David West  
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor 
Monthly Newsletter 

February 2018






Newsletter At A Glance
In this Issue

Contacting David 


Mobile Phone 


Mailing Address 
225 East Beaver Creek Richmond Hill L4B3P4

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My Bio

Important Phone Numbers 

Access Richmond Hill

After Hours Town Emergency 905-884-8013

Animal Control


Canada Post

Enbridge Consumers Gas


Kids Help Phone


York Regional Police



Municipality of York

Richmond Hill Libraries


Fire Department


Inclement Weather Hotline

Mackenzie Health Hospital

Snowline (Snow Removal)



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A Gold Medal February
I hope your family has been enjoying Canada's success at the Winter Olympics as much as my family. It is becoming a trend this month to wake early in the West house to watch the Olympics from half a world away in South Korea and its exciting to cheer on our athletes as they compete and achieve excellence.

It has also been an exciting month in Richmond Hill because of the the recently completed 50th Richmond Hill Winter Carnival. The community came out again this year to celebrate winter like we have for the past 50 years. I really appreciate this great community tradition and look forward to many more Winter Carnivals in the future. 

I am looking forward to another event in March. The 2nd Annual Richmond Hill Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival (full details below). I hope that this event will become a community tradition just like the Winter Carnival. As a child I always appreciated maple syrup making as a harbinger of spring. It was fun to share this experience with the community last year at our first Maple Syrup Festival, and we hope that you will be able to join us this year as we come together as a community, boil some maple sap, eat pancakes with real maple syrup, and celebrate the arrival of spring. 

Below in this newsletter there is also information about a number of other items of importance including a residents meeting related to a development application north of Wicker Drive and Brass Drive, and also a Public meeting related to a Tertiary Plan for the area near Brookside Road and Yonge Street. I would invite those interested to attend, learn more about future plans, and provide input to help guide these plans.

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

David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill

Banner Photo - Ward 4 - Karindon Park 

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Council News and Highlights
1.  Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital Construction Site Visit
I have been a member of the Mackenzie Health Hospital President's Advisory Council for the past number of years. Recently we had our meeting in a construction trailer on the Mackenzie Health Vaughan Hospital construction site. It is great to see up close, the new hospital building growing out of the ground at Jane Street and Major Mackenzie Drive. This much needed new hospital will be completed in 2020. Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, when complete, will help to relieve pressure from Mackenzie Health Richmond Hill Hospital and will be an important addition to health care in our community.

2.  High Notes Avante Gala for Mental Health
Luba Goy - Emcee
Congratulations  to High Notes Avante Productions Inc. and Ingrid Taheri for another successful gala at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. It was a great evening of entertainment, insightful conversations and information about Mental Health issues. The over arching message of the evening was - "there is help, there is hope, and we need to break down the stigma around mental health for this hope and help to be more easily accessed". 

Suzanne Smoke - Speaker
I was proud and h onoured that Richmond Hill hosted this event! The evening's talented talented performers included Emcee Luba Goy and Lloyd Robertson who spoke about his family's struggles with mental health issues, as well as Suzanne Smoke who provided a poignant perspective about mental health issues from an indigenous community perspective.

3. Renovations Complete at Sandgate Women's Shelter
Sandgate Women's Shelter is a shelter for women and children who are escaping domestic violence. The shelter serves our community and others in the GTA. This important organization just completed some renovations and an increase in its capacity to serve those in need of its services. The staff at Sandgate invited local politicians and the media to tour the newly renovated facility. To learn more about Sandgate visit  www.sandgate.ca, or a good summary of the event is in the Liberal newspaper here.

4. We Can Change the World Day Jam in Richmond Hill
I love this sign - it is located in front of the  Richmond Hill Baptist Church  on Wright St. and it speaks to a truly Canadian value - generosity. We are lucky to live in Richmond Hill and Canada. 

On the subject of generosity, I mentioned this sign in my address to the audience during the We Can Change the World Day Jam in Richmond Hill.  

