Happy Holidays and New Year!
As 2017 comes to an end I would like to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday Season and all the best in the coming New Year. I would also like to thank the many residents who I have had the pleasure to work with over the past year for their involvement in making our community the great place it is.
There are three events that are coming up in 2018 that I am particularly excited to announce. In February we will be celebrating the 50th Richmond Hill Winter Carnival. This Carnival has been a proud tradition for many, including myself. If attending the Winter Carnival has been a tradition for you, I hope you can join us for the 50th for some traditional community winter fun. If you have never been to a Winter Carnival I also hope you can join us. Our committee has been hard at work for months now, and we will be offering a number of new activities as well as traditional Winter Carnival favourites. For complete information please visit
In March I will be hosting the 2nd Annual Richmond Hill Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival. Last year's event was delicious, and well received by many residents. Guests enjoyed pancakes, with real Maple Syrup, as well as Maple Syrup making demonstrations and lots of activities for the whole family to enjoy. I hope you can join us for the Maple Syrup Festival in 2018.
Finally, I will be participating again in the Strides for Stroke Walk/Run for our Mackenzie Health Hospital. This year I am hoping to form a Ward 4 Team. If you are a runner, walker, or you just want to support better health care in our community please let me know. Full details for all of these events are contained below in this e newsletter.
I always appreciate hearing your comments about any issue in our community. Please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email at any time. My email address is
, my cell number is 416-346-3090 and my office number is 905-771-2480.
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill
Banner Photo - Night Skating on the Mill Pond
Council News and Highlights
1. Richmond Hill Provides Grants to Maintain Designated Heritage Properties
As a member of Heritage Richmond Hill (HRH), I am particularly pleased that Council recently approved the HRH's recommendations to award $29,483 in Heritage Grants in 2017 for the preservation and restoration of eight privately owned heritage properties. Heritage plays an important role in Richmond Hill as it promotes a sense of identity and celebrates the town's unique culture. Richmond Hill is committed to preserving its structural heritage to create a more vibrant community for future generations to enjoy. The grants will provide for the restoration and repair of heritage components that are identified in the properties' designation by-laws. This year's projects include brick restoration, exterior painting and replacement of roof shingles. Preserving physical features helps to protect the town's past. To learn more about the Heritage Grant program please click here.
2. Richmond Hill Updates Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces Policy
To continue to protect the health of Richmond Hill residents, Council approved banning the use of electronic cigarettes in accordance with the Town's Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces Policy. The use of electronic cigarettes will now be included in the policy that was adopted by Council in 2014. It prohibits smoking outside within nine metres of any entrance to a recreation facility, outdoor splash pad, sports field, playground or sports court (basketball, tennis, etc.). This policy complements the Smoke-Free Ontario Act which states it is illegal to smoke on and within 20 metres of all publicly-owned playgrounds, splash pads, sports fields, tennis courts and basketball courts.
3. Tastes of the Hill Provides Cultural Experiences and Funds to the Community
Deputy Mayor, Regional & Local Councillor Vito Spatafora recently reported at Council that $35,000 was raised at this year's Tastes of the Hill (TOTH) Multicultural Festival in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of York. This year's TOTH multicultural festival allowed visitors to experience international cultures through a variety of activities, including live entertainment, a fashion show, contests and a showcase of culture, food and beverages, film, arts and crafts and sports. To date, Tastes of the Hill has raised over half a million dollars for more than 20 local charities.
4. Richmond Hill Receives 10 Communications Awards
|Our Award Winning Communications Team with Mayor Dave Barrow
Richmond Hill was recognized with 10 communications awards for a wide range of projects, including the Town's new website that was launched in fall 2016. Richmond Hill received a Gold Marcom Award for the LED StreetLlights project video, Gold Hermes Creative Awards for a Dog License Social Media campaign and the Access Richmond Hill Car Wrap. For the Town's new website, Richmond Hill received a Gold Hermes Award in the government category, an AVA Digital Award in the government category, an Outstanding Website and a Government Standard of Excellence from WebAward (Web Marketing Association) and a Silver Leaf Award of Excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators (Canada). Richmond Hill also received an Honourable Mention from Hermes Creative Award for a Stormwater Education Board and an Honourable mention from Hermes Creative Award for the website's homepage.
