Richmond Hill, Ontario

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Richmond Hill
Town
Town of Richmond Hill
Town of Richmond Hill Office at Highway 7 & East Beaver Creek Road
Town of Richmond Hill Office at Highway 7 & East Beaver Creek Road
Flag of Richmond Hill
Flag
Motto: Official: En la rose, je fleuris (French for "Like the rose, I flourish")
Unofficial: A little north, a little nicer[1]
Location of Richmond Hill within York Region.
Location of Richmond Hill within York Region.
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Regional municipality York Region
Incorporated January 1, 1873 (village)
Incorporated 1957 (town)
Government
 • Mayor Dave Barrow
 • Regional Councillors Vito Spatafora, Brenda Hogg
 • Governing Body Richmond Hill Town Council
 • MPs Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges only),
Costas Menegakis (Richmond Hill proper)
 • MPPs Helena Jaczek (Oak Ridges only),
Reza Moridi (Richmond Hill proper)
Area[2]
 • Total 100.95 km2 (38.98 sq mi)
Elevation 233 m (764 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 185,541 (Ranked 26th)
 • Density 1,838.0/km2 (4,760/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
Forward sortation area L4B, L4C, L4E, L4S
Area code(s) 905/289
Twin cities
 • Lakeland, Florida  United States
Website www.richmondhill.ca

Richmond Hill (2011 population 185,541) is a town located in Southern Ontario, Canada in the southern portion of York Region, Ontario. It is part of the Greater Toronto Area and is bounded by Bloomington Rd. (Aurora town limit) to the north, York Regional Road 7 (Vaughan city limit west of Yonge St., Markham city limit east of Yonge St.) to the south, Bathurst St. (Vaughan city limit) to the west, and Ontario Highway 404 (Markham city limit) to the east. Its southern limit is about 4 kilometres (3 miles) north of the Toronto city limit, Steeles Avenue, and approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the downtown core of Toronto. The town extends 14 kilometres north-south and 7 kilometres east-west. It is the third most populous municipality in York Region and the 28th most populous municipality in Canada.

Richmond Hill has in recent years seen a huge population upsurge, being Canada's fastest-growing community in the 1990s. Richmond Hiill is an affluent town with a large number of people employed in areas of business, finance, industry and healthcare. The town is home to the world-renowned David Dunlap Observatory telescope, at one time the second largest telescope in the world, and still the largest in Canada. It is twinned with Lakeland, Florida.[3]

History[edit]

A Cenotaph on Yonge Street

The Regional Municipality of York was established by Bill 102 An Act to Establish the Regional Municipality of York of the provincial parliament, passed on June 26, 1970 and coming into force on January 1, 1971.[4] The act expanded Richmond Hill's borders, annexing parts of Whitchurch Township, Markham Township, Vaughan Township and King Township into Richmond Hill, expanding the area covered from 1,700 acres (6.9 km2) to 27,000 acres (110 km2) and the population from a little over 19,000 to some 34,000. The town grew to encompass the communities of Gormley, Dollar, Langstaff, Carrville, Headford, Elgin Mills, Jefferson, Bond Lake, Temperanceville, Lake Wilcox, Oak Ridges and Richvale. While Richmond Hill was a prosperous, well developed town, many of the outlying areas annexed were far more rural, with dirt roads, no water mains or sewers and no streetlights, and the time needed to bring municipal services up in these areas, combined with residual unequal tax assessments caused considerable conflict in the municipal politics for some time. Policing was taken over by the York Regional Police, but fire protection remained with Richmond Hill, whose firefighting force quickly grew. Having hired its first full-time employee in 1967, it had fourteen full-time employees by 1971.

Yonge Street through Richmond Hill expanded from two lanes to four in 1971, relieving congestion on what had become known as "Ontario's worst stretch of highway".[4]

The Richmond Hill Dynes Jewellers softball team was the 1972 Softball World Champions.[4] The Royal Canadian Air Farce was recorded at the Curtain Club Theater in Richmond Hill for its first 5 seasons on radio, beginning in 1973.[5] The Air Farce returned for an anniversary recording in the 1990s. Also in 1973 was the centennial of the town's incorporation as a village, and the town set up a number of celebratory activities, including a beard growing contest, commissioning a centennial song, a parade, a street dance and the unveiling of an historic plaque honoring the town's founding in front of the municipal offices. June 27 was officially declared Russell Lynett Day, named after the town's clerk, only the third in its existence. 1973 also saw the sale of the last of the original rose-growing greenhouses in Richmond Hill. Development had led to increasing property taxes and the H.J. Mills greenhouses relocated to Bayview Avenue and Elgin Mill Road. The site of the greenhouses was developed as a subdivision. The fast-growing town set aside significant areas for parks, with five new parks dedicated in 1973, and two more in 1974. The Richmond Hill Historical Society was founded in 1973.[4] The society was dedicated to preserving the history of Richmond Hill and raising awareness of the town's history. Their first action was to restore 150 year old house, known as the Burr House.

As the 1970s went on, the population growth of Richmond Hill remained large. In 1976, home prices in Richmond Hill were among the highest in Canada.[4] By this time, the town council was split over whether to keep expanding rapidly. The deadlock over a fifty-five house subdivision named Springmills Estate lead to one councilor saying that it was not the reform council it was dubbed, but a "deformed council". Other housing projects faced similar problems as councilors debated many things, including the need for affordable housing and the encroachment of homes into the farmland and the Oak Ridges Moraine.

