At the June 8 Special Council Meeting, Town of Newmarket Council unanimously approved a budget of $40 million in capital spending authority for the development of the Mulock Property. There will be no property tax impact for residents because the project will be funded through development charges, assessment growth and other funding sources.
“The development of the Master Plan for the Mulock Property has been a lengthy, detailed and engaging process for Council and the community,” says Mayor John Taylor. “I am pleased to say that through responsible budgeting and planning for the future, the Mulock Property’s operational and capital charges will be fully funded by growth and will have no tax implications to Newmarket residents. The vision for the Mulock Property was born from your feedback through an extensive public engagement process and I am confident that it will become one of the very best parks in the GTA. This park, when complete, will stand the test of time, and be enjoyed by us and many generations to come.”
The development charges that will be used to fund the Mulock Property were collected and continue to be collected from developers for the purpose of building parks and recreational spaces for the community and can only be used for these purposes. Other funding sources for the property include, but are not limited to parkland contributions, community benefit charges, dedicated reserves for trails and/or public art and potentially grants and sponsorship. The $40 million budget does not include the development of the Mulock house as the use for the house has not been determined yet.
Through the two-year public engagement process, many residents and stakeholders indicated their desire to preserve the natural features of the property. The final master plan was approved by Council on April 20, 2021 and is a combination of preserving the natural features and a series of enhancements that include art, recreation, education, community gathering and garden/landscape experiences. It is estimated that the property will be open for community use in 2024/2025 with construction targeted to hopefully begin in 2022.
Some features to highlight include:
A Riverine Fountain
A Bridge Entryway Art Feature
The Historic House
A Skate Pond, Wet Plaza and Pavilion
Skating trails in the winter and walking trails in the spring/summer
Conservatory and Diversity Gardens
Historic Gardens, The Green and an Artist Studio
Tree playground which will connect with Jim Bond Park and more.
With endorsement of the final master plan, and now approval of the budget, next steps in the implementation phase will include preparing the detailed designs over the next several months and procuring construction contracts to build the park.
About the Mulock Property
Majestic, pristine, gorgeous and oasis are just a few of the words that have frequently been used to describe Newmarket’s historic Mulock Property. The 14.8-acre property includes welcoming green space and a historic home, all in the centre of urban Newmarket at the northwest corner of Mulock Drive and Yonge Street. Purchased by the Town of Newmarket in 2018, this landmark property has a storied past and bright future ahead as a central gathering space for the community. The residence that exists on the property is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. It will be preserved by the Town and considered for uses that will best serve the community. Located along the Yonge Street growth corridor, this gem will continue to be a much-needed green space in what will be one of the most densely populated areas of town.
The Mulock property contains layers of diverse histories, starting with the initial stewards of the land, the Indigenous First Nations. In the late 1800s, Sir William Mulock, a politician, jurist, educator, agriculturalist and philanthropist made his home on the Newmarket property, hosting influential people from all walks of life. The property was owned by the Mulock family for six generations. The vision for the property is to become an iconic outdoor green space, inspired by Central Park.
Follow the progress of the Mulock Property and see more details on the design by viewing the design concept video or visiting newmarket.ca/mymulock. To view the Special Council meeting on June 8, please view the archived video and/or the staff report to Council.