Happy New Year!
I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year as we move into 2018.
This time of year provides an opportunity for reflection on the year that is past, and a chance to look forward to the year ahead.
In this newsletter you will find information on some upcoming community events, including the very exciting 50th Annual Richmond Hill Winter Carnival, the Mackenzie Health Hospital Strides for Stroke, and the 2nd Annual Richmond Hill Maple Syrup Festival.
It has been a busy year in Richmond Hill and I have included below, a Ward 4 "Year in Review" in addition to the usual Council News and highlights.
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 - Photos Top Winter Carnival Memories 2015
Centre - Past Winter Carnival Buttons
Bottom - RH Camera Club winning photos from Winter Carnival 2016
Council News and Highlights
1. 4th Annual Charity Volleyball Tournament
Many young people turned out on December 20th to support homeless youth in Richmond Hill at the 4th Annual Charity Volleyball Tournament organized by Richmond Hill resident Sonny Dhillon
. Over 4000 lbs of food was collected, all to support the great work that 360 kids does in supporting homeless youth in our community. This event also raises awareness about the sometimes invisible issue of youth homelessness in York Region.
It makes me proud to be a part of such a caring community as ours. Thanks to Sonny, his team of volunteers, and his family and friends for organizing the event again this year!
Great News - The Mill Pond is Now Open for Skating!
Town staff, in co operation with Mother Nature, have been working hard to get the ice surface at the Mill Pond cleared and groomed. At the moment the sign is indicating "yellow" (use with caution) but with some continued cold weather and additional work the ice surface it will get even better.
3. 2018 Operating Budget
At this time of year Council turns its attention to the Richmond Hill Operating Budget. The budget is important as it is a fiscal representation of the values and mission of our community. The Operating Budget guides the investments that we will make to create the kind of community that we all want to live in. On Tuesday, January 23
rd, and 30th from 1-4 PM a
Draft Budget Overview and Departmental presentations will take place. Following these meetings, a
Special Council Meeting is scheduled on Tuesday, February 6th to adopt the 2018 Draft Operating Budget.
For more information visit
RichmondHill.ca/Budget. As always if you have any comments questions or concerns related to the Operating Budget please feel welcome to contact me.
4. Front Yard and On Street Parking
Our Planning Staff are about to initiate a study to determine if allowances for overnight on street permit parking are needed and justified in our community. This process will solicit public feedback on this issue. Details of dates and times for these input opportunities will be reported in various forums, (including this e newsletter) in the coming months. In the mean time I would invite you to participate in a brief online survey regarding this topic. The survey can be accessed by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/r/H9MXY7H. To learn more about the On Street Parking process please visit the Town web page at www.richmondhill.ca/en/find-or-learn-about/Find-or-Learn-About-Parking.aspx.
Council also recently considered a member motion that would have directed our staff to determine if our bylaws should be changed to allow residents to park on a larger percentage of their front yard than is currently allowed.
Given that we were already embarked on a process to study allowing more parking opportunities on the street, I moved to defer consideration of allowing more front
yard parking until after we complete the on street parking study. A good summary of this story can be found in a Liberal newspaper story here.
Over the past five years I have received a few calls from residents asking to allow more parking opportunities on front yards, but I have also received many more calls asking that the status quo remain. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue.
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
A plan that will guide any development on the lands to the north of the KDA, south of Brookside, known as the Tertiary Plan area, is currently being developed by our Planning Staff. It is also important to note that the owner of most of the lands in question has appealed the development application related to those these lands, to the OMB.
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.
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 can join us to celebrate winter in our community!
For more information and up to date schedule please visit
Ward 4 Richmond Hill - 2017 Year in Review
A great deal was accomplished in Richmond Hill in 2017. Pe
rhaps the most poignant memories of the past year were related to the many celebrations that Richmond Hill hosted to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada's confederation. Among a number of Canada 150 activities, Richmond Hill hosted a spectacular Canada Day celebration on July 1st. We also opened the revitalized, and Canada themed,
Morgan Boyle Park using a Canada 150 grant from the Federal government.
Our community also hosted a poignant and emotional ceremony, led by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 375, to mark the 75th anniversary of the sacrifices that Richmond Hill soldiers made during the World War One Battle of Dieppe. These sacrifices, among many others, helped the Allied Forces ensure that Canada remained the "true north strong and free" for future generations to enjoy.
Last winter, Richmond Hill Council supported my motion to acquire some additi
onal parkland at 71 Regent Street. This land acquisition will make the Mill Pond Park an even greater asset to our community. Further, Richmond Hill revitalized Cordave Park and made the long overdue announcement of plans to revitalize Bradstock Park in 2018. Both of these parks are located in Ward 4.
Richmond Hill also officially acquired the Dunlap Observatory lands including the historic buildings that exist on this site. These lands and buildings will become an exciting park for Richmond Hill residents to enjoy over the coming years.
