A sure sign of Spring in Richmond Hill
As a child there were always two sure signs of spring for me. One sign was the end of March Break and the other was maple syrup season. In the spirit of this tradition I wanted to invite everyone to celebrate spring with your friends and neighbours at the
the 2nd Annual Richmond Hill Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival. I hope you and your family can join us for this sweet and uniquely Canadian tradition. Complete information can be found below in this e newsletter.
I would also like to let residents know about an important meeting that our staff and Council will be hosting about an On Street Parking Permit study process that we are currently embarking upon. The meeting will take place on April 5th at the Central Library. All the details of this meeting are outlined below.
Finally, I would like to invite everyone to participate in the annual Clean Up Green Up week. Join your neighbours in helping to do a spring cleaning in our community. I have participated in these events in the past. They are a lot of fun, and the contribution that we all collectively make cleaning up our community is certainly appreciated by everyone.
Please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email at any time. My email address is
, my cell number is 416-346-3090 and my office number is 905-771-2480.
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill
Banner Photo - Ward 4 - Maple Syrup season is a Canadian sure sign of spring.
Council News and Highlights
1. 360kids Experience at Toronto Montessori School
It was a real pleasure to be invited to attend the "360 Experience" event that Richmond Hill's Toronto Montessori School hosted for their grade 6 students. The students spent a night at the school participating in
discussions and exercises that represented some of the challenges that homelessness can bring to youth in our community. Thanks to 360kids, York Regional Police, and the teachers at TMS for bringing learning to life for these students. The students raised awareness and money for 360kids and in doing so made their corner of the world a little better. Thanks to everyone involved!
2. Kung Hei Fat Choi
Kung Hei Fat Choi to all my friends who celebrated Chinese New Year - 2018 The Year of the Dog. I wish everyone a year of prosperity and happiness! This photo was taken at the Richmond Hill Board of Trade event, one of the many celebrations that took place in our community to mark the Year of the Dog.
3. Sri Lanka's 70th Anniversary of Independence Flag Raising
On February 16, Councillors were invited to raise the flag in honour of Sri Lanka's 70th Anniversary of independence. It was a pleasure to be joined by representatives of the Sri Lankan Consulate and council colleagues to mark this occasion.
4. Hearts and Hands for Africa Sock Hop
On Saturday, February 24 the Richmond Hill United Church hosted a Sock Hop to benefit the Stephen Lewis Foundation through the church's Hands and Hearts for Africa group. Thanks to all the folks that host this event each year and also to the Richmond Hill United Church drum band and Little Peter and the Elegants for the great entertainment. This event raised money and awareness of the plight of families in many African countries that have been impacted by the AIDS epidemic.
5. Making Richmond Hill Greener
Council received a progress update on the implementation of Richmond Hill's Environment Strategy, Greening the Hill: Our Community, Our Future, which outlines the Town's vision to become a more sustainable community. Last year (2017) marked the third year of the plan's implementation, which included energy efficiency projects such as upgrades to the refrigeration plant at Elgin Barrow Arena and LED lighting retrofits at The Wave Pool and Richmond Green Sports Centre. In 2017, Richmond Hill also converted most of its outdoor lighting network to LED technology. Together, these projects represent significant reductions in annual energy consumption, costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Other 2017 highlights include approval of Richmond Hill's first Community Garden Policy to guide the development of collective and allotment gardens on public lands; completion of the detailed design for the Elgin Mills Greenway restoration project; the start of restoration work in Beaver Woodland; as well as many annual public education and community stewardship initiatives.
Implementation of the Environment Strategy will continue in 2018. Notable projects include completion of the LED conversion project for the Town's outdoor lighting network; a proposal to advance climate change initiatives that includes the Community Energy and Emissions Plan; construction of the second phase of Richmond Hill's portion of the Lake-to-Lake route; an update to the Sustainability Metrics for new development projects; construction to restore the Elgin Mills Greenway; development of new community gardens; and initiation of new pilot projects for energy conservation and waste diversion.
6. Grants For Office Development & Downtown Revitalization
Council approved the Richmond Hill Office Development and Downtown Local Centre Community Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP encourages new office development and re-development by providing grants to businesses and property owners located in the defined improvement area. The three grant programs include the Tax Increment Equivalent Grant, the Building Renovation Grant and the Façade Improvement, Landscape and Signage Grant.
he Tax Increment Equivalent Grant supports the development of new office space that is 1,600 square meters or greater within the Town's Centres and Corridors as well as the Newkirk and East Beaver Creek Business Parks through the return of portions of property taxes over a 10-year period.
The Building Renovation Grant program will provide grants of up to $50,000 for building renovations resulting in the creation of new office space within the downtown area, Oak Ridges Local Centres and the Newkirk and Beaver Creek Business Parks.
