15 Things to Do in Richmond Hill (Ontario, Canada)

Not only is Richmond Hill the largest town in Canada, it’s also one of the fastest growing communities in recent years. As it has grown, many new facilities, attractions and shopping centers have appeared.

The town is mainly composed of residential communities and commercial areas, which means it is not a well-known tourist attraction. It does have some charm, however, and its proximity to Toronto makes it easy to get to.

Few tourists visit Richmond Hill for non-business-related reasons, although it’s worth spending a night or two in town. If you find yourself here and looking for things to do, these are the best things to do in Richmond Hill:

1. Look at the stars

David Dunlap Observatory

The David Dunlap Observatory is home to the largest telescope in the country. Visit the observatory and spend an evening watching the stars.

Since 1935, the Observatory has been teaching astrology to people through lectures, programs and regular visits. Visit the David Dunlap Observatory on a clear night and observe the stars from one of the largest telescopes in the world.

If you’re visiting town with the kids, join a Friends and Family Night. The observatory has also hosted many guest speakers talking about astrology, space and science fiction.

2. Go back to history

Richmond Hill Heritage Centre

If you’re a lover of sites and architecture, step back in time and visit the Richmond Hill Heritage Centre. The building was built in the 1840s in Regency style.

The Heritage Center is a great example of this architectural style. It has been fully restored and features exhibits showing the history of the town.

Walk around the building and admire the craftsmanship inside. Finish your visit with afternoon tea.

3. Spend the day by the lake

Wilcox Lake

If you want to spend the day by the lake, Wilcox Lake is the place to go. The lake is home to three recreational parks where you can relax and have a picnic.

The lake is also a famous fishing spot for largemouth bass, yellow bass, crappie and northern pike. Rent a boat or canoe and fish in the afternoon.

If you’re more adventurous, you can windsurf on the lake. There is also a splash pad and a playground for young people to play.

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4. Enjoy cycling

Richmond Hill

There are bike rides all over Richmond Hill, and cycling is easy. Some trails are on shared roads, while others are designated lanes.

All of the town’s attractions can be explored by bike, whether on the road, on the multi-use trails or in designated lanes. Rent a bike and enjoy exploring the town.

Maps of all cycling routes can be easily found online. There are also bike racks and lockers where you can lock up your bike and gear.

5. Relax in the park

Richmond Green Sports Center and Park

Richmond Hill comes in many shapes and sizes. Still, the Richmond Green Sports Center and Park is the largest and not to be missed.

The 41-hectare park features numerous amenities, including an ice skating rink, 3 baseball fields, a soccer field and sheltered picnic areas. The park is also home to a water park and an amazing skate park.

Another great park to unwind is Mill Pond Park, with its gazebo and lovely pond. If you want a BBQ, head to Phyllis Rawlinson Park.

6. Splash around

wave pool

Or surf in the wave pool; the only pool of its kind in the area. The wave pool features a huge wave pool and an exciting 30-meter waterslide.

There is also a hot tub, a deck sauna and a water basketball net. Plus, it’s 100% accessible, so everyone can have fun here.

When you’re not in the water, you can relax on a lounger. There are also lounge chairs to relax in the water.

7. Climbing the ropes

Eyestring Challenge Course

The Eyer Ropes challenge course is perfect for kids. This is a high and low ropes course that challenges their willpower, teamwork and climbing skills.

There is a climbing wall, five high rope elements and 17 low rope elements. Don’t worry, staff will always be there to keep your child safe.

Those who don’t want to climb can visit at the Eyeer Wideman House. The house is equipped with a games room and lounge, and Wi-Fi is available throughout.

8. Go shopping

Hillcrest Mall

Hillcrest Mall is the largest shopping mall in Richmond Hill. It has about 135 stores, services and restaurants, including H&M, Pandora, Guess and The Body Shop.

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The mall also has a food court with various kiosks where you can grab a bite to eat, have a coffee or a fresh juice. This is also a great place to connect to a pay-as-you-go plan if you need your phone while visiting town.

If you want to shop at the local boutiques, head to Yonge Street in Old Richmond Hill. This is the strip from Major Mackenzie to Richmond Heights.

9. Visit an art studio

The Richmond Hill Studio Tour is a great opportunity to meet local artists and learn about their work. The Tour is an annual event held every October where artists open their homes and studios to the public.

This is a self-guided tour, so you can spend your weekends visiting the studio. If you are an art lover, this is a great way to spend a few days in Richmond Hill.

This tour is completely free and showcases some of the best artists in town. Of course, you can also buy one-of-a-kind pieces.

10. Go to the show

Richmond Hill Performing Arts Center

There is almost always something going on at the Richmond Hill Center for the Performing Arts. The 4,000-square-meter multipurpose cultural facility is located in downtown Richmond Hill.

Check out their website to see what’s happening while you’re in town. One of your favorite stars might be in town for a live concert or stand-up comedy show.

Visit in summer and enjoy free jazz concerts on Tuesday nights. Or check the schedule online because you never know who will be performing at the Richmond Hill Center for the Performing Arts.

11. Shopping at the market

Agricultural Market

The farmers market is held every Sunday from mid-June to October. Head to the market to buy fresh local produce.

There are many farms in the market that sell a variety of fresh produce. There are also local clothing stores selling salami, baked goods and potted herbs.

In addition to food, the market has stalls run by local artisans selling their crafts. This includes jewelry, home décor and body care.

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12. Play a round of golf

Richmond Hill Golf Club

The famous Richmond Hill Golf Club is an 18-hole, par 70 public golf course. Membership also has special privileges and conveniences; if you happen to know one.

The golf club has a beautiful course with rolling hills, trees and ponds. There is also a pro shop and a driving range on site.

There’s also Bathurst Glen Golf Course, an 18-hole, par-63 course. It also has a family class which is great if you want to play a round with the kids.

13. Enjoy a walk

East Humber Trail

Richmond Hill is a great place to go for a walk with its many hiking trails. They are all over town, many in or through parks.

The Beaufort Trail is one of the best places to enjoy a walk, as it connects the town’s five parks. It’s not a hard or distant walk, but it’s a beautiful and a great way to visit some of the different parks in the city.

Other great walks in town include the East Humber Track, Thomas Broadhurst Track, Seagan Track and Rouge Headwaters Valley and Track. A map can be found online marking all the trails.

14. Read a book

Central Library

Or take the kids to one of Richmond Hill’s three libraries to hear stories. All locations also have adult programming.

You can pick up a book and find a quiet corner to enjoy it. Among other things, there are magazines, newspapers and audio CDs.

All locations are closed on Sundays, but hours of operation vary by branch.

15. Go to court

david hamilton park

That is the tennis court, there are 26 tennis courts in the town. All are open and work on a first-come, first-served basis.

Crosby Park and David Hamilton Park are the largest, with six courses each. Oak Ridges Lions Park and Pine Farm Park are the smallest, with one each.

Of the 26 tennis courts, 14 are lighted courts open from dawn to 11pm. The rest have no lights and are only open from dawn to dusk.

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