David West  
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor 
Monthly Newsletter 

February 2019






                         Phone:  905-771-2480      Mobile Phone:  416-346-3090       Email -  david.west@richmondhill.ca

Access Richmond Hill:  905-771-8800 -  After Hours Emergency Number:  905-884-8013

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Newsletter At A Glance
In this Issue
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Winter to Spring in Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill was a great place to celebrate Winter during the first weekend of February with the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival. The Winter Carnival is always chock full of fun outside activities. Many of the attendees have participated in this event as they have for generations. 

Like many of you however, I now will look forward to the fading of winter and the beginning of spring. Another distinctly Canadian tradition happens every spring - Maple Syrup season. On March 23rd I will be proudly hosting my 3rd annual Maple Syrup Festival at the Elgin West Community Centre. Please feel welcome to join us at this event. There will be pancakes available with real Maple Syrup, horse and carriage rides to a demonstration Sugar Bush, sap boiling, and lots of fun activities for the family to enjoy. Details of this event are contained below in this e newsletter.

Also below in this e newsletter are details of recent deliberations and decisions from your Richmond Hill Council, including upcoming Operating Budget meetings. I am happy to hear from any residents with comments or concerns about these issues or any other issue in our community.
I hope you find the e newsletter informative and I would encourage you to share this with your friends and neighbours (there is a forward to a friend button at the bottom of the e newsletter). 

David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill

Banner Photo - Recent Lunar Eclipse captured by Ward 4 resident Chris Robart

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 Councillor Highlights 

1.   Mayor's Monarch Pledge Update - Monarch butterfly numbers up 144% at Mexico wintering grounds

There is some good news being reported from the Monarch Butterfly overwintering grounds in Mexico. The migration numbers are up from previous years even though the recovery is fragile. I am proud of the work being done in Richmond Hill and similar work being done in the United States, Mexico and other places in Canada. 

Richmond Hill was one of the first Canadian communities to sign The Mayor's Monarch Pledge which directs our efforts to increase Milkweed in naturalized areas and increases native plants that butterflies and other pollinators can use for food. There is always more to do but I am proud of our community's leadership and contribution!   Please click here to read an Associated Press news article posted by CBC in January.

2. Lunar New Year Celebrations in Richmond Hill
I am always honoured to accept a number of invitations to various Chinese New Year celebrations and it is always a pleasure to celebrate this occasion with so many members of our community. I want to wish all that celebrate the Lunar New Year - Year of the Pig, a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year ahead! 

3. Targeting Climate Change Event
Thanks to Richmond Hill resident Esther Collier, the organizers, and the Rich mond Hill United Church for hosting the first Targeting Climate Change event in our community. The event brought together citizens and organizations working in the area of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and the impacts of climate change. The goal of this series of events is: 
1.Exposure to the issue of climate change which will normalize it within the community and eliminate many of the barriers to action and advocacy
2.  Networking will facilitate action and reduce anxiety and stress related to the issue
3.  Exchange of information will increase the quantity and efficacy of actions and advocacy within the community

The event was well atte nded and will be the first meeting in a series addressing this important   concern. I was honoured to be a part of the panel and was happy to answer questions from the attendees about the role that Richmond Hill continues to play in reducing our collective GHG emissions as well as working to reduce the potential impacts to our community as larger and more frequent weather-related impacts occur. 

A good resource outlining Richmond Hill's efforts can be found in Greening the Hill, our Environment Strategy by clicking here

The next meeting will take place on March 9th from 1PM to 3PM at the Richmond Hill United Church and delegates can get more details and register to attend by contacting  targetclimatechange@gmail.com , or see below for more information on Targeting Climate Change #2.

