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Milliken, Scarborough Neighbourhood Guide: Never a Dull Moment

Apartment in Milliken neighbourhood

Image of Milliken

Neighbourhood At a Glance:

Average Commute Time to Toronto

Thirty-five minutes by GO train and 25 minutes by car.

Lifestyle

A Chinese Canadian cultural centre with lots of shopping and public amenities.

The Housing Market

Mostly two-storey, single-family dwellings with some townhomes and apartments.

What You’ll Love

Direct train access, lots of retail space, and fantastic outdoor amenities.

What Not To Expect

Real estate variety or a busy Toronto nightlife.

Milliken is found on the northernmost edge of the Municipality of Metropolitan (Metro) Toronto and is proudly represented by its vibrant, Chinese Canadian community. This is reflected in much of the retail shopping, dining, and recreation options available to locals. 

 

This modern development boasts housing stock from the late 1970s to the mid-’80s. Commuter-friendly benefits include direct GO train access via the Milliken GO Station and close proximity to Highway 401.

Neighbourhood Review

Architecture

Milliken doesn’t offer prospective homeowners much variety. The vast majority of the homes in the area are of the two-storey, single-family variety. The houses are nestled close to one another on nine-metre lots but do include garages and private driveways. 

 

There are limited townhomes and apartments available. Most of those surround the McCowan Road and Alton Towers Circle intersection. 

 

The majority of the houses, apartments, and townhomes were built in the 1980s and ’90s, and the street designs, layouts, and facades reflect the construction stylings of that era.

houses in Milliken neighbour

Things to Do in Milliken

Arts & Culture

Locals consider the Milliken Park Community Recreation Centre as the neighbourhood hub. And rightfully so! The facility has a variety of annual events, community resources, and family-friendly programs. The building comes equipped with a craft room, lounge, preschool, and multi-purpose room, all of which are used every day to support the growing community. 

 

It’s been mentioned before, but much of Milliken’s local culture is driven by the neighbourhood’s sizable community of Chinese Canadians. The area is home to one of multiple “Chinatowns” spread across Toronto, and it’s reflected in the bilingual signage, restaurant choices, and retailers.

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Shopping

Milliken shines bright in a few major ways, but its numerous in-town retail options are a particular bright spot. 

 

There’s the Splendid China Mall on the southeast corner of Redlea and Steeles Avenues. It offers two floors and 150 stores worth of retail and restaurant space. It’s also part of a much larger retail district that includes a popular gym, a bank, and a few home improvement supply stores. 

 

Just north of Steeles, and just outside Milliken’s official border, lies the iconic Pacific Mall. Its 25,084 square metres of retail space is on three floors and houses over 450 stores and services. It is far and away the largest indoor Asian shopping mall in North America with some claiming it to be the biggest in the Western world.

shops in Milliken neighbour

Restaurants & Dining

Not unlike the shops that call the Splendid China Mall home, Milliken’s restaurant and dining culture draw heavily on the neighbourhood’s Chinese culture. And, frankly, there’s not a lot to complain about. Milliken locals benefit greatly from unfettered access to some of the best Chinese restaurants the city has to offer. 

 

The plaza on the corner of Midland and McNicoll Avenues features Magic Noodle, Hey Noodles, Chako, and Shu Kingdom General. The nearby Evergold Centre has Da Hal Yee Noodle, Ho Ho BBQ, and Kong Kee. 

 

And again, there’s always something delicious waiting for you at Splendid China Mall and Pacific Mall. 

Parks

When it comes to park selection, Milliken is all about quality over quantity. Audrelane Park, Port Royal Park, Goldhawk Park, and Muirlands Park are spread out across much of the region and offer residents plenty of green space. 

 

But you can’t talk about Milliken parks without mentioning the real crown jewel: Milliken District Park. This northeast Scarborough gem stretches a whopping 32 hectares and includes a total of three playgrounds, a splash pad, public restrooms, a boardwalk, professionally landscaped gardens, and more. 

 

Admission to Milliken District Park is free, too, with seasonal public events and programs like snowshoeing, fireworks, and organized sports operating all year long.

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Recreation

The expertly manicured water features are not the only attraction to be found at Milliken District Park. The Milliken Park Community Recreation Centre on McCowan Road hosts a bunch of community drop-in programs, including dance classes, basketball, pickleball, and even chess. 

 

Not to be outdone, the Goldhawk Park Public Library and Neighbourhood Centre at 295 Alton Towers Centre is a multi-use recreational complex that houses baseball diamonds, basketball courts, and a playground.

milliken community

Transit & Commute Times

At first glance, it may seem necessary to own a vehicle in an area this far away from the downtown core. But the Milliken GO Station at 39 Redlea Avenue is cause enough to consider selling your car altogether. 

 

Bus service is great too. The buses along the Brimley, McCowan, and Middlefield Roads routes connect to the Toronto transit and GO Transit hubs at Scarborough City Centre. The Steeles Avenue bus connects commuters to the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. 

 

If residents opt to keep their cars, they’ll no doubt enjoy living within five minutes of the 401 on-ramp at McCowan and Brimley. Drivers can get to the downtown core via the Don Valley Parkway in roughly 25 minutes. 

milliken community

A Home Away from Home

Chinese nationals don’t have to look very far to find a little piece of the mainland. This fast-growing community honours the tradition, culture, and Sino lifestyle just minutes from the downtown core. Local access to GO service, great food, and the largest indoor Asian shopping mall in North America is a huge plus.

Milliken Park

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Milliken, Ontario, known for?

Milliken, Ontario, is known for its demographic makeup of predominantly Chinese Canadian families. Those in search of Asian-inspired shopping and dining experiences will find themselves craving a return to Milliken time and time again. 

Why is it called Milliken?

This Toronto neighbourhood’s name was inspired by one of its earliest founders. Norman Milliken moved here in 1814, and the area came to be known as Milliken’s Corners, and eventually just Milliken.

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NEIGHBOURHOOD

Milliken Mills East, Ontario

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