Richmond Hill Homes for Sale

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Once known as the rose capital of Canada, Richmond Hill's town motto is "Like the rose, I flourish." Given its steady growth since the 90s, it lives up to the tag line.

The affluent town of Richmond Hill has seen consistent, exponential growth since the late 1980s/early 1990s. While only the third most populous municipality in the York region and the 28th most populous municipality in Canada, its 185,000 residents are a far cry from the mere 80,000 people who lived there in 1991. If the prices of the MLS listings in Richmond Hill seem extravagant, it’s because as of 2011, more than 52 percent of households reported incomes greater than $70,000 and 31 percent reported incomes greater than $100,000.

2011 Census data shows its demographics as being about 47 percent white, 27 percent East Asian, nine percent West Asian and eight percent South Asian, with many more nationalities making up smaller pockets of the population. Roughly 41 percent of Richmond Hill’s residents speak English as a first language, followed by nine percent for whom Cantonese is their native tongue.

Richmond Hill has 25 public elementary schools, with five more currently in the planning stages, plus 13 Catholic elementary schools and several Montessori schools. There’s no university in town, although neighbouring Toronto boasts higher learning institutions within an hour’s reach. Cultural touchpoints include the Richmond Hill Public Library and the Richmond Hill Center for the Performing Arts, as well as a vast series of public parks and green spaces.

The city saw a strong economic uptick in the late 90s and early aughts thanks to industrial, commercial and institutional growth. Today, the border of Richmond Hill and Markham is becoming something of a tech hub, with more than 1,000 technology businesses popping up in a relatively confined area. The town is home to the headquarters of Compugen Inc, Compuware, Lexmar, BMW Canada, Staples, and other large corporations providing employment to local professionals.

Richmond Hill’s sister city is Lakeland, Florida, and its local media outlets include the Richmond Hill Liberal newspaper as well as an AM talk radio station and a bilingual Persian-English weekly paper geared toward the local Iranian community.

Although the area has seen impressive growth in recent decades, causing some congestion for personal vehicles, the road system has thus far withstood the population boom, offering adequate access to all parts of town without major traffic headaches.

Public transit in Richmond Hill takes place by bus and commuter train. York Region Transit’s VIVA buses take riders to and fro using vehicles capable of controlling traffic lights on major arteries to cut down on commute times, and although polls indicate satisfaction with the system’s service, its innovations haven’t caused more locals to use it.

GO trains run on the Richmond Hill line and stop at two stations in Richmond Hill: Langstaff Station and Richmond Hill Station. While there’s talk of expanding the Toronto subway system into the intersection of Yonge Street and Highway 7, there’s no timeline yet.

Toronto Pearson International Airport is the preferred means of air travel for locals, thanks to the major airport’s proximity to town.

Generally speaking, Richmond Hill can be broken down into six primary communities: Mill Pond, Heritage Estates, Yonge Street, Bayview Hill, Jefferson and East Beaver Creek.

The Mill Pond area centers around a park filled with wildlife, walking trails, an eponymous pond and various events throughout the year, from winter carnivals to spring concerts and flower shows. Heritage homes surround the park, showcasing some of the most picturesque Richmond Hill homes in existence.

Heritage Estates, within Mill Pond, boasts Georgian-style homes around Regent Street, mostly built in the 1980s with a nod to the nostalgic charm of the past. Aside from some of the most distinctive homes for sale in Richmond Hill, it also offers easy access to the park and pond.

Yonge Street, known for connecting many of Toronto’s neighbours to one another, acts as the spine, so to speak, of Richmond Hill’s old downtown area. What was once filled with adult entertainment venues and a rather seedy undercurrent has recently given way to more family-friendly structures and spaces, as well as some additions to the few Richmond Hill condos around.

Those conducting an MLS search looking for sprawling lawns and 1990s suburban-style homes may find a number of options in Bayview Hill, to the northeast of Bayview Avenue and 16th Avenue. For newer homes, though, Jefferson may be a fine option; its development only began in 2007 and includes a residential subdivision called Jefferson Forest.

Last but not least, Richmond Hill’s commercial hub lies in East Beaver Creek. Built in the early 1990s, its eventual residential vacancies gave way to the occupation of banks and service industry brands. It’s also where the town hall can now be found.

Richmond Hill is a fairly quiet town without many bells and whistles; likewise, its considerable green spaces, including 166 official parks, offer plenty of options for exploring nature, running and hiking in the outdoors.

Central Richmond Hill offers an array of shopping malls and restaurants, and sports clubs abound throughout the community, from an aquatics club, canoe club and figure skating centre to baseball, hockey, curling and soccer clubs.

Cultural landmarks include the Richmond Hill Public Library, with four locations and 1.5 million books in circulation, and the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts – a multi-use facility on 1.5 acres perfectly placed in Richmond Hill’s downtown core. Its educational series offers musical theatre classes, acting training, glee club, and other fun activities.

Locals frequent popular restaurants serving Chinese, Malaysian and Italian cuisine, as well as simple fare like burgers and fries. Favourite restaurants include Restoran Malaysia on Major Mackenzie Drive East, Jim Kai Chee (Chinese) on Beaver Creek Road, Sarpa (Italian) on Yonge Street, Dragon Boat Fusion Cuisine serving Asian fusion and dim sum on Beaver Creek Road, and Fresh Burger on Leslie Street.

For additional distractions, locals can check out everything from laser tag and indoor putting greens to craft galleries, spas, and even a space observatory.