David West
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor
Monthly Newsletter
April 2021
April in Richmond Hill
The province has pulled the "Emergency Brake" in Ontario and we are once again facing restrictions due to COVID-19. This is very disappointing news for all of us. After a year of struggling with the pandemic we can agree that getting back to a more normal life is what everyone wants as soon as possible. There has been continued progress toward administering the vaccines to as many people as possible and I would like to thank Richmond Hill staff for the good work they are doing at the Richmond Green vaccination site supporting York Region Public Health staff who are administering the vaccine.

As always there is up to date information in this e newsletter about current COVID-19 restrictions to help citizens navigate this difficult time. On that note there was an interesting and informative webinar hosted by Mackenzie Health Hospital with some important news about COVID-19 and our hospital’s front line efforts over the past year. More information about this webinar and a link to a recording for those that missed it is included below.

Despite the lockdown there is a great deal of work and community news to report. I have distilled some of the more important items below including several significant development applications being proposed in Ward 4. Also included below is very exciting news about another step being taken to finally get a subway extension to Richmond Hill. This most recent provincial announcement outlines a detailed route for the subway extension and includes two subway stations in Richmond Hill. Following from this announcement will be more communications in the near future available from Metrolinx to help keep residents informed as the project progresses. I will be hosting a meeting on April 29th at 7PM as a part of our our "Community Conversations Series". The meeting will feature a presentation by Metrolinx about the Yonge Street Subway extension. Residents will have a chance to learn more about this exciting project and ask questions to Metrolinx. Full details about the meeting including registration details are also listed below in this e newsletter.

Finally, as I have done for many years, I will be attending the Yellow Brick House, Break the Silence Gala. This year the gala will be hosted virtually. The need to support the great work Yellow Brick House provides in addressing domestic violence against women and children is greater than ever. I have been a supporter of Yellow Brick House for many years I hope that you can join me this year at the gala. Registration is free and details can be found below.

As always, I welcome a call or an email from anyone if they have any comments or questions about information contained in this e newsletter or any other issue about our community. My email is david.west@richmondhill.ca and my mobile phone number is 416-346-3090.

Banner photo courtesy of Chris Robart, Ward 4 Resident
David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill
Cell 416-346-3090
Office 905-771-2480
Councillor Highlights
City Closures and Cancellations in Response to New Provincial Shutdown Measure
The Ontario government announced a province-wide shutdown effective Saturday, April 3 for at least four weeks as well as an additional Stay at Home Order for the entire province. Please click here for the complete City Closures Announcement.  As a result, some of our recreation programs scheduled to begin have been cancelled.  Those impacted by cancelled programs and closed facilities will be contacted by the City directly.

Help keep our community safe by maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from others, wearing a mask or face covering indoors, as well as outdoors if you cannot physical distance, washing your hands thoroughly and often, staying home if you’re sick, even with mild symptoms, and downloading the COVID Alert app. Please, Get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.  Gathering limits are in place. To limit trips into the community, shopping online is encouraged. 

For ideas about staying active during lockdown, visit RichmondHill.ca/RecGuide 
Updates and information on the City’s response to COVID-19, including a complete list of what’s open and closed, is available online at RichmondHill.ca/COVID19
Mackenzie Health Foundation - Virtual Covid-19 Panel Discussion
Last month I was pleased to attend a virtual panel discussion hosted by Mackenzie Health Foundation. We heard directly from infectious diseases experts from Mackenzie Health about the COVID-19 vaccine, the new COVID-19 variants, and more. We also learned more about how Mackenzie Health has responded to the COVID-19 crisis and is working to keep the community safe.

For those who were unable to attend, a recording of the panel discussion is available.
5th Annual Richmond Hill Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival
Thank you to all who attended the Richmond Hill Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival last month! Due to the pandemic this year’s festival was delivered in a virtual format.

