Famous for having the largest telescope in Canada, Richmond Hill is a Toronto bedroom community that promotes itself as being nicer than the big city. Certainly, the town is well-kept and offers all the advantages of a suburban lifestyle, as well as the conveniences of an urban centre. Is there a downside? Richmond Hill’s location makes it one of the most expensive suburbs to get into. But if you can afford it and you work in the city, it is well worth the extra rent to cut your commute down dramatically.
While detached, suburban houses are the majority, you can still find a little bit of everything in Richmond Hill. Everything except cheap rentals. Even for the GTA, Richmond Hill is pricey. In fact, rental rates here are higher than in many places in Toronto proper. Why is that? First, Richmond Hill is considered a highly desirable community. It is beautiful, with money going into landscaping and city maintenance. It has high-end houses, apartments and condos, allowing owners to increase rents. Finally, the suburb is just north of the subway line, making it easy to get downtown, but giving enough space for the pace of life to be more relaxed than it is in much of Toronto.
Typical housing type:
Suburban detached homes.
Avg. rent by housing size:
Avg. rent compared to other Canadian cities:
Richmond Hill is 21% higher than the Canadian average
If you are searching for an apartment in Richmond Hill, look at listings on the main rental websites. Here, you should find a number of houses, apartments and condos available to you. Don’t expect too much, though. For example, you likely will not find places with rent under $1,000. While you can find some places with utilities included, all-inclusive rentals are difficult to find. The same goes for pet-friendly rentals in Richmond Hill. After all, luxury property owners do not want animals who could easily cause damage. If you want a pool, dishwasher, fitness centre, or other amenities, focus your search on the luxury apartments and condos – and be prepared to pay even more for rent.
Richmond Hill is a great place to live, but it is not ideal if you are trying to escape the prices of housing in Toronto. So why do you move out to this suburb? The best reason is because you like the community. There is a different attitude to life out here, with folks taking more time to enjoy simple pleasures and to engage with the people around them. If that type of like appeals to you, choose to move to Richmond Hill, just like you would choose to live in the city if you liked the hustle and bustle.
Richmond Hill is largely filled with seniors and families with older kids, pushing the average age up significantly. Cultural communities play a large role in locals’ lives, with the biggest being Chinese, Iranian and Italian. On top of these individual communities, there is also a larger network of support for recent immigrants. Locals tend to put family and community first, with careers being less of a priority. Education is valued though, with college or university being pushed for young people.
Perfect for: Families with teens and seniors.
Not-so-perfect for: Swinging singles and families with little ones.
Life & Style
Life in Richmond Hill is about average for the suburbs. Parents work jobs to allow them to take care of their families, but their focus is mainly on their children. The area’s seniors, meanwhile, bond together, spending their time at various clubs and activities. There is a large Chinese cultural influence in Richmond Hill, with Chinese restaurants, groceries and cultural events and celebrations being common. There are also growing Iranian and Italian populations. While these communities are not as ingrained yet, they are getting there – and certainly have an impact on the food scene in the city.
There are a number of schools and community centres in the area, as well as excellent libraries. Richmond Hill has mostly small parks, but there are Lake Wilcox and Lake Wilcox Park in the north part of the city. For fun, head over to the Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park, York Cinemas, or the SilverCity. You can also golf at one of the city’s four golf clubs. At the south end of the city is the 407 and the 404. There is also transit within Richmond Hill and into Toronto. Just to the south is the Yonge Street subway line. Shop at Hillcrest or head down into Toronto for more options. If you need medical attention, you have Mackenzie Health hospital, as well as numerous doctors and specialists. Don’t forget to visit the David Dunlap Observatory at least once!
David Dunlap Observatory
Lake Wilcox Park