“A little north, a little nicer” is the unofficial motto for Richmond Hill, Ontario. The community located between the City of Markham and the City of Vaughan has remained friendly and down to earth, even during its extensive growth periods.
Named after the Duke of Richmond, the town was officially incorporated on June 18, 1872, as a village. The village’s development was closely linked with the development of Yonge Street and in the early twentieth century, several greenhouse operations were built and the town was named the “rose capital” of Canada. The town has since modernized and is now part of Canada’s largest technology cluster, and also a pioneer in the four key business sectors (Scientific and Technical Services, Health Industry, Finance and Insurance, and Information and Cultural Industries).
With the job industry in Richmond Hill being advanced many individuals have chosen to make the community their home. As of May 10, 2016, the population of Richmond Hill was 195,022, an increase of 5.1% since 2011. Many of these individuals are highly educated and the town boasts one of Canada’s most educated workforce. More than 50% of residents hold a University degree and over 77% have post-secondary education. According to Dave Barrow, Mayor of Richmond Hill, the city grows 2-3% annually, adding 3 to 4,000 new residents.
As the population continues to grow each year, real estate becomes an important topic of discussion. Single detached homes remain the dominant dwelling type in Richmond Hill, but the proportion has been steadily decreasing from 63.6% in 2006 to 58.7% in 2016. As of January 31, 2018, the average sale price for a detached home was $1,319,797. However, other types of properties have seen an increase in demand. Condominium apartment buildings that have 5 storeys or more and row houses have both seen increases between 2006 and 2016. Condominium apartments have increased their share by 3.8% to 16.5% and row houses have increased by 1.3% to 15.1%. At the end of January 31, 2018, the average sale price for a condominium apartment and row house was $439,237 and $831,999.
It is not only jobs that drive people to Richmond Hill, education also plays a major role. The Fraser Institute provincially ranks 2 secondary schools in the top 10 and 2 elementary schools in the top 50. St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic High School is ranked 4/747 and Bayview Secondary School is ranked 9/747, while Silver Stream Public School and St. Charles Garnier Catholic Elementary School are both ranked 41/3064.
Richmond Hill intends to retain its village-like character even though new developments have quietly sprouted in the area. Each summer, the town features a concert series entitled “Concerts in the Park”, each having a specific theme, such as children’s music and “The Beach Boys” and are held at Mill Pond Park, with some Sunday concerts at Richmond Green Park.
Athletes such as Cassie Campbell, Michael Cammalleri, Curtis Joseph, Jeff O’Neill, Denis Shapovalov, Elvis Stojko and Trish Stratus are all from Richmond Hill. Other notable individuals include Isai and Mark Scheinberg, Co-Founders of PokerStars and Farley Mowat, Novelist. It is not just people that the town is known for. The original Canadian burger chain Harvey’s restaurant was opened in Richmond Hill in 1959 at the corner of Yonge Street and Observatory Lane. The Cineplex Theatres at Hwy 7 and Yonge St is a major attraction and is a popular destination for all ages.
The community has a lot of rich history and at the root of it all remains its people. It is no wonder that every time you enter the town it reads “Richmond Hill, where people come together to build our community”.