From the Desk of Mayor David West
December E-Newsletter 2023
The short days of December are here and with their arrival we seek out the traditions and celebrations that bring us joy. While the days are indeed dark, in Richmond Hill we have always balanced the darkness with festivals full of light, and this year is no exception. From the twinkling lights across our city, to the candles in our places of worship and homes, light and love abound.
I hope that you find moments with your family and loved ones to share gratitude for all we have, and to wish sincerely for peace around the world.
From my family to yours, I wish you and yours Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy Kwanzaa.
Mayor David West
City of Richmond Hill
The “I Love Richmond Hill” Photo Exhibition will be one of my 2023 highlights. I was so impressed with the number of people who participated and the incredible artistry and talent demonstrated in this inspiring, heartwarming collection of Richmond Hill images.
Thank you to all the participants, workshop presenters, the Richmond Hill Camera Club, our sponsors and the attendees who came to enjoy an evening showcasing the art of photography and Richmond Hill. You can continue to enjoy all the images on my website.
The top scoring 8 images will remain on display at the RHCPA. Congratulations!
What's On in Richmond Hill
Merry Marketplace is back to engage and delight all ages for a second year with beautiful lights, artisan vendors, and seasonal activities and entertainment.
On Saturdays 4 – 9 p.m. through to December 16, come enjoy a magical walk through Richmond Green Park. Visit the Merry Market page for the full schedule
Non-perishable food donations welcomed in support of the Richmond Hill Community Food Bank. Items can be dropped off at the Information Booth
Also on at Richmond Green, in the historic Boynton House, is the Artist’s Co-op, Richmond Hill Holiday Art Gallery and Shop, offering an extraordinary holiday shopping experience.
The artists invite you to come and see their diverse talents and creativity. You are invited 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.
Richmond Green Park is located at 1300 Elgin Mills Rd. E., Richmond Hill, Ontario
Accessible by transit, free parking onsite
November Heritage Dates
Richmond Hill promotes sustainable energy use to lower energy consumption and associated costs, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Home Energy Improvement Survey
Heating and cooling homes and buildings can be costly and have negative impacts on the environment. In fact, it accounts for 1/3 of Richmond Hill’s greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, improving the energy efficiency of your home can not only reduce emissions, but also lower energy costs!
The City wants to support Richmond Hill residents in reducing their energy use and their environmental impact. Your participation in the Home Energy Improvement Survey will help us understand some of the factors involved in residents’ home energy choices. We will use these insights to develop suitable home energy programs and initiatives.
The first 100 eligible survey participants will have the opportunity to speak with an energy expert at no cost. During this virtual (phone or video) call, you’ll be able to discuss and seek advice on energy improvements that are right for you and your home. You could also win a home energy efficiency prize pack, including a $50 Home Depot gift card!
The survey is open to Richmond Hill residents only until January 8, 202
Council News...there's a lot!
On November 27, I was excited to welcome Federal representatives to City Hall. Together, we announced that Richmond Hill is receiving a $31 million investment from the Federal government which will help set the stage for more affordable housing options in our city.
We are in a housing crisis and we need to take bold action now. Although as a municipality we don’t build the homes, with the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF), we now have access to more ways to encourage owners and builders to create affordable homes. This funding will help remove barriers and speed up the process of bringing more housing for people here in Richmond Hill and it will bring us closer to creating new affordable residential units by advancing infrastructure that unlocks residential development.
This is a historic investment to help strengthen our community, as it will help incentivize builders to create affordable homes for people who work in Richmond Hill, seniors who want to downsize and multi-generational families who want to live close to one another in our community.
The City is also doing its part by working tirelessly to bring forward options that would put the Housing Accelerator Fund to immediate use, as we continue the journey to meeting our housing goals and increasing affordable housing stock. We are already updating our Official Plan to support higher density along our main corridors.
The Housing Accelerator Fund is only one step toward solving the housing crisis but it is an important one. We are grateful for the Federal Government’s financial support, which is critical to our ability to enable and expedite the creation of much needed housing development in our city and bring more affordable housing to those who want to make Richmond Hill their home.
Watch for public consultation opportunities in 2024 and read more about the Housing Accelerator Fund here.