This year’s webinar included presentations from Toronto and Region Conservation Authority staff on a variety of Maple Syrup themed topics. The presentation also included a wonderful discussion about Maple Syrup from a First Nations perspective, as well as an opening and closing ceremony from Elder Whabagoon. Elder Whabagoon is an Ojibway Elder and she sits with the Loon Clan. She is a member of the Lac Seul First Nation, a Keeper of Sacred Pipes, a 60’s Scoop survivor, active community member, speaker, a land defender and water protector.

The recording of the video highlights from the event can be found at https://davidwest-richmondhill.ca/maple-syrup-festival/.

An excerpt of the event recording with the recipe for Maple Switchel can be found at https://youtu.be/dB73eSF-yt4. Maple Switchel is a delicious drink that attendees learned how to make, and is much better than any energy drink you can buy, in my humble opinion!

Thanks also to those who participated in our contests, including the Selfie with a Maple Tree contest. All prize winners have been selected and will be contacted soon to arrange for delivery of their prizes.

I look forward to hosting a live and in person Maple Syrup Festival next year and I hope you can join us in 2022!
Ward 4 Community Conversations
’'Community Conversations' s an idea I have implemented to engage our residents in meaningful conversations and to provide useful information while we continue to grapple with the physical distance regulations that the pandemic demands of us.  
Thanks to the participants who attended our first Ward 4 Community Conversation in February and the Maple Syrup Festival in March. I have heard from the community what topics are of interest to you. With that input in mind, here are the Community Conversations we have tentatively scheduled for the next four months:
Schedule of Ward 4 Community Conversations:
April 29th: Metrolinx presentation - Yonge North Subway Extension information and conversation;

May 27th: A Day in the Life of Richmond Hill Public Works;

June 24th: Considering "Local Food";

July 14th: Launch of The 2nd annual Richmond Hill Ward 4 Monarch Butterfly Tagging Challenge with Monarch Crusader Carol Pasternak

September TBA.
I will continue to host these Community Conversations on the Zoom platform from 7:30-8:30 until we can meet safely in person. You will be able to find the information for each upcoming event promoted on my website on the Events tab under, Ward 4 Community Conversations".

As mentioned above we are pleased to be welcoming a Metrolinx representative as our April guest to discuss the Yonge North Subway extension.  Please register here and join us to hear about the subway extension and the positive impact this project will have for Richmond Hill.
Indigenous Youth Summer Employment Mentorship and Secondary Education Program
I am pleased to help to help spread the word about a unique Indigenous youth Summer employment and mentorship program at the University of Toronto John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.
Led by Indigenous Elders and educators at a world-class academic institution, Nikibii Dawadinna Giigwag -- Anishnaabemowin for Flooded Valley Healing -- is a land-based program that provides an experiential pathway to postsecondary education by giving Indigenous youth the opportunity to be exposed to sustainable design and environmental conservation through an Indigenous lens and community engagement.

Participating youth in the program have access to state-of-the-art design and technology facilities at the Daniels Faculty. They work at a range of outdoor spaces and conservation areas to expand their knowledge and practical skills. Teachings shared by Elders, Knowledge Keepers, professionals, and mentors strengthen participants’ self-confidence, cultural identity, and connection to the land.
The program will be offered this Summer - July 12 - August 27 at U of T, from 9:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. and adjusted as needed to the COVID-19 provincial health regulations. To register or for more information email Angel.Levac@UToronto.ca.
Yellow Brick House - Break the Silence Virtual Gala
On May 7, 2021, Yellow Brick House will be hosting their annual Gala. This year the gala will happen virtually and registration is free! Since the start of COVID-19, fundraising has been more important than ever.

Sadly there has been a 30% increase in domestic violence during the pandemic. It is important that we all understand the importance of empowering women and children, especially those in crisis or experiencing trauma.

Yellow Brick is hoping that you might help with their mission to end domestic violence against women and children.

I will be in attendance and I hope to see you there as well!

