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Maple is a high-growth suburban community northwest of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, part of the city of Vaughan in York Region. The west branch of the Don River rises to the northwest and flows 1 km west of Maple. Several creeks are to the east and the Black Creek begins slightly west of Vellore. The Oak Ridges Moraine is to the northeast which supplies a lot of water to the Greater Toronto Area. Black Creek flows in the west, the Don River flows to the northern and the eastern part. York University Keele Campus lies to the south of Steeles Avenue, within the city of Toronto.
Maple is accessed by Major Mackenzie Drive and Keele Street. The nearest exit is 3 km west at Highway 400 and Major Mackenzie. The industrial areas are south and west of Maple, closer to Highway 407, and the Canadian National yards north of Highway 7 (Ontario). Maple is located 13 km NE of Woodbridge, 11 km E of Kleinburg 8 km S of King City, 6.5 km from downtown Richmond Hill 12 km NW of Thornhill N of Highway 401, and SSE of Barrie. Maple is accessed by a Canadian National line (Toronto - Washago) to its east with its GO Transit Barrie commuter line rail stations at Maple and Rutherford GO stations. Toronto Transit Commission, York Region Transit, and GO Transit buses serve the area.
Maple formerly had a small airport in the west, the Maple Airport, which closed down in 1987. The runways ran diagonally like the letter x, the runway from northwest to southeast was the longer, and the other ran southwest to northeast. Streets like Avro, Lockheed, and Mustang on the site of the airport are named after airplanes. In 2006 Maple gained bus-rapid-transit service under York Region's Transit (YRT) system.
The founding families of Maple were the Noble and the Rupert families. The Nobles settled around the present Major Mackenzie Drive and Keele Street intersection in the early half of the 19th century. In 1852 the town was called Noble’s Corner after Joseph Noble, the first Postmaster. Later, a Doctor Rupert lived in Maple and was such a respected member of the community that the town’s name was changed to Rupertsville. Local folklore associates the name "Maple" with the numerous Maple trees once found along Keele Street in the town. Maple was dominated for most of the 19th century by the more prosperous towns of Sherwood and Teston. Keele Street was then a boggy swamp area that forced most travelers to take alternate routes. Once the Ontario, Huron, and Simcoe Railway built a line through Maple, the town began to grow. The station was then called Richmond Hill. The Canadian National Railway bought the line in early 1900 and the station was renamed Maple.
Maple, as a centre of agriculture, was enhanced with the proximity of the CNR line, as well as the growing urban development of Toronto. A major Ontario Dept. of Lands and Forests Office was situated here in the 1960s. Housing developments began in the 1960s in the southwest, as well as replacement of homes damaged in the August 1962 fire and explosion at an Industrial Propane Depot. Massive housing developments did not began until the 1980s in the northwest nearer McNaughton. In the mid-1980s to the late-1980s between the Don River and the CN line south to Rutherford.
A gravel pit was in the area north of Major Mackenzie and from the CN line to Dufferin Street. This became the Keele Valley Landfill, which was owned and operated by Metropolitan Toronto and later by the city of Toronto, and began receiving much of the GTA's garbage when the Beare Road Landfill in Scarborough reached capacity and was decommissioned. The landfill was closed on New Year's Eve 2002 when it had reached its capacity. The site has become reserved for the "Eagle's Nest" golf course, and other developments which will occur in the future once the buried waste decomposes sufficiently. Larger housing developments began to pop up near Teston between the 400 and Weston and Kirby near Pine Valley and Greenock near Weston and Teston and to the northeast near Bathurst and Teston with a golf course. Canada's Wonderland first opened in 1981.
In 1993, housing development began in the area of what was the Maple Airport and to the northwest. In 1995, it expanded to the western part of Maple. Between 1997 and 1999, urban developments reached the northwestern part of Maple and Melville and the Don to the train tracks. Developments also reached the northeastern part and the southeastern part. Megalot houses began developing northeast of Maple near Dufferin in the late-1990s. The housing developments began up to the Highway 400 in the northwest. Housing developments have begun near Vellore. As of 2001, developments reached the northwestern part as far as Highway 400, Teston Road, the CN line and the southwest. Most of the housing developments in the early-2000s reached Pine Valley Drive in the southwest in Vellore Village and Vellore Woods. The housing and urban developments is currently in the west between Highway 400 and Weston and Major Mackenzie and will reach to Teston.
Most recently there is a new subdivision being developed in the eastern part of Maple between bounded by Dufferin, Major Mackenzie and Rutherford Road. The name of the area is Thornberry Woods/Eagle Hills/Mackenzie Chase. Some of the builders include Greenpark Homes, Treasure Hill Homes, Tiffany Park Homes, Royal Pine Homes, Century Grove Homes, Primont Homes, Edenbrook Homes and Fernbrook Homes and Remington Homes (Thornhill Valley). Some of the street names like "Peter Rupert Avenue" reflect the history of Maple. This new area is directly south of Eagle's Nest Golf Course. This area known as Block 18 has just started development. Its proximity to Richmond Hill, Thornhill (also part of Vaughan) and the Golf Course are making the area very high demand and it is showing in the prices. "Upper Thornhill" (a misnomer name, given to the area by developers for marketing purposes) bounded by Dufferin to the west, Bathurst to the east, Major Mac to the south and Teston to the north is popularly considered a part of Maple.
Maple's proximity to Toronto and its major transportation corridors, and Vaughan's own political support for development, have led to the heavy development and heavy population growth. This development brings a great deal of money to the City of Vaughan, as well as the local economy, but at the same time Vaughan is frequently accused of allowing uncontrolled sprawl. Maple is arguably the most prominent example of this. In particular, those that travel up the 400 frequently notice how much further north the development has moved even in short timeframes. Visitors to Canada's wonderland often remember that ten years ago the amusement park was surrounded by fields; and particularly in the early-mid 2000s has become surrounded by thousands of new houses. Critics suggest that denser, more central development would conserve land and allow the provision of more efficient urban services such as public transit, services traditionally thwarted by the spread-out subdivisions and lack of a dense and central downtown typical of most cities of Maple's size. Outside Maple, Vellore to the southwest used to serve as the municipal office for Vaughan until the late-20th century when it was moved to Maple. Today, the old town hall of Vaughan is a landmark.
The Lebovic Jewish Community Campus is being built to the north west of Bathurst Str. and Rutherford Rd. intersection, almost at the border with the Thornhill. Maple is home to one of the largest mosques in Canada. Baitul Islam Mosque is located on Jane Street south of Teston Road in Peace Village, and is open to the public.