The Façade Improvement, Landscape and Signage Grant program will provide grants ranging in value from $2,500 to $32,500 for projects that are related to the revitalization of the Downtown Local Centre. Ensuring the availability of a range of office space to businesses will provide more opportunities for local employment that supports intensification and a live/work balance in Richmond Hill. It will also allow businesses to better tap into the highly educated workforce living in our town. The Town will begin accepting applications in summer 2018. For more information, visit
7. Strides for Stroke Kick-off at Mackenzie Health
On May 5th I will again be running in the Strides for Stroke 5K run/walk in support of the Regional Stroke program at Mackenzie Health Richmond Hill Hospital. This year I have joined the organizing committee and am captaining a team. I would like to invite you to join my team, the "Town of Richmond Hill Runners and Walkers". It is a fun event and it was recently kicked off at the Hospital by Wendall Clark (in the Blue jacket and the hospital CEO Altaf Stationwala in the "red" hockey jersey). To join my team please visit
8. Yellow Brick House Gala
On March 4, Yellow Brick House celebrated 40 years of supporting women and children impacted by domestic violence. The evening was a chance to acknowledge the great work they have been doing in our community during these past four decades. Guests had the opportunity to hear about the range of programs that Yellow Brick House delivers all toward the goal of preventing domestic violence. These programs include a school based
that includes speaking to girls, and especially boys, about healthy relationships. Over the past 10 years it has been my pleasure to support this organization. Thanks to
, and all the staff at YBH for the work they do each and every day.
9. Richmond Hill Board of Trade Business Achievement Awards
Congratulations to this year's Richmond Hill Board of Trade Business Achievement Award winners. Each year the Board of Trade celebrates business excellence in Richmond Hill by recognizing a number of great businesses in various categories. As a past award winner and past chair of the Board (of the Chamber of Commerce) I know what a great honour this award represents.
I wish to congratulate those that won and those that were nominated for this prestigious award.
And the winners were:
Crystallize It Inc.
York Montessori School
Community Living York South
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Toronto - Markham
Assante Capital Management Ltd.
BrokerTeam Insurance Solutions
10. Generous donation of books to 360kids
Pi Beta Phi member, and Ward 4 resident, Marilyn Clark recently invited me to an event where their organization generously donated a large quantity of books to 360 kids. Pi Beta Phi
believes in the power of reading and the importance of reading for young people. Thank you to Pi Beta Phi for this generous donation. It is well known that readers become leaders, and reading is the foundation of all that we can achieve in life.
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 2017 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 ** Recently a meeting was hosted for residents to hear about some potential concepts for the South Brookside Tertiary Plan that will guide future development of these lands. All comments and input from this meeting was received by our Planning Staff to help guide the formation of the final plan that is expected to come before Council in May. If you were not able to attend this meeting a survey can be completed to help capture your input. The survey can be found by clicking here. I will also be hosting an additional resident's meeting related to the Tertiary Plan on Thursday March 22, at 7PM at the Elgin West Community Centre in the Woodland Room.
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.
6. 307 Harrris Avenue
A development proposed at 307 Harris Avenue (near the corner of Harris Avenue and Beech Avenue) was considered recently by Committee of the Whole.
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. At the Committee of the Whole Meeting in February I moved a motion to refer the application back to our Planning Staff to determine how the application can proceed without the proposed street connection at Wicker Drive. Staff will report back to Committee of the Whole on Monday March 19th at 4:30PM.
Residents may attend and/or speak in person to this issue at the Committee of the Whole meeting on the 19th 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.
7. 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 is a statuatory Council Public meeting on March 28th at 7:30 in the Council Chambers at 225 East Beaver Creek Rd to discuss this application and seek public feedback.
2nd Annual Richmond Hill Ward 4
Maple Syrup Festival
I cordially invite you to attend the
2nd Annual Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival,
on Saturday, March 24 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Elgin West Community Centre. New this year we have included a horse-drawn wagon ride to the Sugar Bush in Twickenham Park.
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. There will also be lots of activities for the whole family to enjoy.
I look forward to seeing you on March 24th.
Brookside Road Closure at Yonge
Starting Monday March 12, Brookside Road, at Yonge Street, will be closed for approximately three weeks as crews trench across Brookside to conduct utility relocations and installations. As a result, there will be no thru traffic to Brookside from Yonge for the duration of this work.
work dates*: Monday, March 12, 2018, for approximately three weeks
work hours*: 7am-7pm, with closure in place 24/7
what you need to know:
- Access will be maintained to businesses and properties near the work area.
- Access to Early Years Daycare Centre, located at 11130 Yonge, will be maintained from Brookside.
- Access to 11108 Yonge will be maintained from Yonge and Brookside.
- Detour signs will be in place to guide motorists and pedestrians around the closure.
