Revitalization of Richmond Hill’s Downtown Continues

Council approved a $10,000 grant in conjunction with the Village Core Façade Assistance Program for the restoration of St. Mary’s Anglican Church at 10030 Yonge Street. The Village Core Façade Assistance Program was first established in April 2000 to provide grants for Downtown building owners to improve the façades of their premises according to guidelines determined by the Town. Façade improvements are already underway at 10216, 10220 and 10220A Yonge Street, thanks to grants from the program. Council is pleased to support the program as it demonstrates the Town’s commitment to bringing thriving businesses and people to the Downtown area. The first grant was awarded in July 2001 and so far almost $88,000 has been committed to restoring ten building façades in the Downtown area. To continue with the success of the Village Core Façade Assistance Program, Council has approved another $45,000, to be transferred from the Yonge Street Revitalization Reserve, for future restorative projects. The Downtown Task Force was formed in April 2004 to identify the key issues and challenges facing Richmond Hill’s Downtown area as they relate to future development and redevelopment, transportation and economic viability. Residents and business owners can look forward to learning about and providing their feedback on the Town’s various Downtown revitalization initiatives at a public meeting expected to be held soon. The Village Core Façade Assistance Program supports the Strategic Plan by preserving, enhancing and developing the village core. For more information, contact Lise Conde, Downtown Facilitatator at (905) 771-8800, ext. 3819

10 Richmond Hill Residents Winners At Ontario Senior Games

On behalf of Council, Mayor Dave Barrow presented Certificates of Appreciation to the Richmond Hill winners of the Ontario Senior Games Winterfest 2007, held February 14-16 in Brockville, Ontario. These 10 winners are active members at McConaghy Seniors’ Centre. In badminton, Art Chepelsky and Birti Somayaji and Ricky Tai won Bronze; Armand Gradinetti and Monica Leung won Gold; and Roberta Simon and Sunny Somayaji won Silver. In table tennis, Ursula Lacock and Emilia Negulescu won Gold. More than 2000 seniors aged 55 and older competed at Winterfest in activities including alpine and Nordic skiing, badminton, curling, ice hockey, skating, volleyball, bowling, table tennis, snow shoeing and squash. Forty districts throughout Ontario were represented at Winterfest and participants were chosen through a series of regional qualification events. The games are designed to maintain and enhance the psychological and physiological well-being of seniors by encouraging them to stay involved in sports and recreational activities as participants or volunteers. Council also acknowledged staff from the McConaghy Seniors’ Centre for their roles in helping to coordinate the seniors’ participation in these games for the past 20 years. For more information, contact Darlene Joslin, Director of Recreation & Culture at (905) 771-2423

Town of Richmond Hill Wins 2006 David W. Pretty Cup

Council was notified by Parks, Recreation & Culture Department staff that the Town has won the 2006 David W. Pretty Cup. This is the second year in a row that the Town has won the award, which is presented annually by the Lifesaving Society to the municipality with the largest lifesaving program in a community with a population between 100,000 and 250,000. The Lifesaving Society is a charitable organization that works to prevent drowning and water-related injury through training programs, Water Smart public education and aquatic safety management services. Points are awarded to those affiliates who offer the Society’s training programs to the community, with point values reflecting the degree of difficulty and time required for training. The Town finished first with 57,754 points. For more information, contact Melanie Baker, Manager of Aquatics & Fitness, at (905) 508-5995, ext. 222

Town of Richmond Hill Awarded Youth Friendly Status

Council was notified by Parks, Recreation & Culture Department staff that the Town has been awarded Youth Friendly status by Play Works, an independent group of organizations committed to helping youth by encouraging and promoting a greater investment in youth play. The Town is one of 14 Ontario communities being acknowledged by the Play Works Youth Friendly Community Recognition Program for outstanding commitment in actively supporting and providing opportunities for the growth and development of youth (ages 13 to 19) through recreation, sport, arts, civic engagement, youth activism, volunteerism and leadership. The Town applied for Youth Friendly status last spring and was required to meet at least 10 of 16 youth friendly criteria, including providing opportunities for play, youth engagement, accessible programs and opportunities for youth activism. For more information, contact Gary Shropshire, Manager of General Programs, at (905) 882-4295, ext. 3155

Town Supports 2007 West Nile Virus Program

Council provided its support for the 2007 West Nile virus program in York Region and agreed to forward a letter of support for a regional larviciding permit application to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. A letter of support is required from each municipality in York Region before implementing the program. Council recognizes the importance of protecting the community from West Nile virus, which that has become endemic in Ontario and, is unpredictable and has been detected in humans the past five summers. Once again this year, a Region-wide West Nile virus surveillance program will be carried out which includes contracting a pest control company to undertake the larviciding of all catch basins on municipal roads four times this mosquito season (once every 21 days). For more information, contact John Nemeth, Manager of Water Resources, at (905) 771-8800, ext. 4480

Richmond Hill Eateries Win 2007 Eat Smart! Awards

Mayor Dave Barrow, joined by Deputy Mayor Brenda Hogg and Regional Councillor Vito Spatafora, presented representatives from a number of Richmond Hill eateries with 2007 Eat Smart! Awards. Eat Smart! restaurants are nominated by York Region Public Health Inspectors because of excellent food safety records. The Eat Smart! Award program is Ontario’s Healthy Restaurant Program offered by York Region through the Health Services Department. The program recognizes restaurants and food premises that offer a variety of healthier food choices, on the menu or by request, have exceptional standards in food safety including kitchen staff certified in safe food handling and provide a 100 per cent smoke-free environment. The awards are granted on an annual basis. For more information, contact Robert Prowse, Director of Council Support Services/Town Clerk at (905) 771-2511

Richmond Hill Fire Department to Host 51st Annual Ontario Municipal Fire

Prevention Officers Association Education and Training Symposium Council congratulated the Richmond Hill Fire Department on being selected to host the 51st Annual Ontario Municipal Fire Prevention Officers Association (OMFPOA) Education and Training Symposium. Taking place in Richmond Hill from June 3 – 7, 2007, more than 200 dignitaries and delegates are expected to attend. Not only will the symposium give Richmond Hill Fire Prevention Officers an opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise, it will also support local businesses when delegates experience Richmond Hill first hand through related activities (shopping, dining, etc.). The OMFPOA is made up of more than 600 members from over 200 different fire departments and fire service related companies throughout Ontario. It plays a key role in promoting fire prevention, training and fire safety education initiatives on both Provincial and Federal levels. For more information, contact Randall K. Pyle, Chief of Fire Prevention at (905) 763-8778