From the Desk of Mayor David West
November E-Newsletter 2023
This November, we will reflect on the many souls who have served, fought, and paid the ultimate price while defending the freedom we enjoy here in Canada during times of war, conflict, and peace.
As war and uncertainty continues to evolve in our world with conflicts raging resulting in devastating loss of life, now more than ever I am forever grateful and indebted to our brave service members. I will be honoured to attend the annual Richmond Hill Legion Branch 375 Remembrance Day parade to honour them and their legacy.
“The most sacrosanct and central element in Remembrance is the Two Minutes of Silence. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the month, day and time in 1918 when the First World War ceased hostilities, Canadians pause to observe two minutes of silence to honour the Fallen, and recognize the sacrifices or servicemen and women.”
Diwali is a festival of lights that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and the human ability to overcome and it will be celebrated on November 12. I hope the message of this important holiday prevails across Richmond Hill and the world, as we strive to overcome today’s challenges.
Thank you for reading this month’s e-newsletter. Please follow me on social media for more immediate updates.
Mayor David West
City of Richmond Hill
Please join me on November 15 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts as we celebrate and appreciate the many photographers who shared their images in my I Love Richmond Hill Photo Exhibition.
There will be over 60 print images and over 80 images shared digitally, as well as photography workshop speakers and presentations. THANK YOU to the many talented participants for sharing a picture of what you love about Richmond Hill. It is an inspiring and heartwarming collection and I welcome everyone to enjoy the show.
Wednesday November 15, 6:30 – 8:30
Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts,
10268 Yonge St,
Richmond Hill, ON L4C 3B7
in the intimate Plaza Suite
Free to attend
What's On in Richmond Hill
As November begins, it is time to get houses and gardens ready for winter. The City of Richmond Hill is offering a series of webinars with DIY demonstrations to help you locate and fix air leaks around your home. Register for a 2 hour session today, there are limited seats available.
2023 Yard Waste Collection Schedule
As you put your gardens to bed for the year, remember yard waste collection continues until December 8.
April 11 to October 6 – Bi-weekly on garbage collection day*
October 10 to December 8 – Weekly on your regular waste collection day
A reminder to ‘Fall back’ Sunday, November 5, 2023
On the first Sunday in November, Daylight Saving Time ends and clocks “fall back” one hour.
This is a great time to check your change your smoke alarm & carbon monoxide batteries.
November Heritage Dates
Each month we acknowledge dates of importance to create awareness, give recognition, and promote education about our cultural and historical heritage.
In November, we recognize Hindu Heritage Month as a time to celebrate the innumerable contributions of our large and vibrant Hindu community to our multicultural society. This year Diwali, which is the largest of all celebratory festivals celebrated in the Hindu community, is in November and Diwali commemorates the victory of good over evil.
We also celebrate Albanian Heritage Month this month, and acknowledge both our thriving Albanian community and their significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of Ontario. November is a significant month for the Albanian community as the Albanian Declaration of Independence and Liberation Day are both commemorated.
The Federal government has announced Lebanese Heritage Month beginning in 2023, although Ontario has observed this important group since 2016. It is significant that we recognize the enriching contributions of this vibrant diaspora in November because each year in November, Lebanese people around the world celebrate Lebanese Independence Day in commemoration of their nation gaining independence on November 22, 1943.
Heritage Months are an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about these communities and the important role that they have played and continue to play in Richmond Hill and across Canada.
Let’s continue to SHOW our diversity, our equity, and our inclusive attitudes through actions.
In October, I had numerous meetings with our Provincial and Federal representatives to discuss the ongoing housing crisis. After speaking with Minister Paul Calandra and MP Sean Fraser it is clear that like your Richmond Hill City Council, all 3 levels of government are laser focused on addressing the housing crisis.
The Federal government has created the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) to support municipalities as they strive to create affordable housing in livable cities. To support our application for the HAF, I am pleased to advise that at its meeting of October 24, 2023, Council unanimously supported my motion and directed City staff to report back expeditiously with the following:
- Council direct staff to propose an amendment to the City’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law to permit up to four (4) residential units on a property wherever zoning permits single detached, semidetached or townhouse dwelling units.
- Council direct staff to propose an amendment to the City’s Official Plan and Zoning By-Law to allow up to four (4) storeys “as-of-right” within an MTSA along the Yonge Street and Highway 7 priority transit corridors where there is a mixed-use centre or corridor designation in the Official Plan with permissions for building heights of 3 storeys or greater.
- Council direct staff on an expedited basis to conduct community and stakeholder consultation and assessment of impacts to infrastructure capacity be undertaken as part of this work to obtain feedback prior to making a recommendation to Council.
- Council direct staff to further engage the Federal and Provincial Government to explore all opportunities including incentivizing residents with programs that would allow the City to expedite and deliver affordable housing units to ensure Richmond Hill is a community with a number of housing options for current and future residents.
