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May 10, 2014

The key to exploring your community …

Enjoy this FREE opportunity to explore the heritage, arts, architecture and culture that Richmond Hill has to offer.

Richmond Hill – A traveller’s roost

The rise of ground on which Richmond Hill stands was the beginning of a natural stopping place for travellers on Yonge Street. Around the 1800s, a settlement began to appear on the hill. Squire Abner Miles built a log house and opened a hotel for travellers. Miles soon became the hill’s most prominent resident, and the inhabitants at this time decided to honour him by naming the settlement Miles Hill.

There is no record of when the name was changed to Mount Pleasant, but it is presumed that the change probably occurred after Miles’ death in 1806.

Legend has it that, in 1819, the village was renamed Richmond Hill in honour of Charles Gordon Lennex, the 4th Duke of Richmond and the then-Governor General of Canada, who stopped on the hill to rest and feed his horses during one of his trips up Yonge Street. Apparently, the Duke of Richmond stopped to chat with the workmen who were engaged in the building of the Presbyterian Church. Those who communicated with him found him very charming and pleasant. The crest and motto of the Richmond family were officially adopted by the town in the 1920s.

Interested in volunteering for Doors Open Richmond Hill?

We’re looking for enthusiastic people to volunteer as site captains, greeters, security and information booth attendants for Doors Open Richmond Hill 2014.

Visit www.RichmondHill.ca/VolunteerInfo or contact the Volunteer Assistant at volunteers@richmondhill.ca or call 905-884-0885, ext. 227.

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, learn a little history, meet lots of people and have a great time!

For more information about Doors Open Richmond Hill 2014:

Contact: Heritage Services Coordinator
Telephone: 905-737-8985, ext. 6007
Email: mmackenzie@richmondhill.ca

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Burr House and Guild Hall

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
528-530 Carrville Road
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-884-0327
Year built: 1820
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In this stuccoed Ontario cottage-style house, which Rowland Burr built in 1820, visitors can purchase crafts and enjoy a cup of tea with homemade scones and jams. The Guild Hall, built in 1857, was moved here in 1978 and is now a studio for the Hill Potters Guild and the Burr House Spinners and Weavers Guild.

Cober-Johnson General Store

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
217 Gormley Road West
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Year built: 1912
Style: Queen Anne
Building type: Private residence
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Built in 1912, the Cober-Johnson General Store is Richmond Hill’s best-preserved early commercial building. Now a private residence, the building is an eclectic mix of architectural elements. The homeowners will offer visitors a peek inside from the doorway.
Parking

Conestoga Wagon Exhibit

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
120 Gormley Road West (at the Gormley Missionary Church)
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Bruce Vanderbent, a historian of Pennsylvania-German ancestry, will be on site at this Doors Open event to talk about the historical journey this area’s pioneers made by wagon from Pennsylvania. Visitors will enjoy a peek inside the wagon and view reproduction artifacts brought along on the journey.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Eyre-Wideman Homestead and Ropes Challenge Course

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1045 Elgin Mills Road East
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-737-9210
Year built: 1828
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This house, constructed in 1828, is attributed to David Eyer (1796-1871). Today, it is considered to be one of the earliest surviving examples of a Pennsylvania-German Mennonite dwelling in Richmond Hill. This designated building is currently used as the local youth centre, featuring an outdoor high and low ropes challenge course, and a climbing wall.
Parking
Washrooms

Gormley Missionary Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
120 Gormley Road West
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-887-5846
Year built: 1873; expanded 1966
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
John Leary donated this property in 1873. The original structure was built in 1934 by George Collard, and the oil lamps at the back of the church are from that building. The expansion was completed in May 1966. For Doors Open, an original Conestoga wagon belonging to the Pennsylvania German Folklore Society will also be on display.
Parking
Kid-friendly

