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12 Best Things to Do in Markham

12 Best Things to Do in Markham

Looking for the best and most fun things to do in Markham?

I grew up in Richmond Hill, but I spent a lot of time hanging out with my friends in Markham as a teenager.

There was just so much better food in Markham, and so many more fun festivals happening back then!

This was well over a decade ago, and Markham is even more awesome now, with so many cool spots and fun things to do.

Whether you’re looking to do something solo or searching for somewhere to take a first date, you’ll definitely find something on this list that’ll tickle your fancy.

Here are some of the best and most fun things to do in Markham, Ontario!

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Fun things to do in Markham

Alchemy Coffee in Markham, Ontario
Alchemy serves up incredible Asian fusion brunch in Markham.

Eat at some of the best Asian restaurants

If you know anything about Markham, it’s probably that there’s a large Asian population.

And of course, that means it’s one of the best cities to grab authentic and delicious Asian food in all of Canada!

From dim sum to sushi, there are so many incredible Asian restaurants in Markham to eat at.

You’ll find everything from authentic Cantonese eats to Japanese fusion cuisine!

There are great restaurants across the city, but these are some of the best malls and plazas for Asian food in Markham:

  • First Markham Place: an Asian shopping mall with a large food court inside and sit-down restaurants outside
  • Downtown Markham: a new neighbourhood filled with condos and modern restaurants
  • Times Square: a shopping plaza filled with casual Asian restaurants, bakeries, and shops
  • Commerce Gate: a shopping plaza similar to Times Square
  • Langham Square: a shopping/office/residential complex with a T&T and plenty of Asian restaurants

If you’re visiting Markham during summer, you can hit up the best patios, or even get your dessert fix at the best dessert places.

First Markham Place food court in Markham, Ontario

Shop at First Markham Place

I feel like I’ve definitely walked through First Markham Place (also known as FMP) at least 100 times in my life.

My parents worked in the area, and it was pretty much one of the only places to hang out back when I was in high school over a decade ago!

It’s an Asian mall with everything from specialty food shops, to ~kawaii~ toys and accessories, to hair salons.

There’s even a food court with all kinds of Asian food. It used to be one of the only spots to grab cheap bubble tea, besides Pacific Mall!

Tbh the restaurants in the First Markham Place plaza are what you need to check out, and here are some great ones:

  • The Owl of Minerva (Korean)
  • Katsuya (Japanese)
  • Mabu Generation (Taiwanese)
  • Sugar Marmalade (Taiwanese desserts)

It’s also worth stopping into Oomomo while you’re at FMP, which is a ginormous department store with all kinds of affordable Japanese products, including everything from skincare to food.

LOCATION: 3255 Hwy 7, Markham, ON

Go Place in Markham, Ontario

Have a spa day at Go Place

You might’ve seen Go Place pop up on your Instagram feed, and if you haven’t, you’ll definitely want to pay it a visit.

It’s a super chic wellness spa with all kinds of different themed specialty rooms, including a volcanic rock room, ice room, and jade room.

The fee is $68.95 per adult 16 and over and $45 per child aged 12 to 15, and it’s a great spot for a date, girls’ day, or birthday gift.

You can also get massages and skin treatments for additional fees, and there’s also a bath house, gym, and Japanese restaurant inside the spa.

They’re located at First Markham Place where the Cineplex used to be, with over 68,000 square feet of space!

LOCATION: 3275 Hwy 7 Unit 2, Markham, ON

Food court inside Pacific Mall in Markham

Shop at Pacific Mall

PMall was like the cool, older sister to FMP back in the day.

It’s a lot bigger, with a lot more little shops that you can stop into and a lot more food options.

It’s actually the largest indoor Asian shopping mall in North America, and is supposedly even the largest Asian shopping mall in the western world!

Daruma Neko and Maneki Neko figurines at Pacific Mall in Markham
A few shops sell these Daruma Neko and Maneki Neko figurines.

You can find a lot of specialty stores selling things like tech accessories, cheongsams and qipaos (Chinese wedding dresses), and Daruma Neko and Maneki Neko figurines.

The mall is not as busy as it used to be, especially because of online stores like Amazon and Aliexpress, but it’s still fun to walk through and shop and eat.

My mom didn’t let me come here in high school lmao, but I did sneak here once or twice 😬 (sorry mom.)

During the summer months, they also host night markets and events here like the massive Taste of Asia festival!

LOCATION: 4300 Steeles Ave E, Markham, ON

Explore J-Town

I can’t believe I only discovered J-Town in adulthood, but I’ve been at least a dozen times since I found out about it.

It’s the ultimate destination for all things Japanese, from food, to groceries, to manga!

During the summer months, they even have weekend sidewalk sales where you can shop from local vendors.

Some of my favourite spots are Tanuki (Japanese-inspired brunch), Yuzu No Ki Cafe & Patisserie (Japanese café and bakery), and Sasaki Fine Pastry (best mochi in the GTA).

You’ll also need to stop into Heisei Mart to stock up on Japanese groceries (or snacks)!

LOCATION: 3160 Steeles Ave E, Markham, ON

Main Street Unionville in Markham during Christmas season

Wander through Main Street Unionville

Main Street Unionville is definitely the cutest and most Instagrammable neighbourhood in Markham.

It’s a historic neighbourhood filled with great restaurants and adorable boutiques, and it’s a local hotspot during the warm summer months!

