David West  
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor 
Monthly Newsletter 

July 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Newsletter At A Glance
In this Issue





Contacting David 
Phone 
905-771-2480 

 

Mobile Phone 
416-346-3090

 

Mailing Address 
225 East Beaver Creek Richmond Hill L4B3P4

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My Bio




Important Phone Numbers 
 





 
 
Access Richmond Hill
905-771-8800





 
 
  
After Hours Town Emergency 905-884-8013





 
 
  
Animal Control
1-888-668-7722


 



 
  
Canada Post
905-773-5880





 
 
  
Enbridge Consumers Gas
416-447-4911


 



 
  
Kids Help Phone
1-800-668-6868


 
 



  
York Regional Police
905-773-1221


 



 
  
PowerStream
1-877-963-6900





 
 
  
Municipality of York
905-731-0201





 
 
 
Richmond Hill Libraries
905-884-9288 


 



 
 
Fire Department
905-883-5444


 
 



 
Inclement Weather Hotline
905-771-5487





 
 
 
Mackenzie Health Hospital
905-883-1212





 
 
 
Snowline (Snow Removal)
905-771-2525


 
 



  
  

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Last E Newsletter before October Election


On October 22nd of this year citizens in Richmond Hill, and other municipalities across Ontario, will be voting to elect Ward Councillors, Regional Councillors, School Board Trustees, and for the first time in York Region, a Region of York Chair. 

Voting is the foundation of our democratic system and as such it is foundational to a healthy democratic society. Local elected representatives, like those named above, make decisions each and every day that shape our daily lives. The  services  that we use everyday, the roads we drive upon, the water we drink, and the schools that educate our children, are but a few examples of the importance of municipal government. 

Participation in elections is one of many ways that citizens can help shape the kind of community in which they want to live, and raise their families. Local government decisions do not always make the national headlines like issues of International Trade or National Policy but, on a day to day basis local decisions are at least as important to individuals like us that live in towns and cities like our home of Richmond Hill. I would very much encourage each and every eligible voter to become informed about the candidates that have put their names forward for election, and then take the time to cast your vote on October 22nd. 

Due to Municipal election rules, a councillor cannot distribute a newsletter like this one, after July 26th in an election year. As a result,  this edition of the Ward 4 News will need to be the last one until after the election. There is always a lot going on in our Town that I want residents to know about so I would encourage my fellow Ward 4 residents to email or call me at anytime if they have questions, comments or concerns. As always I am happy to assist or answer questions.

My email address is  david.west@richmondhill.ca , my cell number is 416-346-3090 and my office number is 905-771-2480.

Sincerely,
David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill

Banner Photo - A Summer Morning in Upper Mill Pond Park - by David West

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Council News and Highlights
  
1. 
Safe Drinking Water for Richmond Hill
 


Richmond Hill closely manages its drinking water system to ensure safety and a high standard of water quality. In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, Council received the 2017 Municipal Drinking Water System Report for Richmond Hill's water distribution system, which details the Town's continual compliance with provincial standards for testing and reporting processes. 

The report includes Richmond Hill's 98% inspection rating from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Municipal Drinking Water Inspection Program. Maintaining a high standard of water quality and preventing health hazards involves diligent administration, communication, testing and cooperation. Richmond Hill's MOECC-certified staff perform regular maintenance on the system, including watermain flushing and repairs, valve exercising, fire hydrant maintenance, sampling for disinfectant levels and bacteriological testing.

2.  Heart & Stroke Big Bike Fundraiser 






















Thanks to Emcees Heather Skoll and Marky Monday, and organizer Marj Andre, as well as great performance from Isabella Tomasso (a very young and very talented opera singer) for a fun evening. 

Marj's Connecting the Community team rode in support of Heart and Stroke Foundation in June. For more on this topic see article below. 





4.  Regional & Local Councillor Benda Hogg honoured for long service at the 
Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)

Regional and Local Councillor Hogg was recently honoured by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for 17 years of service on the Board of Directors of the Federation. FCM continues to be a strong voice at the National Level for municipalities like ours, and it is great that Councillor Hogg has been able to provide Richmond Hill's voice on the national stage during her tenure at FCM.

I would also add that Ward 6 Councillor Godwin Chan has also been an active member of the Board for 5 terms. Advocacy from municipal representatives like ours have been important in securing funding such as the permanent Federal Gas Tax and the Municipal Green fund that communities like Richmond Hill use towards important projects that benefit our citizens.


