David West  
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor 
Monthly Newsletter 

August 2017
Newsletter At A Glance
In this Issue

Contacting David 


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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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Canada 150 Celebrations Continue In Richmond Hill

As we look forward to the next 150 years of Canada we also look back at our past. The banner photo on this month's e newsletter is the cover of a booklet published by the Richmond Hill Jaycees celebrating Canada's 100th anniversary. Prominently displayed on this cover is a rose, which to this day, remains a symbol of Richmond Hill. Did you know that Richmond Hill was an important global producer of roses in the early to mid 1900s? 

This Jaycee booklet is part of our Heritage Artifact collection. Our artifact collection captures and preserves vignettes of Richmond Hill's past. This extensive collection is stored at the Operations Centre and parts of the collection are displayed on a rotating basis at the Heritage Centre at 19 Church St N. Until September 30th a presentation entitled Coming Up Roses, related to our past Rose Growing Industry, will be displayed at the Heritage Centre. Details of this presentation are included below in this e newsletter.

There is still much to see and do in Richmond Hill this summer. Richmond Hill hosted our annual Canada Day celebrations and fireworks display at Richmond Green to celebrate Canada 150 and the celebrations of this landmark occasion continue throughout the year.

Finally, on August 29th I will be also hosting my Annual Ward 4 Community BBQ. New this year, we will be hosting a Monarch Butterfly expert to speak about Monarch Butterflies. We will also be releasing some Monarchs. Please feel welcome to come out, meet your neighbours, have a hamburger (or a veggie burger) and a roasted corn on the cob. I have ordered sunny and warm weather for that day.  Details for the BBQ are contained below in this e newsletter. 
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

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Council News and Highlights
1. Richmond Hill to Establish Committee for David Dunlap Observatory Park Development
Council approved the establishment of a steering committee for the David Dunlap Observatory (DDO) Park Project. The committee will be comprised of the Mayor, Ward's 5 and 6 Councillors, as well as two citizen members. In September 2016, after extensive public consultation, a Master Plan was approved for the DDO Park. The Plan sets out the vision for the future enhancement, management and programming of the park. The steering committee will review and provide guidance and advice with respect to the planning, design development and construction of the park. Recruitment for the two citizen positions will begin soon. Residents who wish to apply are encouraged to visit RichmondHill.ca/Committees and subscribe to receive email updates. A call for applicants is being advertised in the Bulletin Board pages of The Liberal newspaper. 

2. Modifications Planned for the Lake Wilcox Boardwalk
Council directed staff to continue with design modifications to the boardwalk planned for Lake Wilcox. The boardwalk, approved as part of the Lake Wilcox Park Master Plan, is a 127 meter long, 3 meter wide crescent shaped wooden deck on a steel frame that is supported by metal poles drilled into the lake bed. It is suspended out into the lake and attached in two locations to the walkway promenade. After much consideration, it was determined that the original boardwalk support structure would not be able to withstand the pressure of the ice each winter and as a result, the structure would likely fail over time. Staff will now work with coastal engineering specialists to modify the design of the support structure and the existing boardwalk. This will allow the original planned boardwalk to be constructed with all its intended features, theming and use of all materials already received. Staff will report back on the budget required to complete the boardwalk as part of the 2018 Capital Budget process this fall.

3. Richmond Hill's Launches First IT Strategy
Council endorsed Richmond Hill's first Information Technology (IT) Strategy which sets out a comprehensive vision and IT roadmap for the next five years. The Strategy is the result of a comprehensive process that included a detailed document review, interviews with Council and leadership, roundtables with all departments and a corporate-wide staff survey. Implementation will take place in three phases: building technology foundations (2017-2020), evolving systems and processes to deliver service excellence (2019 and ongoing) and becoming a digital, smart and innovative Town (2020 and ongoing). Much of the foundation work has begun, with current projects aimed at updating the customer service, planning, finance, human resources and recreation systems. A significant technology investment of approximately $22 million is required until at least 2023 to implement the Strategy, which will result in greater service to residents and a more efficient and productive workforce.

4.  Richmond Hill introduces ActiveRH System for Fall Registration
Richmond Hill has launched its new recreation registration system, ActiveRH, that will help streamline and reduce waiting times during the registration process.
ActiveRH will be available for fall registration which begins on August 30. Current users who register online using their client barcode can now personalize their own accounts by using their email address and by creating their own passwords.