4. Smart Commute Markham Richmond Hill
Some Fellow Members of the Smart Commute Advisory Board

For several years I have had the pleasure to serve on the Smart Commute Markham Richmond Hill advisory committee. Smart Commute is an organization that helps to develop and facilitate programs that help promote alternative transportation options for businesses and their employees to get to work. These programs help to provide cost effective ways to get "cars off the road" during rush hours in our community. For more information on this program please visit  smartcommutemrh.ca  

5.  AMO and M3RC 2019 Municipal Forum on the Waste-Free Ontario Act

I recently attended a forum related to Municipal Waste. This is not a glamorous subject, but it is an important one for municipalities. For a while now, our staff and Council have recognized that some significant changes to our waste collection responsibilities are likely coming from new Provincial regulations, and we must be prepared to respond to these changes when they come.

Ontario municipalities collectively incur $1.2B in costs related to waste, recycling, and organics collection and disposal. Of the approximately 9 million tonnes of waste sent to landfills, and burned in Energy to Waste facilities in Ontario each year, only 40% of this is from residential sources, the rest is from the industrial and commercial sectors. Waste collection and processing is a significant part of our Richmond Hill operating budget, and any changes dictated by the province to this area of responsibility can have a significant impact on our tax rate. 

The current and previous provincial government have been contemplating moving more to a "producer pay" model for waste collection and disposal. The general idea is that producers of packaging and products will pay more for the disposal and collection of that waste, rather than the current condition whereby municipalities must accept the lion's share of this cost burden. I believe that a move toward a producer pay model will have positive benefits for municipalities like Richmond Hill, because, while under this new model, the Town may still opt to collect the Blue and Green bins, as well as garbage, the producers of this waste will compensate the municipality for these costs.
Further, it has been indicated that if this new system were to be implemented, the producers may be more inclined to, for example, make their packaging more easily recyclable and cut down on the amount of packaging they produce. This would have a benefit to the environment.
The details of this potential plan have not yet been finalized, and there has not yet been a firm commitment from the current provincial government to proceed with this plan, but overall I believe that the possibility to lessen the tax burden on Richmond Hill taxpayers, and reduce the amount of waste that is generated is a positive step and one elected officials and staff must closely monitor.

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Richmond Hill Council News

This section presents a brief outline of some key issues that will be, or have been, discussed at Council over the past month. More information can be found by clicking on links to other information sources like news articles, my website, and the Town's website. Please also feel free to visit the Town website to view videos of past council meetings. These videos can be found by visiting  https://calendar.richmondhill.ca/default/Month , then clicking on the relevant meeting date, and then scrolling to the bottom of the page to view the archived video for the meeting.

1. Reducing Parkland Cash in Lieu Fees paid by Builders
In December, a motion was originally put forth by a member of Council to drastically reduce the amount of money the Town collects from developers when high-rise buildings are built. These funds are used specifically to pay for parkland revitalization and parkland purchases (called Parkland Cash in Lieu). These funds are intended to help us maintain the amount, and quality, of our parklands as we grow. 

The motion that Council passed will cut the amount builders will pay for parkland. I continue to have serious concerns about this move given that we are scheduled, over the next 10 years, to be collecting in the neighbourhood of $40M in Parkland Cash in Lieu. A shortfall in this funding source will mean that we will need to do without new parkland and revitalizing of older parks, or pay for it from  tax revenue and I do not believe this is an acceptable situation. 

As more people move to our community we will need more green space and amenities to accommodate this growth. In fact the Town recently passed a Parks Plan that outlines how we will grow our park space as our community grows. The Parkland Cash in Lieu, not the tax rate, would be the primary source of funding identified in the Parks Plan to pay for any parkland acquisition and park revitalization, so it is important that we collect enough money from growth to pay for growth. 

To view a thorough report on this issue in the Liberal Newspaper click here or here. For an interesting article that appeared in the January 30 edition of Novae Res Urbis Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area (an industry and municipal sector focused publication) click here.

2. Motion to Increase Density in Village Core / Repeal the Downtown Secondary Plan
A member of  Council  put forward a motion for our Official Plan and Downtown Secondary Plan to allow for increased density in the Village Core area of Richmond Hill. This motion also suggested that the connected laneways and mews and courtyards that are embedded in the Downtown Secondary plan also be reconsidered and possibly eliminated. 