5. Richmond Hill Recognized For Award-Winning Park Designs
Richmond Hill has been awarded by the Ontario Concrete Industry for Outstanding Architectural Hardscaping at Ward 4's Rouge Crest Park. The park's design was inspired and based on patterns found in nature which are interwoven into surface treatments, vertical structures, play areas and site furniture. For example, the ripple pattern on the seating walls, honeycomb pattern on some of the walls and the abstracted pattern of a braided stream in the waterplay area's cast-in-place concrete pad.
Richmond Hill has also been recognized by
Parks & Recreation Ontario
io with Awards of Excellence for Lake Wilcox Promenade.
6. Richmond Hill Council Sets Target Date for Yonge Subway Extension
Richmond Hill Council identified the Yonge North Subway Extension as the top transit priority for the Town and continues to advocate that the Yonge Subway extension needs to be a top priority for Metrolinx. As such, Council provided official comments to Metrolinx on the draft 2041 Regional Transportation Plan, including a request for the Yonge Street subway extension to be constructed and operational by no later than 2031. The completion of the Yonge Subway extension is important to realize the Town and Region's vision for the Richmond Hill Centre as an Urban Growth Centre, and will be a primary point of convergence for the Regional and Rapid Transit network, with substantial demand for the Yonge subway to connect to Downtown Toronto, and other key destinations throughout the subway network.
Council has also requested that Metrolinx consider the addition of a grade separation on Elgin Mills Road at the CN Rail line, the addition of a GO Station or Mobility Hub at Yonge/16th Avenue, and advancing Regional Express Rail on the Richmond Hill GO Line as part of the 2041 Regional Transportation Plan.
7. National Public Works Week Raised $2000 for Hill House Hospice
|Mayor Dave Barrow with Grant Taylor, Director Public Works Operations presenting cheque to Hill House Hospice Volunteer Marney Beck
Mayor Barrow and Richmond Hill's National Public Works Week (NPWW) Organizing Committee were presented with a Canadian Public Works Association's (CPWA) award for this year's Public Works campaign and celebration. This marks the second year in a row Richmond Hill has won the top award for medium-sized municipalities (population 75,000 to 250,000). Richmond Hill's 2017 National Public Works Week events, including the NPWW Open House and Healthy Yards event, were held in May. NPWW highlights the important role Public Works professionals play in everyday life and illustrates how they contribute to building vibrant, connected and sustainable communities. The events also raised $2000 for Hill House Hospice.
Yellow Brick House Flag Raising -
National Day of Remembrance and Action on
Violence Against Women
I have had the honour of working with Yellow Brick House Women's Shelter in various capacities over the past decade. During this time I have learned a great deal about the significant impact that Violence Against Women has on victims, their children, and our community. In Richmond Hill Yellow Brick House and Sandgate Women's Shelter do important work in this field supporting victims and their children by providing emergency housing, outreach and education. I continue to support and applaud the important work that both of these organizations provide.
I moved a Council motion proclaiming December 6 as National Day of Remembrance and Action to End Violence to Women in Richmond Hill. As a part of marking this occasion Richmond Hill raised a flag in honour of this day. I challenge my fellow men to let your voices be heard for our mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces and aunts. We all need to take a stand to stop violence against women!
9. Alexander Mackenzie High School Arts Program presents
Beauty and the Beast
A "Standing Ovation" for an outstanding performance of Beauty and The Beast by Alexander Mackenzie High School's Arts Mackenzie students. Congratulations to the students and faculty for an excellent performance including wonderful
set design, music, and staging.
10. Toy Mountain in Richmond Hill
Again this year CTV provided a live broadcast of the Salvation Army's Toy Mountain
Initiative. This broadcast was hosted at
Fire Station 8-6 in Richmond Hill. Many individuals and corporations generously donated toys that will be be distributed to children in our community by the Salvation Army. I also had the honour of attending a Salvation Army Donation Kettle this past month. Thanks to all that came out to donate, and thanks also to Sobey's at Tower Hill and Yonge for hosting me.