GO train service was extended to Richmond Hill in 1978, officially opened on April 29, 1978 by Bill Davis.[6]

Growth in Richmond Hill slowed towards the end of the 1970s, with M.L. McConaghy Public School closing in 1979 due to dropping enrollment.[4] At the same time, Richmond Hill began to make official plans for future land development. The first official plan concerned a 700-acre (2.8 km2) industrial park at Leslie Street and Highway 7 named Beaver Creek. A commercial area within the park spread into the hamlet of Dollar. The plan was rejected, however, by the Ontario Municipal Board, and Richmond Hill was the first municipality in Ontario to have its official plan rejected outright by the board. The whole affair was subject to much controversy in the community, although the town council eventually declined to appeal the decision.

When the new council convened in 1980, led by new mayor Al Duffy, the town remained without a development plan. The council hired civic planner Peter Walker to produce a new official plan. By September 1981, the new plan was draft, with limited development of northern Richmond Hill, industrial development centred in the south-east part of town and commercial centres remaining along Yonge Street.[7] The plan was approved in July 1982 by the Ontario Municipal Board.

A clash over the use of the land in Langstaff, known as the Langstaff Jail Farm erupted in 1982 between Richmond Hill and Toronto, which owned the land.[8] The 632-acre (2.56 km2) plot of land had been acquired by Toronto in 1911, and was unused in 1982. Toronto's plans for development clashed with those of Richmond Hill over the balance of industry and residential development, with Richmond Hill favouring more industrial development.[9]

The rose business left Richmond Hill in June 1982, with the closure of H.J. Mills florists. Mills had died in 1980 leaving the company to his son, but the poor economic conditions, combined with increasing property taxes in the growing city made the business unprofitable.[7] A 1984 contest organised by The Liberal had readers submit entries for a new town slogan. The town council choose three of the submissions which residents then voted on, and "A little north, a little nicer" became Richmond Hill's new town slogan.

Richmond Hill's growth continued explosively in the 1990s, fueled in significant part by immigration. In the early 90s, Statistics Canada named Richmond Hill as the fastest-growing community in Canada.[10] The demographic base began to change too, with the Richmond Hill Association for Multiculturalism founded in 1989 by Jay Chauhan. Today, Richmond Hill is a multicultural town, with a Hebrew school, a Hindu temple, Chinese language churches, Italian Community Club, Italian language church services and other facilities serving the needs of the communities.

History of the Town Logo & Crest[edit]

Village of Richmond Hill - with the original Logo

In September 2010, the Town of Richmond Hill unveiled its new logo and modified Town crest. The new logo will be used to identify all municipal services and property, for the promotion of the municipality, and for all other municipal business. The Town crest remains an important part of Richmond Hill's identity. As such, a modified crest very similar to the one most recently used will remain a part of Richmond Hill's brand and will be used for official Council business only.[11]

[edit]

Richmond Hill's new logo is meant to reflect the rich history of the Town, but also the modern and progressive community it is today. It denotes a feeling of momentum, a community moving forward with a prosperous future.

The element of people is included with the "R" in "Richmond" being symbolic of a person with open arms, creating a sense of inclusivity and community. The word "Richmond" in a script font pays homage to the Town's rich history.

The font used for "Hill" is tall and strong like a building. The script font, balanced with a more modern counterpart, effectively creates a connection between past and present.

The graphic icon under the name features two hills, symbolic of what is unique to Richmond Hill - its higher geographical elevation, its physical position of being on a hill and the hills that run through the community. The symbol of the hills is also forward-moving and energetic, supporting the theme of progress.

There are two different shades of green. The darker green represents the green shown in the Town's crest, while the lighter green reflects the Town's commitment to the environment.

Town Crest

Richmond Hill's association with the Duke of Richmond started in 1819 with his visit to the area. About 1919, the Council of Richmond Hill commissioned a crest for its signs and stationery. Adapting the crest from the Duke of Richmond's coat-of-arms, it represented a brave and regal lion standing on a hat with ermine (both symbols of high rank) framed by Richmond Hill's world-famous roses and the motto "Like the rose I flourish."

In giving due respect to the Town's rich history, a modified version the crest remains in use. It continues to feature elements of the Duke of Richmond's Coat of Arms and 12 roses that speak to the Town's history of once being the rose growing capital of Canada.

Throughout the years, the crest has more or less stayed intact. The revised crest is different from the previous one in that it removes the words 'Town of' in order to allow for an enlarged type size for "Richmond Hill", and removes the banner that was reinstituted in conjunction with the Town's 125th birthday some years ago. These changes make it easier to read when reproduced, and allows the Town to maintain the integrity of the historic crest.

The crest will be reserved for use by the Mayor and Council for official Town of Richmond Hill business such as plaques, certificates presented on behalf of Council or the corporation, Councillor's stationery, as well as the Town flag.[12]

Culture[edit]

Politics[edit]

The town's motto is En la rose, je fleuris (French for "Like the rose, I flourish"), reflecting either the motto of the Duke of Richmond, or the fact that the town was a centre of rose-growing in the early 20th century. At that time, it was known as the "Rose Capital" of Canada. A more recent motto for Richmond Hill is A little north, a little nicer.