5.  David Dunlop Observatory Park Grand Opening

In 2012, Richmond Hill, York Region, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the David Dunlap Observatory Defenders reached an agreement with Corsica through Ontario Municipal Board mediation. Corsica agreed to transfer approximately half of the property (40 hectares, 99 acres) to Richmond Hill for public park use and cultural heritage protection in exchange for approval to develop the east portion of the property as a subdivision. After much work by our residents, staff and Council the David Dunlap Observatory was officially opened in June. As time goes on the plans to fully develop this park will take place. It is exciting to imagine what a centre piece this park will be for our community in the years to come. To learn more about current programs available at the park or to learn more about the future plans for the park please visit  https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/find-or-learn-about/David-Dunlap-Observatory.aspx





6.  Pride Week Celebration
To kick off Pride Week in Richmond Hill,  the Richmond Hill United Church held a service focused on celebrating their 5th anniversary of being designated as an Affirming Congregation. 

Special guests Singing Out, the celebrated Toronto LGBTQ+ and allies community chorus, entertained us.

To learn more please click here.






7.  Globemaster Air Cadets Squadron Ceremonial Review
Richmond Hill's 8th Globemaster Air Cadet Squadron held their annual review last month. 

It was remarkable to see the dedication and precision of this group of young people and have an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishme nts over the past year! Congratulations Cadets!



8.  Heart and Stroke Big Bike Ride

On June 14 we rode the Heart and Stroke Big Bike. The Connecting the Community Group was successful in raising over $18000 in support of the great work that the Heart and Stroke Foundation does in communities across Canada. Money raised will go towards education and research toward preventing Heart Disease and Stroke and helping those impacted by these diseases. Congratulations to Marj Andre and the whole group for their efforts.

9.  Elgin Mills Road CN Rail Grade Separation (Bridge)


      


Earlier this year the need for a bridge over the CN rail line on Elgin Mills Road became even more evident given concerns about future traffic on Elgin Mills caused by future development in the recently approved Bernard Key Development Area (KDA) Secondary Plan . At the time the KDA plan was passed, the Region of York (Elgin Mills is under the jurisdiction of the Region of York) did not have this bridge included in its 10 year capital plan. 

I am pleased to say that this has now changed. The bridge is now included in the Region's capital plans, and I strongly suspect that the advocacy that our Council undertook with the Region helped to produce this result. The bridge will be an expensive project and the funding for it will come from a number of sources including the Region of York, CN and Metrolinx. At a council meeting in July a report was passed outlining the next steps in this process and some possible sources of funding from the province to build this overpass. 

I have always strongly believed that this project will significantly improve the current traffic flow, especially in the future as more building is approved in the KDA area and in this part of Town generally. I will continue to advocate that the bridge be completed as soon as possible and it would now appear we are one step closer to this reality. To read the recent Council report related to this topic please visit https://pub-richmondhill.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=15848

10.  Council Approves Village of Richmond Hill Business Improvement Area       Budget
Council approved the Richmond Hill Business Improvement Area's (BIA) 2018 budget of $121,200. The funding will be provided from two sources - the BIA's Levy applied to local properties in the area, and the BIA bank holdings.  In addition to approving the budget, Council approved transitioning financial operations and related reporting responsibilities to Richmond Hill's Financial Services Division later this year. 

A BIA allows local businesses and property owners to join together and with the support of the municipality, to organize, finance and perform physical improvements, market individual businesses, and promote economic development in their municipalities. BIAs are traditionally established by municipalities using the specific business improvement area provisions in the Municipal Act, 2001 and are governed by a board of management. The supporting municipalities are responsible for approving the BIA's budget.

11. Bringing Richmond Hill's Vision to Life
Richmond Hill's 2018 Strategic Plan Annual Report shows how Richmond Hill continues to make progress towards the achievement of the Strategic Plan's four goals: Stronger Connections, Better Choice, A More Vibrant Richmond Hill and Wise Management of Resources. The report, which was presented to Council at its June 19 Committee of the Whole meeting, outlines the continued progress of Phase 3 (2016-2019) of the Implementation Plan. 