Recreation programs play an important role in the lives of our community. From music and rhythm classes for babies to a ropes challenge course for teens and art classes for adults, our residents keep active through our programs that are offered for all ages and interests and abilities. Residents can visit RichmondHill.ca/ActiveRH to start using the system.

Through ActiveRH, residents can go online to register for recreation programs and to request facility bookings. The system has an increased capacity to process over 5,000 transactions per minute on peak registration days, so users will be able to register faster for programs. Over the past 10 years, program registrations have increased by over 17,000 participants.

In addition, users will benefit from being able to:
* create their profile for ease of future registrations with a point and click;
* search programs by location, participant age, activity and more;
* request gymnasiums, meeting rooms, arenas and other facilities; and
* sign up for text message alerts to be notified of unexpected cancellations of activities.

Users who create their account before August 30 will be entered in a draw to win a $100 credit towards their new ActiveRH account or two tickets to the Peking Acrobats at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts on Monday, February 19 at 3:30 p.m. The Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 Community Recreation Guide will be available online on August 9. Visit RichmondHill.ca/ActiveRH to create an account today.
 5. Community Garden Policy Blossoms with Council's Approval
Council approved a new Community Garden Policy due to the ever-growing demand for community gardens within Richmond Hill. The Policy provides consistent support and delivery of new and existing community gardens by setting guidelines and service levels and identifying responsibilities. Richmond Hill anticipates the development of one new allotment garden and approximately four collective gardens within five years.

Allotment gardens are divided into individual plots to rent and are administered by the municipality; collective gardens are maintained and managed by a group of volunteers and can be wholly communal or contain plots. Currently, Richmond Hill has one allotment garden and three collective gardens where residents and community groups are responsible for the gardens, including watering, pruning, disease/pest control and harvesting. In turn, Richmond Hill offers onsite water, disposal bins and annual soil preparation. The staffing and financial implications of this new policy will be considered in the 10-year Capital and Operating Budgets as required.

6. Education and Innovative Programming Slows Down Drivers and Improves Safety 
Council approved 18 new locations for pole-mounted radar speed boards and the purchase of 22 new pole-mounted radar speed boards. Council also approved the acquisition of associated traffic data monitoring equipment, adjustments to the pole-mounted unit relocation timeframe (from six months to 12), and annual operating costs for the relocation of these units. The first pair of pole-mounted radar speed boards was installed in Richmond Hill in 2008 and was well-received, serving as a community education tool to raise awareness of driver travel speed. These boards were intended to be semi-permanent and scheduled for a new location within the town every six months. The initial results were positive, realizing a decrease in operating speeds and compliance with posted speed limits.

As a result, the units remained in their original location (High Tech Road) and two additional units were purchased for the six-month placements within the Town. Following this, staff developed a policy to prioritize the deployment of the pole-mounted radar speed boards (2009) and in 2011, purchased 20 additional radar board units. The total estimated cost for the new radar speed boards, new monitoring equipment and unit relocation is $158,000 plus $20,000 annually for the ongoing replacement of exiting pole-mounted radars board units at the end of their lifecycle and the addition of new radar boards in future. The approved recommendations address the traffic challenges facing the community and are aimed at improving road safety.

7. Council Committed to Providing Parkland
As Richmond Hill continues to grow, securing valuable parkland is key. In that regard, Council approved the purchase of 17 Rockwell Road, a 0.23-acre property located behind the new condominium buildings at 370 and 372 Highway 7 East and Rockwell Road. The land will be used to further develop the adjacent and existing undeveloped park creating a new public green space.

In 2013, Richmond Hill acquired the existing 0.42 acre parcel of parkland from the developer through the Planning Act approvals for the condominium buildings. The Town accepted the parcel of parkland given the challenges of attaining suitable parkland areas in spaces with high density developments. The acquisition of this property will bring the existing park to a usable size of 0.67 acres. Funds to acquire the property came from the Cash in Lieu of Parkland Dedication Reserve fund collected through the development process.

8. Canada 150 Celebration July 1st at Richmond Green
A party fitting the celebration of 150 years of Canada happened at Richmond Green on July 1st. There were many great activities for children and families and a spectacular fireworks display to cap off the day.  
The Lumberjack Show
The Always Challenging Rock Climbing Wall

Celebrating Canada's Indigenous Community

and of course the fireworks...