Richmond Hill is the only municipal Canadian government to have light pollution laws in place due to the presence of the David Dunlap Observatory.

In June 2013, the town's council passed a bylaw to ban the number 4 from new street numbers because it is considered to be bad luck by some Asian cultures.[13]

Governance[edit]

The town is governed by the Richmond Hill Town Council, which operates on a Mayor-Council system with six Ward Councillors and two Regional Councillors, plus the Mayor. The council serves a four-year term, after which a new council is elected by qualified electors in Richmond Hill.

The council derives its authority primarily from the Municipal Act, 2001 and the amendments of the Municipal Law Amendment Act, 2006.[14] Richmond Hill is a lower-tier municipality and has the roles and responsibilities of that position. The municipality has a wide purview relating to the interests of the municipality and its residents to develop and maintain policies, practices and procedures through the issuing of bylaws relating to highways, transportation systems apart from highways, waste management, public utilities, culture, parks, recreation and heritage, drainage and flood control, parking, animals, economic development and the licensing of business. The town in also responsible for maintaining its finances in order to provide relevant services and for maintaining an official plan to guide development.

Elections[edit]

Elections for municipal offices are held every four years in conjunction with other municipal elections in Ontario. Elected positions include mayor, regional and local councillor and ward councillors (for six different wards) on the Richmond Hill Town Council, as well as trustees for the York Region District School Board, the York Catholic District School Board and for Conseilleres (school trustees) for the Conseil scolaire de district du Centre-Sud-Ouest and Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud. The mayor and regional and local councillors also serve on York Regional Council.

Recreation[edit]

Richmond Hill Public Library, the Central Library, one of four branches located in Richmond Hill.

Richmond Hill has 166 parks, under the Town of Richmond Hill Parks, Recreation, and Culture department, of which most are small urban parks and 544 hectares of undeveloped natural area for recreation.[15] The largest such park is Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park which includes several baseball diamonds, two ice skating rinks, a 300-person amphitheatre and a skateboard park.[16] Tennis courts are located throughout the town with two quality tennis facilities located at David Hamilton Park and Crosby Park, home to the Richmond HIll Lawn Tennis Club. The Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club is the town's community tennis club offering residents organized tennis programs including: competitive doubles, house league, singles ladders and social tennis.

The Town also has a total of 5 public swimming pools, including Canada's largest indoor wave pool[citation needed]. The Wave Pool is a family-friendly, wheelchair accessible facility that includes a swirl pool, on-deck sauna, and 160 ft twisting water slide. Additionally, each summer, the town features a concert series entitled "Concerts in the Park". Each concert has a specific theme, such as children's music and "The Beach Boys", and all are very popular. These series are held by Mill Pond and the Richmond Green. The Richmond Hill Heritage Centre serves as a museum of the town's history. It also runs a variety of programmes related to the town's history.[17] The town is also home to the Richmond Hill Country Club, which features an 18 hole championship layout, Summit Golf & Country Club, and the Bloomington Downs Golf Course.

In 2009, Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts was opened. This 43,000-square-foot (4,000 m2) multi-use cultural facility offers quality entertainments of art and music.

Richmond Hill was a winner in the 2003 National Communities in Bloom competition, with a special mention about the town's floral displays.

Sport clubs[edit]

  • Richmond Hill Aquatic Club
  • Richmond Hill Canoe Club[18]
  • Richmond Hill Curling Club[19]
  • Richmond Senators - Soccer
  • Richmond Hill Soccer Club[20]
  • Richmond Hill Phoenix Baseball Club[21]
  • Richmond Hill Stars - Hockey Club[22]
  • Richmond Hill Gymnastics Club
  • Richmond Training Centre - Figure Skating
  • Richmond Hill Rams - Junior A Hockey Club
  • Richmond Hill Lightning - Ringette Club
  • Richmond Hill Squash Club
  • Richmond Hill Lawn Tennis Club
  • Richmond Hill Figure Skating Club
  • Stars United Baton Club - Baton Twirling[23]

Demographics[edit]

Richmond Hill is one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada, with a large multicultural population. The 2011 Census recorded a population of 185,541,[24] an increase of 14% from 2006 and more than double the national and provincial averages of 5.9% and 5.7% respectively. The town's population is projected to exceed 200,000 by the year 2015.[24]

Language[edit]

According to 2011 Census data, English is the mother tongue of (a comparatively low) 40.7% of the residents of Richmond Hill. Native speakers of Cantonese make up 8.6% of the population, closely trailed by those of Persian (Farsi), constituting 8.5% of the town's population. Not otherwise specified Chinese languages serve as mother tongue for 6.5% of Richmond Hill residents. Following are Russian (5.3%), Mandarin (3.9%), Italian (3.9%), and Korean (2.3%), thus formulating a very diverse linguistic milieu.

Ethnic and religious groups[edit]

In 2011, Richmond Hill reported the highest West Asian percentage of any Canadian settlement at 8.6%,[25] although in total numbers (15,890) it ranked second after Toronto (50,235). Richmond Hill also had the 5th highest East Asian and Chinese population ratios for any Canadian settlements larger than 100,000 residents. It is also one of the eight large Canadian cities with no majority racial group, as its highest group is White at 46.9%.