Highlights of the 2018 report include:
  • Advocating for the extension of the Yonge Subway to Richmond Hill Centre which is a top transit priority for Richmond Hill and York Region
  • Establishment of the David Dunlap Observatory Park Steering Committee to guide the David Dunlap Observatory (DDO) Park Master Plan which will include the development of a destination park
  • Implementation of the updated Economic Development Strategy 2010-2020, which provides the Town with a roadmap for economic development in Richmond Hill over the next four years
  • Approval of an IT Strategy which sets out a 10-year vision on how the Town will invest in technology and leverage opportunities to improve information management and data, service delivery and community engagement
  • The opening of several new or revitalized parks including Morgan Boyle Park (celebrating Canada 150), Hidden Springs Parkette, Little Don Park, Hughey Park, Grace Lawrence Parkette and Cordave Parkette
These are just a few examples of how together we make Richmond Hill a great place where people come together to build our community. To learn more about our Strategic Plan please visit -  RichmondHill.ca/StrategicPlan

12. High School Graduations and Ann Gold Scholarship presentations











At the end of June I found myself wearing three "hats" and I have been thrilled with both roles. One "hat" is my proud uncle, as my niece graduated with honours from St Theresa of Lisieux High School and on the next day I wore my proud dad hat, as my son graduated with honours from Alexander Mackenzie High School June 28. Like any parent I am bursting with pride at seeing these two special people becoming the young adults they have become but still not entirely sure where the time went! 

The other "hat" - I had the honour of wearing was as a Councillor presenting Richmond Hill's Ann Gold Scholarship Award to three deserving St. Theresa of Lisieux and Alexander Mackenzie High School students for outstanding contributions to our community. Both of these schools are such assets to our community. I am equally proud of all the graduating students. Congratulations to all of our Town's grads - Richmond Hill is proud of you and excited for your future.

13. Elgin Mills Greenway Progress
Anyone living in the area of Shaftsbury and Bathurst knows that major construction is now underway in the  ravine  between St Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School and the Elgin West Community Centre. This work is being performed in response to some significant valley land erosion that was occurring and would eventually threaten Shaftsbury Ave. 

As reported in past editions of this e news, the project includes the addition of a number of storm ponds and amenities including boardwalks and trails in the ravine. I have been in constant contact with our engineering staff to monitor the progress of this project, and am happy to report that we are on schedule and looking forward to completing this beautiful amenity for our residents. The expected completion date will be spring 2019. For more information on this project reported in past e newsletters please visit - http://davidwest-richmondhill.ca/elgin-mills-greenway-construction-update/ or richmondhill.ca/elgingreenway

14. Recycling Textiles in Richmond Hill
In response to a motion put forward by Councillor Hogg and seconded by myself, our staff have reported back to Council on a cost effective strategy that Richmond Hill will use to encourage residents to recycle used clothing and textiles instead of sending this material to landfill. In Richmond Hill each year it is estimated that 500 to 800 tonnes of textiles are put in the garbage when they could be recycled and/or reused. Staff will initiate an intensive campaign to inform residents about options for diverting textiles from the trash. Included in this strategy we will also continue to use our current property standards bylaw to monitor clothing donation bins in our community to ensure that they are kept in a tidy condition. 

Currently, Richmond Hill residents can drop-off their unwanted textiles at donation bins operated by reputable charities and private organizations throughout Richmond Hill. In addition, residents can take their unwanted textiles to used clothing stores, such as Value Village or Salvation Army Thrift Store or they can have them picked up from their homes by various charities.  I look forward to seeing Richmond Hill's diversion rate for textiles increase as a result of these actions.

15. Civic Precinct Project

At a recent Special Council meeting Council passed a motion to remove the proposed civic building from the Civic Precinct project that Council has been actively working toward for the past 4 years. The motion directed that staff report back on options to build the planned civic square and the related amenities (including an amphitheatre, a reflecting pond and skating rink etc) but also to provide Council with information about costs directly and indirectly related to removing the civic building from the overall project. It would be my understanding that these costs will include, but not be limited to, costs to expand the current Council building at 225 East Beaver Creek Road (this building is quickly running out of space as our community grows). 

I am always in favour of receiving accurate information about a project of this magnitude as I have always believed a careful thoughtful approach is crucial regarding a large project like this. However I was disappointed that after 40 years of talk about moving the civic centre to the heart of our town, and after extensive public consultations during the People Plan process a couple of years ago, that Council would be in favour of such a motion. 

I will keep residents informed of news related to this project but it is still my hope that a cost effective project can be delivered that will add vibrancy to our Historic Village Core and serve both present and future residents with a civic centre that we can be proud of.

16.  New Integrity Commissioner Appointed
In February 2018, Council approved the recruitment of a new permanent Integrity Commissioner to replace Amberley Gavel Ltd, Richmond Hill's interim Integrity Commissioner from 2013-2018. At the June 26 Council meeting, Council received the information that ADR Chambers Inc. was selected to provide Integrity Commissioner services to Richmond Hill.  ADR Chambers has appointed Deborah Anschell as Richmond Hill's named Integrity Commissioner. The Integrity Commissioner's duties include providing impartial, third party, professional advice to Council and responding to any compliance issues and matters relating to their ethical responsibilities and obligations under the Council Code of Conduct, as well as educating and advising the community of the same. Deborah is a member of the Law Societies of Upper Canada, Alberta and British Columbia. She earned her LL.M. in ADR at Osgoode Hall Law School in 1998 and her LL.B. at the University of Toronto in 1982.  