The connected laneways embedded in this plan are an important part of the overall plan and are necessary to provide sufficient access, parking, walkability, and traffic permeability in the Village Core as the area becomes revitalized under the plan. 

I have serious concerns about this member motion. While the Downtown Secondary Plan that was recently passed in 2017 is not perfect I believe that the best approach would have been to work with landowners to find solutions rather than the more broad approach of repealing the Secondary Plan as was ultimately passed by Council in February.

This repeal means that going forward the Official Plan alone will be the policy that will guide development in the area and that a new Secondary Plan will need to be paid for and produced at a later date. During the process of producing a new Secondary Plan, there will be a public consultation to solicit input from residents living in the area. I will report any key dates as they become available so that citizens may participate again in this process. 
3. Important Operating Budget Dates    
On Monday, February 11th the Capital Budget was approved by  Council . This budget outlines spending on major projects in our community over the coming year. A good outline of this budget can be found  here  and the detailed budget can be found  here . ( More  information about the Capital Budget can be found below in this e newsletter)

The following are the dates for Budget Committee of the Whole meetings for the Operating Budget which begin at 1:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. This budget, in large part dictates the tax rate set by the Town each year. As always, citizen input is welcome and appreciated. Please feel free to contact me with any input to the budget process.

2019 Operating Budget
Tuesday, February 12
Tuesday, February 19
Tuesday, February 26

Click here to visit the Town's Website at  RichmondHill.ca/Budget to learn more about both the Operating Budget and the Capital Budget.

It is important to keep in mind that only approximately 25% of the total property tax collected by Richmond Hill goes to the municipality. The rest of the collected tax goes to the Region of York (approximately 50%) and the School Board (approximately 25%). For a good article from the Liberal Newspaper on the York Region budget deliberations please click here . T he article outlines the tax increase from the Region of York and what impact the Region of York increase will have on the total taxes paid by Richmond Hill residents.  

For a link to the Richmond Hill Operating Budget Staff Report click here .
5. Council to Consider Changing Richmond Hill to a City 
Council passed a member motion to discuss changing Richmond Hill from a "town" to a "city". The discussion will take place at the March 25, 2019 Council meeting. Information about the estimated cost to make this change will be shared at the March 25 Council meeting. 

This topic has come up several times during my time on Council but the change in name has always failed to pass. I have spoken over the years about continuing to be called the Town of Richmond Hill but as we continue to grow I have become increasingly aware that the term "Town" likely does not accurately describe the urban environment which we call home. I have also discovered in my research of this topic over the years that the change in name has little or no legal or practical impact to our community. I have heard the argument that Richmond Hill as a City may be viewed more favourably on an international stage, but I have not heard any solid evidence to reinforce this claim. I find myself with mixed feelings on the issue and would appreciate your thoughts on the matter so that I can accurately reflect these views when Council is scheduled to make a final decision in March. 

6. Motion to Consider Snow Windrow Clearing in Richmond Hill
Council has asked staff to research options to add snow windrow removal service (a windrow is the snow left from the snow plow at the ends of driveways). The cost and logistical implications of adding this service will be considered at a future Council meeting. 

Council did consider adding this service a few years ago. At that time the costs were found to be several millions of dollars per year. Council commissioned a survey to gauge public opinion on the issue considering the possible costs. The opinion reported back was that a majority of residents were not in favour of adding the service. 

I continue to hear from residents about the importance of adding to this service and I will look forward to receiving this detailed report from our Operations Staff. As always I am happy to hear your thoughts on this issue.

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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. 
Current and ongoing applications with little or no significant developments to report are listed below with a brief summary of the application only. New applications, since last month, or ones with significant developments since last month are listed with greater detail below.

Current Applications with no significant Changes to report since last month 

1. 129, 133, 141 Arnold Cres and 230 Major Mackenzie Dr. W.  
Potential townhouse development near Arnold Cres. and Major Mackenzie Dr.