Racial Demographics in Richmond Hill, Ontario - 2011 [26]
Race Population # Population %
White 86,510 46.9%
East Asian[NHS 1] 49,545 26.9%
Chinese 43,530 23.6%
Korean 5,045 2.7%
Japanese 970 0.5%
West Asian 15,890 8.6%
South Asian[NHS 2] 15,015 8.1%
Southeast Asian[NHS 3] 5,460 3.0%
Filipino 4,050 2.2%
Southeast Asian (Other)[NHS 4] 1,410 0.8%
Black 3,720 2.0%
Arab 3,045 1.7%
Latin American 1,730 0.9%
Aboriginal[NHS 5] 395 0.2%
First Nations 265 0.1%
Metis 65 0.0%
Inuit 0 0.0%
Multiracial + Metis[NHS 6] 2,410 1.3%
Multiracial[NHS 7] 2,345 1.3%
  1. ^ China, Korea and Japan are all located in East Asia
  2. ^ India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are located in South Asia.
  3. ^ The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia.
  4. ^ Includes the marking of "Southeast Asian".
  5. ^ Includes all 5 of the Aboriginal markings; "First Nations", "Metis", "Inuk (Inuit)", "Multiple Aboriginal identities", "Aboriginal, not includes elsewhere".
  6. ^ Metis people are multiracial, however they are not under the "more than one visible minority" marking on the 2011 National Household Survey, as they have their own marking.
  7. ^ Only includes the "more than one visible minority" marking on the 2011 NHS survey.

In the Canada 2006 Census,[27] the self-reported religious groups in Richmond Hill were:

Religious Affiliation Number Percentage
Christian - Catholic[28] 39,845 30.3%
Christian - Protestant 25,270 19.3%
No Religious Affiliation[29] 25,260 19.1%
Jewish 10,130 7.7%
Muslim 9,965 7.6%
Christian - Orthodox 7,700 5.9%
Christian (unspecified)[30] 5,465 4.2%
Christian - Latter Day Saints[31] 2,665 2.2%
Buddhist 2,640 2.0%
Hindu 2,470 1.9%
Eastern Religions[32] 825 0.6%
Sikh 530 0.4%
Other religions[33] 35 0.0%

History[edit]

Population growth in Richmond Hill
Year Population
1877 659[34]
1911 652[35]
1921 1,055[35]
1931 1,295[35]
1953 3,300
1971 33,030[36]
1976 35,376[36]
1981 38,685[36]
1986 46,766[37]
1989 66,456[7]
1991 80,142[38]
1996 101,725[37]
2001 132,030[39]
2006 162,704[40]
2011 185,541[41]

Economy[edit]

Industries of employment, from the 2001 Census
Industry People employed
Agriculture and other resource-based industries 820
Manufacturing and construction industries 12,200
Wholesale and retail trade 13,995
Finance and real estate 7,990
Health and education 9,960
Business services 16,925
Other services 9,850

According to the town's website as of 2011, Richmond Hill is an affluent community with more than 52% of families reporting incomes of greater than $70,000 and over 31% of households reporting incomes greater than $100,000. The average household income in Richmond Hill is $100,900 which is 34% higher than the Canadian average and 26% higher than the provincial average. Based on the 2006 Census, 42.62% of families in the Town of Richmond Hill earned over $100,000 and over. The employment rate of the town is 66.36% with the most prevalent occupations being in the business, finance and administration and management sectors.[42] The 2006 Census showed that the unemployment rate is very low at 3.77%, compared with the 7.4% unemployment rate across Canada during the time of the Census.[42]

The 1990s and 2000s are a period of strong economic growth for Richmond Hill; In 1999 industrial, commercial and institutional growth was valued at $88.9 million, up from $67.9 million in 1998. The economic growth of 1999 won the town's economic development department three provincial awards from the Economic Developers Council of Ontario.[43] The border between Richmond Hill and Markham is a rapidly growing area for information technology and high-tech industry with over 1,000 such businesses located along their border in 2000.[44]

Most business in Richmond Hill are small businesses, with more than half of all employers in the town having four workers or less.[37] The town is home to the corporate headquarters of Acklands Grainger Inc., Compugen Inc., Compuware, DMC Mining Services, Lexmark, Rogers Communications, BMW Canada, Science & Medicine Canada, and Staples.

Largest employers in Richmond Hill, 2005[37]
Employer Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital Apotex Bulk Barn Foods
Employees 960 800 600

Education[edit]

The York Region District School Board operates 25 public elementary schools in Richmond Hill, with 5 additional elementary schools in the planning stage.[45] It also operates 5 secondary schools in Richmond Hill: Alexander Mackenzie High School, Bayview Secondary School, Langstaff Secondary School, Richmond Green Secondary School and Richmond Hill High School. Students in schools in the York Region District School Board have scored above the provincial average on the Assessment of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, Primary Division (Grades 1–3) and Junior Division (Grades 4–6) since their introduction in 2002.[46] The board's students in academic math streams have performed above the provincial average on the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics every year since its inception in 2002, while those in applied math streams were below the provincial average in 2002-2005, and above the provincial average from 2005-2007.

