E- News

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

Dear Neighbours,

Spring is in the air! March heralds the changing seasons in many familiar ways: the time change as we ‘spring’ forward on March 12th, March Break for those in the school system, Spring Equinox, and if you are a maple syrup lover like me, the Mayor’s Maple Syrup Festival.

Maple Syrup Festival – April 1st, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m!

Read all about the festival below. I hope to see you April 1st…. no joke!

Spring cleaning is another hallmark of the changing season and registration is open for the Richmond Hill Clean Up, Green Up event, happening April 21- May 5 . Register today to receive gloves, garbage and recycling bags, and arrange for collection of the filled bags. Registration closes April 10th

Lately, it is hard to believe, but summer will be here before you know it. If you have a student in your household, let them know that Richmond Hill is hiring to fill summer jobs

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

Mayor West’s Maple Syrup Event
Here is a sample of what we have planned for April 1st at my Maple Syrup Festival. Please plan to join us to celebrate this uniquely Canadian spring tradition. 
Register on my website

Enjoy a Pancake Breakfast with real Maple Syrup

Visit our Maple Marketplace with local artisan vendors

Watch a maple syrup making demonstration

Meet our Community Partners

Engage with TRCA and Black Creek Pioneer Village educators at their interactive displays

Listen and Learn at Professor Pricklethorn’s ‘Trees Please’ presentation

Celebrate all things ‘maple’

Join the Pancake Eating Contest!

There is much more planned, and we look forward to sharing the day with our Richmond Hill friends and neighbours. Everyone is welcome at this family friendly, free community event.

Please, Register your attendance so we make enough pancakes! 
Saturday April 1st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at
Richmond Green Sports Complex
1300 Elgin Mills East, Richmond Hill, ON.
accessible by transit, lots of parking available

Please, remember your reusable water bottle. 
Learn about Richmond Hill’s commitment to reduce Single Use plastics

What’s On in Richmond Hill

There is always lots happening at the City of Richmond Hill and March is no exception. Here are some highlights. 

Applications are now open for the Community and Cultural Grant Program, which provides project funding to community and cultural organizations and individual artists whose projects support a more vibrant Richmond Hill through the delivery of programs, services or activities. Register to join an Information Night March 9 at 7 p.m. via Zoom to learn more about the grant program including how to apply for this annual grant. Applications close April 3rd, 2023. 

Richmond Hill is seeking feedback on the Park Design for David Dunlap Observatory Park (RHDDO). View the RHDDO Pedestrian Bridge and Pickleball Facility Design Concepts,join a virtual Public Information Session Thursday, March 9, 2023, 6 – 8 p.m. (please Register in advance) and complete the online survey to share your thoughts – the survey is available until March 17th, 2023. Take the Survey 

The Age-Friendly Community Survey is open for a few more days – closing March 8th. Please take the time to add your voice. Did You Know? Older adults aged 55+ made up 31.9% of Richmond Hill’s population in the 2021 Census? That is an increase from 24% in the 2016 Census. It is critical that we include this growing demographic in our plans for Richmond Hill. 

Calling all artists! 

Did you hear the news? As a part of our RH150 events, the City will be commissioning three Community Mural Projects. For each project, artists will capture Richmond Hill’s past, present and future to provide a sense of social connectivity and community pride. Please don’t delay! The application deadline for the Community Mural Project is fast approaching: – 5 p.m. March 10th, 2023. Applications for the City Storage Bunker and Bell Box Community Mural Projects will be received until 5 p.m. on May 12, 2023. Visit the City website for all the details and to apply.

Remember you can register on many City website pages to receive news and updates in your inbox. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and subscribe:

March Dates

March is a month dedicated to celebrating several different heritages.

In March, Canada acknowledges Irish Heritage. Ontario recognizes Persian Heritage Month, initiated by a Private Member Motion by our own MPP, Michael Parsa. Ontario also celebrates Bangladeshi Heritage, and Hellenic Heritage in March. 

In addition to Heritage Months, in March we also celebrate many important dates:

Holi occurs on March 7. Known as the “festival of colours” and “festival of love,” it is a celebration of the Hindu God Krishna. It is celebrated across India and the Indian diaspora around the world.

