With a well-documented history that dates back to the earliest Yonge Street travellers during the late 18th century, Downtown Richmond Hill – the area straddling Yonge Street as it extends northward from Major Mackenzie Drive – is commonly referred to as the “Village Core” by residents of the area.
Those who have visited the area will agree that “village” remains an apt title for a neighbourhood that, even over centuries of development and transformation, has managed to retain a “small-town” feel that has helped make it a real estate favourite among York Region home buyers.
Thanks in part to a heritage-focused set of development guidelines, the neighbourhood has also been able to retain much of its historic charm, including a number of homes that were originally completed more than a century ago.
With the warm summer months upon us, we decided to take a closer look at the most notable spots in one of Richmond Hill’s most walkable communities.
Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts
Approved by the Town of Richmond Hill in 2003 and completed at a cost of $30 million, this 631-seat performance space represents one of the municipality’s most ambitious and eye-catching achievements of the new millennium.
Working towards the objective of celebrating the “many cultures of York Region,” the Centre’s stage has recently hosted performances from well-known entertainers such as Arrested Development’s Jeffrey Tambor, film actress Shirley Maclaine, and the National Chinese Acrobats. The facility is physically connected to Richmond Hill High School (York Region’s second-oldest), which also provides space for its administrative offices.
Richmond Hill United Church
Designed by renowned architect Charles Watson and originally completed in 1881, Richmond Hill United Church is one of York Region’s most striking and well-preserved examples of 19th-century “High Victorian Gothic Revival” architecture. The history of the congregation itself goes back even further, to 1810, when it was known as the Richmond Hill Methodist Church and gathered in a “modest log schoolhouse” at the exact same site.
After more than two centuries, the Church is still in business, and actively involved with a number of community organizations such as the Richmond Hill Food Bank.
Elgin Barrow Arena & Town Park
Originally completed in 1923, then subsequently expanded in 1967 and 1982, the Elgin Barrow Arena featured two rinks and is a favourite Richmond Hill destination for minor-league hockey action, as well as recreational skating.
The adjacent “Town Park,” featuring a fenced baseball diamond as well as a spacious grassy field, is one of the locals’ preferred spots for summertime softball.
Interested in purchasing a home near downtown Richmond Hill? We invite you to register for LiVante Developments’ upcoming Towns on Hall community, located just off of Yonge Street between Major Mackenzie Drive and Elgin Mills Road. When you register, you’ll be among the first to receive project details, including location and pricing, as soon as they are released.