Council News and Highlights

Richmond Hill Continues to Celebrate Canada 150

Street Banner Contest Entries Selected 

Richmond Hill is excited to showcase the selected artwork of the Street Banner Contest, whose unique creations celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation have been selected. These pieces of art will be displayed along Yonge Street in Richmond Hill. Held earlier this year, the contest was funded by the Government of Canada and is one of Richmond Hill’s many Canada 150 themed initiatives. Richmond Hill residents were encouraged to design and submit up to five pieces of visual art including photography, digital art, collage, painting, illustration and printmaking. The theme for the contest was “Past, Present and Future,” and encouraged members of the community to reflect on their history in Richmond Hill, the current strengths of the community and the possibilities for its future.

Residents and visitors alike will be able to view the chosen street banners portraying colourful and vibrant pictures of the town’s lakes and forests, plants and animals, and some of the many historic sites. The street banners have been installed along Yonge Street between Major Mackenzie Drive and Crosby Avenue.

Thanks to all the residents who had artwork selected. I have been told the decision was not easy with over 60 works of art submitted. The following residents had their artwork selected:

Alexandra K Conrad, Andrea End, Bud Newton, Chloe Tsui, Chris Kingdon, Claire Laitinen, Clyde Fancisco, Elizabeth Wu, Esther Zhu, Eugene Zhu, Grant Dale, Jodi Hui, Rhonda Starr, Senlin Qiao, Victoria Wu, Yiu Man Wong

To view the selected Street Banner Contest entries or to learn more about other Canda 150 initiatives, please visit

Notice to Residents Re:  Arnold Crescent Highland Lane and Elizabeth Street – Detailed Topographic Survey 

Community Tree Planting Efforts Help Increase Richmond Hill’s Tree Canopy 

Council received a report outlining the continued success of Richmond Hill’s efforts to protect the natural environment and its achievements in 2016. Major highlights include the Community Stewardship and Healthy Yards Programs and their contributions to increasing Richmond Hill’s urban tree canopy cover by 4.6% in just over five years. Through the Community Stewardship Program, Richmond Hill works with agencies and community volunteers to improve the local environment through activities such as tree planting, stream restoration and invasive species removal. In 2016, with the help of 2,000 community volunteers and partner agencies, 10,100 trees/shrubs were planted in Richmond Hill parks and natural areas. The Healthy Yards Program provides residents the opportunity to purchase native trees, shrubs and perennial flowers for their own property at a subsidized cost.

Rain barrels are also available at a wholesale price. In 2016, approximately 1,000 residents purchased 1,110 trees and shrubs, 3,485 wildflowers and 198 rain barrels. Tree planting initiatives like these, in combination with natural tree canopy growth has helped Richmond Hill’s tree canopy to increase substantially since 2010. Based on the Town’s land area of 10,008 hectares (excluding water), Richmond Hill’s urban tree canopy increased from 24.5% in 2010 to approximately 29.1% in 2016 (2,912 hectares in total). This significant tree canopy increase can, in part, be attributed to Richmond Hill having a fairly “young” tree canopy which has developed over the past decade on residential streets, as well as in areas like the Elgin Mills Cemetery. In addition, new trees that have been planted through restoration efforts within the Town’s park and open space system and in the Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve have notably increased canopy coverage, particularly in areas previously without tree cover. For information about the 2017 Healthy Yards Program and other upcoming tree planting events, visit

Richmond Hill Staff Raise More Than $60,000 for United Way of Toronto & York Region

Every year, Richmond Hill staff show their support for the United Way by participating in a variety of initiatives to raise funds for the organization. In 2016, staff introduced a pancake breakfast and juried baking competition in addition to past events such as the payroll deduction program and silent auctions. This culminated in staff presenting a cheque in the amount of $62,537.99 to United Way representatives Gordon Shand and Marc Keohane. The overall region-wide campaign raised a record $102 million, which is the highest achievement to date and the largest United Way campaign in the world. The funds will directly benefit many local agencies in Richmond Hill and the GTA that offer essential programs to the community. To learn more about the United Way of Toronto & York Region, visit

Richmond Hill’s Youth Activities are Platinum Level!  

Richmond Hill has been recognized for its commitment to providing recreational opportunities for youth with Platinum Level status through Play Works’ Youth Friendly Community Award program. This program acknowledges the great work that communities are doing to ensure their youth have continuous access to a diversity of ‘play’. The Town and other community organizations in Richmond Hill offer a consistent and varied mix of play opportunities for youth including recreation, sports, arts, drama, dance and civic engagement. Platinum Level status means that Richmond Hill met all sixteen of the youth friendly criteria. Previously Richmond Hill obtained a Bronze Level (2006) and Gold Level (2011) status.  

Richmond Hill to Celebrate Youth May 1st to 7th

Iman Tajadod and Aqeel Assan-Lebbe, co-chairs of Richmond Hill’s Youth Action Committee (YAC), delivered a presentation to Council outlining the group’s recent accomplishments and upcoming event schedule. Along with Councillor Castro Liu we have been honoured to be assigned as the Council Liaisons with the Youth Action Committee.  

YAC is an energetic and enthusiastic group of Richmond Hill residents in grades six to 12 who provide staff and Council with advice and input on programs and services for youth in the community. The presentation outlined the many events the committee has been involved with over the past year including hosting the Halloween Howl, participating in the Santa Claus Parade, as well as partnering with local young artists in Hill After Dark.