11. Cannabis Legalization - Feedback to the Ontario Government
Council was recently asked to provide feedback on concerns that we have, as a municipality, related to the expected July 2018 legalization of Cannabis. A number of municipalities and the Association of Ontario Municipalities, The Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Region of York and the York Region Police have also been asked for feedback, and have submitted their comments to the Provincial and Federal governments.
The general message from all of these municipal representatives centres around a number of questions and concerns that have yet to be addressed by both the Federal and Provincial governments, and the very short time frame left to address these concerns. Generally, the questions centre around the extra costs that municipalities like ours will bear, and the uncertainty about how much of these costs will be funded by Cannabis tax revenue collected by the Province and the Federal government.
Concerns have also been expressed by Richmond Hill and others about expected legislated authority needed to appropriately deal with enforcement issues that will arise once legalization occurs and around issues related to the appropriate siting of Cannabis stores in Richmond Hill. For more information related to this issue, you can view the Richmond Hill staff report by clicking
, or a good summary of the issue from the Liberal newspaper can be accessed
As I communicated at Council, while most people are quite aware that the legalization of Cannabis will eventually occur, it is imperative that communities like ours will be fully equipped to appropriately respond to any related issues and enforcement needs.
12. Richmond Hill Philharmonic - Holiday Letters Concert
Another beautiful Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra Performance took place this month called Holiday Letters. All the favourites songs were performed including a tribute to the Trans Siberian Orchestra, the Nutcracker Suite, and a very funny rendition of 12 Days of Christmas. Also included was a beautiful orchestra interpretation of Steven Page's (formerly of the Barenaked Ladies) Hanukkah Blessings. Mr. Page himself was in attendance. Thanks to the conductor Jessica Kun,, assistant conductor Kevin Brohman, Creative Director Cathy Clarke, all the orchestra members, and my fellow RHPO Board Members for 10 years of bringing beautiful music to our community! For more info visit rhpo.ca
13. Al Nadwa Educational Islamic Centre Community Dinner
Thank you to the Al Nadwa Educational Islamic Centre for inviting council members to the annual community dinner. As a part of the program, it was great to hear from our Chief of Police, Eric Joliffe, about community safety and outreach initiatives taking place in our community.
According to Chief Joliffe, York Region is one of the safest and most inclusive communities in Canada. This accomplishment has a good deal to do with the efforts of many groups, including YRP and Al Nadwa.
14. York Region Tamil Seniors 10th Anniversary
Congratulations to the York Region Tamil Senior's on their 10th anniversary. It was a thoroughly enjoyable celebration and is always a pleasure to attend their celebrations.
Thank you to the York Region Tamil Seniors Association for helping to enrich all of our lives including the members of your association.
15. The End of the OMB - The Beginning of the LPAT
The provincial government has passed Bill 139, Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act which will overhaul the province's land use appeals system. This act is intended to give communities like Richmond Hill a stronger voice when land use planning decisions are appealed by applicants. Once the act is in force, a new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) will be appointed by the provincial government to replace the current Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The new LPAT will eliminate "de novo" hearings and will create an appeal system that gives more weight to local municipal plans. Details of this important change can be found by clicking
The elimination of the OMB is a very important step which will help to give more control over how we grow as a community in the coming years. I am particularly proud of the leadership that Richmond Hill has played in lobbying for these changes. After a motion that I introduced in February of 2015 was passed (to read more click
) by Richmond Hill Council, a number of other municipalities joined together and worked as a group to press for change. In the spring of 2015 a Municipal Leader Summit was arranged by our group, and recommendations were submitted to the provincial government expressing our concerns and suggestions for changes (to read the summit report click
). It would appear that, as a result of this work and the work of many others over the years, much needed change is about to happen.
16. Chanukah on Ice in Richmond Hill
We celebrated Chanukah on Ice in Richmond Hill this past weekend. Thanks to Richmond Hill Event staff in partnership with Chabad Romano and Rabbi Bernstein. There were lots of energetic young people and a Menorah made of donuts - thank goodness there was skating after the Menorah lighting to burn off all the energy!
17. Christmas Carol Singing at
Thanks to the Salvation Army for organizing and hosting a Christmas Carol Singing at the Mill Pond again this year. It was a chilly but beautiful event to mark the Christmas season for all who participated.