17. Ward 4 Roundabout Improvements
After working with parents of Beynon Fields Public School and residents in the area along Tower Hill Road, our Traffic Engineering Staff have brought forward a report recommending improvements to traffic roundabouts at Tower Hill Road and Selwyn Road and also Tower Hill Road and Rolling Hill Road. These improvements will increase safety for pedestrians and especially students. To read the full report related to these improvements please visit https://pub-richmondhill.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=15230

18. New Community Garden at Mill Pond
I am pleased that we are moving ahead with a new Collective Garden to be located behind the Mill Pond Gallery as an outcome of the Town's approved Community Garden Policy.  A small group of local residents will be planting and maintaining a modest pollinator garden featuring native plants. The garden will provide habitat for native wildlife while visually enhancing the landscape. We have also been in contact with the Chair of the Richmond Hill Group of Artists who has communicated their support for this garden.  Construction of the garden is currently underway and depending on the weather, we expect that the garden will be fully planted by the end of June.

19. 'FESTE DEL'ESTATE' - Family Picnic
During the summer months in Italy every city, town, and village, celebrates summer by coming together as family and friends by having community picnics. We were treated to that tradition on Sunday July 15 by the Elgin West Italian Senior's Association at Richmond Green. There was lots of great food, singing, dancing, but most importantly good friends and laughter. Thanks very much to the senior's group for bringing this great tradition to Richmond Hill!  


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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 2017 and (**NEW**) a decision from the OMB has just been released substantially approving the project. 

2. 129, 133, 141 Arnold Cres and 230 Major Mackenzie Dr. W.  
** NEW** Very recently the owner of the above property, Acorn Developments, has submitted a complete application to Richmond Hill Planning Staff for redevelopment of their lands near the corner of Arnold Cres and Major Mackenzie Drive. This application proposes single detached houses fronting onto Arnold Cres. and also proposes townhouses to the area west of Arnold Cres. behind the proposed single detached homes. I will be meeting with our Planning Staff in the coming days to learn more about the details of this application and will determine the best time to host a Residents' meeting to inform the public about the details of this application. This application is in the very early stages and will need to go through the complete development application process which will include opportunities for public input. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about this application. I would encourage interested residents to stay tuned as the process progresses.

3. 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 here for a link to the HRH staff report.    
 

4.  251, 253 and 259 Oxford Street
The applicant is seeking Council's approval of its Zoning By-law Amendment and draft Plan of Subdivision applications to permit the construction of 14 single detached residential dwellings on its land holdings, with access from a new public road from Oxford Street. It is proposed that two lots would have frontage on Oxford Street, and twelve lots would front the proposed new public road. 

There was a statuatory Council Public meeting on March 28th to discuss this application and seek public feedback. If any residents have further feedback please feel free to write your thoughts down and send them to me at david.west@richmondhill.ca.

 5. 11488 Yonge St and 49 Gamble Rd. (south west corner of Gamble and Yonge)
For the past several years there has been a live development application at this location. The applicant was originally facing some challenges reconciling the application with the existence of a floodplain in this area. They have been working with our Planning Staff and the TRCA to address these concerns, and others. It is my understanding that some progress in coming up with an acceptable proposal has been made, but unfortunately the applicant has chosen to appeal the application to the OMB. This represents a common occurrence lately as many applicants have chosen to appeal to the OMB before the OMB is replaced by the newly created LPAT (there is more information about this issue below). 

I am quite disappointed with this appeal. This move, in my opinion, does not allow our planning staff and the public an adequate opportunity to provide meaningful input on the revised application.  I will keep residents informed of any new issues related to this application as they become available.
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Spring 2018 EAB Management Update

The following is an update on Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) management activities:
 