Virtual Break the Silence Gala -to register visit http://yellowbrickhousevirtualgala.com/
Richmond Hill BIA - The Skillage in the Village Scavenger Hunt
The Village of Richmond Hill Business Improvement Area (BIA) is continuing the Skillage in the Village Scavenger Hunt for all of 2021!
It is free to play this outside virtual Scavenger Hunt where players answers clues on their phone while exploring Downtown Richmond Hill. 

To learn more about the event please visit

New prizes are available each month. You must follow the Village of Richmond Hill BIA on Instagram or Facebook (@richmondhillbia) - to hear about each month's prizes. 
Learn about BIA events, sign up for the BIA newsletter on the website Main Home - BIA (richmondhillbia.com)
Environment Strategy: Progress and Evolution
Richmond Hill’s Environment Strategy, “Greening the Hill: Our Community, Our Future” helps plan and coordinate efforts for the City and the community to protect, enhance and restore the natural environment.

·        How are we doing? Richmond Hill has released its first Environmental Scorecard to showcase progress and trends from the first five years of Greening the Hill (2015-2019).
·        Where do we go from here? Informed by the Scorecard and feedback from residents and stakeholders, Richmond Hill will update the Strategy with public consultation taking place through 2021-22. 

Visit RichmondHill.ca/GTH to view the Scorecard and to learn how you can get involved.
Stormwater Management Project Updates
Richmond Hill’s extensive stormwater management infrastructure, comprised of stormwater management ponds, sewers, catch basins, culverts, oil-grit separators and other components, allows us to manage runoff from rain and melting snow, helping protect our streams and rivers, prevent flooding and erosion, and improve water quality.

Some Ward 4 Projects of Interest
·        Mill Pond Park – the Stormwater Environmental Assessment for this site is re-commencing and will run concurrently with the Revitalization Master Plan. A Notice of Commencement was released in March, and a Public Open house is scheduled for this coming fall.
·        Don Head East – the Stormwater Pond and Valleyland Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment has commenced. A Notice of Commencement was released in February.
·        The Cedar Springs Stormwater Pond Feasibility Study is underway. Please visit 

June 21-27 is Pollinator Week
Pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and birds, are important to the health of our community. They help plants produce seeds and the fruits they bear. It is estimated that 35 per cent of global crop production relies on pollinators!

Richmond Hill is working to foster natural and built communities that support pollinators through our Environment Strategy, our partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation and participation in the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge and Bee City Canada initiatives.

You can help by planting native wildflowers and flowering species at home (check out our Healthy Yards Program!) and by creating pollinator habitat through community gardens.

Planning for Parks, Recreation and Culture
An important review of Richmond Hill’s Park Plan, Recreation Plan, and Culture Plan is being initiated this year. There is no question that are parks and open spaces are being well used during this last year. We need to plan for the future of parks in our community. Visit RichmondHill.ca/ParksPlan for more information.
Richmond Hill Council News
Proposed Development at Major Mackenzie Drive West and Arnold Crescent
A Council Public Meeting was held on March 24th for the proposed development application at the north west corner of Arnold Crescent and Major Mackenzie Drive West. This application is proposing buildings from 10-19 storeys in height and approximately 780 residential dwelling units on the subject lands.

At this meeting I expressed my serious concerns with the proposal and many residents also attended and added their voice regarding the scale and built form that this application proposes and the impact that it could have on the adjacent neighbourhood.

I am hoping to host a further Residents' Meeting on this application in May. Stay tuned for more details in the next e newsletter.

If you would like to view the staff report from the March 24th Council Public Meeting please visit https://pub-richmondhill.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=39423

To view the video of the meeting on March 24th visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFyKW3kgy9
Proposed Development at 11160 Yonge Street
This application is for an Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment to permit the redevelopment of the Yonge Street site for an 18, 35 and 15 storey mixed-use development providing for 731 residential units, 510 m2 of retail, an overall gross floor area of 58,940 m2.

