Council News and Highlights

1. Historic Village Core Revitalization
There have been several new developments regarding the efforts that are being made toward revitalizing our Historic Downtown Core. Earlier this month the Village Core Business Improvement Association (BIA) moved their offices to a new unit on the ground floor of the Tridel building at 10197 Yonge Street. This move will bring more visibility and accessibility for the public to the BIA. A lot of work on a number of fronts will continue to happen in order improve this area of town. One of the components of this work is the Downtown Parking and Transportation Study that will be considered by the People Plan Task Force in early December. This study is one of the foundational studies that will eventually lead to a Downtown Secondary Plan. It is really important that, as applications for redevelopment of properties in the Village Core come to council, we are considering how these applications can help to facilitate revitalization, in the context of the whole area. Transportation and parking needs now, and also in the future, will be important in this process. For links to 2 recent Liberal Articles relating to the Village Core  please click here and here. To visit the Village of Richmond Hill BIA website click here.
The New BIA Offices at 10197 Yonge Street Unit 1 (in the Tridel Building)
Some of the yummy treats from local Village Core Businesses that were available at the BIA Grand Opening celebrations
Another Great BIA business
2. Santa Claus Parade
We had a great crowd – young and old – for the annual Richmond Hill Santa Claus Parade. The weather cooperated and we even got a light dusting of snow to help with the ambiance.
Councillor West and his favourite elf during the Santa Claus Parade – Photos by Joanne and Jon Witt of snapd Richmond Hill
The Main Event!
3. Salvation Army Flag Raising
Salvation Army Flag Raising at the Town of Richmond Hill. A lot of really great work done by this organization and it all benefits our residents! Thanks Salvation Army.

4. Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society Awards and Banquet

The Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society held its annual Awards Banquet this past month and I was honoured to be invited. Awards were given out in many categories honouring horticultural excellence. This is a great group of people with a huge collective knowledge of all things flowers and gardens! They have been beautifying our community since they began as an organization in 1914. For more information visit
Lots of hardware for a number of different award recipients at the Horticultural Society Annual Awards Banquet
5. Richmond Hill Foodbank Fundraiser
For the past number of years a very talented and caring local musician, Derek Christie, has organized and hosted a music marathon at Archibalds Pub in Richmond Hill to raise food, money, and awareness for the Richmond Hill Foodbank. As usual it was a great success and a really fun all day event.
Derek Christie, his band and many of his friends at the Annual Richmond Hill Foodbank fundraiser at Archibalds Pub. Great music and a great cause!
6. National Public Works Day – Donation to Hill House Hospice
For many years now our Public Works Staff has been supporting Hill House Hospice. Hill House provides hospice services to families when a loved one is at the end of their life, and in a time of need. Many local families have been touched by the compassionate and caring folks at Hill House. The proceeds from our National Public Works Day was donated by our staff to Hill House Hospice last month. Thanks to our excellent Public Works staff for their service to our community both on and off their regular job!

7. Arts Alexander Mackenzie – Cinderella
A wonderful musical, Cinderella, was presented by the students enrolled in the Arts Program at Alexander Mackenzie High School. It was a truly collaborative effort from the whole school. All arts disciplines were represented – visual arts (set design), drama, music (great pit band) and dance. Also students from Woodworking, the Resource Centre, Guidance Services, and Cosmetology were involved. All together, over 100 students took part in this this cross-curricular collaboration. These talented students and their dedicated teachers performed before 4 consecutive sell out crowds at our Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts – awesome talent – congratulations to students and staff!

8. St Theresa of Liseux Parent Council Meeting
In early December I was invited to speak to the St. Theresa of Liseux Catholic High School Parent Council regarding safety and traffic issues in the vicinity of the school on Shaftsbury Avenue. As anyone knows who lives in this area, the traffic in the morning and afternoon near this school is a significant concern. This excessive traffic volume is due to a number of factors including the traffic generated by student drop off and pick up. I have been working with the school board and Parent Council for the past year, and some internal improvements are now in the works within the school property to help facilitate traffic flow. Our Richmond Hill traffic staff will also continue to work to find ways to improve our road network in this area and further improve the safety of pedestrians and drivers around the school.
9. A New Ice Pad for Richmond Hill – Ed Sackfield Twinning
A second ice pad at Ed Sackfield Arena will be constructed at a cost of $13.5 million. The expansion will address the growing demand for arena space as was identified in Richmond Hill’s 2013 Recreation Plan. For Richmond Hill Liberal Article relating to this issue click here.
10. Downtown Village Core Transportation and Traffic Study
Council was introduced to the recently completed Downtown Transportation and Park Study last week. This document makes recommendations about current and future needs for parking in the Historic Village Core. This is an important study as it deals with a very significant issue in our town and also touches on some of the challenges that are providing some resistence to Village Core Revitalization. Of further importance, this study provides foundational work that will support the Downtown Secondary Plan which will be presented to Council in the spring of 2016. Public input on the Secondary Plan will be sought and we hope to have the plan approved in the fall of 2016. The Downtown Secondary Plan will provide a clear vision of how the Village Core will develop and revitalize in the coming years. To view the Transportation and Parking Study click here. To read more of my thoughts on this issue please see the article below.
11. People Plan Progress Report

Five years ago, the Town of Richmond Hill embarked on a journey to build our community. We asked the question: what would Richmond Hill look like in the future if it were planned by the people of Richmond Hill? This compelling question was the driving force behind our 2009 Strategic Plan – A Plan for People, A Plan for Change. Over these past five years, Richmond Hill has made substantial progress towards achieving our vision: Richmond Hill, where people come together to build our community. Our Strategic Plan Final Report 2009-2014 performance indicator data shows that the Town is making progress on the four goals of the Strategic Plan:
*           Stronger Connections in Richmond Hill
*           Better Choice in Richmond Hill
*           A More Vibrant Richmond Hill
*           Wise Management of Resources in Richmond Hill
Watch our Strategic Plan Final Report 2009-2014 video to learn more about our progress! Click Here