Ash Tree Removals
  • This past winter, our contractors removed 2,210 ash trees that were dead or dying due to EAB damage - 465 from boulevards (streets), 299 from manicured areas in parks and 1446 in natural woodlots.
  • All remaining ash trees on streets will be re-assessed for damage this June. Trees with the most significant damage at the time of assessment will be marked with an 'R' to indicate that they will be removed. Removals will take place in late fall 2018/early winter 2019.
  • Removal of hazardous ash trees in parks and natural areas is now complete.
  • In some forested areas, ash tree logs and branches were left on the forest floor after being cut down. This is because woody debris and fallen logs are an important part of a healthy forest eco-system, recycling nutrients back into the environment and providing habitat for plants and animals.
  Replanting
  • Trees that were removed this winter will be replaced this year. Replanting will begin on streets and in parks at the end of May.
  • A map showing replanting locations can be found at RichmondHill.ca/ EAB.
  Pesticide Treatment
  • Trees that were treated with pesticide in 2016 and are deemed healthy enough will be treated again this summer.
  Public Notification
A notice in the form of a door hanger will be provided to residents whose property is adjacent to Town-owned trees that are scheduled for maintenance (pesticide treatment, removal, stumping or replacement).
 
Additional information about EAB is available at RichmondHill.ca/EAB.
 
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vivaNext:  Discover Your Yonge


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Mill Pond Park Environmental Assessment

NOTICE OF STUDY COMMENCEMENT
MILL POND STORMWATER MANAGEMENT REHABILITATION
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
 
The Town of Richmond Hill is undertaking a comprehensive study for the rehabilitation and renewal of Mill Pond Park. As part of the study, an Environmental Assessment (EA) will be completed to evaluate existing stormwater drainage within the Mill Pond Park study area and propose options for rehabilitation. At the same time, a Mill Pond Park Master Plan will be completed to guide the redevelopment of the park and provide direction about the type of outdoor facilities and improvements the community would like to see.
 
Study Area
Environmental Assessment
The EA study will assess the current storm drainage and infrastructure with respect to water quality, erosion and flood protection. Alternatives will be developed and evaluated to find the best solution for improving these systems.
 
Public Consultation
Two Public Information Centres (PICs) will be held during the course of the study to provide information on the EA process and the stormwater alternatives being considered. PICs will also be held as part of the park master plan process so the community can help shape the design of the park. PIC notices will be published in the Bulletin Board pages of the Liberal newspaper, mailed to homes surrounding the
study area and posted on the Town's website at RichmondHill.ca/MillPondProject.
 
Questions?
If you have any questions or comments, require further information, or wish to be added to the  study mailing list, please contact one of the following study team members:
 
Kristina Delidjakova, M.Sc.

Water Resources Coordinator
Town of Richmond Hill
905-771-5539

Steve Hollingworth, P.Eng.
Consultant Project Manager
The Municipal Infrastructure Group
905-738-5700, ext 359
 
Information will be collected in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record.

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Bee City Motion

Recently, a high school student reached out to me to ask that Richmond Hill become a part of the Bee City movement. Bee City is an international program that works to protect bees and pollinators in communities across North America. As an environmentally responsible municipality, Richmond Hill is already doing many of the things that being a Bee City signatory would require and being a part of this movement is the appropriate action to take. Given that Richmond Hill is also one of the original Canadian municipalities to sign on to the national Wildlife Mayor's Monarch Pledge, and before that, the Blue Dot Pledge, it was clear that the environmental leadership that we would be able to demonstrate would be significant. 

I am proud that my member motion was passed unanimously by Council and I look forward to the result of creating more habitat for these important pollinating insects. To learn more about Bee City visit  http://www.beecitycanada.org/

Member Motion - Councillor West
WHEREAS Richmond Hill has shown, and continues to show, commitment and leadership regarding the natural environment, as outlined in our approved Environment Strategy, Greening the Hill: Our Community, Our Future;

WHEREAS Richmond Hill is committed to supporting pollinator species, as demonstrated through signing the National Wildlife Federation's Mayors' Monarch Pledge in 2016, annually proclaiming Pollinator Week, and pursuing actions related to habitat protection, native plants, and public communications;

WHEREAS the goal of Bee City Canada designation is to promote healthy, sustainable habitats and communities for pollinators;
 
THAT bees and other pollinators around the globe have experienced dramatic declines due to land fragmentation, habitat loss, use of pesticides, industrialized agriculture, climate change and the spread of pests and diseases, with serious implications for agricultural production and ecosystem health; and
 
THAT Richmond Hill and its residents have the opportunity to support bees and other pollinators on both public and private land; and
 
THAT supporting pollinators fosters environmental awareness and sustainability, and increases interactions and engagement among community stewards; and
 
THAT by becoming a Bee City, Richmond Hill can highlight initiatives already in place to support pollinators and further engage local communities in the spirit of environmental stewardship;
 
THAT staff be authorized to submit the Bee City Canada Application to designate Richmond Hill as a Bee City; and
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved:
 
THAT Richmond Hill accepts the Bee City designation and commits to creating pollinator habitat, educating about pollinators, and celebrating pollinators in accordance with the Bee City Canada Program.
 

