Council News and Highlights

limatewise Business Network 


I had the pleasure of attending the Climatewise Business Network Event on May 31st. The keynote speaker was former Toronto Mayor David Miller. His keynote address entitled Yes We Can – Yes We Must, talked about the importance of cities in impacting Climate Change. He delivered a message of hope that municipalities and businesses can make a huge difference.

Over 75% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions come from cities. Mr. Miller mentioned some of the environmental initiatives that Richmond Hill has been taking – especially our award winning Sustainability Metrics that we put in place with Vaughan and Brampton. He also talked about how businesses are increasingly going green – its the right thing to do, it often increases a bottom line, and it also reinforces a brand trust.

Hibar Systems Limited

With Deputy Mayor Vito Spatafora, Hibar President & CEO Iain McColl and Ward 5 Councillor Karen Cilevitz

On June 12th I had an opportunity to tour Hibar Systems Limited. Hibar is an award winning company that manufactures automation systems for manufacturing plants and they do all this right here in Richmond Hill. One of the products for which they are known worldwide is precision pumps for battery manufacturing, pharmaceutical and other industries. They export almost all of their products to many different countries. They have won several awards including a Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Award in 2014. Thanks Hibar for being a leader in our vibrant Richmond Hill Business community!

Richmond Hill Receives Funding for Watermain Projects on Trench Street and Laverock Avenue

Council announced that Richmond Hill has been awarded $1,456,650 from the Federal Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. The funding will be used towards upcoming watermain replacement projects on Trench Street, Laverock Avenue and Kersey Crescent. The Clean Water and Wastewater Fund is a Federal fund that provides municipalities with vital infrastructure funding to support the rehabilitation and modernization of drinking water systems, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and the planning and design of future facilities and upgrades to existing systems. Richmond Hill applies for grant funding opportunities from the federal and provincial governments and other funding organizations to help pay for projects that improve our community, including infrastructure renewal projects. Since 2007, Richmond Hill has received approximately $32.6 million in grants and since 2005, we have received $41.6 million in federal gas tax funds.

Clean Air Council Summit

Richmond Hill was well represented at the Clean Air Summit that took place at Toronto City Hall. I attended, along with Deputy Mayor Vito Spatafora and Councillor Karen Cilevitz. We heard about actions from several municipalities (Councillor Spatafora presented our environmental efforts to the attendees) to address issues related to Clean Air and Green House Gas Emissions. Many excellent presentations and a great deal of information was shared with the goal of making our GTA cities more environmentally sustainable and livable. Ontario Environment and Climate Change Minister Glen Murray was one of the speakers.

Richmond Hill Continues to Enhance Pedestrian Safety in the Community

I am pleased to announce that Council approved new traffic and pedestrian safety measures around St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School at Shaftsbury Avenue and Casa Grande Street. I have been working with our traffic engineering staff, the school Parent Council, and school administration for several years to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety in this area. Staff conducted a comprehensive traffic and safety review between Bathurst Street and Larratt Lane and recommended several measures to improve pedestrian safety and traffic conditions. A pedestrian crossover and flashing lights will be installed on Shaftsbury Avenue to increase safety and improve pedestrian crossing opportunities in the vicinity of the school. The Town will be working in conjuction with the York Region Catholic District School Board to implement the new measures and school access improvements to ensure a safe environment for students and parents.

Richmond Hill Welcomes Community Investments

Richmond Hill is continually faced with financial pressures and budgetary constraints and, like other municipalities, is pursuing opportunities to generate new revenue sources, including sponsorship associated with naming an asset for a fixed period of time. For this reason, Council approved the new Naming Rights Policy outlining guidelines for such proposals to cover the costs for maintaining community parks and recreation and culture facilities. The policy was developed to maximize revenue-generating opportunities, establish and guide relationships with potential partners who share the Town’s commitment to providing the highest quality civic environment and ensure the benefits to the Town and community are fair, balanced and equitable.

Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts Continues to Shine

Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts has been bringing world class entertainment to Richmond Hill since its doors opened on February 28, 2009. The theatre has grown to present 37 performances a year on the main stage, Suite Thursdays and On!Stage, served as a venue for close to 300 community events (2016) and welcomed artists including Boyz II Men, Jackie Richardson, Veterans of SNL, Art Garfunkel and many more. Its education series program is rapidly gaining popularity with young performers through afterschool, P.A. Day and school holiday camp programs. The 2017/2018 season was launched in May and will celebrate Canada 150 with 78 per cent of shows featuring Canadian artists.

Richmond Hill Art School By Woodland Artists

It was inspiring to visit Richmond Hill Art School’s art show earlier this month. The Art Show showcased some very talented young people and a wide array of different forms and genres of visual art! Thanks to owner Natasha Tolub for the invitation.

Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church turns 200 Years Old

 Councillor Hogg and Historical Society President Andrea dedication the bench and plaque in the historic Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church Cemetary.

 It was a real pleasure earlier this month to attend a celebration at the Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church. The Richmond Hill Historical Society dedicated a bench and presented an award to the congregation of the church to honour their 200 year milestone as a congregation. Thanks to Councillor Hogg for bringing greetings from council and thanks to the Historical Society for hosting this event. The Presbyterian Church and all the churches on Yonge Street have provided an important part of the social fabric in our community while also providing beautiful landmarks that continue to grace our Village Core skyline.