Gormley Wagon Tour

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Meet at 120 Gormley Road West (the Gormley Missionary Church)
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: Tours from Noon to 3:30 p.m.
Enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride and guided tour through the Town of Richmond Hill’s only designated heritage district. View the original Georgian-style structures from the early 1800s to the modest victory housing of the 20th century.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

M.L. McConaghy Seniors' Centre (former Richmond Hill Public School)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
10100 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-737-1818
Year built: 1915
Architect: John Innes
Style: Queen Anne
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In 1957, the former Richmond Hill Public School, built in 1915 in the Queen Anne revival style, was renamed in honour of a devoted teacher, Mary Lillian McConaghy, who had retired in 1944 at age 82. The school closed in 1979 but reopened in 1985 as the M.L. McConaghy Seniors’ Centre. Once again, it is alive with activity and learning.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Richmond Hill Artifact Storage Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1200 Elgin Mills Road East
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-780-2927
Year built: 1990
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Richmond Hill Artifact Storage Centre, located in the town's Operations Centre, houses thousands of acquired artifacts in its new climate-controlled facility. Much of the collection has been made possible by the generous donations of local families. These artifacts are carefully handled, catalogued and preserved, adhering to proper exhibit practices, for the benefit of future generations.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Richmond Hill Central Library

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1 Atkinson Street
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-884-9288
Year built: 1993
Architect: A.J. Donald Schmitt
Building type: Library
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Richmond Hill Central Library is bursting with literary history. Designed by architects A.J. Diamond and Donald Schmitt, the building won several awards. The library includes the Mary-Lou Griffin Local History Room, which houses genealogy resources and York Region’s largest local history collection. 
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Richmond Hill Heritage Centre (Amos Wright House)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
19 Church Street North
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-780-3802
Year built: 1840
Style: Regency
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Amos Wright, the first reeve of Markham Township, built this house in 1840. Today, this well-preserved example of an Ontario regency cottage houses the Richmond Hill Heritage Centre. Its setting is picturesque Amos Wright Park.
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Richmond Hill Lawn Bowling Club

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
43 Church Street South
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 416-239-3718
Year built: 1918
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This club – lush and green in the heart of town – was formed in 1918 by some of the most prominent citizens of Richmond Hill. The surrounding mature trees, parkland, tennis court and century homes give the club a resort-like atmosphere. Both competitive and social leagues are offered for youth, adults and seniors. The site also hosts many community events.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
10066 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Year built: 1880
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church was erected in 1880. The cemetery, located directly behind the church, contains grave markers dating from 1806 to the present. It is also the location of the octagonal vault (or “dead house”) used to store caskets during the winter.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Rogers TV

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
161 Newkirk Road
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rogers TV, Richmond Hill’s local community television station, has a full broadcast studio, a control room and edit suites. Enjoy a behind-the-camera open house with tours of the studio and control room.
Parking
Guided tours available

St. Mary and Joseph Coptic Orthodox Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
11308 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 416-800-3333
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
View the remarkable architecture of this church! Beautiful hand-painted murals, carved wood and imported marble from Egypt grace the interior of this place of worship. The Coptic Church is one of the oldest Christian congregations, established by Mark the Evangelist in AD 43.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

St. Mary's Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
10030 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-884-2227
Year built: 1872
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Built in 1872, the Gothic revival St. Mary’s, the oldest church in the original village, is a scaled-down version of St. James Cathedral in Toronto. The church is constructed chiefly of white brick, accented with cut limestone and red brick. The spire was added in 1881. St. Mary’s is now a chapel for the main church, built in the 1960s.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Thomas Boynton House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Richmond Green, 1300 Elgin Mills Road East
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Year built: c. 1875
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Boynton House, dating from about 1875, is a designated historical site. It is a good example of a classic Ontario farmhouse, with a steep centre gable decorated with gingerbread trim and a Gothic window. The house stands on its original site in what is now Richmond Green Park. Today, the house is used as a community art exhibition space.