Ramadan begins on March 22 and is observed for a month by Muslims around the world. It is a time of self-reflection, fasting from dawn to sunset, and strengthening one’s relationship with God. 

The first day of spring, or Spring Equinox, is March 20, marking the date when the day and night are equal length. Nowruz takes place on March 21, and marks the beginning of the New Year under the Persian calendar. It is also  International Nowruz Day. Although this is a very joyous time for our Persian colleagues and community, it is also a solemn reminder that many Iranians continue to be persecuted under an oppressive regime.

On March 25 from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. we are invited to switch off our lights and give an hour for Earth. Join Earth Hour and spend 60 minutes doing something positive for our planet!

Persian Heritage Month The Richmond Hill Public Library invites you to explore Persian culture, history, and language at the Library. Plus, check out some recommended reads

Farsi Storytime

Central Branch / Sat. Mar 18, 2023 – 10:30am – 11:30am

Ages: Family (all ages)

Nowruz Mobarak! Celebrate Persian New Year with a special storytime guest. Join us for Farsi-language stories and songs, and celebratory crafts! No registration required.

Daring to Say No: Freedom Movement of Iranian Women

Central Branch / Thu. Mar 09, 2023, 7 – 8 p.m.

Ages: Adults 

  • Join Professor Mehraneh Ebrahimi and a group of Iranian-Canadian artists to learn about the evolution and impact of the Women Life Freedom Movement. Registration required

A Trilogy of a Revolution: Women Life Freedom is a new thought-provoking art exhibit prepared by Iranian-Canadian artists Aitak Sorahitalab, Azadeh Pirazimian, Sara Tamjidi, and Shahrzad Zadmajid.

The exhibit documents civil rights struggles in Iran and calls on others to join their fight for freedom. It sheds light on injustices and attitudes towards gender equality and honours the lives of women and children who have been lost as a result of political struggles in Iran. It also offers a life-affirming source of inspiration for other artists and freedom seekers all around the world. 

The exhibit runs until March 18 at our Central Branch. Supported by StreetARToronto and York Region Arts Council. Media attention on exhibit:

Let’s continue to SHOW our diversity, our equity, and 
our inclusive attitudes through actions. 

Council News

On February 24th, I met with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Hon. Steve Clark, Associate Minister of Housing Hon. Michael Parsa, MPP Daisy Wai and our City staff including City Manager Darlene Joslin in our Richmond Hill offices to share our concerns surrounding Bill 23. It was an opportunity to state the perspective of Richmond Hill Council and residents.
The City of Richmond Hill has added an information page to the City websitethat explains the impact of Bill 23 and their understanding of its potential impacts on our City.

If you missed my previous Official Statement on Bill 23, it is available on my website.

Richmond Hill City Council approved the Capital Budget, investing 84 million in the community. For the full details of the Budget, visit the City website.

Now, there are more ways to participate in Richmond Hill City Council meetings. I am pleased to confirm that we have reinstated the Committee of the Whole meetings, effective March 1st. 

Read the press release to understand why this is another important step towards creating an accessible, transparent City Council for all Richmond Hill residents. 

Watch Council Meetings Live or Watch the Recording

Remember, that we continue to offer the opportunity for residents to attend Council meetings in person, to watch live, or to watch a recording.

Access Council meeting videos

March Break in Richmond Hill

March Break Adventures 
with Richmond Hill Public Library at Hillcrest Mall

Looking for fun things to do with your kids this March Break? Explore our drop-in activities, register for a program, and join us at Hillcrest Mall 
March 13-17 / 10:30 a.m. to noon for special events all week long. 
Explore maker activities, drama, space and art! During March Break, Richmond Hill Public Library will host a free, interactive program every weekday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Hillcrest Mall. Discover a different theme every day: 
•    Monday: Drama-Rama-All ages
•    Tuesday: Building Challenges-Ages 6-12
•    Wednesday: Fun with Science-Ages 6-12 
•    Thursday: Art and Adventure-All ages
•    Friday: Discover the Magic in You Ages 6-12
Kids (Ages 6-12) | FREE | No registration required.
Parents or caregivers must be present during each program.

TRCA 2023 Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival!

