RH150 Flag Raising

A photograph of the Richmond Hill 150 photo booth and flags raised outside Richmond Hill City Hall
The Richmond Hill photo booth at the official raising of the RH150 flag at East Beaver Creek. It will be making stops around Richmond Hill throughout the year.

Mayor David West and a host of dignitaries and special guests gathered at East Beaver Creek at 9:00 am on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 for the official raising of the Richmond Hill 150 flag. This kicks of a full year of activities planned by the City to commemorate Richmond Hill’s milestone 150th Anniversary.

A series of special banners are already on display along Yonge Street in the heart of the original Village of Richmond Hill, which was officially incorporated on January 6, 1873. Abraham Law served as the first Reeve of the village.

The Richmond Hill Historical Society, also celebrating its own 50th Anniversary milestone, will be helping to commemorate this special year. Our biggest project is a partnership with the City – the presentation of a Heritage Summit on Sunday, September 10, 2023 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

The afternoon component of the Summit has been dubbed “An Appreciation of Richmond Hill’s Heritage” when a number of City organizations that have been contributing to the City’s heritage over the years will have an opportunity to showcase those contributions and discuss them with what we anticipate will be a good crowd. The evening component will take place in the theatre and has been dubbed “A Celebration of Richmond Hill’s Heritage.”

Throughout the year, we will be sharing information about this special event and all that we have in store. We invite you to join the Society as we celebrate these two special milestones.

Further reading…

City of Richmond Hill’s official flag raising press release.

Visit the City of Richmond Hill’s RH 150 webpage for more information about what is planned for the coming year.

Sheila Wang’s article in the Richmond Hill Liberal on the flag raising event.

Historical Society Volunteer Opportunity: Social Director

This executive position is key to the fellowship of our society. You provide a welcoming atmosphere for members and guests alike. The society provides refreshments through the generous donations of members who are served coffee and tea at each of our meetings. Four or five members are asked to donate and prepare and bring food for each meeting. This is all prepared and ready for the members to enjoy at the conclusion of the evening and provide time to speak with the monthly speaker.

Duties required for 8 months of regular meetings and 2 months for special events from September – June of each year:

  • Purchases supplies-monthly (milk and cream) and as needed (coffee, tea, sugar and napkins). Note: Tote provided for all supplies
  • Sets up table for refreshments and prepares coffee and tea to be served at the conclusion of meetings.
  • Oversees set up of food, napkins etc. for the meeting.
  • Organizes and purchases food and supplies for Strawberry Social in June and the caterers for the Holiday Dinner Party in December.
  • Keeps a record of expenditures and revenue from
  • donations and makes a head count on a monthly basis
  • Attend monthly executive meetings-1st Wednesday of each month. Report record for monthly minutes.

Time required to perform duties:

  • 1 hour for shopping for an regular monthly meeting – more if there are other purchases needed. June is a special event so there is committee support for the purchasing of supplies, if help is required. Executive members help with the set up and take down.
  • Time required for contacting caterers and arranging for the Christmas and Holiday
  • Dinner. This event is organized by the Executive. Set up and take down prepared by Executive members.
  • 6:30 p.m. it is ideal to be on hand early to begin preparations. (meetings begin at 7:30 p.m.) Members that are bringing food will deliver it to the kitchen to be set out. You can organize helpers for each meeting.
  • Once members have left the meeting, everything must be taken down and cleaned up. The table has to be cleared and cleaned. Hand wash any dishes that need to be cleaned and put away. Distribute any leftover food that remains to the member who brought it. Clean up kitchen and put back supplies in the social tote supplied. Remove garbage (Wallace Hall requires us to take our garbage away) and wash tea towels at home.

If this position interests you, please contact the Society at r.hillsoc at gmail.com


Historical Society Mourns the Passing of the Hon. David C. Onley

The Hon. David C. Onley in the Ontario Legislature, taken November 29, 2007 by the Government of Ontario and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
The Hon. David C. Onley in the Ontario Legislature (November 29, 2007) [photograph courtesy the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (CC BY-SA 2.0; Flickr)

The Richmond Hill Historical Society is saddened to learn of the passing of former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, David C. Onley on January 14, 2023. Mr. Onley was a great ambassador of history in the Province of Ontario, as well as a life-long champion of accessibility. He will be missed by so many across our province, our country and around the world. Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Onley’s family, friends and colleagues.

The Honourable David C. Onley served as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from September 5, 2007 to September 23, 2014. Learn more about his incredible legacy by visiting the official site of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario:

Read the Ontario Historical Society’s tribute to Mr. Onley and what he meant to history in our province.

Society Celebrates 50th Anniversary

2023 marks a very special year for the Richmond Hill Historical Society as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary. Throughout the year, we will be looking back at our history and sharing photographs and stories of our past.

The first projects undertaken by the Society were to save and restore two buildings, Burr House and an old church, that was moved to the site from the corner of Carville Road and Bathurst Street.

Burr House was thought to have been built c. mid-1820s by Rowland Burr for his bride. Situated on Carrville Road, formerly Lot 40 Side Road, Vaughan Township. The original structure was plank on plank construction. In 1851, an addition was added to the rear. It was continuously occupied as a residence until sold to property developers, then acquired by the Town of Richmond Hill in 1975. To save the house from demolition the Society undertook the task of restoring it. With the assistance of Hill Potters Guild, the Richmond Hill Spinners and Weavers and WINTARIO Grants, restoration was completed.

In 1974, members of Richmond Hill Council visited Rowland Burr House and are pictured with Historical Society President Janet Fayle, Acting Clerk William Rice, Society member Malcolm Jardine, Chief Librarian Patricia Hart.

Guild Hall was erected in 1857 as a church for the Canadian Conference of the Evangelical Associates in North America. In 1975, the Town of Richmond Hill acquired it from the property developers and moved it from its original location at the north east corner of Carrville Road and Bathurst St. to its present site beside Burr House. The Society and Burr House Spinners and Weavers restored the building. Both buildings are a familiar landmark on Carrville Road.

The former church building arriving on site to be installed as the Guild Hall beside Burr House in September 1978. It would officially open on October 23, 1982

In 2019, Burr House was awarded the Bert Hunt Heritage Award, the Society’s top honour.

The Society’s mission is:

  • to preserve in our present community an awareness of the culture of our forefathers;
  • to hold monthly meetings for the presentation and discussion of historical information relating to the Richmond Hill area;
  • to promote existing historical publications, publish books, articles, and newsletters etc. for the
    advancement of the awareness of local sites, deeds and peoples of interest; and
  • to cooperate with other historical societies and related organizations.

For more information about joining the Society, which meets 10 times per year, please visit our Membership page.