Council also proclaimed May 1 to 7 as Youth Week in Richmond Hill. In partnership with YAC, a number of fun and engaging activities are planned in celebration of Richmond Hill’s youth. Activities include a computer workshop, Iron Chef and movie night, Cake Boss event, a kickboxing clinic, a video game clinic and more. The group also announced that they will be hosting the annual Future Leaders in YACtion (FLY) Leadership Conference on June 3 where students will get the chance to learn from the experiences and stories of renowned speakers with diverse backgrounds, including business, science and human studies. 

Richmond Hill Grows Greener with Tree, Shrub Planting Programs

Community volunteers planted 750 trees at Lake Wilcox Park April 21 as part of Richmond Hill’s annual Earth Day celebrations.  To read more visit

Nearly $1 Million Funding Support for Richmond Hill Canada 150 Projects 

Recently Richmond Hill Member of Parliament Majid Jowhari joined Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow and Members of Council to announce three grants totaling over $800,000 from the Government of Canada in support of the Town’s Canada 150 initiatives. With this funding, Richmond Hill’s street banners and utility boxes will be decorated with artwork representing the community and a significant portion of costs for the revitalization of Morgan Boyle Park will be covered (to learn more about the plans for this park click here). The funding will also contribute to Richmond Hill’s Canada Day celebrations.

These grants will not only beautify our town, they will help us provide opportunities for the community to come together to celebrate Canada’s 150 years of Confederation.

A grant of $15,000 from the Celebration and Commemoration Program – Canada 150 Fund will contribute to Richmond Hill’s Canada 150 activities, including the Street Banner Contest, which invited residents to design and submit pieces of visual art based on the theme, “Past, Present and Future.” The selected banners can be seen along Yonge Street between Major Mackenzie Drive and Crosby Avenue, as well as on Richmond Hill’s Facebook page. This grant will also support the Richmond Hill Community Mural Project, which will feature murals painted on eight utility boxes throughout Richmond Hill. The submission deadline for artwork is July 27 and the completed mural boxes will be unveiled on September 30 as part of Culture Days.

A third federal grant from the Celebrate Canada Fund provides $15,000 toward Richmond Hill’s Canada Day Celebrations at Richmond Green Park. Every year, thousands of people in Richmond Hill and the GTA come to Richmond Green to celebrate Canada’s birthday with live entertainment, a teen zone, children’s village, beer garden, food from around the world and the region’s largest firework display.

Al Nadwa Islamic Centre’s 3rd  Annual York Region Appreciation Dinner & Awards


The evening’s festivities honoured Emergency First Responders in York Region. Many community leaders and First Responders were recognized at this event.

Thanks to the staff at the Al Nadwa Islamic Centre for organizing this great event and for all the work they do in our community. Pictured to the left are Provincial Ministers Dr. Helena Jaczek and Dr. Reza Moridi with Iman Dr. Saeed R. Faizi Nadvi and General Secretary Aslam Badat from the Al Nadwa Islamic Centre.

Community Engagement Session – Mackenzie Health Update


Meeting Summary by Mackenzie Health – On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Councillor David West and Altaf Stationwala, Mackenzie Health’s President and CEO partnered to provide Richmond Hill Ward 4 residents with an update on the ongoing initiatives to improve the health care experience for patients and their families at the Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital, Mackenzie Health’s Smart Hospital Vision and future evolution to a two-site hospital model, as well as a preview of Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital’s interior and exterior design.

Serving the growing communities of Richmond Hill, Vaughan and King, Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital continues to experience high volumes of visits in the Emergency Department (ED). Every day, 250 to 320 patients are cared for in the ED, including 45 to 70 that are brought in by ambulances. Hospital overcrowding is a province-wide issue, but with less acute care bed capacity compared to peer hospitals and with our communities becoming urban areas, our local hospital is under even more pressure.

Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital continues to focus on providing excellent quality care to every patient, every time. This was recognized for a second consecutive year by Accreditation Canada, when it awarded Mackenzie Health Accreditation with Exemplary Standing, the highest level of accreditation which confirms the hospital’s commitment to providing care that meets internationally recognized standards of quality and safety, and to improving practices through ongoing quality improvement.                                                                 

A leader in healthcare innovation, Mackenzie Health also continues to develop new, state-of-the-art ways technologies that can improve the way staff and physicians do their work, and allow them to spend more time with the patients. As part of this endeavor, Mackenzie Health signed a $300 million, 18-year large scale contract with Philips, that will advance Mackenzie Health’s medical technology procurement and maintenance programs for the existing Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital and the future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital.

Upon completion in 2020, Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will be the first hospital in Canada to feature fully integrated ‘smart’ technology systems and medical devices that speak directly to one another to maximize information exchange. The smart hospital vision will be applied at the existing Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital as well as the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, for a seamless care experience.

As part of this vision, Mackenzie Health partnered with Epic, a world leader in medical records and information technology, to develop a new and advanced Electronic Medical record (EMR) system that will make it possible to exchange information at the point of care, empowering patients with easy access to their health records and providing physicians with exactly what they need to make important health care decisions more quickly. And most recently, Mackenzie Health awarded a contract to Compugen, a Richmond Hill-based company, to provide and support an integrated technology platform to help build and implement its smart hospital vision. The partnership will also help create a number of new jobs to benefit the local community.

Following the formal presentation, community members had an opportunity to ask questions and have an engaging conversation with Councillor David West and Altaf Stationwala on topics such as the two-site hospital model and staffing at the two locations, parking and the design of the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital.

Israeli Independence Day Celebrated in Richmond Hill

Yom Ha’atzmaut, or the 69th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel was celebrated this week. We were honoured to share this occasion with Deputy Consul General Irit Stopper and a number of residents who came out to help raise the flag of Israel at the Town offices. The weather was not particularly co operative but according to Deputy Council General Stopper – it never rains in Israel on Yom Ha’atzmaut!