David West  
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor 
Monthly Newsletter 

September 2017




The Monarch who stayed for a while longer




Newsletter At A Glance
In this Issue

Contacting David 


Mobile Phone 


Mailing Address 
225 East Beaver Creek Richmond Hill L4B3P4

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My Bio

Important Phone Numbers 

Access Richmond Hill

After Hours Town Emergency 905-884-8013

Animal Control


Canada Post

Enbridge Consumers Gas


Kids Help Phone


York Regional Police



Municipality of York

Richmond Hill Libraries


Fire Department


Inclement Weather Hotline

Mackenzie Health Hospital

Snowline (Snow Removal)



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Fall is Here

It is back to school, back to routines, and in many cases back to work. I hope everyone had a great summer - despite all the rain we have had.  As always there have been many exciting events taking place in Richmond Hill and this trend will continue especially given the many special Canada 150 celebrations still to take place in Richmond Hill.

In this newsletter there are a number of these events listed as well as a variety of news from around Ward 4 and Richmond Hill.

Thanks for taking the time to read this newsletter.  I always appreciate hearing your comments about any issue in our community. It is through this collaboration that we all make our community the vibrant and active place that it is. P lease do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email at any time.  My email address is  david.west@richmondhill.ca , my cell number is 416-346-3090 and my office number is 905-771-2480.

David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill

Banner Photo - The Monarch who Stayed a Little Longer... Photo courtesy of Agnes Parr

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Council News and Highlights
1. AMO (Association of Municipalities Ontario) Annual Conference - 
August 13 - 16
A number of Richmond Hill Councillors, including myself, attended the AMO Annual Conference (Association of Municipalities of Ontario). It was an information packed few days. Topics important to municipalities from across this province were discussed including transit, roads, waste and recycling, economic development, legalization of cannabis, and OMB reform (to name but a few). Representatives from most of the 444 Ontario municipalites were in attendance.
It is striking to me how different some of the perspectives from the small, northern, and rural municipalities in our province seem to be compared to our own. However it is even more striking how many of the bigger issues and values we all have in common in Ontario. We are truly blessed to live in such a great Town, in such a great Province, and in such a great Country! We all need to work hard to keep it this way.
We also received some very good news that significant OMB reform will soon become a reality as Bill 139, the OMB reform bill, makes its way through Queen's Park. The Municipal leaders group which Richmond Hill Councillor Karen Cilevitz and I are a part, met August 15th with Attorney General Yasir Naqvi to confirm his support and commitment to these reforms.

  2. Community Recreation Guide for Fall 2017 and Winter 2018
  The Community Recreation Guide for Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 is now available. For a link to this document please visit  https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/things-to-do/Community-Recreation-Guide.aspx

3. Morgan Boyle Park Opens
Richmond Hill's latest park renovation is not complete. We recently hosted the Grand Re Opening of Morgan Boyle Park. Our community benefitted from a successful application for a Federal Government Canada 150 grant to pay for a significant portion of the costs of this project. It is a beautiful park and if you have a chance to  visit I think you will enjoy it. For a good summary of this Park Opening please visit  https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/7520573-richmond-hill-residents-make-a-splash-as-new-splash-pad-opens/

4. Richmond Hill Donates $50,000 to Support Accessibility
Council approved a grant request from the Richmond Hill Mobility Accessibility Foundation in the amount of $50,000 to support mobility initiatives in Richmond Hill. The grant is funded from the Disabled Parking Reserve, which was established in December 2004, and is funded from 50 per cent of the revenue from disabled parking offences. The grant will be used to purchase equipment, support recreation programs and to assist with overhead costs. The Richmond Hill Mobility Accessibility Foundation is a registered charity with a mandate to fund equipment such as accessible exercise equipment, to assist Richmond Hill residents with daily living. The organization is integral in making Richmond Hill a more accessible and inclusive community. 

5. Richmond Hill Committed to Accessibility and Accessibility Plan 2013-2017
Richmond Hill continues to work towards removing barriers that prevent residents and visitors from accessing our programs, services and facilities. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005 requires municipalities to create a multi-year Accessibility Plan and to report on the progress of measures taken to make their services accessible. Richmond Hill's 2013-2017 Accessibility Plan outlines key activities and initiatives that its departments are carrying out to make programs and services more accessible. The 2016 progress report includes policy and work process updates, staff training, alternative formats of communication including our accessible website RichmondHill.ca, accessible and integrative library programs and greater accessibility in Richmond Hill's parks and trails. Moving forward, Richmond Hill's focus is to complete the final deliverables in the 2013-2017 Plan and create a new five-year Accessibility Plan for 2018-2022. To learn more, visit RichmondHill.ca/Accessibility.
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Ward 4 Development Applications - Update 

There are a number of development applications active in Ward 4 that continue to generate significant interest from residents.  This newsletter section is intended to keep everyone informed and updated about the status of these applications. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all active development applications in the ward, but a brief synopsis of select applications. Information that is new since the last newsletter is marked as "**NEW**" Please feel free to contact me at david.west@richmondhill.ca if you have questions about applications described below or questions about an application that is not included here. 

