Thornhill

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Thornhill is a community in the Greater Toronto Area of Southern Ontario, located on the northern border of the city of Toronto. Thornhill was once a municipal village, and is now a community split into two municipalities along Yonge Street, the city of Vaughan to the west and the city of Markham to the east. According to the 2001 Census, the population of Thornhill-Markham was 47,333 and the population of Thornhill-Vaughan was 56,361.

Thornhill’s growth since the 1960s and 1970s has been largely connected to its location bordering the city of Toronto. Beginning in the 1980s, large housing developments include such projects as the Tannenbaum family’s Spring Farm area near Bathurst and Clark as well as many growing synagogues including Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto, a large synagogue named after benefactor Joseph Tannenbaum.  Growth has continued over the past 3 decades. For instance, an uptown village referred to as Thornhill Town Centre was developed at the north west corner of Bathurst and Centre Street, forming a line of development north from the Promenade Shopping Centre (near Bathurst and Clark), whose large parking lot is itself surrounded by an increasing number of condominium buildings and stand-alone retail plazas.

Thornhill has a very diverse ethnic population. It is home to many visible minorities, and  is particularly known for its large Jewish community: 36.6% of the population of Thornhill is Jewish, the highest in Canada. It is home to numerous Jewish synagogues and schools, including  Ashkenazi and Sephardic Orthodox Jewish synagogues such as the Thornhill Community Shul, Westmount Shul and Learning Centre, the Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto, Sephardic Kehilla Centre, and Chabad centres such as the Jewish Russian Community Centre, as well as Conservative synagogues such as Beit Rayim and Reform Jewish institutions such as Temple Har Zion, Temple Kol Ami, and the Leo Baeck Day School, a major Reform Jewish primary school.

According to 2001 Census data, the district of Thornhill  is home to Chinese, the largest visible minority, accounting for almost 11% of total residents, followed by South Asian, Black, Korean, Filipino, and West Asian.