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Newmarket approves $40M budget to develop Mulock Farm, taxpayers off the hook for costs

Homeowners paying average of $47 a year for 30 years to purchase the property
June 18, 2021

Newmarket council has unanimously approved a $40-million budget to create the town’s new “Central Park.”

Council approved the budget to develop the Mulock Property at the northwest corner of Yonge Street and Mulock Drive at a special council meeting on June 8.

Taxpayers won’t be on the hook for developing the property, as 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,” Mayor John Taylor said.

“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.”

However, the $40 million doesn’t include the development of the Mulock house, as the use for the house has not yet been determined.

Meanwhile, homeowners are paying an average of $47 a year for 30 years for the purchase of the 14.8-acre property, which the town bought in 2018.

With a vision of turning the property into Newmarket’s “Central Park,” the town is developing the site to include many features, including a riverine fountain, a bridge entryway art feature, a skating pond, the historic house, a wet plaza and pavilion, skating trails in the winter and walking trails in the spring and summer, a conservatory and diversity gardens, historic gardens, an artists’ studio, a tree playground connecting to Jim Bond Park and more.

The landmark property “has a storied past and bright future ahead as a central gathering space for the community,” a town statement said.

“The vision for the Mulock Property was born from (residents’) feedback through an extensive public engagement process and I am confident that it will become one of the very best parks in the GTA,” Taylor said.

“This park, when complete, will stand the test of time, and be enjoyed by us and many generations to come.”

Now that the budget has been approved, next steps will include preparing the detailed designs over the next several months and procuring construction contracts to build the park.