Council News and Highlights

  1. Richmond Hill Continues to Come Together to Build Our Community

Council received Richmond Hill’s Strategic Plan Phase 3 Implementation Plan which will guide the Town through the next four years. The Phase 3 Implementation Plan will build on the foundation already created through the Phase 1 and 2 Implementation Plans, which support the 2009 Strategic Plan. Richmond Hill will continue to invest in the community through projects such as the Lake Wilcox Park Youth Area, the new Oak Ridges Library and the development and restoration of parks. The Town also continues to investigate the future use of the Civic Precinct at Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive, including the possible relocation of the Main Municipal Offices to that area. Richmond Hill will also develop a financial plan to explore alternative funding sources, establish an Internal Audit function and undertake multi-year budgeting. A new IT Strategy will ensure the Town is equipped with up-to-date technology and skills. In addition, Richmond Hill will continue to pursue new initiatives such as launching a new website, creating a comprehensive zoning by-law, finalizing the David Dunlap Observatory Master Plan and refreshing the Town’s Economic Development Strategy. The Phase 3 Implementation Plan is based on Richmond Hill’s Strategic Plan and its vision, where people come together to build our community.

Strat plan

2.  Rouge Crest Park

Mark Schollen, principal at Schollen & Company and James Condron, project manager from the Town’s Parks Design and Construction Division, held a site walk with members of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects at Rouge Crest Park on Saturday June 18th. The walk was an opportunity for the Town to share some of the secrets of our award winning parks with Landscape Architects in private and public practice from across the GTA. There were a lot of conversations regarding elements within the park as the participants enjoyed the morning stroll through Rouge Crest. If you haven’t had the chance to get out and enjoy this park yet you should; bring comfortable shoes to walk the circuit around the park or a bathing suit to cool off in the waterplay.  Rouge Crest Park is situated on Rothbury Road between Brookside and Gamble Roads.

Park

3.  Preparing for New Waste Contract in Richmond Hill

In preparation for a new waste contract, Council approved service level recommendations pertaining to residential curbside waste collection, downtown core waste collection, recycling at super mailboxes and waste collection in parks. With respect to curbside collection services, Richmond Hill will continue with manual collection and maintain existing collection schedules and services for garbage, recycling and organic waste. Over the next few years, recycling service will be added to downtown core street containers, super mailbox locations (by request), and the Town’s larger parks. Due to the uncertainty created by the new  Waste Free Ontario Act as it relates to municipal waste management, Council directed staff to begin negotiations for a new Waste Management Collection contract with the incumbent vendor (Miller Waste Systems Inc.) and report back on the results of those negotiations. If an agreement cannot be made by December 16, 2016, staff will proceed with a competitive procurement process. For a good article related to this subject visit https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/6753339-richmond-hill-moves-to-provide-more-recycling-bins-across-town/

4. Richmond Hill Provides Grants to Maintain Designated Heritage Properties

Council approved the Heritage Committee’s recommendations to award $30,000 in Heritage Grants in 2016 for the preservation and restoration of eight heritage properties. Heritage plays an important role in Richmond Hill as it promotes a sense of identity and celebrates the town’s unique culture. Richmond Hill is committed to preserving its structural heritage to create a more vibrant community for future generations to enjoy. The Grants will provide for the restoration and repair of heritage components that are identified in the properties’ designation by-laws. This year’s projects include restoration of a front porch and a furnace chimney, the replacement of a cedar shake roof and windows and repairing a cupola.

5.  Sales of Dogs, Cats and Rabbits to be Regulated in Richmond Hill 

Council passed a motion to regulate the source of animals for sale at Richmond Hill pet stores. Beginning this fall, the dogs, cats and rabbits sold by pet stores in Richmond Hill must be sourced from registered municipal animal shelters, and registered shelters. This direction is intended to support residents by providing local access to obtain pets while also protecting business owners from accusations of animals in poor health sourced from puppy mills. In addition, ensuring pet stores work with shelters will help to reduce the number of homeless pets. Pet stores that sell animals have 12 months to sell the dogs, cats and rabbits already on their premises. Council also directed staff to bring forward an appropriate implementation by-law for Council’s approval by October 2016. For a good summary of this issue please visit https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/6744583-richmond-hill-votes-to-regulate-heart-wrenching-puppy-mill-sales/.

6. Heart and Stroke Foundation – Big Bike Fundraiser

In June the Heart and Stroke Big Bike visited Richmond Hill. I joined the Connecting the Community Team lead by Marj Andre to raise money for Heart and Stroke research. The team collected over $11000 for the cause!

big bike

 7.  Richmond Hill Named Sixth Most Lucrative Place to Do Business

Richmond Hill was named the sixth most lucrative place in Canada to do business by PROFITGuide.com.   “Richmond Hill really is the smart place for business and it’s nice to be recognized for all we have to offer the business community,” said Mayor Dave Barrow. “Our goal is to help new and existing businesses thrive.” PROFITguide.com describes the most lucrative places to do business as “the best combination of a large and growing population, high household incomes and high educational attainment – making them highly desirable for retail, financial and other service businesses that cater to a localized market.” Richmond Hill’s population has grown to 207,709 with an average household income of $108,025. Richmond Hill’s highly-educated community provides the skilled employees that any business needs. Of residents aged 25-64, 77.3% have a post-secondary degree.

Richmond Hill is part of Canada’s largest technology cluster, with access to top incubators and investors. The Town’s other key sectors are professional, scientific and technical services, finance and insurance, healthcare, information and cultural industries. The Town hosts two major business development events each year. The MedEdge Summit, focuses on medical-technical businesses, and the Creativity Connected Symposium, is aimed at all types of creative sector businesses. At the sixth annual Symposium on November 8, 2016, Richmond Hill will present the first annual Creativity Connected Awards to recognize creative accomplishments among local business and residents. PROFIT is Canada’s leading media brand dedicated to entrepreneurial business. It includes PROFITguide.com and PROFIT Magazine.

The Canadian Business Best Places for Business relies on a mix of self-reported municipal data and independent demographic and market data. Market indicators factored into the ranking of Canada’s Most Lucrative Markets were population, population growth, population within a one-hour driving distance, median household income, percentage of residents with a university degree, percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree, unemployment rate and value of annual building permits issued.

8. Richmond Hill one of 23 Host Communities for Canada’s 150th SESQUI Exhibit

It was announced recently that Richmond Hill will be one of only a few municipalities in Canada to host the SESQUI exhibit as a part of the celebrations that we have planned to mark Canada’s 150th birthday next year. For a good summary of this announcement please visit –

 https://www.yorkregion.com/whatson-story/6774110-richmond-hill-chosen-one-of-23-host-communities-for-canada-s-150th-sesqui-exhibit/. Aside from this great SESQUI exhibit, there are many other festivities being planned by both our own municipal staff and also community groups across the town. It is a milestone moment in our country’s history and it should be a great reason to celebrate the occasion all year long! Stay tuned for more details.

9.  Grand Opening – A New Business on our Village Core                                    

It was great to attend the Grand Opening of another great new business in our Richmond Hill Village Core with our Mayor Barrow and MP Jowhari. Congratulations and best wishes to Safari Kids – newly opened at on Yonge Street at Centre Street West.

safari