E- News

From the Desk of Mayor David West
February E-Newsletter 2023

Dear Neighbours,

January treated us to some wild winter weather, and although the snow and cold temperatures made driving challenging at times, those same factors are going to contribute to a wonderful Richmond Hill Winter Carnival! February 4th and 5th. You are invited to come join this free, family friendly celebration at Mill Pond. In its’ 54th year, the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival offers activities and entertainment for all ages. I hope to see you there.

Maple Syrup Festival – Mark your calendars!

I am excited to announce that my Annual Maple Syrup Festival is back and in person. Please mark your calendars for April 1st, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and plan to join me as we welcome spring and sweet Maple syrup with a Pancake Breakfast, activities, entertainment, and more. Watch for information in my March e-newsletter and on my event website. I can’t wait to share this terrific tradition with all of Richmond Hill. See you April 1st…. no joke!

City Council approved the Draft Capital Budget on January 24th. This investment of 84 million in the community balances ‘growth-related’ and ‘state of good repair’ infrastructure project. For the full details of the Draft Budget, visit the City website. This budget will go to the February 8th Council meeting for final approval. I believe this budget reflects important investments we are making in programs & infrastructure for the benefit of all.

Kick Off #RH150! The official RH150 flag was raised on January 25th with all three levels of government, City staff, and friends and residents of Richmond Hill in attendance. You will see this “150” backdrop moving around the City throughout 2023, and you are encouraged to show your Richmond Hill pride by taking a picture with it and posting on social media with the hashtag #RH150. Remember to watch for the celebratory events happening throughout the year.

Please share this e-newsletter with anyone you know who would like to receive this mailing and encourage them to sign up to receive the e-newsletter in their inbox.

Thanks for reading!

Mayor David West 
City of Richmond Hill

What’s On in Richmond Hill

In February, there are several opportunities for you to provide input and hear about the work happening at City Hall. 

Richmond Hill wants to know “What does an Age-Friendly Richmond Hill Look and Feel Like to You?“.
There are many ways to contribute your thoughts and ideas, beginning with round table discussions:

Virtual Session: Monday, February 6 from 7-8:15 p.m. Register Here 
In-Person Session: Tuesday, February 7 from 9:30-11 a.m.
Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts 10268 Yonge Street, Plaza Suite.Register Here

There are many other opportunities to participate – please share your perspectives so we can build an Age-Friendly Community together.

On February 7th, you are invited to the virtual public information session from 7-9 p.m. where you will learn about the updates to the Transportation Master Plan. This plan guides all modes of travel and the futures of City roads, cycling and walking networks, trails, and transportation and mobility policies. It is at the heart of how we will move around Richmond Hill and you can register to attend and share your thoughts here.

There is also an update scheduled to our Richmond Hill Centre Secondary Plan. There is a virtual public information session scheduled that will offer residents the opportunity to hear a status update from the project team and understand how recent provincial legislation will impact the Secondary Plan. There will be an opportunity to ask questions – please register for this event scheduled for February 9th 6:30 – 8 p.m.

It is hard to think about summer with our current weather, but registration for Richmond Hill Sumer Camp programming opens at 7 a.m. on February 8th. You can review the offerings and prepare your wish list.

The “Walk this Way” Wednesday program is ongoing, offering free access to the 180 meter indoor track in January and February at the Ed Sackville Arena and our outdoor and indoor skating continues all month. Please be safe and only use official outdoor skating surfaces – stormwater ponds are dangerous. Indoor public skate times

Did You Know #DYK

Richmond Hill Public Library has a non stop schedule of activities every month targeting all ages? If you are interested in storytime, in English or in French, Baby time, Chess classes, or Teen Chapters on Discord, visit the Richmond Hill Public Library and choose your next acitivity today.

Watch for my #DYK posts on social media to learn about lesser known facts about Richmond Hill, City Hall, and the Office of the Mayor.

Council News

In January, Richmond Hill City Council approved the Draft Capital Budget which will return to Council on February 8th for final approval. For the full details of the Draft Budget, visit the City website.

Watch Council Meetings Live or Watch the RecordingIt is important that you are able to participate in our municipal politics and that I why I am so pleased that we continue to offer the opportunity for residents to attend Council meetings in person, to watch live, or to watch a recording. 
However you choose to join, I welcome you to these meetings.

Access Council meeting videos

Richmond Hill in the News

I was happy to speak with Matt Durnan from NRU Publishing to talk about the recent unanimous adoption of the Richmond Hill Recreation and Culture Plan. 

Thanks to NRU Publishing for sharing access to this article: “In Support of Recreation and Culture: Richmond Hill Maps a Full Spectrum of Opportunities for the Next Decade

Enjoy the read! Posted with permission of the publisher of NRU Publishing Inc. Original article first appeared in Novae Res Urbis GTHA Vol. 26, No. 2, Wednesday, January 11, 2023.