There is no one, quick, clear solution for a crisis that is so complex and has been building for years, but I am encouraged by the interest and support Richmond Hill is receiving as we work to address the housing shortage and accessing funding through the HAF will be another tool in our toolbelt as we tackle the work ahead.
In other news….
This Sunday I am walking with some other Councillors in support of the Yellow Brick House. The funds raised will support the essential education program “Schools for Change”. Please support our Richmond Hill City Council team “Walk this Way” by sponsoring us.
The annual Fill a Purse Campaign is back in its 9th year and I’m pleased to join other York Region Mayors as we raise awareness and donations for this cause. Please see the flyer below for the details.
Watch Council Meetings Live or Watch the Recording
For the full calendar of City of Richmond Hill meetings, visit the City website. We continue to offer residents the opportunity to attend Council meetings in person, to watch live, or to watch a recording.
News from Our Neighbours
Merry Marketplace Is Back!
Beginning Saturday, November 18, 2023 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm and continuing for 5 consecutive Saturdays at the Richmond Green Park, enter this award winning winter wonderland at the second annual Merry Marketplace. Enjoy a magical walk through the twinkle of thousands of lights, enjoy a hot drink by the fire, and support our local artisan vendors at this outdoor marketplace. This will be the most enjoyable shopping experience you have all year!
Saturday, November 25, 2023 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday, December 2, 2023 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday, December 9, 2023 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday, December 16, 2023 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Come create memories together in Richmond Hill.
There is an Urgent Need!
The Richmond Hill Community Food Bank has a dire need of donations.
Did you know that food bank usage in Richmond Hill has increased 50% in the past 12 months?
To generate new ways to give, the ‘text-to-donate’ campaign has been launched. 100% of funds raised will go towards buying food for those who need it in our community.
Visit their website for all the details and please support how you can.
The Artists’ Co-op Richmond Hill is thrilled for the second year to be offering an extraordinary holiday shopping experience at this historic Boynton House.
The artists invite you to come and see their diverse talents and creativity.
The participating artists take turns being at the gallery.
This is an opportunity to support local artists and appreciate our heritage
- Wednesdays to Sundays (closed Monday and Tuesday) – 11 am to 6 pm until Saturday, December 30 2023
- During the Merry Marketplace (Saturday’s Nov. 18th to Dec. 16th) the gallery is open until 9 pm.
Yellow Brick House’s Annual
Break the Silence “Step in My Shoes” Walk is Back!
Walk hand in hand with your partner, bring your family, rally your friends, and unite with coworkers—all for a cause that matters.
- Sunday, November 5, 2023
- St. Andrew’s College – 15800 Yonge St, Aurora, ON L4G 3H7
Donate today, or join the walk to make a powerful statement against domestic violence by breaking the silence together.
I was happy to have unanimous support from my colleagues for my Member Motion to declare Intimate Partner Violence an epidemic and to call for further actions from the Provincial and Federal governments. Here is my full Member Motion
Remembrance Day Parade
Saturday November 11, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.
The parade will proceed south on Yonge Street from Wright followed by the Ceremony of Remembrance will commence at 10:45 am at the Cenotaph in front of the McConaghy Centre.
This event is organized by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 375.
All are welcome to join in honouring Remembrance Day.
For more information please contact the Legion at 905 884-7030.
Train 150 for RH150!
November is CPR Month
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Richmond Hill, ON – In celebration of Richmond Hill’s 150th anniversary, St. John Ambulance, in partnership with Mayor David West, Ward 2 Councilor Scott Thompson, and Richmond Hill Board of Trade, is pleased to announce a special CPR training event on November 25th, 2023.
This event is a part of our ongoing commitment to the safety and well-being of the Richmond Hill community.
November 25, 2023
Richvale Community Centre, 160 Avenue Road.
Session 1: 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Session 2: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Register now – 150 spots available!
In line with the importance of CPR training and recognizing that November is CPR Month, our goal is to train 150 individuals during these sessions. This not only aligns with the broader initiative of CPR Month but also serves as a meaningful contribution to Richmond Hill’s sesquicentennial celebrations.
Source: St. John Ambulance, York Simcoe Muskoka Office Press Release
Fill a Purse for a Sister
Join me in supporting this York Region initiative to bring comfort, hope and dignity to women and youth in crisis with the gift of purses filled with personal necessities.
Donations of filled purses will be donated to domestic violence shelters, womens shelters, rape crisis centers, & social services that support women.
Accepting donations until December 1, 2023.
Richmond Hill October Events
Here are a few of the events I was privileged to participate in lately, on behalf of the City of Richmond Hill
Important Numbers and Information
ACCESS Richmond Hill
City services, updates on damaged City property, snow clearing, streetlight maintenance
Animal control and shelter services contracted through City of Vaughan
Hydro outage information, downed power lines
Inclement Weather Hotline
City facility closures and recreation program cancellations
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