1. 44, 48,54 and 60 Arnold Cres.  
This development application was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) by the applicant. The hearing wrapped up in March and a decision from the OMB will be expected soon. 
**NEW** Recently the applicant has been granted the necessary permits to remove the buildings from the property. It will be up to the applicant to determine exactly when this work will begin but I would expect that it will happen soon.

2. 129, 133, 141 Arnold Cres and 230 Major Mackenzie Dr. W.  
**NEW** This property is owned by The Acorn Development Corporation.  At this time the developer is in the later stages of completing an application for  redevelopment of this site .  I will host a meeting for the neighbourhood residents as soon as any plans by the developer have been finalized and an application has been submitted to our Planning Staff. I have been informed that this meeting may happen as early as this fall. Please stay tuned to this e newsletter for more information as it becomes available.

3. Canyon Hill and Yonge St 10922, 10944 and 10956 Yonge St. & 47 and 59 Brookside Road and 12 and 24 Naughton Drive
The above properties are both located within the Key Development Area (KDA) located near Yonge St. and Bernard Dr. At the present time our Planning staff, along with many engaged citizens and stakeholders are continuing to work toward the creation of a Secondary Plan for the KD A. The Secondary Plan  will help ensure that development in the area meets the standards of municipal and provincial policy such as Richmond Hill's Official Plan, York Region's Official Plan, and Ontario's Growth Plan. 

Richmond Hill has contracted Urban Strategies Inc. to prepare the Planning Study and Yonge/Bernard Key Development Area Secondary Plan and Implementing Zoning By-law. To date we have held two public input sessions as well as a Council and Committee of the Whole Meeting related to the creation of a Secondary Plan for this area. 

In early July Council considered and endorsed the Key Findings Report and the related traffic and transportation study for the area. Our Planning Staff will now take all input from Council and the public related to these plans, and begin work on the final Secondary Plan for the KDA. This Secondary Plan, when ready, will be presented at a future Council Public Meeting where the public will again be invited to provide comment. 

**NEW** After October 5th, our Planning Staff will have a draft of the Secondary Plan and zoning bylaw for the KDA lands available. This information will be posted on the website listed below. There is also a Council Public Meeting scheduled on Wednesday November 1st, 2017 in the Council Chambers at 225 East Beaver Creek Rd.. This meeting will be another opportunity for the public to provide comments to Council and to our Planning Staff related to the future of the KDA. I would encourage residents to attend this meeting and feel welcome to provide input.

For more up to date information on the Yonge/Bernard KDA project, please visit the KDA study webpage at  http://www.richmondhill.ca/bernardKDA .

4. 100 Mill St.
At the Council Public Meeting held on October 25th, 2016 a zoning bylaw amendment application was considered by Council in order to provide relief from the current zoning bylaw governing building at 100 Mill St. The applicant applied to sever the existing lot and create two homes on the two proposed lots. A number of residents attended the meeting and/or expressed their concerns to me in writing primarily about the size and height of the proposed buildings. All comments from this meeting were referred back to planning staff. 

**NEW** The applicant recently provided to our Planning Staff, a resubmission in response to comments made by staff and the public. The resubmission was received on August 1, 2017, and appears to address some of the concerns regarding the original submission. Staff is currently in the process of reviewing the new submission material and will continue working with the applicant, providing any further input as required.

5. 35 Wright St.
The proposed application at 35 Wright St. seeks to amend the Zoning By-Law to permit a 6 storey office building to be constructed on the subject lands. 

I hosted a Residents' Meeting in February, where public input was gathered. The next step in this process was a Council Public Meeting held in March. Several residents expressed their views related to the proposal. I am particularly concerned about the lack of parking in the plan and the height of the proposed building. Our Planning staff will take away all of these comments and continue the planning process. In the future a staff report will come to Council with a recommendation regarding the application.

**NEW** One of the notable features of this property is the listed heritage building that exists on the property. Before any development permissions that would include the removal of a heritage listed building would be granted, it is a requirement that the heritage listed property be assessed by our Heritage Planning Staff. This assessment would then include a recommendation by staff to either allow the building to be demolished, or a recommendation to designate the building under the Planning Act as a Heritage building. Designation under the Planning Act would negate any possibility of demolishing the building. 