- Paid duty police officers will be on site to help direct traffic as needed.
- Due to the nature of this work, at times there will be noise.
- Some weekend and overnight work may be required.
sidewalk and crosswalk impacts:
- Sidewalks and crosswalks around the work area may be temporarily closed for the duration of this work. Directional signage will be onsite to guide pedestrians around the work zone.
- To learn about the challenge of relocating utilities, click here.
*Please note: As with all construction projects, some work may be re-scheduled due to weather. We'll provide advance notice when possible. Watch
for last-minute updates.
As always, please contact us if you have any questions about the rapidway construction.
Sindiswa Moyo | Community Liaison | 289.338.6733 |
Leslie Pawlowski | Community Liaison | 905.505.1430 |
Richmond Hill Post Article
Richmond Hill has an interesting history and the manifestations of this history continue to add character to our community. The historic structures that grace many neighbourhoods are a gift from our past. When residents speak of the "character" of their neighbourhoods they are often referring in some way, to the variety of architectural styles, shapes, sizes and ages of buildings in a given area.
Maintaining community character needs to include preserving and repurposing historic buildings. I believe one of the best ways to preserve our built heritage is to promote and encourage property owners to explore what is known as "adaptive reuse" of these buildings.
Adaptive reuse is a growing trend in architectural circles whereby older buildings are remodeled to create more modern and usable spaces, while at the same time, preserving the character of the building. When adaptive reuse is successful, the "new old" building becomes an interesting, historically significant, and useful building again.
Richmond Hill continues to witness historic buildings undergoing adaptive reuse. One of the best examples in Richmond Hill is the adaptive reuse of what was the first Richmond Hill High School in 1897 at 10266 Yonge Street. In 1932 this building became a part of the Town offices, and morphed again in 2008 to be a part of the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts and Covernotes Coffeehouse. The building has had three different "lives" and is now a beautiful pairing of a historical building fused with a more modern architectural style.
Richmond Hill Council periodically considers requests to tear down buildings of historic interest. For example, an application for demolition of the William Neal House near the corner of Elgin Mills and Yonge Street was recently considered. In this case the applicant wanted to demolish this structure to make way for new development, but Council has asked that the applicant and our staff determine a way to avoid demolition in favour of some form of adaptive reuse.
Over past decades we have lost historic buildings, because at the time of demolition, the push for "progress" meant that it was easier to tear it down than renovate. As Richmond Hill approaches its 150th anniversary, I often wonder what it would be like had decisions been made to rejuvenate these lost buildings. Looking to the future, our historic buildings present opportunities for adaptive reuse. In many cases this can be a win for both the owner and for present and future citizens of Richmond Hill.
Seniors Tax Grant 2018
Town of Richmond Hill
Community Recreation Guide
Something for everyone. Please click
to view the program guide and to find out how to register on-line.
Free Gardening Workshops
Mark these dates on your calendar
Symphony In Watercolour
Use the Like, Love and Wow buttons to select YOUR favourite entries. You can vote for more than one. New entries will be added each week until the
deadline of entries on March 20th
so please check back often and vote! At the end of the submission period the entry with the most votes will become the people's choice winner and will be invited to be part of our exhibition right here in Richmond Hill this coming fall at Boynton House at Richmond Green.
On Street Parking Study
Public Open House on Thursday, April 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Events Room on the 3rd floor of the Central Library (1 Atkinson Street).
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
For more information please visit
Hike for Hospice
Mill Pond Splash - Sunday June 3
Treasures Charity Thrift Store
12 Levendale Road
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.
Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society
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.
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.
Mental Health First Aid Winter and Spring Trainings
Training Option # 1
Saturday and Sunday March 17 and 18 - 2018 - 9AM - 4:30 pm
Training Option #2
Saturday and Sunday May 5 and 6, 2018- 9 AM - 4:30 pm
: CATA - Canadian Academy of Therapeutic Arts
120 Newkirk Road, Unit 12
Richmond Hill, ON L4C 9S7
: Susan Kagan and Jen Bromley
: $195.00 per person. Includes MHFA manual
One in three 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:
e 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.
Chorus York Presents: A Little Rock 'n' Pop
Chorus York, Richmond Hill's community choir, under the direction of Stéphane Potvin, invites you to A Little Rock 'n' Pop, a matinee program ofrock & pop favorites by Lennon & McCartney, Burt Bacharach & others. The concert will take place at 3:00 p.m. on March 25 at Thornhill Presbyterian Church, 271 Centre St., Thornhill.
This is Chorus York's third concert in a series of four being presented as part of a second successful season. The final concert of the 2017-2018 season will be presented in May. See
for details. Click here for more information.
Richmond Hill Speaker Series at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts - Inaugural Lecture
April 11, 2018
10 am to 12 noon
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!