The York Catholic District School Board operates 13 Catholic elementary schools in Richmond Hill. It also operates two Catholic secondary schools, St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School and Jean Vanier Catholic High School.[47]

There are also three private primary schools located in Richmond Hill and four private secondary schools, including Holy Trinity School, Discovery Academy, Toronto Montessori Schools, and Richmond Hill Montessori School.[48]

Post-secondary education services are provided to the residents of Richmond Hill by several post-secondary educational institutions in Toronto, some of which have satellite campuses in nearby communities.

Former Governor General Michaëlle Jean was a guest at the opening ceremony of a school named after her, in 2008, the Michaëlle Jean Public School.

Oak Ridges[edit]

Oak Ridges is an unincorporated community to the north of Richmond Hill's downtown and south of Aurora. It has fallen within the limits of Richmond Hill ever since its annexation in 1971. It is largely residential, with most commercial development located along Yonge Street. Located about 16.5 km north of Toronto and has a population of approximately 20,000 people. The town developed around Lake Wilcox, the largest lake in the area and a community within Oak Ridges, and has continued to expand slowly since its annexation. In the 1990s, Oak Ridges experienced moderate growth, which has spurred environmental action and anti-development movements by numerous organizations. Population has grown significantly as a result of development initiatives along Bayview Avenue. The Oak Ridges Community Center was built and completed in June 2012 to accommodate community demand.[49]

Other Regions[edit]

Times Square

Southern Richmond Hill is home to the town's and industrial region housing most of the town's hotels, as well as the main commercial area of the town's Chinese community. The northern part of town is considered to be Old Richmond Hill as it is a historical area. Central Richmond Hill is a very commercial area, housing multiple malls, plazas and entertainment buildings, such as theatres and restaurants. The northernmost part of the town is mostly farm land, though it is slowly being developed.

During the 1990s, Chinese immigrants primarily from Hong Kong moved to Richmond Hill, where they set up businesses and shops catering to the community. Many shops and restaurants were established in suburban-style shopping malls and plazas, such as Times Square, along a stretch of Highway 7 between Bayview Avenue and Leslie Street.

Mill Pond[edit]

Mill Pond is a park located in the mid-region of Richmond Hill that is surrounded by heritage homes. The park surrounds an old mill pond, hence the name Mill Pond. There are many walking trails and the park is home to a variety of wildlife species, including ducks, swans, raccoons, geese, and beavers. The park is the venue for various town events ranging from a winter carnival to concerts and flower shows. Every year, Mill Pond is home to the Richmond Hill Winter and Summer Carnivals.

Heritage Estates[edit]

Mill Pond is also home to the Georgian-styled neighbourhood of Heritage Estates, centered around Regent Street. Often referred to as the "Rosedale of the North", the neighbourhood was built in the early 1980s by a local Toronto developer and was intended to reflect an earlier charm present in many of the older heritage-designated homes in the community.[50] Some of the homes are situated among the trails and ravines of Mill Pond Park.

The renowned historical design consultant, Sir Murry McCance, guided the recreation of authentic Georgian and Regency homes of the 1790-1830 period. Each builder received detailed guidelines and special training for their skilled tradesmen to create these distinctive homes.[51]

Yonge Street[edit]

The old downtown Richmond Hill is considered the strip of Yonge Street between Major Mackenzie in the south and Richmond Heights in the north. For years this street was infamous for having an equal amount of churches as there were strip clubs/adults only stores. Directly across from the community centre was the bright pink "Fantasia" strip club. Not far down the street stood Richmond Hill's oldest church. Fantasia burnt under suspicious circumstances although no allegations were ever made by the authorities. Due to various community initiatives, most of the "Adult" stores are now closed and are replaced by more civic-oriented structures. In 2007, the former "Fantasia" property was finally levelled, and development of a new exclusive condominium started, adding to a mix of upscale and small town charm that makes up the much improved downtown area.

The new theatre was opened in 2009 and provides a modern venue for live performances.

Bayview Hill[edit]

The Bayview Hill is a subdivision located on the northeast side of Bayview Avenue and 16th Avenue. Built in the early 1990s, the subdivision contains large expansive homes.[52]

East Beaver Creek[edit]

East Beaver Creek and Highway 7 business district.

Richmond Hill's current commercial hub is located near Leslie Street and Highway 7, where it borders Markham's AMD headquarters. Built in the early to mid-1990s, the area is serviced by Highway 404, York Region Transit, and Buttonville Airport. Due to high initial vacancy rates, the current Town Hall was moved to that location in 1994. Since then, many of the buildings have become occupied by various banks and service-related industries.

Jefferson[edit]

Jefferson is a newly developed neighbourhood, with housing begin to occupy in 2007. The community is named after Jefferson Sideroad, a major thoroughfare in the neighbourhood. Jefferson includes a large area, roughly bounded by Gamble Road in the south, Bathurst Street in the west and Bayview Avenue in the east. The community includes a residential subdivision namely Jefferson Forest, located in the southeast portion of the community.