On September 12th, 2017 the Heritage Richmond Hill Committee (HRH) considered a staff report, and endorsed a recommendation from our Heritage Planning staff that the house be designated and not allowed to be removed. This recommendation will need to be passed by Council at a future Council Meeting. This is a significant step, because if the existing Heritage building is designated, the original proposal submitted by the applicant will not be possible. However, a proposal that works to incorporate the existing building into a redevelopment may be possible. 

I will keep residents informed of next steps and the date for a future Council meeting related to this application when it becomes available. Click here for a link to the HRH staff report.

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Work will begin shortly on Trench Street from Major Mackenzie Drive to Mill Street; Laverock Avenue from west limit cul-de-sac to Lucas Street. This work will entail waterman replacement.
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Coming Soon - An Improved Elgin Mills Greenway!
For the past year the Richmond Hill Natural Environment and Engineering staff have been working to address the serious erosion issues in this valley. Storm events and high-flowing water have caused damage in the Elgin Mills Greenway. As a result, we're reconstructing the area to include modern stormwater infrastructure that will help prevent flooding, control erosion and improve water quality. We're also building new trails, lookout structures and a boardwalk for the community to enjoy!
Work is expected to begin in the coming months and is expected to be complete in spring 2019.
For more information about the restoration project, visit RichmondHill.ca/ElginGreenway.

Artist Rendering
Artist Rendering

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4th Annual Ward 4 Community BBQ
and Monarch Butterfly Educational Presentation 

Thank you to those of you who came out to my 4th Annual Community BBQ. Aside from the usual fun activities and good food, we had a wonderful presentation by Monarch Butterfly expert Carol Pasternak. Carol delighted the audience young and old with her passion and knowledge of Monarch Butterflies. 

During her presentation we released a number of these beautiful insects. They will very shortly begin their migratory journey to Mexico. It was lovely to see the community's enthusiasm, and delight for a creature that shares our natural environment.

Now we begin the planning for the 2nd Annual Maple Syrup festival in March of 2018. We hope you will be able to join us! Stay tuned for details.

Monarch Butterfly expert Carol Pasternak - getting ready for the release
Photo courtesy of Pauline Kwan

Photos below courtesy of Bud Newton - RH Camera Club

Carol Pasternak - Butterfly expert

Two beautiful butterflies... that won't be migrating

The Release...





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The Secret Path
Walking Toward Reconciliation

A small group of Richmond Hill residents including  Joel ClementsMarj AndreSuzanne Smoke and myself are organizing a Screening of the Secret Path on October 22nd at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. The Secret Path is a film by Tragically Hip frontman, Gord Downie about the true story of Chanie Wenjack and Canada's Residential Schools. 

The evening will include the Secret Path screening, a panel discussion, and keynote talk about the Indigenous Residential School issue in Canada. As we look forward to our next 150 years as a nation, reconciliation with our Indigenous Community will be crucial. Conversations like this will lead the way to a more vibrant future for all of us in country - Canada. 

An article on this event appeared in the July 25th edition of Liberal newspaper. To view it click here

Tickets are currently available through the Theatre box office or online at  http://www.rhcentre.ca/Buy-Tickets.html

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LEAF - Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests
Let us help you create the backyard you've always dreamed about.
Looking to create a backyard oasis on a budget?
Short on time and not sure where to start?
LEAF will help you:
  • Assess the conditions in your yard
  • Understand what will grow best
  • Select trees, shrubs, and garden kits that you will love
  • Ensure everything gets planted properly
  • Do it all at a reasonable price!
LEAF offers Full Service Backyard Tree Planting, Do-it-Yourself Backyard Tree Planting and Native Garden Kits at subsidized rates. For more information and to order visit www.yourleaf.org.

The LEAF Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Tree Planting Program now offers virtual consultations to residents of York Region. The DIY program includes:
  • online educational videos
  • virtual consultation with an arborist
  • a selection of native trees and shrubs to choose from
  • delivery of your trees and shrubs, along with mulch
  • tree planting guide to help you plant properly
For more information and to book your virtual consultation visit  www.yourleaf.org .
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Coming up Roses in Richmond Hill
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Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts
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Fire Prevention Week  *  October 8 - 14
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Richmond Hill 15th Annual Studio Tour
To view the complete tour brochure click here.
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Honouring the 75th Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid

In August,  at the Richmond Hill Cenotaph we honoured the soldiers from our Town who fell 75 years ago during the military raids on Dieppe. There are 7 brave men who gave up their hopes and dreams for tomorrow so that we can have hopes and dreams for today. Below are the comments I delivered to the audience about one soldier Pte. Charles Hill (pictured below)

Pte Charles Hill.