2. 35 Wright Street
Redevelopment of a Heritage designated home on Wright Street just west of Yonge Street.

3.  251, 253 and 259 Oxford Street
A single detached home project on the south side of Oxford St West of Regent St. 

4. 11488 Yonge St and 49 Gamble Rd. (south west corner of Gamble and Yonge)
A proposed townhouse and condominium development near the south west corner of Gamble Rd. and Yonge St.

New Applications / Older Applications with new changes since the last month to report

1. 116 Lucas St. **New**
In early February a Council Public Meeting was held concerning a development application at the above address. This application proposes a semidetached dwelling for the subject lands. The area is within the Benson Hunt Tertiary Plan and as such, the development standards contained in this plan will guide development. To view the staff report for this application click here. To view details of the Benson Hunt Tertiary Plan click here. Given the public interest in this application I will be hosting a Residents' Information Meeting on Wednesday February 27th, 7 - 9 p.m. at McConaghy Centre in Room 204. Please email me at david.west@richmondhill.ca if you wish to attend this meeting.

2. 10922, 10944 and 10956 Yonge St. Diogliola Developments Inc. **NEW**
This application is for lands south of Canyon Hill Avenue, on the west side of Yonge St. The lands are a part of the Key Development Area Secondary Plan that was recently passed by Council. The applicant has made a number of appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board during the process leading up to the passing of the Secondary Plan. A settlement offer that was considered before Council on Monday, February 11th, 2019 to settle the outstanding appeals. The full staff report can be found by clicking here. At the meeting on February 11th, Council voted to give direction to our Planning Staff to approve the settlement offer. This approval will give the applicant the ability to move forward with the Townhouse component of the application described in the staff report.
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Richmond Hill Winter Carnival Report
January's extremely cold weather broke just in time for the 51st Richmond Hill Winter Carnival allowing attendees to enjoy the warmer weather and festivities.  I am always really proud of the Winter Carnival. It has been an event that many attendees have grown up with, including myself. I believe The Richmond Hill Winter Carnival is currently the longest running event in our community. 

The Richmond Hill Winter Carnival is also unique in that it is an event that is hosted by the community, for the community. It all began in 1968 as a street party for the citizens in the area when a number of residents dragged their BBQ's onto the ice at the Mill Pond to celebrate winter with their neighbours. 

To this day we receive important support from the Town of Richmond Hill but it is the citizens on the committee that work hard for much of the year to prepare for the next year's Carnival. I want to thank my fellow committee members for their hard work, and I look forward to seeing the community next year at the 52nd Richmond Hill Winter Carnival!

Opening Ceremonies Photo courtesy of 
Heidi Kreiner-Ley
Resident Heidi and Woof Jocks 
Canine All Star Photo courtesy of 
Heidi Kreiner-Ley

Elementary School Hockey Tournament Champions - Photo courtesy of 
Heidi Kreiner - Ley
An awesome Carnival Button Collection Photo courtesy of 
Heidi Kreiner-Ley

YRP cooking up sausages with Marty
Photo courtesy of Marney Beck Robinson
Frozen Mill Pond
Photo courtesy of Marney Beck Robinson

Happy to give prizes to the winners
Photo courtesy of Marney Beck Robinson

Fire to keep us warm

The Lou Moore Band - A Carnival Tradition
Train Rides around the pond

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 A Traditional Land Acknowledgement for Richmond Hill

Since the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Final Report, Canadians from across the country have been engaged in a path towards reconciliation to heal the past damage that has been done to the First Nations Communities in our country. Many individual actions by citizens, organizations, and governments have taken place but many more are still needed before we reach the goals set in the TRC report (for a link to the TRC Report Calls to Action click here).

In 2017 Richmond Hill hosted a sold out event at The Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts called The Secret Path : Walking Toward Reconciliation. Since that time Council also passed a motion to honour local First Nations by creating a public space dedicated to the First Nations community (to learn more about these two events click here and here (The Secret Path event is about half way down this article).   