NRU Publishing offers a limited circulation news service focused on municipal government and urban planning in the GTHA and Toronto. We are honoured to have our plans shared with other municipalities and to showcase the City of Richmond Hill as a leader

Richmond Hill Fire and Emergency Services

Richmond Hill Fire & Emergency Services are asking for your help. In recent months we have seen some devastating fires across the GTA, and the Ontario Fire Marshal has announced that Ontario saw 133 fire deaths in 2022 – sadly, our worst year in decades! Each one of the people lost were someone’s family, friend, and part of a community. We can all help prevent this from happening. Here are a few easy things you can do to protect your family from fire:

PREVENTION | Everyone has a responsibility to protect their family and home from fire. Prevention is always the best course of action.

·      Practice safety in the kitchen by never leaving the kitchen while cooking. Unattended cooking is a leading cause of home fires. If a fire occurs on a stovetop pan or pot, safely slide a lid or baking tray over the fire to smother it.

·      When charging electronic devices, charge them on non-combustible surfaces, rather than surfaces such as beds or under bed sheets.

·      Space heaters and other heating equipment should be plugged directly into a wall, placed away from combustible items, and never left unattended.

DETECTION | Only working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms give you early notification and the time you and your family need to safely escape a fire. Demonstrate and discuss the importance of knowing the sound of smoke and CO alarms to all members of your household.

·     A working smoke alarm must be located on every storey of the home, and both smoke and CO alarms need to be installed in close proximity to all sleeping areas in the home. Ideally, every bedroom should be equipped with a smoke alarm and all smoke alarms should be interconnected.

·     Test these life saving devices monthly and replace by the date that is shown on the side or back of the alarm. If you have a fire emergency in your home, a working alarm will give you the time your family and pets need to get out safely.

ESCAPE | Fire and smoke move faster than you. There’s no time to figure out how to escape your home AFTER a fire starts. Practice a home fire escape plan BEFORE there’s a fire so you can get out safely.

·     Discuss and prepare a home escape plan with all members of your household, including two ways out of every room where possible.

·     Choose a predetermined meeting place outside in front of your home and educate all family members that once they are outside, they stay outside – never go back inside for anything.

·     Practice your plan twice a year by doing home fire drills.

·     In case of a fire emergency in an apartment/condo building, it is important to know the fire safety features in your building and the emergency procedures outlined in the building’s fire safety plan. Also know the locations of all available exit stairs from your floor in case the nearest one is blocked by fire or smoke!

Thank you for being fire safe and reviewing these important fire safety messages. Please take the time now to sit with all members of your family and make fire safety a priority within your home. For more information please visit RichmondHill.ca/Fire.

The Professional Access into Employment (PAIE) Program, led by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), is continuing to accept applicants to their upcoming 2023 cohort!

This 9-month VIRTUAL  Ontario Bridge-Training Program for internationally educated environmental professionals will:
·      Provide you with targeted job search and corporate culture (JSCC) training
·      Introduce you to over 130 hours of profession-specific training
·      Provide coaching with an assigned coordinator to aid your access to employment &
·      Support you in securing mentoring opportunities with professionals in the sector.

Here’s a Sneak Peak of What PAIE Participants Have Done!

PAIE clients and staff at the site of TRCA’s new Head Office
PAIE 2022 clients network with TRCA staff
PAIE learns about the erosion control project underway at Humber Bay Park East
PAIE clients participating in a technical tour of the Clarkson Wastewater treatment Facility

This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

Richmond Hill Winter Carnival

The Winter Carnival is here! There are outdoor activities for all ages, contests, demonstrations, shows, and selfie stations!

This free Festival is on:

  • Saturday February 4th, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Sunday February 5th, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Read more about the details of the weekend here.

See you there!

The Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra presents Kaleidoscope of Imagination on February 18th, a concert that promises to remind us of the magic of imagination.

February is Winter Walk Day #WWD

Throughout the month of February, Ontario Active School Travel is encouraging students and their families to take a walk to school. I was happy to join students as they kicked off this healthy program on February 1st.

If the winter weather has you feeling down, why not prepare for the spring? Join PlayForever at their 7 week garden and health workshops for seniors but also open to any age group and get planting!

February is Black History Month

This is the 6th Annual Black History Month Celebration hosted by the York Region Alliance of African Canadian Communities. 

Register to attend

In addition to the events planned in Richmond Hill, there are events happening across York Region.

Bell #LetsTalk January 25th
Tamil Heritage Month
Spring Festival and Lunar New Year celebration
Tzu Chi Year-end Blessing Tea Ceremony
With Provincial and Municipal officials at announcement of 30 million toward York Region Public Health
Awakening the Dragon with Shoppes on the Parkway, our City Hall neighbours
Reena 50th Anniversary
RH150 Anniversary Flag Raising
Celebrating with the Richmond Hill Legion at their Robbie Burns Dinner and Dance

Important Numbers and Information

ACCESS Richmond Hill
City services, updates on damaged City property, snow clearing, streetlight maintenance

Animal Services
Animal control and shelter services contracted through City of Vaughan 

Alectra Utilities
Hydro outage information, downed power lines

Inclement Weather Hotline
City facility closures and recreation program cancellations

Parking Control 
Cars parked illegally on the street 

York Region Roads
1-877-464-9675 ext 75200 
Snow removal on regional roads 

York Region Transit/Viva
Snow removal at bus stops