Richmond Hill's We Day volunteers are a group of generous young people who are working to make the world a better place by volunteering their time and raising money for, among other things, school enhancement projects in rural India and Kenya. Thanks to Richmond Hill resident  Heather Skoll  for her tireless efforts in leading the charge!
Heather Skoll addressing the crowd

5. Hill After Dark - an event by the Richmond Hill Youth Action Co mmittee
Once again this year the Youth Action Committee (YAC) hosted a talent packed event named Hill After Dark at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Youth from across our community offered their talents in visual arts, music and poetry. I have enjoyed this performance for a number of years. It is really quite remarkable the range of talent that our young people possess. I have also been honoured to serve YAC as one of the Council Liaisons appointed to this committee. To learn more about YAC click here.

6. Richmond Hill Wraps Up Canada 150 Celebrations
Richmond Hill proudly celebrated Canada's 150th anniversary of confederation with themed events throughout the year. Staff presented a video to Council that highlights the Canada 150 celebrations, including a Street Banner Contest; Earth Day maple tree planting; Healthy Yards maple tree giveaway; a Canadian Pavilion, Indigenous performances and lumberjack show at the Canada Day celebration; the unveiling of a revitalized Morgan Boyle Park including specially-designed Canada 150 features; axe-throwing at Ribfest; a Canada 150 themed drone light show at the Tastes of the Hill Multicultural Festival; and the Community Murals Project. 

Richmond Hill also had the largest-attended stop of the Sesqui Cinematic Dome Tour in Ontario, with over 8500 visits in one weekend. The commemorative video is available on RichmondHill.ca/Canada150, Richmond Hill's YouTube channel and Richmond Hill's Facebook page.  For a good summary of Richmond Hill's Canada 150 festivities click here.

7.  Richmond Hill Recruiting an Integrity Commissioner
Council directed staff to conduct a recruitment process for a permanent and experienced Integrity Commissioner using a public Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Richmond Hill has been using Amberley Gavel Ltd. as interim Integrity Commissioner since October 2013. The permanent Integrity Commissioner is expected to be able to assist Council with updating the Council Code of Conduct, as well as give advice to Council about ethical acts and duties under the Code. Richmond Hill's Integrity Commissioner also presents an Annual Report to Council.

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Ward 4 Development Applications - Update 

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

1. 44, 48,54 and 60 Arnold Cres.  
This development application was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) by the applicant. The hearing wrapped up in March and a decision from the OMB will be expected soon. 

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.

**New** A meeting has been set for members of the public to provide input related to the Tertiary Plan for this area. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6th at 7PM at the Elgin West Community Centre. During this meeting a discussion will take place related to some potential concepts for a Tertiary Plan that will guide future development of these lands. All comments and input from this meeting will be received by our Planning Staff to help guide the formation of the final plan that is expected to come before Council in May. I would encourage any community members to attend this meeting.

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

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 here for a link to the HRH staff report.    
A development proposed at 307 Harris Avenue (near the corner of Harris Avenue and Beech Avenue) will be considered by Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, February 20th at 4:30 PM, and again before Council on Monday, February 26th at 7:30 PM.
The application consists of six single detached dwelling lots.  Included in this proposal, there is a plan to connect Beech Avenue to Wicker Drive. In the past I have spoken to a number of residents about this issue and as such, wanted to ensure area residents were aware of the proposed development. A detailed staff report (SRPRS.18.044) regarding this application will be available after Tuesday, February 13th on the Town's website, www.richmondhill.ca .
The report can be found on the website in the calendar section, under the Committee of the Whole Meeting for February 20th, 2018. Alternatively you can access the meeting's reports using the following link https://calendar.richmondhill.ca/default/Detail/2018-02-20-Committee-of-the-Whole.
I would encourage anyone interested in this application to read the staff report. Related comments can be sent to myself at david.west@richmondhill.ca  and to the Town Clerk at clerks@richmondhill.ca before the February 20th meeting so that other Council members can receive your comments as well.
Residents may also attend and/or speak in person to this issue at the Committee of the Whole meeting on the 20th or the Council meeting on the 26th.  These two meetings will be held at the Town Hall at 225 East Beaver Creek in the Council Chambers on the first floor. If a resident wishes to speak at a meeting they must contact the Town Clerk and request to be added as a delegation at the meeting.
Finally, I will be hosting a Resident's Information Meeting on Thursday, February 22nd at 7:30 PM in the Woodland Room at the Elgin West Community Centre to discuss this application with interested residents. The Elgin West Community Centre is located at 11099 Bathurst Street. If you wish to attend this meeting it would be helpful if you could RSVP to me in advance of the meeting.

