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Richmond Hill profile

Richmond Hill is one of the most multicultural communities in the Greater Toronto Area. The Yonge Street corridor, especially the Old Richmond Hill area north of Major Mackenzie, is home to a large number of people of British background. The Bathurst Street area is favoured by Italian, Jewish, and Eastern European families, while Bayview Avenue and Leslie Street are home to one of the largest and most affluent Chinese communities in the Greater Toronto Area.

Richmond Hill is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area which is not surprising considering its close proximity to Toronto, and the fact that it is home to major employers including: Compaq Canada., Epson Canada, Levi Strauss, Lexmark Canada, and Suzuki Canada. The north-end of Richmond Hill is part of the environmentally significant Oak Ridges Moraine which is referred to as the “rain barrel of Ontario”. Ancient kettle lakes formed by the Moraine are significant landmarks in this part of the town. The largest of these is Lake Wilcox located at Bayview Avenue south of Bloomington Road. A public beach is located here.

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Richmond Hill began to take shape in 1801, when Abner Miles settled a parcel of land fronting on Yonge Street at Major Mackenzie Drive. Richmond Hill’s strategic location between the City of Toronto and Lake Simcoe made it a popular stopover in the 1820s, when a stage coach line began operating on Yonge Street. To accommodate this increased traffic; Miles, operated an Inn that was popular with weary travellers along the busy Yonge Street corridor. Miles also operated a general store and an ashery. His son James, would later donate land for the first church, and school in Richmond Hill.


In the 1830s, a post office was added, and the name of the community was changed from Miles Hill (and later Mount Pleasant), to Richmond Hill. The origin of the name Richmond Hill may have stemmed from a visit by Charles Gordon Lennox, Fourth Duke of Richmond, and a Governor General of Canada. Still others believe the village name may have originated with the local school teacher Benjamin Barnard who taught his pupils to sing ‘The Lass of Richmond Hill’, recalled from his childhood days in Richmond, Surrey, England.


In 1873, Richmond Hill was officially incorporated as a village. Richmond Hill rose to national prominence in 1912, when it was recognized as the “Rose Growing Capital of Canada”. During this period some four million roses were grown here annually. Post World War II growth resulted in new housing developments in Richmond Hill, and a dramatic growth in the population. This led to the incorporation of the Town of Richmond Hill in 1957.



Richmond Hill, south of Elgin Mills Road is completely urbanized. The subdivisions in this part of town have fairly high densities and include: detached homes, semi-detached homes, freehold townhouses, condominium townhouses, and link style homes. Many of these subdivisions are buffered by greenbelts and conservation areas. There is also an ever increasing number of condominium apartment buildings located along the Yonge Street corridor.

 Many of Richmond Hill’s newest subdivisions are being built in the Oak Ridges community off Yonge Street, north of Stouffville Road. A great deal of planning and thought has gone into these developments which are situated in the picturesque but environmentally sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine corridor.

 Richmond Hill’s heritage homes are situated in the downtown core at Yonge and Centre Street. The whimsical Ontario Cottages, and Board and Batten style homes found here, date back to the mid 1800s. Heritage plaques mounted on the front of these homes provide details on when they were built, who the original owners were, and their respective vocations. The Mill Pond community at Mill and Trench Streets, is situated just to the west of the aforementioned heritage district. This well-treed community has a pond as its focal point, and features big lots with ranch-style bungalows, and split-level houses, built in the 1950s and 60s.