This application came to a Council Public Meeting on April 7th, 2021.

This application represents considerably more height and density than is currently allowed in Richmond Hill's Official Plan and I have concerns about a number of aspects of the proposal which I outlined at the meeting.

A staff report outlining this application can be found at https://pub-richmondhill.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=39575

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at david.west@richmondhill.ca or by phone at 416-346-3090
Rumble Pond Park South Trail Improvements
Plans are underway for the repair and replacement of the Rumble Pond Park South Trail system. This trail system is located east of Bathurst Street and south of Mill Street. The proposed work includes upgrades to the playground, pathway, bridge crossings and steps.

Construction is proposed for 2024 pending budget approval. For full details please visit - https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/things-to-do/Parks-Projects.aspx Scroll down on this page to the Rumble Pond Park South tab.

The recommended proposal is based on the public consultation and a thorough examination by Richmond Hill parks staff and myself. Generally the park playground equipment will be replaced but the playground will be left where it exists currently and the trail sections of this park will be refurbished.
Pre-order Native Plants and Learn How to Create an Eco-friendly Garden
The City of Richmond Hill is giving residents the opportunity to learn about sustainable gardening and create beautiful, eco-friendly gardens at a low cost through its annual Healthy Yards Program.

From now until May 24, residents can pre-order native trees, fruit and flowering shrubs, and perennial wildflowers to plant on their property. Rain barrels and backyard composters are also available to all York Region residents.

For more details and to review the list of free gardening webinars available to residents, please click here
Development Application
Millwin Investments Ltd.
11300 Yonge Street
Our Planning Staff has recently received a complete development application for this address. The details of this proposal are contained below. A Council Public Meeting has has been scheduled for May 5, 2021 at 7:30. Please visit the following link for more information

The development proposal consists of one 12-storey condominium apartment building oriented along Yonge Street as well as ten townhouse blocks located at the rear portions of the subject site. Additional details on the apartment building and townhouses are highlighted as follows:

Condominium Apartment Building:
• 12-storey building height terracing to seven storeys to the rear;
• 277 condominium units consisting of a mix of one to two bedroom units;
Indoor and rooftop private amenity spaces; and
• Two levels of underground parking accommodating 269 parking spaces for residents and visitors, along with an additional 21 grade related visitor parking spaces located within an interior courtyard, screened from Yonge Street.
City Invites Feedback on Community Energy and Emissions Plan
Richmond Hill is embarking on a journey to become more resilient to the effects of climate change and is asking residents for comments on its draft Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP). The CEEP will guide our efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050 by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), conserving energy and exploring related economic opportunities. Click here to read more. Anyone wishing to provide feedback can email comments to greenthehill@richmondhill.ca  until April 12, 2021.
Richmond Hill wants your input on Zoning By-Laws
The City of Richmond Hill is launching a series of surveys this spring to seek community feedback as part of a comprehensive review of all Zoning By-laws. Zoning By-laws affect everyone and all properties in the City. They regulate land use, including where buildings (e.g. houses and offices) and other structures (e.g. sheds and garages) can be located, what size they can be and how they may be used.

As part of Council’s priority to balance growth and green, the City is working on a Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review of existing By-laws. To read the full press release and the list of surveys coming this spring, please click here. 
Elgin Mills Greenway Invasive Species Management
As part of the post construction maintenance of the stormwater management facility in the Elgin Mills Greenway (see map above) some of the areas within the facility will undergo invasive species management. This work is taking place to ensure the newly planted areas have a chance to establish over the long term.
Restoration work is being completed by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), working on behalf of the City and will include:

•Removal and treatment of invasive plants that are degrading the health of the woodland (2021 to 2022)
•Tree planting (2023)
•Monitoring (2021-2024)
Beginning in April this year and then again in the fall, invasive species dominating some of the green space areas around the ponds will be removed and the area will be treated with herbicides in an effort to reduce populations and promote the growth of newly planted trees and shrubs.