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Richmond Hill Post Article - July Edition

Vision, Challenge, Opportunity, and Solution for 
Richmond Hill's Village Core

By Councillor David West


Vision
Ontario's Historic Downtown core areas have seen many changes over the decades. In Canada's early days these business districts were the epicenter for communities' trade. Shoppers came daily to the "downtown" to buy groceries, hardware, or building supplies. In the past century they also came downtown to do their banking, or get new horseshoes installed on their horses. Over time, with the advent of the car, and a variety of other changes in consumer behavior, historic downtown business districts like Richmond Hill's have needed to evolve to remain viable and vibrant.
 
Our residents are eager to see our Village Core revitalize and evolve into a vibrant people oriented place where interesting shops and services can be found, as well as great restaurants and entertainment venues. In fact, the best way for a historic core to compete with other retail spaces including big box plazas, indoor malls, or even on line shopping, is to offer a unique suite of shops and services with a great opportunity for a human centered pedestrian focused experience. We already have a number of these great businesses located in our Village Core but we would like to see more!
 
Challenge
For Richmond Hill's Village Core to see further revitalization we need to, over time, see redevelopment of the existing properties. At the same time, the historic buildings that add much character and uniqueness to the Core should be saved, restored and integrated into redevelopment plans. In the case of historic buildings there are opportunities to add modern additions to create new, vibrant and interesting commercial spaces.
 
Parking supply, a very busy Yonge St. running through the centre of the core, fragmented ownership, a number of fairly small properties, respecting existing abutting neighbourhoods, and maintaining a respect for historic buildings are challenges that must be addressed in order to see the vision for a revitalized village core come to fruition.
 
Opportunity and Solution
To address the challenges and leverage opportunities Richmond Hill needs a carefully crafted plan. Council recently passed a Downtown Secondary Plan that lays out development vision and opportunities for landowners to redevelop and revitalize their property holdings in order to help to achieve a more vibrant Village Core.
 
The Downtown Secondary Plan allows landowners to increase the density of their properties and at the same time, offers an opportunity for connected laneways and mews along the side and backs of most properties. These laneways will offer opportunities for shoppers to access the rear of the properties so that additional parking, retail opportunities, and a more pedestrian friendly experience can be achieved. Further this will open the opportunity for a number of people oriented amenities to be included like fountains, public art, and pedestrian plazas. These new features will beautify the area as a whole and make an even more inviting, bright and well landscaped, experience for shoppers.
 
There are a number of landowners who have appealed the plan to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). They specifically object to the laneways requirements, having a fear that the Town will actually take ownership to a portion of their lands if and when they redevelop their properties. In fact, the Town seeks to provide connections between properties without taking ownership of any private property.    Further, Council has also been presented with development applications that far exceed the plan's height cap in the Core area. It is important to Council that the OMB uphold the plan in order to achieve the vision that the plan promises.
 
Richmond Hill has already revitalized many municipally owned assets in the core including the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, Ransom Park with the Terry Fox statue, the original Post Office building  (at the corner of Centre St. W and Yonge), and will soon invest in a new town hall/urban square at the corner of Major Mackenzie Dr. and Yonge St. and a soon to be expanded Central Library. Council also recently passed a Community Improvement Plan that will offer incentives to land owners for fa├žade improvement of existing storefronts and incentives for new office development. A new signage and wayfinding strategy is also underway that will make finding shops and attractions in the Village easier as well as improving shopper's ability to find parking.
 
The village core area needs to be developed in a careful and comprehensive manner in order to allow for growth, redevelopment, and most importantly, revitalization, while at the same time being able to absorb extra traffic and parking that the plan allows, as well as the increased need for pedestrian access that this growth will generate. The Downtown Secondary Plan will accomplish this vision, but most of all I look forward to the benefit that will be created for the community and landowners in the area.

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Municipal Election October 22nd



Please visit RichmondHill.ca/RHVotes for all updated information.
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Richmond Hill Road Watch - What is it?
Road Watch is a community initiative, supported by the Town of Richmond Hill and  York Regional Police  to address aggressive and dangerous driving on public roads.

Recently Flo McLellan, member of Road Watch (former Director of Smart Commute Richmond Hill), was interviewed by 105.9 The Region. In this interview she provided an overview of the program and and offers suggestions how you can help.  To listen to this interview please click here

To learn more about Road Watch, send an   email  or visit the Richmond Hill Road Watch booth at community events throughout the year.
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Richmond Hill Blooms 2018

Richmond Hill Blooms is a program designed to encourage residents to play a role in making Richmond Hill a more beautiful place to live, work and play by creating attractive, colourful and well-maintained front gardens and recognizing them. 

