyway demonstration in Markham, Ontario.

  • Canoe planter at Honsberger Field

    Butterflyway Rangers get busy preparing a canoe planter at Honsberger Field in Markham, Ontario.

  • Butterflyway Rangers in a Markham, Ontario parade.

    A Butterflyway Ranger leads a group of children in community parade in Markham, Ontario.

  • Markham Butterflyway Rangers.

    Markham Butterflyway Rangers.

  • Butterflyway Rangers in Royal Orchard Park, Markham, Ontario.

    Butterflyway Rangers surround their newly completed canoe planter in Royal Orchard Park in Markham, Ontario.

  • Pollinator patch at Royal Orchard Park in Markham, Ontario.

    Butterflyway Rangers get busy planting pollinator patches at Royal Orchard Park in Markham, Ontario.

  • Butterflyway Rangers at St Anthony Catholic School in Markham, Ontario.

    Butterflyway Rangers get ready to prepare a canoe planter at St Anthony Catholic School in Markham, Ontario.