The Town of Newmarket purchased the Mulock Property in October 2018, acquiring a site with a remarkable history and potential to become a focal point where community life, recreation, culture, heritage and conservation collide in innovative and engaging ways.
The 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.
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. The vision for this property is to create an iconic community park/outdoor green space.
The Mulock site 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 many different fields. The property was owned by the Mulock family for six generations.
As part of the Town’s community engagement process and one of Council’s Strategic Priorities, Extraordinary Places and Spaces, we spoke with over 3,000 residents from fall 2019 to winter 2020 to gather feedback.
In fall 2020, three design concepts - Energized, Expressive, Peaceful - were presented to Council and the community for feedback. We received nearly 250 survey responses on the design concepts and the consultant team is now working on creating one refined concept.
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Final Concept Design Revealed
Over the past two years, thousands of community members came together to learn about the Mulock Property, and share their experiences of the area and their ideas for the future of the site. The final design concept was presented to the public at a Facebook Live event on March 9, 2021. Re-watch the facebook live event(External link), or view the video below for highlights of the design concept.
Creating a Concept Master Plan
The Town of Newmarket has awarded PLANT Architect Inc. (PLANT) and Process to continue with the visioning consultation exercise and Concept Master Plan development for the Mulock Property. PLANT offers traditional landscape architect and archiect expertise, married with heritage and indigenous specialties to elevate the Mulock conceptualization and create a space where everyone feels welcome. The award-winning firm co-led the revitalization of Toronto's iconic Nathan Philips Square to maintain its cultural status while creating a stimulating public destination.
Guiding Principles for Design
As we move forward to develop a vision for the site, these are key themes and uses under consideration.
- Rooted in history: How can we integrate multiple layers of history while bringing new uses and activities to the site?
- A destination: What would make the Mulock Property a significant place in Newmarket? (consider public art, culture, etc.)
- Inclusive and accessible: How can we create an inclusive and accessible site for all residents and visitors?
- Natural features: What are the opportunities to maintain and enhance the natural features of the landscape?
- Connections: How can the site be integrated within the neighbouring areas (including Jim Bond Park next door? Where should parking be located?
Fitting into the Urban Centres Secondary Plan
Through extensive public engagement came the creation and adoption of Newmarket's Urban Centres Secondary Plan, which guides the redevelopment of the Yonge Street and Davis Drive corridors over the next 25+ years and designates the majority of the Mulock property as parks and open space. The Mulock Property is a key location within the intensifying urban centres and will provide much-needed recreation and activity space in a part of town that will be the second most densely-developed area at full build-out. In early 2020, PLANT and the Town will work hand-in-hand to gather feedback from the diverse Newmarket community to support the creation of the Concept Master Plan. Stay tuned for opportunities to provide your feedback at pop-ups throughout the winter.
Access to Mulock Property
The Town of Newmarket held a Harvest Picnic Event on the Mulock Property on October 20, 2019. Nearly 1,000 people enjoyed a sneak peek inside Sir William Mulock's storied home built-in 1870. The home/ property is currently closed to the public.
About Sir William Mulock
About Sir William Mulock
Sir William Mulock held many prestigious positions as a lawyer, businessman, educator, farmer, politician, judge, and philanthropist. In academia, Mulock taught Modern Languages at the University of Toronto and later served as the vice-chancellor. From 1882 to 1905, Mulock was elected to the House of Commons as a Member of Parliament. As a Cabinet Minister, Mulock served as the Postmaster-General (1896 to 1905) and later established the Department of Labor (1900).
Born in Bond Head, Mulock's family moved to Newmarket where he spent his childhood, before moving to Toronto for post-secondary education.
History of the Mulock Property
In the late 1800s, Sir William Mulock purchased the 200-acre property in Newmarket, intended to serve as his summer home. However, the property soon became a frequent place for important meetings, special occasions, and social gatherings for notable guests. Some famous guests include Guglielmo Marconi (inventor and electrical engineer of the radiotelegraph), Frederick Banting and Charles Best, who discovered insulin and the Prince of Wales (Edward VIII).
Six generations of the Mulock's have walked the grounds of the property. The historical significance of this property is a great asset to the Town and will allow us to continue to preserve Sir William Mulock's legacy as a Newmarket resident and a "fundamental architect of Canada" – as noted by Prime Minister, Sir William Lyon Mackenzie.
(* If you should find any of the above are not in an acceptable accessible format, please contact the Town of Newmarket at 905-895-5193 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)