The 2018 Nomination Period was from Friday, June 1 to Friday, July 6.  You could nominate front gardens of your neighbours, friends or even your own!

Other Important Dates:
Shortlisted Judging: July 9 - July 27 
Top Three Judging: July 30 - August 17 
Richmond Hill Blooms Gala: September 13

Judging
Every nominated residential front garden will be acknowledged with a recognition sign for their garden as part of the Richmond Hill Blooms program two-step nomination. Following this recognition, a short list of best gardens will be identified by Richmond Hill staff horticulturalists. The Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society will then select the top three gardens per ward based on the Ontario Horticultural Association's Garden and Special Planting Criteria.

1st Place Ward 4 Winner 2017
Good l uc k to Ward 4 residents.  Watch for signs popping up in your neighbourhood gardens or even yours!

For more information on Richmond Hill Blooms click here.


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Summer Time Teas at the Heritage Centre 

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Richmond Hill Farmers Market


Bring your family and friends to the Richmond Hill Farmers Market for fun activities and to purchase fresh produce! There will be family entertainment, food and crafts and activities for children. Visiting the Farmers Market is a fun way to enjoy summer in the community.  The Market takes place every Sunday until September 30th from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Elgin Barrow Arena (enter the arena parking lot from Puglsey Avenue on the east side of the arena)

This is a true "Farmer's Market". All vendors attending our market grow produce within 200km of Richmond Hill. A vendor is responsible for providing verification that all saleable products are made, produced or grown by the vendor.  Up to 30% of the produce may be resale of other local growers' produce, subject to approval of the organizing committee.  Arts and crafts items shall be 100% original and hand-produced. 

There is also music and entertainment between 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. each week...

July 22 - Henry Lenz
July 29 - Tam Duong
August 5 - Simone Ziv & Brent Barkley
August 12 - James Marin
August 19 - Carly Rita
August 26 - Tam Duong
September 2 - Gregory Swain
September 9 - Carly Rita
September 16 - Henry Lenz
September 23 - Sherry Jacoby
September 30 - Gregory Swain

Please visit the town's website for more information.

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Richmond Hill Lawn Bowling Club
Celebrating 100 Years

Photos courtesy of Bud Newton - Richmond Hill Camera Club
Mayor Barrow presented a congratulatory certificate with Coucillor Godwin Chan and Regional Councillor Brenda Hogg 
Congratulation to the Richmond Hill Lawn Bowling Club as they celebrated their 100th Anniversary in our community. The celebration was a fun event with members dressed in period costume to mark the milestone. 

The Lawn Bowling Club is located in the Town Park to the east of the Elgin Barrow Arena. It is a beautiful facility and if you have ever wanted to try your hand at Lawn Bowling I would encourage you to contact the club. Their website is rhlawnblowling.com .

Andrea Kulesh, President of the Richmond Hill Historical Society, and one of the speakers at the anniversary celebrations wrote an article about the history of this club which appeared in the June 5th edition of the Liberal newspaper.  To read the article click  here.

The crowd gathered for the celebration
Greetings from Club President Terry Knight

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Blue Bins with Lids are Now Available

The larger recycling bins with lids are now available for sale at the Operations Center and at the Main Municipal Office at 225 East Beaver Creek on the main floor. The new, big blue bins provide a convenient option for homes that generate larger quantities of recyclables and most importantly will help reduce blue box wind-blown litter. 
  • Large (32 gallon) blue bins with lids are available for $39.55 each.
  • Regular sized (22 gallon) blue boxes are $10.92 each.

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Spring Cleaning -  Try our  new  Double-Up Days
 
 
Double-Up Days is a new service meant to make seasonal cleaning easier.  Unlike regular garbage days when you can put out a maximum of 3 items, during Double-Up Days you can put out up to 6 garbage items without purchasing garbage tags!

A garbage "item" means a bag, bundle, garbage can or piece of furniture.

Please set out items on your regular garbage day, using the guide below to determine which weeks apply to you.


SPRING DOUBLE-UP DAYS
FALL DOUBLE-UP DAYS
Yellow Zone:  May 1-4
Yellow Zone:  September 4-7
Blue Zone:  May 8-11
Blue Zone:  September 11-14


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Mill Pond Splash 2018

We celebrated the 20th Mill Pond Splash Eco Festival and the Kids Run for Nature on Sunday June 3. It was a beautiful day to be at Mill Pond Park and celebrate our natural environment as well as the present and past importance of water in that environment. The Don River begins very close to the Mill Pond so it is the perfect location for the Splash.