At Council on February 11th I introduced the motion outlined below, as another step that our community can take along this path.  After a short discussion, Council decided to defer this matter to the March 25th Council meeting. It would be my hope that at that meeting, the Land Acknowledgement will be adopted. If you would like to communicate your thoughts to Council on this matter I would encourage you to come out to speak at the March 25th meeting (to register as a delegation email clerks@richmondhill.ca before noon on March 25th), or write a letter expressing your thoughts on the matter to the clerk at clerks@richmondhill.ca in advance to the March 25th Council meeting.

To view the Council discussion on this topic you can view the video from the meeting by clicking here. The part of the video that deals with the Land Acknowledgement runs between 12:25 min. and 31:41 min.

Member Motion Submitted by Councillor David West

Whereas Indigenous People have lived on the lands we now call Richmond Hill for many centuries and have made, and continue to make, very important contributions to Richmond Hill and to our country of Canada.

Whereas the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission final report outlines many actions that Canadians can, and must take, in order to repair our past relationships with Indigenous Communities.

Whereas "an important first step toward reconciliation is recognizing the existence of Indigenous people.  A shared understanding of how our collective past brought us to where we are today will help us walk together into a better future". ( 1)

Whereas since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission tabled its final report, an increasing number of organizations and communities are working to make a positive change in our relationship with Indigenous Communities. These communities are demonstrating their commitment to reconciliation by reciting a Land Acknowledgement to begin meetings and public gatherings.

Whereas residents of Richmond Hill have expressed a strong desire to pursue Truth and Reconciliation, as was evidenced in the October 2017 event, that took place in Richmond Hill, called The Secret Path: Walking Towards Reconciliation, and also in activities and policies of many faith based organizations

Whereas a Land Acknowledgement to begin Council meetings is consistent with actions that we have collectively taken in Richmond Hill in the past few years including the passing of a Council motion in 2018 to honour local Indigenous Communities with dedicating a park or community space in recognition of the important past and present Indigenous contribution to our community, and country.
Whereas according to the Association of Ontario Municipalities (AMO), "Traditional land acknowledgement statements are increasingly being used in Canada by governments, schools, post-secondary institutions, non-governmental organizations, and other civil institutions as a practice of reconciliation aimed at recognizing the traditional or treaty territories of Indigenous peoples. The statements are typically made at the introduction of meetings, gatherings, events, or presentations". (2)

Whereas by opening Council meetings with a Land Acknowledgment, Richmond Hill Council would be demonstrating that we are building a community that is contributing in a positive way to reconciliation efforts in Canada.

Therefore Be It Resolved that the following proposed Land Acknowledgement be added to the opening of Richmond Hill Council Meetings beginning with the meeting on February 25, 2019.

Land Acknowledgement
We would like to start by acknowledging that we are on the traditional territories of the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinaabe peoples, whose presence here continues to this day. We would also like to acknowledge the land we are on is at the meeting place of two treaties, the lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit and those of the First Nations of the Williams Treaty. We would thank them and other Indigenous peoples for sharing this land with us.
We acknowledge this land and people because the first step to reconciliation is recognizing the existence of Indigenous people.  A shared understanding of how our collective past brought us to where we are today will help us walk together into a better future. ( 3)

1  From the York Region District Public School Board Indigenous Land Acknowledgement
2  AMO Website
3  York Region District Public School Board Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

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3rd Annual Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival

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Richmond Hill Committed to Investing in the 
Future of the Community
 $43.9 million Capital Budget will fund key infrastructure projects

At a Council Meeting on February 11, Richmond Hill Council approved a $43.9 million Capital Budget for 2019 that will focus on managing and renewing Town assets and infrastructure to support a vibrant, sustainable municipality. Council also approved a Capital Forecast which includes placeholders for capital infrastructure projects over the next nine years.

