York Region’s third most populous municipality and one of the fastest growing cities in Canada since the 1990’s, Richmond Hill is a family-friendly community with much to offer. In close proximity to Toronto, visitors to the city of Richmond Hill will find an abundance of thriving residential communities and local businesses.
Here are 10 things to know about the fast-growing and affluent city of Richmond Hill:
1. Richmond Hill, by the numbers
- Population: 206,883, according the City of Richmond Hill website
- Location: the city is located in the southern portion of York Region, Ontario, Canada. Part of the GTA, the city is bounded by Bloomington Rd. (Aurora town limit) to the north, York Regional Road 7 (Vaughan city limit west of Yonge St., Markham city limit east of Yonge St.) to the south, Bathurst St. (Vaughan city limit) to the west, and Ontario Highway 404 (Markham city limit) to the east. Its southern limit is about 4 kilometres (3 miles) north of the Toronto city limit, Steeles Avenue, and approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the downtown core of Toronto.
- Size and standings: The town extends 14 kilometres (9 miles) north-south and 7 kilometres (3.5 miles) east-west. It is the third most populous municipality in York Region and the 28th most populous municipality in Canada.
2. The best spot for star-gazing
Richmond Hill is home to the David Dunlop Observatory, which houses the largest telescope in all of Canada. Opened in 1935, the observatory serves multiple purposes in both the recreational and academic fields. The observatory serves as an active research centre for the University of Toronto’s Astronomy and Astrophysics Department, where important ongoing studies and experimental programs are helping to further our reach and understanding of the universe.
3. A community to learn and grow
Within Richmond Hill and the surrounding York Region, there are several schools spanning from the public sector to private and Montessori school options.
The York Region District School Board is available to help residents obtain all the information they need when looking at schooling options for students ranging from kindergarten to grade 12, as well as continuing education programs for senior students and adults.
We’ve made note of just a few of the many top-rated schools in this community, but be sure to check out the York Region District School Board for a complete list. It’s also worth noting that this region (and many of the neighboring communities) offer excellent private school options.
For a thorough list of private schools in this community, OurKids.net is a great resource. Richmond Hill’s private school system is top-tier, offering an advanced curriculum across the board that includes classes beyond the traditional offerings such as language studies, art, music and more to broaden the scope of learning and development for students.
- Silver Stream Public School – serving students from JK to to grade 8, this top-rated elementary school offers programs that extend beyond regular classes to special education, as well as gifted programs, with an impressive ranking of 9.5/10 from the Fraser Institute.
- Richland Academy – located on the Oak Ridges Moraine, this private school, which has previously ranked as #1 under Reader’s Choice for Richmond Hill, puts an emphasis on “cultivating students who are deeper thinking, confident and world ready”
- The Prestige School – with an emphasis on individual learning and smaller class sizes, Prestige School offers classes from preschool to Grade 12 out of its two campuses in Toronto and Richmond Hill
- Richmond Hill Montessori Private School – offering classes from preschool to grade 8, this top-rated private school boasts an average class size of 20 students, ensuring the opportunity of individualized learning and focused structure for children
- Doncrest Public School – for those parents looking for a French Immersion option, Doncrest Public School ranks as the best in Richmond Hill
For those looking to continue their studies, Ontario offers several highly-accredited and varied post-secondary options.
4. Plenty of recreational greenspace to enjoy
There is no shortage of parks, trails and natural areas within Richmond Hill for residents and visitors to enjoy and stay active in. The city contains 167 parks, trails spanning 150 km and approximately 689 hectares of undeveloped natural areas.
Richmond Hill parks are equipped with everything you and your family needs to enjoy the great outdoors, including: playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, splash pads, a skate park, skate trail, picnic areas and more.
One of the city’s most popular parks is Crosby Park. This is Richmond Hill’s first fully-accessible park, providing a space where people of all abilities can safely get active and take part in outdoor recreation. Some of the features of Crosby park include: a “water play” area (featuring a frog pond and rain wall), a sensory garden, bird-watching zones and a new access point for drop-offs to facilitate access to Centennial Pool.
The playground at Crosby Park is one of the most impressive features for its fully-accessible design. It features gently sloping ramps with railings, a rubberized space for play, both rubberized and non-rubberized swing areas, an elevated sandbox and a double-width slide for both children and accompanying caregivers – this park was truly designed with “play for all” in mind.
