Heritage Programs

Heritage Services is committed to having programs and events that celebrate the Richmond Hill community. Heritage programs are offered at the Richmond Hill Heritage Centre, A.J. Clark Interpretive Centre and many of our community centres. We have something for all ages, including:

Walk and Learn Heritage Walking Tour Series

Enjoy fresh air, exercise and a healthy physically distanced walk through a historic neighbourhood and discover your community's heritage! Tours are approximately 1.5 - 2 hours and take place rain or shine. COVID protocols will be in place.

All walks begin at 10 a.m., from various locations. Fee is $4.20 + HST. Pre-register for Walk and Learn.

Village Backstreets, Wednesday, July 29, 2021 code: 65087. Starting at the McConaghy Centre, 10100 Yonge Street

Mill Pond History, August 5, 2021 code: 65219. Starting at the Mill Pond Park, 321 Mill Street.

Church Street and Enterprise on the Hill, August 12, 2021 code: 65220. Starting at the Heritage Centre, 19 Church Street North.

Gormley Heritage District, August 19, 2021 code: 65227. Starting in Gormley, Location TBD.

North Yonge Street, August 26, 2021 code: 65228. Starting at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, 10268 Yonge Street.

Education Programs

Take a walk back in time with one of our Heritage program field trips! Our educational programs are designed to meet the requirements outlined in the Ontario curriculum. Programs are available from September to June.

For pricing and details on booking, please contact:

Maggie Mackenzie
Heritage Centre Coordinator
905-737-1818, ext. 6007

Programs at the Heritage Centre: Includes a tour of the Heritage Centre and galleries and most programs include a historic walking tour around the neighbourhood to enhance the program content.* Participants should dress for the weather.

Programs at the Artifact Storage Facility: Students will have the opportunity to view Richmond Hill's Historical Collection with historical artifacts and art pieces.

Choose your Program!

Cloaked in History - What's in Your Closet?

Students will have a chance to study clothing from the 1800s to 1900s from Richmond Hill's own collection.
Grades: 1 to 8 Duration: 1.5 hours Location: Artifact Storage Facility

For King and Empire*

Participants will learn about the Great War of 1914-1918 and its impact on the roles and lives of ordinary men and women in Canada. Local historical documents and artifacts will be used for a better understanding.
Grades: 8 to 10 Duration: 3 hours Location: Heritage Centre

Lights Around the World

Students will learn about a variety of cultures, tradition and celebrations which have been brought to Canada from all around the world.
Grades: 1 and 2 Duration: 2 hours Location: Heritage Centre

Patterns for Living*

Participants will gain an understanding of early settlement land use and how geographical characteristics made Richmond Hill an attractive destination.
Grade: Duration: 3 hours Location: Heritage Centre

Pencil and Paper

Students will illustrate the principles of design, through analysis and creation of their own works of art. Principles of design, composition, storytelling from art and cultural contexts will be covered in this program
Grades: 3 to 8 Duration: 1.5 hours Location: Artifact Storage Facility

Trade and Industry*

Students will learn about Canada's growth from the fur trade into one of the world's most important provider of natural resources. Using local historical documents and artifacts, students will examine how trade and industry shaped the growth of Richmond Hill from its early days to present.
Grades: 4 to 6 Duration: 3 hours Location: Heritage Centre

Traveller's Trunk*

Participants will learn about our early and recent settlers to this region and what they may have brought with them.
Grade: Duration: 3 hours Location: Heritage Centre

Can't make it to us? We'll come to you!

The following programs can be brought to the classroom with our knowledgeable instructors:
  • Travellers Trunk
  • Patterns for Living
  • Industry and Trade
  • Archaeology to Go
Tours and Activity Packages

A great outing for your Guide and Scout group, ESL classes, community groups and just a get together with friends. 

Gallery Tour and Activity Packages

Participants will enjoy a tour of the Heritage Centre and take part in an interactive activity. Choose from the following activities:

Udderly Funtastic - Ages 5 to 9

Explore Richmond Hill's dairy industry and learn to churn butter the old-fashioned way! Participants will also create a craft.

Just Dyeing to Know - Ages 9 to 14

This hands-on activity places emphasis on 19th Century wool and yarn production. Participants will investigate how different petals, leaves and bark can create fabric dyes.

Available: Year round 

Duration: 1.5 hours 
Location: Heritage Centre 
Pricing: $6.50 + HST per person, minimum charge applies

Gallery Tour

Learn about Richmond Hill's unique heritage, the restoration of our 1840s regency-style house and its original owner, Amos Wright. There will be opportunities to ask questions, time for independent gallery viewing.

Available: Year round

Duration: 1 hour
Location: Heritage Centre
Pricing: $2.62 + HST per person, minimum charges applies

Guided Neighbourhood Walking Tours

Walk through 200 years of history in Richmond Hill's historical neighbourhoods and explore how the patterns of settlement have shaped this original crossroad of human occupation.

Choose from the following:

  • Church Street and the Bright Lights of Yonge Street
  • Yonge Street West - The Village Backstreets
  • Gormley West - Heritage District
  • Mill Pond and
  • Yonge Street North and beyond
Available: Year round
Duration: 1.5 hours
Pricing: $2.62 + HST per person, minimum charge applies

Tea and Tour

Enjoy a look at the old village and identify homes and/or businesses of significance in the development of the City.  Groups can choose from one of our Yonge Street tours. The walking tour is approximately 1.5 followed by a relaxing time in the garden view room or patio enjoying a traditional afternoon tea.

Available: Year round

Duration: 3.0 hours
Pricing: $18.37  HST per person, minimum charge applies
Edukits

Archaeology to Go!                 

Take advantage of our hands-on Edukits. Teachers and group leaders may rent Edukits to enhance classroom and/or group presentations.

Edukits contain a number of prehistoric and historic artifacts that students can handle in order to gain a better understanding of these objects. Background material about Richmond Hill's archaeological history and other  general information about how these kits will work best for your group is also included.

Available: Year round

Duration: 1 week minimum to  2 week maximum rental
Pricing: $22.05 + HST per kit per week

Program Evaluation

We want to know what you think about our programs. Complete a Program Evaluation form to give us your feedback. Your input helps us improve our programs and services.

About the A.J. Clark Interpretive Centre

The A.J. Clark Interpretive Centre was opened in memory of Arthur James (A.J.) Clark, an archaeologist known for his careful record keeping, studying of artifacts and depth of research. In the 1920s, Clark and his walking companion, Father Edwards J. Kelly of St. Mary Immaculate Roman Catholic Church, began mapping and describing sites in York County. Clark recorded four sites in Richmond Hill between 1928 and 1931, including:

  • Boyle Murphy-Goulding
  • Nicol
  • Cober

A.J. Clark offers workshops and camps to encourage awareness and appreciation for the diverse cultural histories of the City of Richmond Hill, particularly as it related to First Nations Settlement on the north shore of Lake Ontario and the McGaw archaeological site. 

The A.J. Clark Interpretive Centre is located in the Elgin West Community Centre at:

11099 Bathurst Street
Richmond Hill, ON L4C 0N2

Call 905-508-7012 for more information about the Centre.