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
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.
2. 129, 133, 141 Arnold Cres and 230 Major Mackenzie Dr. W.
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
Yonge/Bernard Key Development Area Secondary Plan Passed by Council
The Yonge/Bernard Key Development Area (Yonge/Bernard KDA) is an intensification area for future development located on Yonge Street, north of Elgin Mills. Key Development Areas as identified in the Official Plan are existing major nodes of retail and/or commercial development with access to rapid transit, where opportunities for redevelopment of large land parcels exist. Richmond Hill's Official Plan requires that a Secondary Plan be prepared for areas designated as Key Development Areas. The Yonge/Bernard KDA Secondary Plan will help guide the transformation of the area from an auto-oriented commercial area to a more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly mixed-use destination.
The area is envisioned to become a mixed-use area with a range of building types, including various forms of townhouses, mid-rise and high-rise street related buildings. The highest and most dense buildings are directed along Yonge Street. Heights and densities will transition down from Yonge Street to respect the adjacent lower-rise neighbourhood. There will also be opportunities for expanded commercial and retail space and office development.
Council adopted the KDA Plan at a well attended Council meeting on November 27th. At this meeting, a motion to adopt the plan was passed by Council with an additional amendment put forward by myself to allow Council and our Planning Staff to monitor the growth of the area relative to the addition of transportation infrastructure improvements. This amendment's purpose is to provide assurances that the improvements to transportation and transit infrastructure will keep pace with building in the KDA area. Throughout the KDA development process, the concern that was most frequently voiced by many engaged residents was that traffic volumes, as they increase with building, needs to be accommodated.
The Town of Richmond Hill has already received notification of a number of OMB appeals to the KDA Secondary Plan by area landowners, but the KDA plan as passed by Council will be defended at the OMB as needed, when the time comes. I would like to thank many Ward 4 residents who patiently offered their time and input, in order to guide the formation of this plan.
A plan that will guide the area to the north of the KDA and to the south of Brookside, known as the Tertiary Plan area, is currently being developed by our Planning Staff. I will continue to report news related to the development of this Tertiary Plan.
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.
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.
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
for a link to the HRH staff report.
Richmond Hill Invests in the Community's Future
$70.64 million capital budget will fund key infrastructure projects
Richmond Hill Council approved a $70.64 million capital budget for 2018 that, in part, will focus on the repair and replacement of municipal infrastructure. Along with the capital budget, Council approved the ten-year Capital Forecast to ensure the continued alignment of short and long-term priorities with funding sources.
This budget provides for large projects such as moving forward with the Civic Precinct and Central Library expansion, along with projects such as a renovation and new displays for our Heritage Centre."
Some of the significant projects in the 2018 Capital Budget are:
- Enterprise Resource Planning System (integrated finance and human resources software) - $6.5 million
- Road Overlay Program (asphalt repair) - $2.4 million
- Lake Wilcox Boardwalk - $1.8 million
- David Dunlap Observatory (DDO) Park Conceptual Design - $1.6 million
- Bradstock Park Revitalization - $3.2 million
Richmond Hill will also implement energy conservation projects such as replacing interior lighting with efficient LED options at Town facilities to reduce operating costs. The projects will be partially funded by the Federal Gas Tax fund and will be implemented over a number of years.
The Capital budget also includes future projects that can take advantage of grant-funding opportunities from other level of governments. This approach will ensure projects are shovel-ready when grants become available which is crucial as many grants require tight timelines to qualify.
Council and staff will now turn towards reviewing the 2018 Operating Budget. A public information session will be held at the Central Library on Saturday, January 20, 2018. Budget Committee of the Whole meetings to review the Operating Budget will take place in January and February.
For more information about the 2018 Capital Budget or Operating Budget, including the dates of upcoming Budget Committee meetings, visit
For more on this story visit the related Liberal Newspaper article by clicking
Snow Removal News and Notices
For Winter Maintenance Activities Update click here.
You can also call our Inclement Weather Hotline at 905-771-5487 for information about Richmond Hill's recreational programs and facilities during winter events.