For sports lovers, Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park offers a 26,000 square foot indoor sports centre, an outdoor basketball park, two ice skating rinks, three outdoor soccer fields, seven baseball diamonds, seasonal Bocce courts, a state-of-the-art skateboarding park – and more!
While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to check out the Sports Hall of Fame, which currently features 62 inductees, spotlighting those athletes, officials, teams and contributors who have contributed to the sports fabric of this community.
5. Arts, culture and learning are paramount in Richmond Hill
This community puts an emphasis on arts, culture and academics, going the extra mile to create enriching and interactive experiences for its residents. There are four public libraries in Richmond Hill, all offering a variety of services and programs for visitors: Central Library, Oak Ridges Library, Richmond Green Library and Richvale Library.
With a rich history and immense pride in its heritage, the city of Richmond Hill offers tours and programs at its Heritage Centre as well as the A.J. Clark Interpretive Centre and several local community centres. For a more interactive way to learn about the history of this beautiful city, the Walk and Learn Heritage Walking Tour Series provides a fun (and physically-distanced) opportunity to take in some local culture – and enjoy the fresh air!
The Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts is a 4,000 square metre, 631-seat state-of-the-art facility located in the downtown core, offering full-season entertainment with an emphasis on spotlighting and celebrating the cultural mosaic of the local community. If you’re looking to get involved in the local art and culture scene, there are several groups available to choose from, spanning all interests from the Northern Woodcarvers to the York Symphony Orchestra.
6. Richmond Hill is a great place to do and invest in business
The city of Richmond Hill comprises a multitude of thriving businesses, and has a large number of people employed in the sectors of business, finance, administration and management. For those looking to do business here, the city offers a service called RH Concierge to assist “business owners, developers, and investors with a formal service to help facilitate the development application process through the convenience of a single point of contact”.
Here are a few quick facts to illustrate the vast opportunity and support this community offers those looking to do and invest in local business:
- 126 languages are spoken across a growing population of 206,883
- The city is comprised of one of Canada’s most educated workforces: over 50% of residents are University graduates and over 77% have had post-secondary studies, which translates to a vast network of local and diverse talent in which to build and nurture your business
- This city is all about innovation as a leader in the following business sectors: professional, scientific and technical services, the health industry, the finance and insurance sector, as well as information and cultural industries
- Situated for convenience and success, Richmond Hill is located at the center of the Greater Toronto Area, with several points of access via transit systems, major highways, ports and airports to facilitate getting around
- The city boasts “competitive development charges, office development and redevelopment incentives, and comparatively low property tax rates allowing you to properly manage these costs and focus on your business growth” via the city’s Community Profile
- Richmond Hill has the accolades to back up their confidence in local business, having most recently won the Gold Excellence Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for Guide for New Businesses brochure in 2016, amongst several other awards and noted achievements
You can check out some first-person testimonials from local business people in the community here.
7. Richmond Hill is an age-friendly community
Under the city’s Age-Friendly Community Initiative, the city aims to ensure that opportunities for participation, activity and quality of life are inclusive of all age groups, putting emphasis on support and consideration of those 55 and up. For more information on this initiative, you can check out the Strong Sense of Belonging plan under the city’s Strategic Priorities page.
8. Top-tier healthcare
Richmond Hill is home to the award-winning Mackenzie Health Hospital – notably the only Canadian recipient of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives’ (CHIME) Most Wired award in 2018.
Using leading technology and innovation, Richmond Hill offers a range of healthcare options, clinics and resources to its residents. Per the city’s website, “generic pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices and eHealth” are noted as specific strengths, attributing to the city’s reputation as leaders in the health sector.
9. One of Canada’s youngest cities
Incorporated in 1872, where it transitioned from the status of village to township, Richmond Hill only officially became a city in March of 2019, when it changed its name from “Town of Richmond Hill” to the “City of Richmond Hill.
10. Richmond Hill is an ideal place for families
Known as one of Canada’s friendliest and fastest-growing cities, Richmond Hill is a community to live, work and grow. With an emphasis on arts, culture and environment, this community is the ideal landscape in which to nurture a healthy, active and engaged lifestyle for your family.
Supporting its residents in everything from staying active in the community to starting a business, the city knows that its success is rooted in the success of the people who live and work there.