Come out and tap into spring! Enjoy demonstrations, family activities and, of course, real Canadian maple syrup with the return of the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival, brought to you by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). Join us from Saturday, March 4 to Saturday, April 1 for outdoor fun that everyone can take part in! 
Only minutes from Richmond Hill, pick from two great TRCA locations:
Kortright Centre for Conservation, 9550 Pine Valley Drive, Woodbridge, ON. Open every day (March 4 – April 1) 
Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park, 3291 Stouffville Road, Stouffville, ON. Open on weekends (March 4 – April 1) and daily during March Break (March 13 – 17) 
Tickets can only be purchased online and are available for specific timed entry. Tickets will not be sold at the door/gate. 
Avoid disappointment and buy your tickets for this popular festival today! 

Richmond Hill Fire and Emergency Services

We’ve seen a few heavy snow storms this winter, and we may see a few more before the season is done. Richmond Hill Fire & Emergency Services wants to remind all residents of a few things when you’re clearing the snow:

Fire Hydrants – In a fire every second counts. Help us ensure that fire hydrants are visible and easily accessible.

o  Clear a path (1m or 3 ft) around all sides of your local fire hydrant

o  Do not pile the snow around your local fire hydrants

Vents – When snow and ice build up on exhausts and vents, like your outside dryer vent, it can lead to deadly carbon monoxide

o  Clear snow from all gas meters and vents

Sidewalks – Being able to access your property and front door is important in all emergencies, including medical emergencies. Be sure to clear the snow and ice from front entrances and porches so first responders can get to you quickly and safely in the event of an emergency.

And please remember to be a good neighbor – if you have friends or family who may need assistance clearing the snow, please give them a helping hand. 

For more information please visit RichmondHill.ca/Fire.
Stay warm and stay safe!

Community Events

Richmond Hill Public Library

Ancestral Voices: 
Belonging and Identity in Canada

Discover our shared histories, our unique lived experiences, and the past, present, and future of own-voices storytelling in this conversation series hosted and conceptualized by Kim Wheatley and Maxine Gordon Palomino. 

Meet and learn from established and emerging artists and authors who represent
diverse Indigenous, Caribbean, African and Black communities. This program series is presented in collaboration with York, Durham, and Peel Libraries.

International Women’s Day

March 8th we celebrate and acknowledge International Women’s Day, a date to emphasize the importance of gender equity in our society. The 2023 Campaign theme is #Embrace Equity and throughout the month of March you will find events planned. VisitOnRichmondHill for some listings of activities.

The Long Rider
A Reel Thing Special Presentation

This is a special screening of this film with a Post-screening Q&A will be facilitated by the film’s director and Richmond Hill native, Sean Cisterna.
Monday, March 27, 2023 – 7:00pm

For film details and tickets visit the RHCPA website: RHCPA_Tickets

Opera York presents 
The Magic Flute 
with the Chorus, Orchestra and subtitles.
March 5th, 2 p.m. 

Visit the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performance Arts for information, tickets and other performances happening in March. RHCPA Performances

Richmond Hill Cares:
an initiative of Richmond Hill Public Library

Richmond Hill Cares is a special community outreach initiative to support community services in our city. Each month, the Library chooses a charitable or social service and works with them to prepare care packages and other items. 

Between March 1 and April 23, drop by your local branch during opening hours to donate new, unopened self-care products including: 

  • Something to drink: tea, coffee, hot cocoa
  • Clothing: pajama, sweatshirt, sweatpants, leggings, house slippers, etc.
  • Everyday essentials: shower products, shampoo/conditioner, hair ties. 
  • Skincare sets: face wash, lotion, cream, etc.
  • Makeup sets: concealer, lipstick, blush, etc.
  • Self care items: face mask, bath bomb, nail polish, journals etc.

Donations will be used to create Mommy Care Kits for the women of Yellow Brick House. Kits will be distributed ahead of Mother’s Day.

Richmond Hill February Events

Here are a few of the events I was privileged to participate in lately, 
on behalf of the City of Richmond Hill

Coldest Night of the Year 2023. Together we surpassed the $150,000 goal & raised over $160,000
Certificate presentation to Fiona Bombardier
Visiting local Richmond Hill businesses
with Mayor Meed Ward and Mayor Lawlor at Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
Save Soil awareness walk in Richmond Hil
Paying respects to 
Hazel “Hurricane” McCallion

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