50th Annual Winter Carnival
The Richmond Hill Winter Carnival is a proud community tradition. We will celebrate the 50th edition of this well loved event in 2018 (#50yearsofwinterfun). On February 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, the Mill Pond Park will again host this great family focused winter event. Our committee has been working hard for the past number of months to bring this community festival to life.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary a number of new activities will be available, as well as the old favourites. I hope you save the date and join us to celebrate winter in our community!
For more information and up to date schedule please visit
SAVE THE DATE
2nd Annual Maple Syrup Festival
Strides for Stroke - Join the Ward 4 Team
On May 5th, 2018 I will again be running in the Mackenzie Health Strides for Stroke. This year I would like to invite any member of the community to sign up as a part of the Ward 4 Team to support better health care in our community, have a fun time, and join your neighbours as we run or walk the 5 km course around the Mill Pond area. If you are interested in joining me please send me an email at
For more information please visit
4th Annual Charity Volleyball Tournament &
In Support Of
360Kids Youth Shelter
Food and Clothing Drive 360°kids
Stan Daneman, in collaboration with 360°kids, has launched the second annual campaign for food items and new clothing for the homeless kids of Richmond Hill. The 2016 campaign brought in over 8000 items.
The campaign is to provide items that can be consumed out on the street and some needed personal care items:
- Single servings of hot chocolate
- Instant flavoured oatmeal packets
- Granola bars
- Herbal teas
- Individual packets of coffee
- Kraft dinner single cups
- Instant soups and chili
- New white socks and underwear (male and female)
- Reusable coffee mugs
Drop off dates, times and locations:
- January 17 2-4 p.m. Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts (10268 Yonge Street)
- January 18 10 a.m. - noon. St. Paul's Lutheran Church (10131 Bayview Avenue)
- January 18 2-4 p.m. Legion 375 - 233 Centre Street East
Please contact Stan Daneman at 905-883-1964 or email email@example.com if you wish to donate and cannot drop items off.
Elgin Mills Greenway Construction Update
Richmond Hill Public Library Youth Arts Contest
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.
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
to learn more.
Dementia Friendly Church hymn Sing & worship
for Caregivers and their Loved Ones
Beginning again Friday Jan 5th, 2018 - after that every Friday at 1PM
Over 15,000 people in York Region live with dementia. This statistic was recently released by the Alzheimer's Society of York Region. Why not participate in activities that support you and your caregiver on this journey? Through collaborative efforts with St. Mary's Anglican Church in Richmond Hill, Chaplain Tom and Chaplain Ron with their music and worship, and the coordinating efforts of Memory Lane Home Living Inc. ,a not for profit dementia initiative, we have started coming together in community to share with others in this chapter of life. These dementia friendly services are for caregivers and their loved ones to come together each Friday afternoon at 1 pm, at 10030 Yonge St, Richmond Hill, ON ( intersection is Yonge St. and Major Mackenzie Drive West). If you require further details please call 905.876.8666.
RHPO 2017/18 Season
The Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra is celebrating its 10th anniversary. We have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with our audiences, while developing a very fine orchestra since 2008. The 2017/18 Season will feature a balance of new repertoire and answer requests from audience members to hear your favourites, recounting some of our special moments over the years. The 2017/18 Season celebrates the past and looks to the future, as we continue to explore our unique brand of entertainment that
utilizes the magic of theatre to support each concert program of quality symphonic music, offering the best possible concert going experience. Click here for more.
vante Productions Inc.
High Notes Gala - February 1
High Notes Avante is a registered charitable organization using the power of words and music to raise the image of mental illness, educate and reduce social isolation for those touched by mental illness.
The 1492 guy
January 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm
You will discover the Extraordinary Number of Indian Gifts to the World. Our worldview tells us that today's modern civilzation grew from the actions of Europeans. But many of the shocking truths from 1492 became invisible. Today we now know that the 3500 Indian nations of the pre-Columbian Americas were so advanced that their contributions are all around us today, in every facet of our lives.
Elgin West Community Centre, Woodland Room, 11099 Bathurst St,Richmond Hill,
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
to be in next month's e-newsletter!
Some of Richmond Hill's Winged Neighbours
All photos below taken by Ward 4 resident and photographer, Chris Robart.