This work is necessary in order to ensure the invasive plants don’t continue to spread and impact native trees and shrubs planted in the areas. For updates, please visit www.RichmondHill.ca/ElginGreenway.
Yonge North Subway Extension: Metrolinx Initial Business Case Announcement
Metrolinx has released the Initial Business Case for the Yonge North Subway Extension (YNSE) to Richmond Hill and confirmed plans to bring two subway stations into Richmond Hill. 
This marks a significant milestone for this major infrastructure project and a pivotal moment for our community. The subway extension is a foundation piece in our future vision for Richmond Hill Centre. It will help connect our residents and businesses to opportunities across the GTHA and bring new investment into Richmond Hill. 

To read more details about the Metrolinx Initial Business Case for the Yonge North Subway Extension please click here.  

We are pleased to be welcoming a Metrolinx representative as our April Ward 4 Community Conversation guest. Please register here and join us to hear about the extension and participate in the conversation.  
Powell Street and Wright Street Reconstruction
City’s contractor, Tectonic Infrastructure Inc., will be on site to prepare for the upcoming road reconstruction.
Starting in late March 2021, OZA Inspections Ltd. (Tectonic’s subcontractor) will be conducting pre-condition survey and may need to briefly enter the private properties on Powell Street and Wright Street to review the existing condition.

Utility locate activities are expected to begin in early April 2021.

After the completion of utility locates, the construction will commence in April/May 2021 pending on the weather condition and is anticipated to be completed by the end of September 2021. To view the entire construction notice please click https://davidwest-richmondhill.ca/powell-street-and-wright-street-reconstruction-3/

Please visit the City's Website: RichmondHill.ca/CapitalProjects
Upcoming Events
Community Tree Planting and Stewardship Events

Virtual Earth Day Event
Join us on Thursday, April 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for Growing Green: Actions for a Sustainable City - a live online event to celebrate our environmental achievements, learn about future plans, and see how YOUR actions can make a difference.

  • Presentations from City staff and community members
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Eco-tips, games, and prizes

Registration is FREE and will be available soon. Subscribe to this webpage by clicking the Learn More button to receive an email notification when registration is live.

Ward 4 Community Conversations

’'Community Conversations' was an idea I have implemented to engage our residents in meaningful conversations and to provide useful information while we continue to grapple with the physical distance regulations that the pandemic demands of us.  

We are pleased to be welcoming a Metrolinx representative as our April 29th guest from 7:30 p.m. - 830 p.m. to discuss the Yonge North Subway extension. Please click the Learn More button to register and join us to hear about the subway extension and the positive impact this project will have for Richmond Hill.

York Region Environmental Alliance Spring 2021 Workshops

Nourish your yard organically this Spring!

About this Event
Join us for a presentation and Q&A with the York Region Environmental Alliance to discover strategies for practicing toxin-free lawn care and naturalizing your garden.
This is one of two workshops for Seedy Saturday.
To register for our Flower Garden Basics Workshop, click HERE

This program will be hosted on Zoom. Priority will be given to confirmed RHPL members. Click on the Learn More button to register!
Yellow Brick House - Break the Silence Virtual Gala - May 7, 2021

On May 7, 2021, we will be hosting our annual Gala virtually, and registration is free. Virtual Break the Silence Gala -Registration is FREE...click on the Learn More button to Register.
York Region Environmental Alliance Spring 2021 Workshops

Interested in reducing your carbon footprint but don’t know where to start?

About this Event
From paper and cleaning supplies to batteries and clothing, this workshop presented by the York Region Environmental Alliance will show you how to green your shopping choices.
Click on the Learn More button to register.

Contact Me
Phone: 905-771-2480
Mobile Phone: 416-346-3090
225 East Beaver Creek Rd, Richmond Hill,
ON L4B 3P4, Canada. 905-771-8800
To sign up for this e-newsletter, click here.