While Mill Pond Park is known today as a beautiful park, it is interesting to note that in the mid to late 1800's the Mill Pond and  Don River were the centre of Richmond Hill's industry. The Mill Pond housed a saw mill, with a number of other mills downstream. They were all in this location to take advantage of the power available from the running water in the river. It is also interesting, in the not very distant past, that the Mill Pond represented an important municipal water source for our community.

Today the Mill Pond is a jewell of our park system in Richmond Hill but the importance of water remains the constant throughout all of these changes. It was, and still is, important for us to protect this resource for the future!

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Concerts In The Park Series 2018

Photo courtesy of Town of Richmond Hill

Mill Pond Park - Thursdays, 7 - 9 p.m.
These free concerts take place Thursday evenings in July and August at  Mill Pond Park.  There are also some musical afternoons on Sundays at  Richmond Green Park. Bring a lawn chair, blanket or cushions to sit back and enjoy the Concert in the Park series.

Date
Entertainment
July 5
British Legends
July 12 The Dreamboats
July 19 The Willbury Legends
July 26 Practically Petty
August 2 Richmond Hill Has Talent
August 9
The Good Brothers 
August 16 Chicago Transit
August 23 - last concert! Abba Mania


Richmond Green Park Amphitheatre - Sundays, 1 - 2 p.m.

Date
Entertainment
July 8 Richmond Hill Concert Band and the Music of Disney
July 22 James Funnyhat
August 5 Sitar Fusion

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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.


Dementia Friendly Church
Every Friday from noon to 2:00 p.m.  Now includes lunch and Hymn Sing at St. Mary's Anglican Church.

Click here for more information or call 
905-786-8666.


















Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts - Speaker Series
Presented in Partnership with Connecting the Community

Book four shows or more Save 15%...Click here to purchase your tickets.



















St. Mary Immaculate Roman Catholic Church: Celebrating 160 Years of Catholic Faith in the Heart of Richmond Hill, 1857 - 2017

St. Mary Immaculate Church celebrated its 160 years anniversary in 2017. In honor of this occasion, a beautiful Commemorative Book has been put together. The book begins by chronicling the history from the very early beginnings in 1797 of the Catholic Faith in what was then known as York and continues all the way to the present day. The Original Church was located on Mill Street, with the second and the present Church located at Yonge and Dunlop Streets. 

The book sets out in detail the founding of the Parish, with the prominent Teefy Family having a very profound impact on it. It chronologically records all the Clergy, incorporates lots of wonderful pictures and events helping to detail its history, including a significant section of personal reflections from many different Parishioners!

The book is available through St. Mary Immaculate Rectory office at 905-884-1784, at a cost of $50.






Fall 2018
 
Option 1
Saturday October 13 and Saturday October 20
9 AM - 4:30 PM
 
Option 2
Saturday December 1 and Sunday December 2
9 AM - 4:30 PM
              
LOCATION :             CATA - Canadian Academy of Therapeutic Arts
                               120 Newkirk Road, Unit 12
                               Richmond Hill, ON L4C 9S7
                      
FACILITATED BY   Susan Kagan and Jen Bromley
 
COST                     $195.00 per person. Includes MHFA manual
                                           
One in five people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. As a result, this course was developed to help people provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health problem or is experiencing a mental health crisis. This 12 hour course teaches mental health first aid skills.

MHFA training will teach the participants to:
  • Recognize the symptoms of mental health problems
  • Provide initial help
  • Guide a person toward appropriate professional help
  • Provide help to prevent the mental health problem from becoming more serious
  • Reduce stigma towards those experiencing mental health problems
Who should attend?
Everyone can benefit from MHFA Canada training - members of the general public, teachers, health services providers, university students, emergency workers, frontline workers who deal with the public, volunteers, human resource professionals, employers, community groups.  
 
To Register Contact:
Susan Kagan - kagan_51@hotmail.com
                           416-458-0326
 

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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 courtesy of Rob Young

Turtles stayed in the water but this guy said hello


Heron having lunch at Pioneer Park


Photos Courtesy of Juliusz Zulauf
Hawk visiting Langstaff House




















Photos courtesy of Rhonda Starr
Photos of homes taken during Doors Open Richmond Hill 2017

Gormley Road area


Station Road


Gormley Road area

Tree in Water - Bond Lake

Phyllis Rawlinson Park


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