Stop by the Old Firehall Confectionary for Kawartha Dairy ice cream, or hit up The Alley for bubble tea.

Next Door is amazing spot for brunch and Jake’s on Main is great for drinks (with a fantastic patio)!

The annual Unionville Festival is held here every summer, where you can enjoy all kinds of food, shopping, and activities.

Main Street Unionville is also super nice to visit during the holidays with all the pretty festive lights and wintery decorations!

I actually had no idea the Varley Art Gallery existed until recent years, and I’d been to Main Street Unionville dozens of times before I found out about it!

It’s a gallery named after one of the Group of Seven artists, Frederick Varley.

The gallery space is actually larger than it looks from the outside of the building, and they’ve got some cool exhibitions and works in their permanent collection.

Admission to the gallery is free, but they do accept donations!

LOCATION: 216 Main St Unionville, Unionville, ON

Toogood Pond Park walking trail in Markham, Ontario

Stroll around Toogood Pond Park

In the mood for a romantic outdoor stroll or nice family walk?

Toogood Pond Park is one of the nicest parks in Markham, and you can take a leisurely stroll around the pond that sits here.

The walking trail features forest, boardwalks, and pretty pond views.

There’s a parking lot specifically for the park, or you can park in Main Street Unionville and walk over.

Definitely grab a coffee for the walk at PawStory Cafe in Main Street Unionville!

LOCATION: 58 Sciberras Rd, Unionville, ON

Trapped escape room in Markham, Ontario

Do an escape room at Trapped

If you haven’t done an escape room before, you’re definitely missing out.

Trapped has 5 different themed escape rooms for 2 to 10 people, including a Death Note one for my fellow anime fans.

Adam and I did the Death Note escape room here many years ago, and we definitely wouldn’t have been able to complete it if he hadn’t watched the show before – it helps to have seen the anime!

My sister and I also did a creepy one where they had “dead” bodies (just mannequins), but I don’t think they have it anymore.

They’ve actually grown to have locations across Canada, which is really awesome!

LOCATION: 3137 Hwy 7, Markham, ON

Play board games at Omescape

Omescape is a full-on game hub, and you can play escape rooms, board games, or chase tag.

Choose between 8 different escape rooms for 3 to 10 players!

The board game pass is $12.50 plus tax per person, which gives you access to almost 300 board games and video games for the day.

Bubble tea from OmMyCup at Omescape in Markham, Ontario

The board game pass also includes a drink at their in-store bubble tea shop, OmMyCup.

We’ve tried the Black Royal Flush, which is a sesame milk tea with grass jelly, and the Hello Kitty, which is a brown sugar oat milk tea.

Both are delicious, but the Black Royal Flush is our favourite between the two!

They don’t really have food there, but Omescape is located right beside Diana’s Seafood, where you can enjoy fresh oysters!

LOCATION: 7501 Woodbine Ave #7, Markham, ON

Demetres in Markham, Ontario

Explore Downtown Markham

Downtown Markham is a new and super modern neighbourhood filled with condos, restaurants, and even a merry-go-round for the kiddos.

They’re still in the process of building tons of new condos here, and York University’s new campus is actually opening here in 2023.

In the meantime, there’s plenty to do in Downtown Markham, including catching a flick at the Cineplex VIP Theatre or dining at Lanna Cuisine for authentic Thai food!

They also host a lot of festivals in Downtown Markham, including the annual summer Night It Up! festival, an Asian night market filled with all kinds of delicious eats.

Sadly, Night it Up! is not happening this year, but they host other events like fireworks and exotic car shows in Downtown Markham!

Pacific Mall Summer Carnival in Markham

Visit a night market

One of my favourite things about Markham is that there are so many night markets.

If you haven’t been to a night market before, it’s literally a foodie’s heaven.

They’re typically inspired by night markets in Asia, and you’ll find delicious eats like barbecued skewers, stinky tofu (yes, it’s actually stinky), and bubble tea.

Aside from food, you’ll often find games like claw machines and vendors selling ~kawaii~ goodies.

Some annual night markets you can find in Markham include the Pacific Mall Summer Carnival, Taste of Asia, Lucky Lion Night Market, and Night it Up!

Taste of Asia at Pacific Mall in Markham

Be sure to bring cash to these night markets, as most vendors won’t accept cards.

I would budget around $50 per person for food and activities!

Fun things to do in Markham:

  1. Eat at some of the best Asian restaurants
  2. Shop at First Markham Place
  3. Have a spa day at Go Place
  4. Shop at Pacific Mall
  5. Explore J-Town
  6. Wander through Main Street Unionville
  7. Admire art at the Varley Art Gallery
  8. Stroll around Toogood Pond Park
  9. Do an escape room at Trapped
  10. Play board games at Omescape
  11. Explore Downtown Markham
  12. Visit a night market

These were some of the best and most fun things to do in Markham!

Of course, there are plenty of awesome things to do in Markham, and these were just some of my favourite activities.

Have you done any of these activities? What are the most fun things to do in Markham in your opinion? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

More things to do in Markham

If you’re looking for more fun things to do in Markham, you might enjoy these posts.

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Jessica Lam | Toronto lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and travel blogger | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog

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Best things to do in Markham
  1. Morry says:

    I don’t think it’s technically in Markham, but you should add to your list. Le petit chef or the comedy club

  2. JC Valleys says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. It’s super helpful for me when I visit Markham

  3. Jessica Lam says:

    Happy to hear! 🙂

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