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May 13, 2017

The key to exploring your community!

Come and celebrate Richmond Hill’s past, present and future at 17 of our featured sites during Doors Open Richmond Hill.

Richmond Hill: a safe, clean town committed to managing growth, which provides a welcoming, diverse and environmentally sustainable community that enhances residents' quality of life.

A brief history

The Town of Richmond Hill started out as a small settlement located partially in the Township of Vaughan and partially in the Township of Markham. The Town's development was closely linked with the development of Yonge Street, which was planned primarily as a military road by John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Upper Canada.

The Town was officially incorporated on June 18, 1872 as a village; the first council meeting was held on January 1, 1873 under the leadership of Abraham Law as Reeve. Richmond Hill developed because of its proximity to Toronto, as farmers came into town on their way to Toronto markets and people travelled up and down Yonge Street to and from communities further north.

Early in the 20th century, several large greenhouse operations were built in Richmond Hill, while the cultivation of roses turned the Town into the "rose capital" of Canada. In the 1920's, village council adopted the motto of the Duke of Richmond, for whom the Town may have been named. The town crest includes elements of the Duke of Richmond's coat of arms and roses.

Over the years, Richmond Hill has remained a distinctive community, one of change yet with strong historical roots. Even during this time of most extensive growth to-date, Richmond Hill has remained a community with a friendly, down-to-earth flavour. That is why the Town's un-official motto is "A little north, a little nicer."

Volunteer at Doors Open Richmond Hill

We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to serve as site greeters, security and information staff.

Contact volunteers@richmondhill.ca to sign up for the mandatory training session on May 10, 2017 at the Elgin West Community Centre at 7p.m.

Parking
Washrooms

AL-Nadwa Educational Islamic Center

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
10 Newkirk Road, Unit #13
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-780-0780
Building type: Attraction, Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Explore this mosque and enjoy a range of interesting activities for the whole family, including: interactive guided tours every half hour, free gifts and tasty refreshment for every visitor, an Islamic movie screening and poster exhibition, and much more!

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
Style: Ontario cottage
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In this cottage-style house, which Rowland Burr built in 1820, visitors can purchase crafts and enjoy tea and scones (available for a nominal fee in the Tea Room). The Guild Hall, built in 1857 by the Evangelical Association of North America, was moved here in 1978 and is now a crafts studio. See weaving, spinning, yarn bombing and pottery demonstrations.

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.

This store, now a private residence, was built in 1912 and is Richmond Hill’s best-preserved early commercial building. With full-width verandas and its series of half-rounded arches, it appears to be more of a Confederation-era style rather than something from 1912. During Doors Open, the homeowners happily invite visitors to peek inside to see this eclectic mix of architectural elements.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Curtain Club, The

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
400 Newkirk Road
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-773-3434
Year built: 1972
Building type: Theatre
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Founded in 1954, The Curtain Club rehearsed in the homes of its then 25 members, built sets in garages, stored costumes in attics and performed in local halls and schools. In 1971, club members raised funds and hammers to create the current facility, which opened in 1972. The Royal Canadian Air Farce broadcast its first few seasons here.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Eyer-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) and 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. Enjoy craft activities and refreshments.

Parking
Washrooms

Gormley Missionary Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
120 Gormley Road West
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-887-5846
Year built: 1931; 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 1931 by George Collard, and the oil lamps at the back of the church are from that building, but the structure itself was replaced in 1934. Historical mementos and photographs of the church site and area will be on display.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Hindu Temple Society of Canada, The - Richmond Hill Hindu Temple

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
10865 Bayview Avenue
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-883-9109
Year built: 1987-88
Architect: V. Janakiramana Sthapathi
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This Hindu temple, the largest in North America, was built and is operated under the Agama Sastra traditions. The temple was designed by Mr. V. Janakiramana Sthapathi, who hails from the same family of architects that built the famous Big Temple in Tanjavur in South India during the Chola period. Come and explore the fine artwork displayed throughout.