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 Richmond Hill Council Approves 2018 Operating and Water Budgets 

At a Special Council Meeting on February 6, Richmond Hill Council approved the 2018 Operating Budget and capital asset sustainability fee. The $174.82 million budget represents an increase of $2.9 million, within the Council-directed maximum increase. 
"Council set the direction for the 2018 budget last June to ensure we maintain and where possible, enhance services to Richmond Hill residents while keeping tax increases reasonable," said Mayor Dave Barrow. "We continue to grow and prosper as a municipality and our residents benefit and contribute to our thriving community." 

Richmond Hill's budget increase is equal to a $49.77 increase on the annual tax bill of an average Richmond Hill home valued at $1.1 million. Richmond Hill is also responsible for collecting taxes on behalf of York Region and the school boards. York Region's budget increase is equal to an $86.73 increase on an average Richmond Hill home valued at $1.1 million. 

Highlights of the Operating Budget include: 
* Completion of construction and opening of the new Oak Ridges Library Branch (spring 2018) 
* Completion of construction and opening of the Ed Sackfield 2nd ice pad and fitness facility 
* Completion of the LED street light conversation project for arterial roads, parks and parking lots 
* Summer Camp Programs at the David Dunlap Observatory (DDO) 
* Installment of 10,000 radio frequency water meters 
* Information technology projects to improve efficiency (system updates) and external service (e.g. parking ticket management) 

"With the 2018 Operating Budget we continue to work within the parameters we have for savings and revenue," said Budget Chair, Regional & Local Councillor Vito Spatafora. "We fully leverage available funding, such as gas tax grants, to ensure Richmond Hill residents get the best value for their tax dollars." 

Some new staff are included in the 2018 Operating Budget. For the Ed Sackfield Arena expansion, a new Arena Operator, Lead Hand and Skating Coordinator will be hired. An additional four firefighters will be added as Richmond Hill continues to implement its Fire Master Plan and a Water and Wastewater Operator, funded through the Water Rate, will be hired. 

"One of the budget pressures we are facing this year is the increase in minimum wage to $14 per hour that took effect January 1," said Mayor Barrow. "Many of our part-time staff work in core services like recreation and are crucial, so we are funding the difference through reserves this year while we look at adjusting fees for 2019." 
Council also approved the 2018 Water, Wastewater and Stormwater budget. The 7.5 per cent increase on water and wastewater takes effect April 1, 2018 and is largely driven by the nine per cent wholesale rate increase York Region charges for these services. To help mitigate the increase, Richmond Hill is ending the early payment discount program on water bills effective July 1, 2018. 

The 2018 Operating Budget also: 
* sets the Stormwater Management Rate for 2018 at $67.84 per year for residential properties, 
* adjusts the capital asset sustainability fee to $47 per tax account, and 
* increases the Seniors' Tax Assistance Grant for 2018 to $387 per eligible applicant. 

This budget lets us move forward on not only current projects like the renewal of David Hamilton Park, making the DDO a public asset and others, but also important projects that will impact our community in the future like the Civic Precinct, new infrastructure and more. 

Approval of the Operating Budget and Water, Wastewater and Stormwater budget is the final phase of Budget 2018, a public process which included a business community information session December 8, 2017 and a public information session January 20. Council previously approved the 2018 Capital Budget of $70.64 million in November 2017. 

