E- News

From the Desk of Mayor David West
March E-Newsletter 2024

Year of the Dragon celebrations at the 2024 Annual Dragon Ball with GTA dignitaries

Dear Neighbours,

After some unusual winter weather, I don’t know about you, but I am ready welcome March and the first day of spring. February was a wonderful month filled with Lunar New Year celebrations and Black History Month events. I was honoured to attend so many of these important functions and join in appreciating our diverse community.

Looking ahead, there is a tremendous amount happening in our city in March and I hope to see you at some of the events and celebrations. I look forward to acknowledging Ramadan, celebrating Nowruz, and enjoying Easter with our rich and diverse community.

You will find a sampling of the activities and events coming up in this edition and also my thoughts on spring and safety.

Please save the date for my Maple Syrup Festival on April 6th. I would love to see you there!

Sincerely,

Mayor David West 
City of Richmond Hill

Get ready for a fun day celebrating spring in the sweetest way at my annual Maple Syrup Festival!

Learn all about sap making the traditional way and the modern way and gain a new appreciation for the ‘tree-mendous’ forests that make it all possible with Professor Pricklethorn and his 2 scheduled presentations. 

Traditional Anishinaabe Grandmother & Ancestral Knowledge Keeper Kim Wheatley will welcome us and open the festival in a good way and over 40 community service organizations are looking forward to welcoming Richmond Hill residents to explain how they impact and interact with our community.

There will be fun activities for all ages including pancake flipping contests, pancake eating contests …. and did I mention a free Pancake Breakfast with real maple syrup?

Visit my Event Website for all the details and register today.

Supporting the Community

CNOY2024 with the David West Community Volunteers team

In February both the “Coldest Night of the Year” 5K walk and the 360 Experience events took place. Thursday night, I led the York Region Mayor’s team as we participated in the 360Kids event, which offers a glimpse into the unique challenges faced by the unhoused members of our community on a typical February night.

Donations can be made until March 31 to the “York Region Mayor’s Team”. Thank you for any support you can give. 360 Experience secure donation link.

 

Preparing to head outside with RH Councillors Davidson and Cui, 360Kids Clovis Grant, and Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Iain Lovatt. Also in attendance was Georgina Mayor Quirk

What's On in Richmond Hill

Last year, a record setting 12,000 volunteers signed up, and cleaned 145 streets, pathways and more than 100 parks and open spaces in our community.

This year, during the weeks of April 19th to May 3rd, residents, businesses, community groups and schools are invited to help pick up litter in our parks, trails, boulevards, and open spaces. Groups can now register online until April 7 by visiting RichmondHill.ca/CleanUpWeeks. The City will provide registered groups with garbage and recycling bags and will arrange for collection of the filled bags. If you wish to organize a cleanup event, please register through the website.

SUPPORTING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN RICHMOND HILL

March 4-8 the City of Richmond Hill celebrates
International Women’s Day

The City of Richmond Hill issued the following Public Service Announcement:

RICHMOND HILL – Richmond Hill is marking International Women’s Day with Empowering Women through Entrepreneurship, a week-long series of free sessions designed to support women starting and running their own businesses. Only 17% of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are owned by women. As a community, Richmond Hill is committed to helping change that number.

Topics for the week of webinars and one in-person session are:

The event is hosted by Richmond Hill’s Small Business Enterprise Centre and is open to anyone who supports women’s empowerment and is keen to gain insight from the series, emphasizing inclusivity and the opportunity for all to participate in insightful discussions and engagements. Participants are welcome to attend one, some or all events.

For more information and to register, visit RichmondHill.ca/IWD.

Apply for a 2024 Community and Cultural Grant

In my first Council meeting as Mayor this term, I tabled a motion to reinstate the Community and Cultural Grant program. I have always maintained that artistic and cultural expressions are of the upmost importance and contribute so much to our city. I am pleased to share that the application process for 2024 is open!

Individuals or organizations eager to host an event or develop a project to reflect the many cultural traditions or practices of Richmond Hill are invited to submit an application for a grant, up to $5000 in value.

Last year, 17 Community and Cultural Grants were given supporting programs, projects and events across the city that showcase our city’s community’s spirit.

Register to join March 12 at 7 p.m. via Zoom for an information session. This session will discuss program streams, eligibility requirements, project funding criteria, application steps and more. Applications are due April 3.

Visit RichmondHill.ca/CommunityGrants

News from the Office of the Mayor

Watch my Statement on Auto Theft

I attended the National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft in Ottawa February 8. Representatives from the insurance industry, automaker associations, port authorities, and law enforcement participated along with all three levels of government. Although it is just one step in a journey towards reduced car theft in our city, I was encouraged that the topic is receiving national attention and funding.

In Richmond Hill, the YRP is already working to address the problem with action. Targeting auto theft with a combined campaign of crime prevention efforts and enforcement, YRP conducted “Operation Auto Guard” and the results were announced in December, including:

  • 56 people charged with 284 offences.
  • Eighty vehicles were recovered, worth more than $5 million.
  • Theft devices used by thieves were also seized.

Furthermore, just yesterday YRP announced CCTV cameras in 10 locations, 2 of which are in Richmond Hill to enhance public safety and support investigations.