Transportation[edit]

Road networks[edit]

The town of Richmond Hill is well serviced in terms of transportation facilities for a community of its size. The eastern border of the town is Highway 404, a major highway which leads directly into the downtown core of the City of Toronto via the Don Valley Parkway (DVP). Highway 404 also intersects with Highway 401 in North York, which is one of the most traversed highways on the planet and is the principal east/west route in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The town's southern border is defined by the former Highway 7 and a parallel expressway, Highway 407. The latter is a toll route (the only currently existing in the province) and was designed as a bypass for the 401. The combined effect of these highways ensures that Richmond Hill is well integrated into Ontario's road network and has easy access for all road vehicles. The ease of accessing the town is threatened by increasing traffic due to growth in the region, as the resulting commutes diminish the usefulness of the road network.

Public transit[edit]

Public transit within the town of Richmond Hill is on buses co-ordinated by York Region Transit (YRT). In September 2005, YRT unveiled a new rapid transit initiative entitled VIVA which provides enhanced bus service on major routes using vehicles capable of speeding up traffic lights to lessen the time they idle. YRT also operates several feeder routes on secondary streets in the town. While reaction to the VIVA program has been positive and the funding provided considerable, there has not been as large an increase in commuter use as was hoped.

Commuter train service is provided to the town by GO Transit on the Richmond Hill line with two stations in the town, Richmond Hill Station and Langstaff Station. Langstaff Station is near the new Richmond Hill Centre Terminal of York Region Transit at Highway 7 and Yonge Street, and is connected to it by a pedestrian bridge opened in March 2008. The Richmond Hill Centre Terminal is complete with enclosed heating areas, payphones, and credit card/debit card ticket purchasing machines.

Owing to its proximity to Toronto, there are plans to extend the TTC subway system to the intersection of Yonge and Highway 7. A timeline has not been established.[53]

Other transportation[edit]

Richmond Hill is minimally serviced by other modes of transportation. Its landlocked situation inhibits any water transportation and it lacks an airport of its own, though it does border on Markham's Buttonville Airport. The closest international airport is Pearson International Airport.

Geography and Climate[edit]

The predominant feature of the town's geography, as its name suggests, is its elevation above surrounding regions. Thousands of years ago during the last ice-age, glaciers moving in a southerly direction amassed a considerable amount of earth in front of them which they carried forward as they grew. Gradually, as the temperature increased the growth of the glaciers lessened and eventually they began to recede to what is now the polar ice cap. The earth that had been collected by the glacier's movement however was left in place and the elevated region that remained comprises modern day Richmond Hill.

The town itself is at a much greater elevation than other communities within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and with exclusion of areas closely alongside its borders, the constituent of York region with the greatest height above sea level. The uneven melting of the glacier that formed the town has led to an extremely varied geography within the town's own borders, leading to such features as kettle lakes, minor tributaries and most notably the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Kettle lakes are the result of glacier water getting caught in water-tight depressions in the land and are sustained by only rainfall in the immediate area. The Town of Richmond Hill has many of these water bodies and its three largest in order of decreasing size are Lake Wilcox, Bond Lake and Philips Lake. The kettle lakes are predominantly confined to the northern fringes of the town.

Being elevated above the surrounding region, precipitation in the town tends to flow outwards via the multitude of streams and rivers that flow through the town. Principally water flow is in one of two directions, south to Lake Ontario or north to Lake Simcoe where they join up with larger tributaries that feed into the water bodies. Of note, are the Rouge and Don rivers which receive some of their flow from sources in the town.

Perhaps the most important geographical feature of the Town of Richmond Hill is the Oak Ridges Moraine. The moraine is a further elevated region of loose soil which comprises a significant portion (roughly the northern third) of the land area of the town. Its porous nature allows the collection and natural filtering of waters that flow through it which are then fed into multiple underground aquifers. While the town receives its water from the City of Toronto, these aquifers are an important source for those with their own wells in addition to surrounding communities. The ability of the soil to hold so much water means that despite Richmond Hill's comparatively high elevation, it has a very high water table which poses some problems to construction. The moraine is also host to a staggering amount of biodiversity and in recent years there has been a considerable amount of pressure applied to government to shield the area from development. Consequently, a considerable portion of Richmond Hill is subject to the Ontario Government's Greenbelt legislation.