Over the past year, Richmond Hill Council tackled the task of completi
ortant Secondary Plans. These plans included the
Downtown Secondary Plan and the Yonge Bernard Key Development Area (KDA) Secondary Plan. Council, staff, and the public, also continue work on the Yonge 16th Avenue Secondary Plan. As our community grows these Secondary Plans will serve to outline, in specific detail, how we expect these important areas of our community will grow and evolve in the future. All of these plans add detail to development permissions already approved in the Official Plan and are designed to ensure that any new development will fully conform to the Official plan.
Further a Secondary Plan is designed to ensure that new development will add to the overall community in a positive way while providing protection for the existing community. In all cases, we had robust community involvement in the development of these plans and I want to thank the many members of the public that gave their time to this effort. While not all stakeholders agreed on all aspects of these plans, I do believe that having strong Secondary Plans in place will serve us well as our community grows in the future.
After I moved a motion at Richmond Hill Council to advocate for Ontario Municipal Reform (OMB) in 2016, myself, Councillor Cilevitz, and a number of leaders from other Ontario municipalities organized a Municipal Leader
s Summit in the spring of last year. This gathering was designed to further pressure the Ontario government to reform the OMB.
A recommendations report from our Summit was released in the spring of last year. This report made clear our recommendations to the Ontario government how we expected
the OMB to be changed. In late 2017 the Ontario government committed that the OMB would be reformed and will respond to community concerns that Ontario municipalities have had for many decades with the unelected and undemocratic OMB. It is expected that these reforms will be implemented by the Province later in 2018.
Although not as high profile as OMB reform, or the announcement of new parks, Richmond Hill Council also approved a new Waste Contract that will enhance waste collection services for our residents while saving $572K per year in operational costs.
In 2017 Council approved a Fire and Emergency Service (RHFES) Master Plan that will guide
and evolution of our RHFES in the coming years. RHFES provides a crucial service to our residents in times of need. This Master Plan will guide future investments so RHFES will be able to ensure our community's safety and security into the future.
Council approved a streamlined approach to our parking bylaw enforcement with the introduction of the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS). This new system replaces the old court based system for disputing parking tickets. So far AMPS has proven to be more efficient for both the municipality and the public.
In 2017 Council continued to work on finalizing a Community Improvement Plan designed to provide incentives for future office development in our community.
fice development will contribute to our Economic Development goals by providing locations for new and existing businesses. As a result, it will provide additional opportunities for our citizens to work closer to home. I expect that this plan will be finalized and passed in 2018.
In 2017, Richmond Hill Recreation staff launched the new Active RH online system to make it easier to register for Town recreation programs. Our recreation programs are quite popular, and are valued by community. This new online registration system will make registering for our programs faster and easier for our residents.
In 2017 Richmond Hill also approved plans to move the Town Hall back to the Village Core. After many decades of study and consideration, preliminary plans were approved, including a financial plan, to move this project forward. The land designated for the Town Hall is known as the Civic Precinct and it is located near the Central Library at the north west corner of Yonge and Major Mackenzie Drive, just south of the Village Core.
The Civic precinct will also include a number of community amenities such as a skating rink/reflecting pool, a bandshell, an urban square, an expansion of the Central Library and an underground parking facility, to name a few.
It is very important to support and encourage citizen input in a democracy. In order to accomplish this it is crucial that community members be accurately informed about decisions taking place in our Town. To this end, I remain committed to providing pertinent information to Ward 4 residents on a regular basis. For the past 5 years I have produced a monthly e newsletter that is being read by more and more Ward 4 residents.
I have also had the pleasure of hosting and attending many public meetings, over the year. These gatherings have consisted of smaller meetings with single residents up to larger meetings with dozens of residents. Subjects discussed at these meetings have focussed on a range of topics.
to residents continues to be important to me, as this allows residents to communicate ideas, concerns and suggestions, all with the common goal making our community the best it can be.
I also believe it is important to bring people together to meet neighbours and celebrate the many things we have to be thankful for in Richmond Hill. Coming together as a community is fun, but it also helps to build strong and vibrant neighbourhoods. Over this past year I hosted the first ever Richmond Hill Maple Syrup Festival, and the first ever Ward 4 BBQ and Monarch Butterfly Festival. Both of these were very well attended, and it was great to see families enjoying the activities, each other's company, meeting friends and neighbours, and learning more about their community.
I was also involved in the committees that hosted the ever popular Richmond Hill Winter Carnival and the Mill Pond Splash. As you read this, our group is finalizing pla
ns for this year
s 50th Richmond Hill Winter Carnival happening February 2-4th at the Mill Pond Park (more about this event below in this e newsletter). Both of these events have grown to be important signature events in our community.