Richmond Hill City Council continues to meet and discuss the 2024 Budget. Each year, Richmond Hill’s Budget is made up of the Operating Budget; Capital Budget; and Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Budget. Below you can see a table of the discussion points broken down by meeting. The December 5 meeting remains and, like Council Meetings, it is both livestreamed and open to the public to attend.
Visit RichmondHill.ca/Budget for more information about the draft 2024 Budget, budget meetings and more.
Congratulations to Annie Rong Recipient of the 2023 William F. Bell Young Entrepreneur Award
This year’s winner, Annie Rong, is the successful founder of a custom tote-bag company, Fill Your Tote! Her distinctive artistic ideas have made Fill Your Tote! stand out for its sleek and original style. Well done Annie.
The William F. Bell Young Entrepreneur Award recognizes successful young entrepreneurs who take part in Summer Company, a program helping students ages 15-29 learn how to run their own business. Congratulations to all the young entrepreneurs who took advantage of the opportunity and participated in the City of Richmond Hill “Summer Company
The annual Fill a Purse Campaign is finished and no matter which city ‘wins’ the York Region Challenge, the important message is that we are united in facing the needs of our Region together and anything that generate more conversation, awareness, and support for the women and children fleeing domestic violence counts as a ‘win’ in my opinion.
My heartfelt thanks to Covernotes Coffee House, the Richmond Hill BIA, Eggsmart, the Richmond Hill Rotary and the numerous residents who hosted ‘purse parties’.
Together we CAN make a huge impact.
Council Meetings are for Everyone!
Music for Every Child representatives came to delegate at a Richmond Hill City Council meeting and we were thrilled to receive them.
Remember, Council Meetings are open to everyone. You can attend in person or watch them live, which ever you prefer.
Bookmark this link to make it easy to find the City of Richmond Hill YouTube page and we look forward to seeing you in 2024.
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.
Congratulations Richmond Hill! We are now recognized as a Bird Friendly City!
I think our residents should be proud of our collective efforts to be a safe haven for our feathered friends. I want to thank Nature Canada for the recognition and support.
The Bird Friendly Cities initiative not only has tangible benefits for birds and the environment, but will help to raise citizen awareness, so we can work together to build a community where humans and wildlife can live in harmony.
Thank you to our great team of residents and City staff who make this certification a reality.
News from Our Neighbours
There continues to be 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.
Support the Jolly Holiday Food Drive
In support of the Richmond Hill Community Food Bank,
I am happy to partner with the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra for the
Jolly Holidays Food Drive
Bring your non-perishable food donations to the Jolly Holiday Concert December 9 and help make the holidays jolly for our whole community.
Holiday Donation Drive
Let’s make the holidays brighter!
Donations are accepted December 1-15.
All food donations go directly to the Richmond Hill Food Bank.The Salvation Army, Yellow Brick House, and York Hills Centre for Children, Youth and Families receive all toys, toiletries, clothing and other non-food items collected.
Visit RichmondHill.ca/DonationDrive for a list of the most urgently needed items
with RHPL and Hillcrest
Richmond Hill Public Library and Hillcrest invite you to take your imagination to the next level with our holiday programs.
Visit Hillcrest to explore popular holiday stories, tinker with tech, and build crafts together during a series of interactive programs designed for caregivers and children.
RHPL has all the details including the schedule of activities.
🎄Get ready for festive fun with TRCA! 🎄
Discover family friendly outdoor adventures across the GTA to celebrate the holiday season together.
Escape into the Magical Christmas Forest at Kortright
📅 Starting November 24th
📍 Kortright Centre for Conservation
🔗 Register today!
Experience the magic of the holidays at the Village
📅 Starting November 24th
📍 Black Creek Pioneer Village
🔗 Register here.
RHPO Call for Support
The Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra has some fantastic news to share with you: their board of directors has generously agreed to match up to $5,000 in donations from patrons during the special 2023 fundraising drive from now until December 31, 2023.
Please support Richmond Hill’s vibrant Arts and Culture community in any way you can.
Longest Night of the Year Service
Thursday, December 21 at 7:30pm
Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church
Experience the peace that comes from the stillness and silence amidst the hectic rush of the season’s preparations.
We come together seeking healing and a safe space to share grief, sadness, loneliness, or confusion when these emotions often feel out of place during the holidays.
Come and allow music, word, and liturgy to comfort you and surround you.
Richmond Hill November 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