Price List in Richmond Hill

  One Bedroom Condominum $150,000 - $250,000
  Two Bedroom Condominum $150,000 - $300,000
  Condominum Twonhouse $250,000 - $400,000
  Freehold Townhows $300,000 - $450,000
  Semi-Detached House $350,000 - $500,000
  Detached Bungalow and Split-Level $300,000 - $500,000
  Detached 2-Storey $400,000 - $1,000,000+




Yonge Street serves as the main shopping corridor in Richmond Hill. Downtown Richmond Hill, situated on Yonge Street, north of Major Mackenzie, has the look and feel of an old fashioned main street. Here you will find a plethora of shops, restaurants and professional services. Further north on Yonge Street at Carrville Road is Hillcrest Mall. This regional shopping centre has recently undergone extensive renovations. Hillcrest Mall is anchored by: The Bay, and Zellers. In addition there are over 130 stores inside this shopping mall. Further north on Yonge Street in Oak Ridges, are a string of shopping plazas which serve the everyday needs of local residents.

 Richmond Hill’s newest shopping destination is the Bayview Glen Power Centre, located at Yonge Street and Highway 7. This shopping destination features ‘big box’ retailers including: Home Depot, Sears Furniture, Indigo Books, restaurants and movie theatres.



Arts Richmond Hill’ is a non-profit organization supporting Arts and Culture in Richmond Hill. The Festival of Lights, Music Festival and Heritage Village Day are some of the annual events sponsored by this organization. The Richmond Hill Group of Artists is based at the Mill Pond Art Gallery located at 314 Mill Street. Adult and children’s art classes are offered here.

The Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society holds an annual Autumn Flower Show at the McConaghy Seniors’ Centre. This show is always well attended. The Richmond Hill Historical Society invites you to visit the Historical Burr House, located at 528 Carrville Road. This heritage home was built by Rowland Burr in 1820. While you are there you may want to tour their craft gallery for one-of-a-kind gifts. Richmond Hill has three public libraries: The Central Library located at 1 Atkinson Street, Oak Ridges Moraine Library at 13085 Yonge Street, Unit 12, and Richvale Library located at 40 Pearson Avenue. The Central Library located on the southwest corner of Major Mackenzie Drive and Yonge Street, is a 60,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility, with a collection of more than 175,000 books, videos, and CD’s.

For entertainment: be sure to visit the Lois Hancey Aquatic Centre located right next door to the Central Library. This aquatic centre is unique within the Greater Toronto Area. It includes a wave pool, 160 foot water slide, swirl pool with water jets and sprinklers, rain cloud with thunder and lightning, and an on-deck sauna. Astrology enthusiasts will want to visit the David Dunlap Observatory located at 123 Hillsview Drive. The University of Toronto operates this observatory for research in astronomy and astrophysics. The public is welcome to tour the facilities and have a look through the telescope on Tuesday mornings and Saturday evenings.



Richmond Hill has over 100 parks and natural areas, 5 golf courses, and 18 recreational facilities. Richmond Hill is well known for its outstanding figure skating and hockey programs. Many of these programs take place at the Elvis Stojko Arena. This arena is named after world champion mens figure skater Elvis Stojko, who grew up in Richmond Hill.


Sunset Beach Park on Lake Wilcox at Bayview Avenue and Bloomington Road is a popular waterfront recreational spot. This municipal beach is the home of the Richmond Hill Canoe Club. Phyllis Rawlinson Park at Leslie Street and 19th Avenue is an 89.5 acre conservation area willed to the Town of Richmond Hill by Phyllis Rawlinson, who served in the Women's Royal Naval Service during World War 11. Rawlinson also gained distinction as a champion equestrian and one of Canada’s first women polo players.



Richmond Hill is well served by York Region Transit which operates extensive bus service throughout this town. Go bus lines operate along Yonge Street and Bayview Avenue, connecting passengers to the Finch Subway Station on the Toronto Transit system. Local Go train service is available from the Newkirk Road station just north of Major Mackenzie between Yonge Street and Bayview Avenue. The Go train ride from this station to Toronto’s Union station takes approximately 40 minutes.


Richmond Hill motorists can easily access north-south corridors including Yonge Street, Bathurst Street, and Bayview Avenue. For commuters looking for a quicker route into Toronto try Highway 404, which can be accessed from the east-end of town.



York Region District School Board, (416) 969-8131,



 Socio-Economic Study for the Town of Richmond Hill




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