"With the 2019 Capital Budget, we are maintaining and improving our infrastructure," said Mayor Dave Barrow. "All this while keeping in mind how projects today will impact operating budgets in the future." Some of the significant projects in the 2019 Capital Budget are:

* Highway 404 Flyover - North of 16th Avenue Land Acquisition $7,835,500
* Water Meter Replacements $4,225,100
* Elgin West Community Centre - HVAC and Pool Mechanical Systems $1,460,000
* King's College Park Revitalization $1,437,200
* Sidewalks and Trails - Lake to Lake Multi-Use Path (MUP) Phase 3 $1,434,100
* Fleet Replacement $1,385,000
* IT Foundational Projects (repair and replacement) $1,200,000
* Harris Beech Park $1,099,800
* Facilities - Energy Conservation Projects $1,096,500

In addition, the Capital Budget will fund smaller projects and requirements that allow Richmond Hill to continue to provide exceptional service to residents. Two additional sidewalk tractors with sander and plow attachments will help ensure staff have the equipment they need to maintain Richmond Hill's more than 700 km of sidewalks for residents' use.

The Budget funds a Parking Study for Lake Wilcox Park to make recommendations on options to manage parking at this busy lakefront park in Oak Ridges. Richmond Hill's Information Technology (IT) division will also engage an external consultant, funded by the Capital Budget, to conduct an IT security assessment. Through the assessment, the Town will ensure our existing systems are as secure as possible. 

Quick Facts
* Richmond Hill's Capital Budget outlines the financial needs for growth and maintenance of existing infrastructure, such as community centres, fire stations, pools, parks, trails, arenas, roads and sidewalks.
* The Capital Budget is funded through the Town's reserve funds, development charges and grants.
* From 2008 to 2017, Richmond Hill received $33.8 million in grant funding, which contributed to over $70 million in total project value.
* Richmond Hill Council will discuss the Operating Budget at Budget Committee of the Whole meetings on February 12, 19 and 26.
* The Operating Budget is expected to be approved on February 26.
Associated Links RichmondHill.ca/Budget
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Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts 
10th Anniversary Celebration

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Town of Richmond Hill Community Recreation Guide
Spring and Summer 2019

Visit RichmondHill.ca to register

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Mosaic Interfaith Out out of the Cold - "Coldest Night of the Year"
Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold is a charity that provides shelters for the homeless throughout York Region. They will be hosting the first annual "Coldest Night of the Year" walkathon in Richmond Hill on Saturday February 23rd from 4-7pm. 

Visit cnoy.org/location/richmondhill  to register or donate.   Call (416) 948 6682 for more information.

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REMINDER - Blue Bins with Lids Available
Proudly displaying my Blue Bin with a Lid
During a recent Friday Waste Collection day there were a number of incidents where blue boxes were knocked over in the extremely strong winds. When this happens litter is allowed to escape into our community. 

Earlier this year in response to similar concerns expressed to myself by citizens, our Environmental Staff introduced a new larger capacity Blue Bin with a lid. I am pleased to see this option now available. These larger bins with lids are expected to help with the problem of escaping litter on windy days.

I would encourage anyone wishing to help reduce wind blown litter, or those like me who want to replace an older smaller blue blue box, to consider going to the Operations Centre at 1200 Elgin Mills and upgrade to a new Blue Bin. 

The environment and your neighbours will thank you for helping to keep our community litter free.

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Heritage Centre Open House

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Richmond Hill Cultural Summit

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Clean Up Green Up Weeks

Richmond Hill is organizing the annual Clean Up, Green Up Weeks to give our Town a spring cleaning. In 2018, with the help of 7,744 volunteers, we cleaned more than 100 parks, trails, and streets in our community. We are proud to see Richmond Hill come together again in 2019 for this event. 
During the weeks of April 22 to May 6, community groups and schools throughout the Town will help pick up litter in our parks, boulevards, and other areas. Groups can register online until April 5 by visiting RichmondHill.ca/CleanUpWeeks.
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Targeting Climate Change #2  
Mobilizing Richmond Hill for Action!  

