The area was first surveyed by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe in 1794 while he was constructing Yonge Street. It was first settled by United Empire Loyalists and British settlers, and by 1801 it was known as Miles' Hill after Abner Miles, a prominent settler, and was afterwards Mount Pleasant. According to local legend, it was re-named Richmond Hill when Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, visited the area in 1820. However, it is more likely that it was re-named after a favourite song of one of the early settlers, The Lass of Richmond Hill. Richmond Hill was incorporated as a village in 1873, and as a town in 1957. It encompassed the other earlier settlements in the area, Oak Ridges, Langstaff, and Elgin Mills.
The town's motto is En la rose, je fleuris (French for "Like the rose, I flourish"), reflecting either the motto of the Duke of Richmond, or the fact that the town was a centre of rose-growing in the early 20th century. A more recent motto is A little north, a little nicer, in reference to the smaller, quieter lifestyle there as opposed to the metropolis of Toronto further south.
Famous people from Richmond Hill include world-champion figure skater Elvis Stojko, figure skater Emmanuel Sandhu, some of the members of the band Barenaked Ladies, and World Wrestling Entertainment women's champion Trish Stratus.
The current mayor (since 1988) is William F. Bell, now serving his sixth term. The town council consists of six councillors and two Regional Councillors, plus the mayor.
Richmond Hill is the "twin city" of Lakeland, Florida.
|West: King, Vaughan||Richmond Hill||East: Whitchurch-Stouffville|