YRP is doing a great job, and I am grateful to them for their advocacy on this effort, because this is part of a much bigger problem than we cannot solve alone.

I will continue to advocate for the safety of Richmond Hill residents.

I have always been proud of our York Regional Police. Even as a child I looked forward to visits to our classroom of YRP officers to educate us about community safety. As Mayor I realize the importance of the work our police do on a much higher level. 

In February, I took the opportunity for glimpse into the typical night for our YRP Frontline Officers in effort to deepen my understanding of the great and foundational work they do in keeping our community safe. Thank you to Superintendent Hill, Sergeant Jessica Aho, Staff /Sgt. Shane Mackenzie, Sergeant Todd Woods, Canine unit officer, Police constable Chris Kiernowski, Mental Health Resource Officer, Civilian Crisis Worker Kevin James and the entire platoon at District 2. 

 

Not only was I able to see how frontline officers interact with the people who are in crisis, I also bore witness the work of the air support, forensics, and k9 team in action. The job that all of these officers do is in an environment that is unscripted, unpredictable, and sometimes dangerous but it is incredibly important to our community.

 

The outreach YRP do on a daily basis is instrumental to building trusting relationships. Whether they are hosting their Black History Month, Pride Month celebrations or participating in community events as they will next month at my Maple Syrup Festival, Officers and the Leadership team are constantly working to foster connections.

Building the kind of Richmond Hill that we all expect starts with a foundation of safety and fairness. I would like to extend my gratitude to YRP for keeping our community a safe and vibrant one that we can all confidently call home. 

News from Our Neighbours

Flipping a light switch. Plugging in a coffeemaker. Charging a laptop computer. These are second nature for most of us. Electricity makes our lives easier. However, we need to be cautious and keep safety in mind.

 

Learn some electrical fire safety basics…

·     Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician

·     Check electrical cords for damage such as fraying or nicks. A damaged cord can expose wires and result in a potential shock or fire hazard.

·     Avoid overloading a circuit with “octopus outlets”. If additional outlets or circuits are required, have them installed by a licensed electrician.

·     Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection and should not be linked together.

·     Major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Extension cords and plug strips should not be used for appliances such as refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.).

·     Only purchase electrical products with a certification mark. For a full list of recognized certification marks, visit esasafe.com/approvalmarks.

For more information visit RichmondHill.ca/FirePreventionRichmondHill.ca/EmergencyPreparedness.

Dates of Importance and Significance


In Ontario, March is proclaimed to be Bangladeshi Heritage Month. During March we acknowledge the many significant contributions Bangladeshi Canadians have made to our communities. On March 26th, Bangladeshis around the world celebrate Independence Day in commemoration of their nation gaining independence in 1971. 

March 25 is Greek Independence Day and so this month is proclaimed to be

Hellenic Heritage Month. Celebrating the wealth of contributions our Hellenic community has made to our society is important so we can remember, acknowledge, and educate future generations about their outstanding achievements including history, language, culture and work ethic.

Irish Heritage Month is March. During the month of March, we take time to acknowledge and appreciate the many contributions to our society made by Canadians of Irish ancestry. Later this month on March 17, we celebrate Irish Heritage Day, otherwise known as

St. Patrick’s Day ☘️.

“May your troubles be less and your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness come through your door.”
Irish toast

 

Here in Richmond Hill, we are fortunate to have many residents of Persian decent. 

During the month of March, which is proclaimed to be Persian Heritage Month in Ontario, we are looking forward to celebrating the important contributions to our rich cultural landscape.

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

Community Events and News

The calendar of events in Richmond Hill continues to offer something for everyone.
Here are a few ideas to fill your free time. Please also visit the following calendars for local events:

Dynamic art exhibits
in Richmond Hill?

Yes, at the library!

Embark on a journey of artistic discovery at Richmond Hill Public Library’s Glass Case Gallery. Explore intriguing exhibits, each telling unique stories and provoking thoughtful conversations. Coming soon is Paul Aloisi’s Language Structures! Learn more at rhpl.ca.

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
Taking a selfie at Winter Carnival with Ookpik
Attending the National Auto Theft Summit with YRP Chief MacSween and MP Taylor Roy
Celebrating the Year of the Dragon with our neighbours at City Hall
Enjoying Winter Walk Day with Bond Lake Public School
Speaking at the RHBOT Power Hour with MP Leah Taylor Roy, MP Majid Jowhari, and MPP Daisy Wai
Recognizing Not-for-Profit organizations with MPP Daisy Way and Minister Parsa at Richmond Hill City Hall
Cheering on our Richmond Hill representatives headed for the Special Olympics in Calgary from the Richmond Hill Curling Club

Important Numbers and Information

ACCESS Richmond Hill
905-771-8800
Access@RichmondHill.ca
City services, updates on damaged City property, snow clearing, streetlight maintenance

Animal Services
905-832-2281
Animal control and shelter services contracted through City of Vaughan

Alectra Utilities
1-833-253-2872
Hydro outage information, downed power lines

Inclement Weather Hotline
905-771-5487
City facility closures and recreation program cancellations

Parking Control
905-771-8860
Cars parked illegally on the street

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

York Region Transit/Viva
905-762-2100
Snow removal at bus stops