Text of Speech honouring Pte Hill
Today, on this monumental 75th anniversary of the Dieppe raid we will lay a wreath to honour Pte. Charles Hill who was a member of our community. He lived in Richvale, which in the 1940s was but a suburb of our Town. 

We are honoured to have with us today Barbara Stanworth, her son Brian Stanworth and Judy Cowan as well as Judy and Barbara's husbands. If I have this correct Barbara and Judy are Pte. Hill's nieces and Brian's great nephew. I am sure that you are all especially proud of Charles - as we are. I will also add that Brian continued his Great Uncle's tradition and was a member of the militia in his younger years. His regiment was the Royal Regiment of Canada - the same regiment as his Great Uncle Charles.

Just before his 20th birthday Pte. Hill enlisted and ultimately became part of "A Company". It was on August 19, 1942 that Pte. Hill along with 6000 of his comrades courageously landed on a beach at Dieppe. It was at that time and place he made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and for his community of Richmond Hill.

Freedom is the foundation on which we have built this great country of Canada - but this freedom that each and everyone one of us holds so dear was never "free". It was courageous and honourable people like Pte. Hill that protected this freedom in 1942, and it is many men and women that have continued to protect it since that time. These heroes have allowed us to continue to build a country that is the envy of the world.
In preparing these words I viewed a photo of Pte. Hill and was immediately taken by the fact that he was a very young man - a young man just like many of our own sons and daughters, our grandsons and grand daughters. 

Charles was born in Toronto in September 1919, grew up in Richvale, and was a popular member of the Richmond Hill Trumpet band. He was known by some as Charlie or Chuck and was only 16 when he enlisted in the Royal Regiment. When war was declared he immediately enlisted for active duty. He was transferred to Iceland with the Z Force, and in November 1940 was transferred to England. 

In the early spring of 1942, Pte. Hill wrote a letter published in the Liberal newspaper, to the Richvale social club thanking them for the "Christmas cards and smokes". He mentioned the great Christmas dinner he had, a trip to the Watford area, and the fact that the weather in England at the time was like a Canadian winter.   In August of that year he landed on the beach in Puys near Dieppe as a member of A company and was killed in action during the raid.

Of course most of us have never met Pte. Hill. It is only his family that really new this brave young man. However, the importance of what soldiers - who were also residents of our community, fathers, sons, brothers and sisters - did for all of us must be remembered - and cannot be understated. The sacrifice that Pte. Hill made, 75 years ago is especially acknowledged today. We lay this wreath in his honour on behalf of all residents of Richmond Hill - residents of today - but also residents of the future. 
He and his colleagues must never be forgotten and his sacrifice must never be taken for granted - lest we forget...

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Terry Fox Runs in Richmond Hill

Mill Pond Park
Terry Fox Run - Oak Ridges Community Centre

For more information click https://www.facebook.com/events/229740947539161/?acontext=%7B%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D

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Great Things To See And Do Around Town

Looking for interesting things to do this month in our Community? Look no further - below is a listing of various community events that I would like to promote on behalf of the various organizers. For a complete listing please click on the links below. These links will take you to my website where the full details of the listing for each event can be found.

Growing with Canada - As Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation, let's look at how Richmond Hill has grown up.  Exhibit runs from February 25 - December 19, 2017 at the Richmond Hill Heritage Centre.  For more information click here.


R ichmond Hill Farmers Market
Open Sundays June 18 - October 1st Elgin Barrow Arena.
Click here for more information.



 Caribbean Family Day 2017 
 Join in the fun at Richmond Green Sports  Centre.  All funds raised will be donated to Mackenzie Health.  Click here for more information.


First Fridays in the Richmond Hill Village Core
On the first Friday of each month from June until October from 5-9PM take a walk on Yonge Street in our Village Core to enjoy a wonderful collaboration of Art and Business. Watch for the balloons to determine the location. 
New Horizons Band of York Region
It's never too late - Learn music, make friends, have fun with active adults. Classes Mondays September - May...click here to learn more.


Notes & Qu otes
The Richmond Hill Concert Band and Richmond Hill Historical Society, we would like to extend a special invitation to join us for an entertaining afternoon celebrating Canada 150 through Music and Story Telling. For more information click  here.  

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Ward 4 Community Corner - Your Shot
If you have a great photo taken in Richmond Hill I would love to feature it here. Send it to me at david.west@richmondhill.ca to be in next month's e-newsletter!

Photos below courtesy of Rob Young








Hop, skip and duck...

Mr. Beaver says Hi from the south pond