Visit RichmondHill.ca/Budget for more information about Richmond Hill's 2018 Budgets. 

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2nd Annual Richmond Hill Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival

The snow is still falling but spring is just around the corner! Join us March 24th for a sure sign of spring for Canadians - maple syrup season, and the 2nd Annual Richmond Hill Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival. Lots of great family activities are in store including pancakes with real maple syrup, sap boiling demonstrations and horse and wagon rides to the maple syrup bush.
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On Street Parking Study 

For more information please visit www.richmondhill.ca/parking
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50th Annual Richmond Hill Winter Carnival 
The 50th Richmond Hill Winter Carnival was a great success! As the community has done for the past 50 years, many of us came out to celebrate winter with our neighbours, family and friends. The weather was not too cold and there were lots of opportunities to warm up in the tent, around the fire, or by skating around the Mill Pond. The festivities kicked off in grand style on Friday night with fireworks and continued with music, good food, children's activities, a craft beer tasting event, and a celebration of winter, the defining season of Canada. 

It was interesting in this landmark 50th year how many people shared stories and reminisced about past Winter Carnivals and the great experiences they have had at Winter Carnivals over the years. We also had the opportunity to meet past committee members and past snow queens and princesses. Clearly this event has provided the canvas for some rich stories and family traditions 

As a part of the organizing committee I know how much work that the volunteer committee puts into organizing this event. I also know how much support that the Town of Richmond Hill lends, as well as the crucial financial support that many local businesses generously contribute. I want to thank all those involved for making our 50th a great success. I am looking forward to the 51st Richmond Hill Winter Carnival in 2019!

For those that purchased a Richmond Hill Winter Carnival button - the winning draw numbers for the grand prizes are posted on the Carnival website. Click  here to see if you won.

Photo courtesy Marj Andre
Photo courtesy Marney Beck

Past and Present Carnival Souvenirs
Jack Grunsky

Ookpik and a friend


Warming by the Fire

Road Watch

                                  Photos below by Chris Robart

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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 my Richmond Hill Runners and Walkers Team to support excellent stroke 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/Heritage Estates communities. 

If you are interested in joining the Richmond Hill Runners and Walkers Team you can join at the following link  https://mhf.akaraisin.com/strides2018/richmondhill

For more information please visit  www.stridesforstroke.ca .

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Richmond Hill Summer Camp Guide

Choose a new adventure each week. We have adventure camps, arts and crafts camps, dance camps, theatre camps, science and technology camps, sports camps, teen camps, and new this year - Space Camp! Our camps welcome children and youth ages 4 - 18 years-old - there's something for everyone!

For a complete list of camps available and to  view our online Summer Camp Guide click here.   To Register online click here  for ActiveRH.

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Clean Up, Green Up Weeks

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Hike for Hospice

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Treasures Charity Thrift Store
12 Levendale Road

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Winter Parking and Snow Clearing Operations

For more information on Winter Parking restrictions during Snow Clearing please visit the Town's website here or for a related Liberal newspaper article here.

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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 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.

Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society

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 St├ęp 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.


Richmond  Hill United Church
50's-60's Sock Hop for Stephen Lewis Foundation
February 24th - 5:30 - 9:00 p.m
Call 905-884-1301, ext. 5 for tickets
Click here for more information.

Pancake Breakfast Hosted by Mission and Outreach 
Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church
March 24, 2018
09:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
$8.00 per person
$4.00 children (12 and under)
Call 905-884-4211 for tickets
Click here for more information.

Kairos Blanket Exercise - April 28, 2018
Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church. The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an experiential learning tool about the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.  Justice Ministries' staff from the Presbyterian Church in Canada will lead us through an adapted version of the Blanket Exercise which includes references to Presbyterian history.  For more information click here.


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

Winter Carnival Photos by Ward 4 Resident Bud Newton

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