Contact information:  
Esther Collier at  targetclimatechange@gmail.com,
Facebook Group:  Targeting Climate Change - Richmond Hill 
If you would like to tweet about the event, please use the #TargetingClimateChangeRH and 
@TargetClimate and @ON_EcoSchools.com

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RHCPA Speaker Series - Spring 2019

To order your tickets click here.

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Strides For Stroke

To join my Team - The Richmond Hill Runners and Walkers please visit  https://mhf.akaraisin.com/ui/strides2019/team/212341
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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.

1. Hoot and Howl at Elgin West
Date: Friday, March 1, 2019
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Description: Join us for a night of fun and adventure! Enjoy a short indoor presentation on owls and coyotes followed by a trip into the woods. Together we will call out to these wild creatures in hopes they will hoot or howl back!
      Hike Distance: 1 km
      Difficulty: Easy
      Trail Surface Type: Natural
      Age Range: Family Friendly (recommended for children ages 7 and up)
      Meeting Place: Palisade Room
Contact:  Liana D'Andrea, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, 
or 416-661-6600 x5203
Cost: Free  
Location: Elgin West Community Centre, 11099 Bathurst Street, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 0N2

2. Winter Birds: March Break Family Fun!
Date: Saturday, March 16, 2019
Time: 10am - 12pm
Description: Try birdwatching this March Break! Learn about common winter birds and where to look for them. Try out binoculars, mobile apps and field guides and together we'll identify birds at
Lake St. George! Afterwards we'll warm up around a campfire with a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows.
      Hike Distance: 1 km
      Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
      Trail Surface Type: Natural
    Age Range: Family Friendly (recommended for children ages 5 and up). Beginner and expert birders welcome!
      Meeting Place: Davies Hall
Contact:  Liana D'Andrea, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, 
or 416-661-6600 x5203
Cost: Adult $12 +HST, Child (5-16) $6 +HST
Lake St. George Field Centre, 950 Bethesda Side Road, Richmond Hill, ON L4E 3G2

3. March Break Nature Camp
Dates: Monday, March 11 - Friday, March 15, 2019
Time: 9am - 4pm (Optional Extended Care: 8am to 9am and 4pm to 5:30pm)
Description: Come on an adventure with us this March Break! Campers will explore and learn about nature through active play, discovery and skill building. We will play games in the forest and have fun orienteering, tracking, creating nature art, making shelters and building a fire! For ages 6 to 12 years. Optional extended care and healthy, warm lunch available. Register for individual days or book the whole week and save!

Contact:  Maggie Ballantyne, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, 
or 416.661.6600 x5676
Cost: Child (6-12) $50/day or $225/full week. Optional Extended Care: $15/day. Optional Healthy, Warm Lunch: $6/day.
Location: Lake St. George Field Centre, 950 Bethesda Side Road, Richmond Hill, ON L4E 3G2

Create a Community Snowball Sculpture with artist Tibor Hrgitai

When life gives you SNOW, make snowballs!!

Bring community and loved ones to this snowball extravaganza. Let's make fun! 
Saturday, February 23 at 1PM at Lake Wilcox, Richmond Hill. Pass it on!

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Artifact of the Month

From the Town of Richmond Hill Collection
Courtesy of: Langstaff Family             002.09.24

February is all about the heart as we celebrate Valentine's Day. So, we might want to make sure our heart is healthy. This stethoscope belonged to Dr. Rolph Langstaff, a member of the prominent medical family here in Richmond Hill. Dr. Rolph's father was also a doctor and established a medical practice in the family home in the mid-1800s, known as Holmwood, on  107 Hall Street, Richmond Hill. The residence was used as a medical practice (the rear kitchen was even converted into an operating room at one time) for over 100 years.
Dr. Rolph and his wife Lillian, who also was a doctor, advocated for health within the community.  In 1974, Dr. James Langstaff, Rolph's son, helped open the Langstaff Wing at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital for the family's contributions.
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