Climate data for Richmond Hill
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.0
(57.2)
14.5
(58.1)
25.5
(77.9)
31.0
(87.8)
32.5
(90.5)
35.0
(95)
37.0
(98.6)
36.5
(97.7)
34.4
(93.9)
29.4
(84.9)
23.3
(73.9)
20.0
(68)
37.0
(98.6)
Average high °C (°F) −2.7
(27.1)
−1.4
(29.5)
4.0
(39.2)
11.6
(52.9)
19.0
(66.2)
23.8
(74.8)
26.5
(79.7)
25.3
(77.5)
20.4
(68.7)
13.5
(56.3)
6.2
(43.2)
0.1
(32.2)
12.2
(54)
Daily mean °C (°F) −6.7
(19.9)
−5.6
(21.9)
−0.5
(31.1)
6.5
(43.7)
13.4
(56.1)
18.2
(64.8)
21.0
(69.8)
20.0
(68)
15.4
(59.7)
8.9
(48)
2.8
(37)
−3.4
(25.9)
7.5
(45.5)
Average low °C (°F) −10.7
(12.7)
−9.8
(14.4)
−5.1
(22.8)
1.4
(34.5)
7.7
(45.9)
12.6
(54.7)
15.5
(59.9)
14.7
(58.5)
10.4
(50.7)
4.2
(39.6)
−0.8
(30.6)
−6.9
(19.6)
2.8
(37)
Record low °C (°F) −32.5
(−26.5)
−29
(−20)
−24
(−11)
−15
(5)
−5.6
(21.9)
0.6
(33.1)
4.4
(39.9)
3.0
(37.4)
−3.3
(26.1)
−7.8
(18)
−15.5
(4.1)
−30
(−22)
−32.5
(−26.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 63.6
(2.504)
53.9
(2.122)
66.1
(2.602)
70.9
(2.791)
77.9
(3.067)
82.9
(3.264)
83.9
(3.303)
90.4
(3.559)
81.5
(3.209)
68.6
(2.701)
78.5
(3.091)
74.3
(2.925)
892.4
(35.134)
Rainfall mm (inches) 26.0
(1.024)
24.3
(0.957)
40.2
(1.583)
61.8
(2.433)
77.8
(3.063)
82.9
(3.264)
83.9
(3.303)
90.4
(3.559)
81.5
(3.209)
67.1
(2.642)
65.1
(2.563)
34.7
(1.366)
735.6
(28.961)
Snowfall cm (inches) 37.6
(14.8)
29.6
(11.65)
25.9
(10.2)
9.1
(3.58)
0.1
(0.04)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.5
(0.59)
13.4
(5.28)
39.7
(15.63)
156.8
(61.73)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 17.8 13.8 14.7 13.1 13.0 12.2 10.8 11.5 12.3 12.8 15.3 16.8 164.1
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 4.8 4.1 7.6 11.0 13.0 12.2 10.8 11.5 12.3 12.5 11.1 6.8 117.6
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 15.0 11.2 9.3 3.3 0.10 0 0 0 0 0.87 5.7 12.6 58.0
Source: Environment Canada[54]

Landmarks[edit]

The Emerald Isle motel on Yonge Street is known to display conservative rhymes and provocative quotes on their sign. These quotes usually relate to current events. The film, Man of the Year, starring Robin Williams was filmed at Emerald Isle Motel in late 2005. This motel also was featured in the film The Wrong Guy.

The David Dunlap Observatory is home to the largest reflecting telescope in Canada. The 74-inch (1,900 mm) telescope was the second largest in the world upon its construction in 1935. The observatory was a research facility of the University of Toronto.

The original Harvey's restaurant was opened in Richmond Hill in 1959 at the corner of Yonge Street and Observatory Lane. It was demolished in February 2012 to make place for condominiums named Xpression.

Media[edit]

  • Richmond Hill Liberal
  • CFMJ AM 640 (AM 640 Talk Radio)
  • Salam Toronto Bilingual Persian-English weekly paper expressing the voice/distributed of/to the Iranian Community of Thornhill, Richmond Hill, North York, Toronto and GTA.

Personalities[edit]

Famous people from Richmond Hill include world-champion figure skater Elvis Stojko, figure skater Emmanuel Sandhu, actor Mag Ruffman, actor R.H. Thomson, actress Italia Ricci, author and professor Craig Walker, television personality and retired professional wrestler Trish Stratus, professional ice hockey players Bob Wall, Jeff O'Neill and Mike Cammalleri, Major League Baseball player Peter Orr, popular children's author Gordon Korman, and Olympic archer Rob Rusnov.

Famous novelist Farley Mowat grew up in Richmond Hill, and attended Richmond Hill High School. In addition, a number of prominent musicians and composers cite Richmond Hill as their home town, including the country music & bluegrass band The Good Brothers, guitar virtuoso Ewan Dobson, ska-punk band The Flatliners, singer/songwriter Lorne Clarke, and Steve Sexton, composer and former member of the rock band Red Rider. Politicians Frank Klees and Ontario Premier-Designate Kathleen Wynne also once hailed from Richmond Hill. Director Uwe Boll also is a resident of Richmond Hill, as is Peter C. Newman, the well-known Canadian author and chronicler of the country's establishment. Sun News Network news anchor Beatrice Vaisman, grew up in Richmond Hill and attended Langstaff Secondary School. West End star Ramin Karimloo, most well known for playing roles such as Phantom in Phantom of the Opera and Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, also lived in Richmond Hill and attended Alexander Mackenzie High School

Affiliated cities and municipalities[edit]

Richmond Hill has one twin town:

Country City Province Date
 USA Lakeland Florida 1990

Richmond Hill has one sister city:

Country City Province Date
 People's Republic of China Shijiazhuang Hebei

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://richmondhill.ca/subpage.asp?textonly=&pageid=townhall_about_the_town
  2. ^ a b Statistics Canada: 2012
  3. ^ "Online Directory:Canada, Americas". Sister Cities International. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Marney Beck Robinson and Joan M. Clark (2000). "The Challenging Seventies". Later Days in Richmond Hill - A History of the Community from 1930 to 1999 (Town of Richmond Hill/Richmond Hill Public Library Board). ISBN 0-9695376-1-1. 
  5. ^ "History of Air Farce". Air Farce Productions Inc. 
  6. ^ Richard Furness (May 1, 1978). "Burgers outdraw Davis at GO train inaugural". The Globe and Mail. pp. P.4. ISSN 0319-0714. 
  7. ^ a b c Marney Beck Robinson and Joan M. Clark (2000). "The Dream Years". Later Days in Richmond Hill - A History of the Community from 1930 to 1999 (Town of Richmond Hill/Richmond Hill Public Library Board). ISBN 0-9695376-1-1. 
  8. ^ "It's the neighbour again". The Globe and Mail. April 2, 1982. pp. P 6. 
  9. ^ Zuhair Kashmeri (April 1, 1982). "Toronto after fast buck, Richmond Hill protests". The Globe and Mail. pp. P 3. 
  10. ^ Marney Beck Robinson and Joan M. Clark (2000). "Growing Success". Later Days in Richmond Hill - A History of the Community from 1930 to 1999 (Town of Richmond Hill/Richmond Hill Public Library Board). ISBN 0-9695376-1-1. 
  11. ^ "Richmond Hill's New Brand". 
  12. ^ "History of Richmond Hill's Crest". 
  13. ^ "No. 4 banned from new Richmond Hill, Ont., street addresses". CBC News. June 4, 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Municipal Councillor's Guide". Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Municipal Services Offices (Ontario). 
  15. ^ "Parks A-Z". Town of Richmond Hill. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  16. ^ "Richmond Green Sports Centre & Park". Town of Richmond Hill. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  17. ^ "The Richmond Hill Heritage Centre". Town of Richmond Hill. 
  18. ^ Richmond Hill Canoe Club
  19. ^ Richmond Hill Curling Club
  20. ^ Richmond Hill Soccer Club
  21. ^ Richmond Hill Phoenix Baseball Club
  22. ^ Richmond Hill Stars
  23. ^ Stars United Baton Club
  24. ^ a b "Census Profile". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  25. ^ [1]Racial Demographics of Canadian Cities
  26. ^ [2], NHS Profile of Richmond Ontario
  27. ^ "Richmond Hill, Ontario (Town)". 2006 Community Profiles. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  28. ^ Includes Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Polish National Catholic Church, Old Catholic.
  29. ^ Includes Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist, and No religion, and other responses, such as Darwinism, etc.
  30. ^ "Includes mostly answers of "Christian", not otherwise stated."
  31. ^ "Mainly answered to "Mormon" on faith"
  32. ^ "Baha'i, Eckankar, Jains, Shinto, Taoist, Zoroastrian and Eastern religions, not identified elsewhere"
  33. ^ Includes Aboriginal spirituality, Pagan, Wicca, Unity - New Thought - Pantheist, Scientology, Rastafarian, New Age, Gnostic, Satanist, etc.
  34. ^ Robert M. Stamp (1991). "The First Village Council". Fire Brigades and Fence Viewers. Town of Richmond Hill Public Library. 
  35. ^ a b c Robert M. Stamp (1991). "Roses Bloom in Richmond Hill". The Flowering of Richmond Hill. Town of Richmond Hill Public Library. 
  36. ^ a b c "York Region Population Growth 1971 to 2006". York Region. 
  37. ^ a b c d "Demographics & Statistics". Richmond Hill Office of Economic Development. 
  38. ^ "Community Profile - Richmond Hill". Statistics Canada. 
  39. ^ "Community Highlights for Richmond Hill". 2001 Community Profiles. Statistics Canada. January 2, 2007. 
  40. ^ "Community highlights for Richmond Hill". 2006 Community Profiles. Statistics Canada. 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2007-03-13. 
  41. ^ "Focus on Geography Series, 2011 Census – Census subdivision of Richmond Hill, T - Ontario". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  42. ^ a b "Richmond Hill Demographic Profile 2006". 
  43. ^ Leslie Ferenc (April 5, 1999). "Richmond Hill reports a banner growth year ; All areas of economy break records". Toronto Star. p. 1. 
  44. ^ Peter Boisseau (August 16, 2000). "High-tech thrives around Toronto: Richmond Hill, Markham part of fastest-growing hub Series: Canada's High-Tech Landscape". Edmonton Journal. pp. G.7. 
  45. ^ "Our Schools". York Region District School Board. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  46. ^ Marguerite Jackson (September 19, 2007). "School Board Report York Region DSB (66095)". Education Quality and Accountability Office. 
  47. ^ "Secondary schools" (PDF). York Catholic District School Board. 2009-07-29. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  48. ^ "Labour Market". Richmond Hill Office of Economic Development. 
  49. ^ "Oak Ridges Community Centre & Park". Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  50. ^ http://www.randycorcoran.ca/mill-pond-heritage-estates-real-estate-homes-houses.html
  51. ^ http://www.jimreidrealty.com/HERITAGE-ESTATES-HISTORICAL-INFORMATION-BY-JIM-REID.html
  52. ^ Clark, Joan. Later Days in Richmond Hill a History of a Community 1930-1999. 1999. Richmond Hill Public Library
  53. ^ TTC: Yonge Subway Extension
  54. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000, Richmond Hill". Environment Canada. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°53′06″N 79°25′49″W / 43.8849°N 79.4304°W / 43.8849; -79.4304