Council News and Highlights

Richmond Hill Receives Funding for Cycling Infrastructure

Council was notified that Richmond Hill has been awarded $325,000 in funding from the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program. The money will help pay for Phase one construction of Richmond Hill’s portion of the Lake to Lake Cycling Route and Walking Trail, which will run along Leslie Street from Highway 7 to just north of 16th Avenue. The Lake to Lake Cycling Route and Walking Trail will be an on and off-road amenity from Lake Simcoe to Lake Ontario. The Route will eventually connect six municipalities in York Region (Georgina, East Gwillimbury, Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill and Markham) and the City of Toronto. Phase one of the Route in Richmond Hill is jointly funded by Richmond Hill and York Region, with each municipality contributing an estimated $890,000 towards the project.

Green Light for David Dunlap Observatory Park Master Plan

Plan Focuses on Astronomy Education, Environmental Preservation and Cultural Heritage

Council approved the David Dunlap Observatory (DDO) Park Master Plan which determines an overall vision and strategic approach to preserving and enhancing the 40-hectare site. This will result in one of Richmond Hill’s destination parks with modern amenities for the public to enjoy.

Through the public consultation process, people expressed the desire for natural heritage protection, public recreational opportunities and celebration of the astronomical heritage of the site.

“Our vision is for the park to form part of Richmond Hill’s identity as a treasured place in the GTA that embodies discovery, education, sustainability and inclusion,” said Mayor Dave Barrow. “When construction of the DDO Park is complete, people will come to visit Canada’s historic observatory, celebrate the stars and enjoy acres of natural parkland.”

Key features of the Master Plan include the minimization of impact to the natural areas as well as the concentration of higher intensity uses including tennis courts, a skating trail and a central fountain plaza. Opportunities for education and outreach programming at the site, focused on science and astronomy, will be provided.

The estimated capital cost to implement the DDO Master Plan is approximately $54 million over a 15 to 20-year timeframe. Construction is set to begin in a few years.

Visit to view the full report.

Happy Moon Festival

I attended the Moon Festival at the Oak Ridges Community Centre.  It was a wonderful community celebration.


Memorial Veteran Statue for Richmond Hill’s Cenotaph

A Memorial Veteran Statue is to be placed at the Richmond Hill Cenotaph on Yonge Street. The funding for the statue will come from the Mayor’s Charity Golf Tournaments (2015 to 2018) and also from the Mayor’s Endowment Reserve Fund, which will be closed thereafter. The statue will honour the veterans of the First and Second World Wars and Canada’s many peacekeeping missions, as well as all who have contributed in war and peace to the freedom of our democracy. Local artist William Ho will be commissioned to create the statue, which is expected to be completed for 2018. Mr. Ho also created the Love, Hope, Harmony and People sculpture at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, which celebrates the 140th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Richmond Hill.

Tastes of the Hill

I hope you had a chance to come out to the 10th Annual Tastes of the Hill Multicultural Food Festival at Richmond Green last month. It was a really well attended event with entertainment and food representing many countries and cultures. The event has also raised money for a number of charities over the years. This year’s recipient of funds was the Epilepsy Foundation of York Region. Thanks to Regional and Local Councillor Spatafora and his volunteers for producing this well enjoyed event over the past 10 years.


New Canadians taking their citizenship oath during the festivities


Dancers from all over the world showcasing their talent


Richmond Hill Blooms Gala


For the second year in a row Richmond Hill had the pleasure of honouring exceptional front gardens in our town. At an awards event at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, three gardens were selected for recognition in each of our 6 wards. There were over 1400 gardens nominated for an award this year – like the gardens themselves, the recognition program is also growing! We have many really beautifully landscaped properties in Richmond Hill and it is great to be able to recognize those gardeners whose skill stands out. Thanks also to the Richmond Hill Horticultural Society for providing the expertise and judges for this program. For more, and to see photos of the winning gardens please see the article below.


Gardener extraordinaire Ken Brown speaking about his gard

Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce Mayors Address

Each year at this time Mayor Barrow delivers a State of the Town address to the community through the Chamber of Commerce Mayor’s Luncheon. This year the business community heard about the progress and status of exciting projects that are starting, and that will take shape over the next years. Some of these projects include the Viva Yonge Rapidway, the Yonge Subway Extension to Yonge and Highway #7, and the Civic Precinct project.

We were also introduced to a special guest this year. His name is Bolade Ajomale. He is one of Canada’s Bronze Medal winners at the Rio Olympics in the 4×100 mens relay. This exceptional young man recently graduated from Alexander Mackenzie High School (and Pleasantville Public School before that) and did our country and Town proud at the Rio Olympics. He told the audience a story, that during the last olympics when the men’s relay team got disqualified, he said to his mom he would be running for Canada in the next games. The rest is history!


Bolade speaking to the crowd


Bolade with 360Kids CEO Michael Braithwaite

Mill Pond Gallery Garage Door Mural Unveiling


Artist Andrea End unveiling the mural with Mayor Dave Barrow

The Richmond Hill Group of Artists recently unveiled a mural on the garage door of the Mill Pond Gallery (beside the Mill Pond Park). A local artist and Mill Pond Group of Artist member, Andrea End, is the artist behind this work.  This artwork was chosen by a group of judges (I was honoured to be one of those judges) and now adds a beautiful new piece of art to our community. Congratulations to Andrea and to the Richmond Hill Group of Artists for adding so much to our artistic and cultural community in Richmond Hill.

Chinese National Day Flag Raising


The flag raising ceremony

On Sunday October 2nd a group of residents gathered at the Richmond Hill Town Offices to raise the Chinese flag in celebration of the 67th birthday of the People’s Republic of China. A number of dignitaries were in attendance including Chinese Counsel General Mr. Xue Bing.  Many of the speakers spoke of the importance of the cultural contributions and skills that the Chinese community have brought to our country and our town. I am proud to live in a community where we have so much cultural diversity to celebrate.


Chinese Counsel General Mr. Xue Bing addressing the crowd.

Council to discuss Richmond Hill Tennis Strategy


At Council last week, staff brought forward the final Tennis Strategy report for consideration. There has been a fair amount of interest from tennis players across the town about this report. Much public input has been solicited in the creation of this strategy, and this input has been reflected in the report. The Tennis strategy will guide and inform the town regarding the creation and refurbishment of tennis courts and facilities over the coming years. To view the full staff report please click here.