Finally, Richmond Hill also took a leadership role towards r
with our Indigenous brothers and sisters. In October a small group of citizens, including myself, hosted a sold out event featuring a screening of the Secret Path by Gord Downie. The event included a panel discussion with several Residential School survivors about reconciliation. As it turned out, we lost Gord Downie to cancer about a week before the event. In retrospect, I was very proud of our community for honouring Gord
s legacy, and the great contribution he made to our country. Gord
s brother Mike, spoke to the audience and inspired all in attendance to carry the torch that Gord helped light. Gord Downie challenged us to individually do what we can towards creating a country that builds a reconciled relationship with its First Nations people.
As Richmond Hill grows traffic and transportation continue to be a high priority and a significant concern for our residents. While the solutions to these issues are not simple, and the costs of these solutions sometimes make it necessary to rely on sources of funding from upper levels of government, our Council has an important role to play. In the future we will continue to implement solutions and build on the work that we have done to address problems around traffic, transit, and transportation.
The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) work along Yonge continues this year, and is scheduled to finish on time, in 2019. In addition, Council continues to advocate for the completion of the Yonge Street subway extension to Highway 7 and Yonge Street. This project continues to move slowly forward. 2017 saw announcements of funding for subway design and engineering work. Council will continue to advocate for the project
s completion as soon as possible.
On a smaller scale we have made improvements to local traffic flow, and most importantly, pedestrian safety, in front of St. Theresa of Lisieux High School. We have added more pole mounted radar boards throughout our residential neighbourhoods, and have committed to moving these radar boards to
locations on a regular basis, in order to maximize their benefit in reminding drivers of the posted speed limits. York Regional Police continue to be an important partner in this effort as well. It is also clear that traffic issues in other parts of the Town will need our ongoing attention in the future.
I continue to be proud of the work that has been done in Richmond Hill related to environmental stewardship. Each April I have reported the Town's environmental accomplishments and challenges devoting an entire edition of the e news to this task. Given the number and quality of beautiful green spaces that we we have in our community, I believe that this work also requires our ongoing attention.
If you would like further information on any of the topics briefly outlined in this piece, I would invite you to visit my blog at
. You can use the search function to find a specific topic. Always feel free to contact me if you have further questions, comments or concerns.
In closing I would like to congratulate the Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church on their 200th anniversary as a congregation in 2017. This event is a proud and significant milestone for the congregation and throughout the
year the congregation held events to beautifully mark this occasion. As Richmond Hill approaches its 150th anniversary (we were founded in 1872) we will continue to build on the past, with an eye to the future. There is always more to do and I remain honoured to represent the community in this effort.
Living Well with Dementia in York Region
SAVE THE DATE -
2nd Annual Maple Syrup Festival
Strides for Stroke -
Join My 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 the Richmond Hill Runners and Walkers Team you can join at the following link
For more information please visit
TransRichmond Trail - Gamble Glen Connection
Located south of Gamble Glen Crescent
between Westbury Crescent and Colesbrook Road
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.
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,
Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society
Please join the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society on February 6 at 7:30 p.m., to hear passionate plantswoman & educator, Marion Jarvie, discuss "Architectural Elements in the Garden". This topic will cover a brief visual history of gardens around the world and what has influenced us, including: shapes for garden beds; geometric formal plans for gardens; pergolas & other garden structures; water features, statues, art, and containers. Meeting will be held at the McConaghy Seniors' Centre, 10,100 Yonge St., Richmond Hill. Memberships are available at $25/individual, $40/family. Entrance is free for members. Guests are $5.
Please join the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society on March 6 at 7:30 p.m., to hear Kevin Kavenaugh, owner of South Coast Garden & Consulting, formerly at World Wild Life Canada, and Nature Conservancy of Canada, present "Azelia & Rhododendron Care & Growth". Kevin enjoys working with clients to design and install gardens that include "a touch of the South". His talk will include early and late varieties of these colourful, flowering shrubs. Meeting will be held at the McConaghy Seniors' Centre, 10,100 Yonge St., Richmond Hill. Memberships are available at $25/individual, $40/family. Entrance is free for members. Guests are $5.
Please join the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society on April 3, at 7:30 p.m., for the entertaining and inspirational speaker Paul Zammit, Director of Horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden. He will discuss "Planning and Planting for Four Seasons of Interest". Meeting will take place at the McConaghy Seniors' Centre, 10,100 Yonge St. , Richmond Hill. Memberships are available at $25/individual, $40/family. Entrance is free for members. Guests are $5.
Chorus York - Romantic Melodies - 1st Annual Fundraising Gala
Chorus York, Richmond Hill's community choir, under the direction of Stéphane Potvin, invites you to join us on Saturday, February 17th for Romantic Melodies,a choral celebration of Valentine's Day.
Chorus York: Romantic Melodies: 1st Annual Fundraising Gala
Chorus York, Richmond Hill's community choir, under the direction of Stép
hane Potvin, in
vites you to join us on Saturday, February 17th for Romantic Melodies, a choral celebration of Valentine's Day. Click here for more information.
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!
Photo by Ward 4 Resident Chris Robart