Parking
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Mill Pond Gallery, The (Richmond Hill Group of Artists)

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
314 Mill Street
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-770-7449
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Richmond Hill Group of Artists was established in February 1978 for members enjoying the creation and appreciation of art. In 1994, they opened the Mill Pond Gallery at this location to exhibit their work. During Doors Open, come and explore the new exhibit, Paint the Town. As well, there will be a meet-and-greet with artists and free demonstrations.

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 historical artifacts in its new climate-controlled facility. Much of the collection, dating back over 100 years, results from the generous donations of local families. Take a behind-the-scenes look at the collection and learn how artifacts are catalogued, preserved and maintained.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Ontario 150

Richmond Hill Central Library

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1 Atkinson Street
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 905-884-9288
Year built: 1993
Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects
Building type: Library
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This award-winning building includes the Mary-Lou Griffin Local History and Genealogy Room, which houses York Region’s largest local history collection. Enjoy a Canadian-themed play created and performed by local high school students, see 3D printing, meet local historical personalities, and test your knowledge of Canada by finding the Canadian symbols hidden throughout the Children’s Department.

Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust
Ontario 150

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, Markham Township’s first reeve, built this house in 1840. Today, this well-preserved Ontario regency-style cottage is home to the Richmond Hill Heritage Centre and is surrounded by picturesque Amos Wright Park. Exhibits include Richmond Hill – Growing with Canada and Coming Up Roses in Richmond Hill. A special Mother's Day tea will be held throughout the day (reservations required).

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Richmond Hill Lawn Bowling Club

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
43 Church Street South, behind Elgin Barrow Arena
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Telephone: 416-239-3718
Year built: 1918
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This club – with its lush green lawns in the heart of town – was formed in 1918 by some of the most prominent citizens of Richmond Hill. Try your hand at lawn bowling in this resort-like atmosphere. Tour the clubhouse and view artifacts related to the club’s history. Refreshments will be available.

Parking
Partial 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
Telephone: 905-884-4211
Year built: 1880
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; pancake breakfast served from 9 to 11 a.m.

This Gothic-revival church, with its unique patterned bricks, was erected in 1880. The cemetery behind contains grave markers dating from 1806 to the present, as well as a vault (the “dead house”) used to store caskets in winter. Enjoy music played on the 100-year-old Casavant organ, as well as a pancake breakfast with eggs and sausages (nominal fee applies).

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Richmond Hill Sports Hall of Fame

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
43 Church Street South (2nd floor of the Elgin Barrow Arena)
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Building type: Attraction, Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For over a decade, Richmond Hill has been honouring athletes and others whose sport achievements have had a lasting effect on the community. To date, 30 people representing more than 25 sports have been inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame. Come and learn about the history of local sport. Family fun and activities. Free gifts while supplies last.

Parking
Guided tours available

St. Mary and St. 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 unique architecture of this church and learn about its history. The Coptic Church is one of the oldest Christian congregations, established by Mark the Evangelist in AD 43. Beautiful hand-painted murals, carved wood and imported marble from Egypt grace the interior of this place of worship. Enjoy both Coptic art and music at this Doors Open event.

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
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. Mary’s – a scaled-down version of Toronto’s St. James Cathedral – is the oldest remaining church in the original village. St. Mary’s is now a chapel for the main church, built in the 1960s. Take a guided tour of the chapel and the Arnold indoor burial plot. During Doors Open, also enjoy the members’ art show and sale.

Parking
Washrooms
Site is protected by the Ontario Heritage Trust

Thomas Boynton House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1300 Elgin Mills Road East (Richmond Green Park)
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Year built: c. 1875
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thomas Boynton House, a designated historical site dating from about 1875, is a good example of a classic Ontario farmhouse. It stands in its original location, in what is now Richmond Green Park, and is used as a community art exhibition space. During Doors Open, the exhibition Aruna by Alexander Mackenzie High School students will be featured.