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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.  
As reported in the last e newsletter, this development application was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), the hearing wrapped up in March and a decision from the OMB will be expected in the coming months. 

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 working to complete an application for  redevelopment of this site .  I will be hosting a meeting for the neighbourhood residents as soon as any plans by the developer have been solidified. Presently there is no timeline set for such a meeting but I will ensure that the community is informed in a timely manner when a clearer picture 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. 

For more up to date information on the Yonge/Bernard KDA project, please visit the 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 is applying 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. Our planning staff will continue to work with the applicant so that a revised application can be brought to Council in the future. 

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. 

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

The 4th Annual Ward 4 BBQ will take place on Tuesday, August 29th, 2017. I welcome all residents to attend for a fun evening, some community fellowship, and a free burger. This year we will be adding a Monarch Butterfly educational demonstration and release to the list of events. As always, we have lots of fun activities for families and kids. The event will take place at Larratt Lea Park, from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. I hope to see your there!

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Caribbean North Charities Foundation

This is their 7th annual fundraising concert taking place on Friday, August 25, 2017 at the Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts Theatre, located at 10268 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario. This popular annual event highlights the best of Caribbean entertainment and includes a silent auction.

Caribbean North Charities Foundation is a self-funded charity relying on donations of time and resources to achieve our goals. The net proceeds from this concert will benefit this charity's ongoing work in providing much needed medical equipment and training in Guyana, St Lucia and Dominica.
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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  in October 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

Please save the date and stay tuned for more information about tickets. I hope you can join us!

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Neighbourhood Watch

We generally enjoy a peaceful community with a statistically low crime rate in Richmond Hill. In partnership with community groups and the York Region Police, there are programs available to ensure that this situation remains.

Neighbourhood Watch is such a program. It is designed to reduce and prevent crime through the active participation of citizens in crime prevention. It involves working with neighbours with the support of the York Regional Police to prevent crime - before it starts. 

If you would like to learn more about Neighbourhood Watch and/or would like to start a group please visit http://www.yrp.ca/en/community/neighbourhood-watch.asp or email me at david.west@richmondhill.ca

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Temporary Road Closures and
Water Main Work

Please note the following upcoming work and temporary road closures for the Yonge Street Rapidway project:
Temporary Road Closures
To accommodate scheduled utility relocation work as part of the vivaNext Yonge Street bus rapidway project, three cross streets in Richmond Hill will be temporarily closed at Yonge while crews trench across the intersection:
  • Canyon Hill Avenue: Monday, August 14 - Friday, September 1
  • Trayborn Avenue: Mid-September
  • Oxford Street: Mid-September
    Crews will be working from 7am-7pm, Monday to Friday; however, the road closures will remain for 24-hours a day in order to protect the work zone and provide the option for weekend work.
Water Main Installation  
Last fall, crews installed a new water main from just north of Carrville Road/16th Avenue to Harding Boulevard. The next phase of water main installation, from just south of Harding Boulevard to Major Mackenzie Drive, is scheduled to start in mid-August. Work will be completed during both the day and overnight, and is anticipated to take approximately 10 weeks to complete.

  • For the latest updates, subscribe at vivaNext.com, and follow vivaNext on Twitter.
    If you have any questions, please contact:
Leslie Pawlowski
Community Liaison, Project Specialist                     
T. 905.886.6767 Ext. 71357 

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Coming up Roses in Richmond Hill
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Concerts in the Park
Presented by Tim Hortons

The concerts take place Thursday evenings in July and August at Mill Pond Park
 (Mill Street and Trench Street).  Click here for more information.

Photo - Town of Richmond Hill

Mill Pond Park - Thursdays, 7 - 9 p.m.
August 3 August 10 August 17  August 24
Michael Jackson Tribute Good Brothers British Legends
Tom Jones/
Neil Diamond Tribute

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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.

Art, Spirituality & Rock n' Roll Exhibition
Ward 4 resident Tom Grella invites you to attend his show at Boynton House, 1300 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Green Park - Saturday August 12 and Sunday August 13 - 12 noon to 10:00 p.m.  For more information click here.

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.




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. 
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