Toronto of the North, M-Town, Little Asia, call it whatever you want but one indisputable fact is, that life in Markham is a distinct experience. Don't get me wrong, I've loved every minute of growing up here and I wouldn't trade my childhood for anyone else's. However, between the city shutting down at 10 p.m. and the YRT struggles being so real, sometimes being a Markham resident isn't so easy.
There are certain things that only people who actually live in Markham (or those brave enough to visit there often) would understand. As someone who's spent my whole life in this city (even back when it was a town), here are 27 struggles that come with living in Markham. Hope you enjoy this little read on your long a$$ commute to work or school.
1. You own a vehicle or have access to one because it’s the only way to survive in Markham.
You're also always conveniently DD for all your friends without a license or wheels. Have fun never getting gas money from anyone, ever.
2. You quickly find out that there are 2 type of people who live here - Markville Mall or P Mall shoppers.
One type will spend $500 on a jacket, the other will buy a $45 knock off and pay cash to get the taxes off. You know which one you are and you're totally okay with it.
3. You literally spend you whole life commuting from Markham to Toronto.
Viva, GO, YRT... the struggles are too real. If you decide to drive, the DVP will absolutely drive you insane and you'll need to set aside a Green P parking budget.
4. Going to Jakes, The Arms, or The Duchess on the weekends means a high school reunion with people you'd rather not see.
Why does the nightlife scene in Markham gotta be so small? How can I possibly get white girl wasted when my grade 8 ex-bf is sitting 3 tables over from me?
5. Trying to convince anyone to drive up to Markham to visit you is harder than proving OJ's innocence.
What can we really say? We have Pacific Mall... The Old Fire Hall... Markham Fair? It's hard to compete with Toronto when we're just so close to them.
6. Markham. Drivers.
7. You end up having to pre at the back of the 71 Stouffville GO Bus to Union any time you go clubbing.
You know if you don't pack a water bottle filled with something other than H20, you'll sober up on the 30+ minute ride to the station and you'll spend WAAAAAY too much money buying drinks at the club.
8. Getting north of Steeles on transit after 11 p.m. becomes mission impossible.
I hope you've got Uber on the way and a charged phone- if not you're going to be taking a nice long walk up Kennedy road. Beware the creepy graveyard.
9. Picking a bubble tea spot keeps getting more difficult everyday.
How can you decide when Go For Tea, Ten Rens, Chatime, Real Fruit and all the places in Pacific Mall and FMP exist? There's always the debate of if you should spend $8 for bougie bb tea or get the $2.50 deal.
10. Driving through the FMP parking lot makes you fear for your life.
All those random 4-way stops are really confusing and no one knows who has right of way. Near accident count = 106.
11. You have no idea how to explain downtown Markham to your friends who don't live here.
You don't really understand it yourself.
12. The Trudeau, BOS, FMM, BCS, UHS, Markville, BA, St. A, MCI rivalry is still strong even long after you're out of high school.
You might have been in the graduating class of 2009, but you'll still stand by the fact that your school is better and that all the other Markham schools are waste. Plus, you'll give anyone new you meet in Markham a hard time for going to such a waste school.
13. You or one of your friends could be found crying in the school hallways because you/ they "failed" one of the Asian six-pack courses.
Only real Markham kids will get this. Also, shout out to the kids who got a 75% in Physics or Chem and almost passed out at the thought of telling their parents.
14. You can't handle spending downtown prices on Chinese food when you can feed your whole family in Markham for the cost of one entree.
Plus, hate to say it but Markham does Chinese food way better than Toronto.
15. You're not sure why you still go to the Markham Fair, but you do and you're still excited about it.
You'd think by now that we'd learn not to wear nice shoes on the grounds but we always do, and we always get them muddy and gross. But it's worth it for the farmers market pie and deliciously disgusting fair food.
16. No one believes you when you say summers here are lit!
Okay maybe that's a little of an over exaggeration, but between U Fest, Night It Up, Jazz Fest, the car show and the random city events, you can actually have some fun in Markham.
17. You still live with your parents and if you don't, you definitely can't afford a place in Markham.
$1.5M for a bachelor condo on Enterprise and Birchmount with a half bath and no doors... what a great deal.
18. Your neighbourhood is filled with really old people or families with obnoxiously loud kids.
Where are all the cool, young, 20-somethings at? Oh yeah, Toronto.
19. No matter how many times you've been to Pacific Mall, you still get lost.
I just wanted to grab some cheap contacts! Please someone, help me find my Honda Civic.
20. You fear downloading Tinder because there's a 99.999% chance that everyone on there went to your high school.
Swiping left on your grade 9 gym teacher is mad awks.
21. Driving down Highway 7 is one of your biggest nightmares.
There's been construction there for like 8 years, it takes forever for the lights to turn green, and what is the deal with the viva bus lane? Plus why can't they put real lines on the road there?
22. Markham might not be small, but news still travels fast.
You moved to the city? Got engaged? Cut your hair? Bought a dog? Trust me, everyone knows about it and has probably crept your FB and IG.
23. Living in a city so close to Ryerson, York, and U of T means everyone judges you when you move out to be closer to your campus.
I know it's a "waste of money" in everyone else's eyes, but can I just live? Some of us have 8 a.m. classes and are allergic to mornings. Plus, you'll learn some necessary life skills living on your own.
24. There is traffic here all day, every day.
Since a new house is built in Markham every time someone blinks, it's safe to say this city is getting overpopulated. Remember when Markham was all farm land and wasn't even on google maps? The good old days.
25. Seeing elderly people swinging swords in the morning is considered normal.
Never mess with a tai-chi crew, they could literally cut you.
26. You've become used to signs being in Mandarin and Cantonese only.
Sorry, I can only understand English... hope there wasn't any important info on there.
27. But no matter how much you complain about Markham, you know it'll always be home.
Even if there is traffic 24/7.