The Town of Richmond Hill started out as a small settlement located partially in the Township of Vaughan and partially in the Township of Markham. The Town's development was closely linked with the development of Yonge Street, which was planned primarily as a military road by John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Upper Canada. The Town was officially incorporated on June 18, 1872 as a village and the first council meeting was held on January 1, 1873 under the leadership of Abraham Law as Reeve. Richmond Hill developed because of its proximity to Toronto, as farmers came into town on their way to Toronto markets and people travelled up and down Yonge Street to and from communities further north. Early in the twentieth century, several large greenhouse operations were built in Richmond Hill, while rose growing turned the Town into the "rose capital" of Canada. In the 1920's, village council adopted the motto of the Duke of Richmond, for whom the Town may have been named. A local artist and carriage painter, William Ashford Wright, created a town crest that included elements of the Duke of Richmond's coat of arms and roses. Data from the recent census conducted by Statistics Canada indicated that Richmond Hill continues to be one of Canada's fastest growing municipalities. It is estimated that by the year 2021, the Town's population will reach 200,000. Over the years, Richmond Hill has remained a distinctive community, one of change yet with strong historical roots. Even during this time of most extensive growth to-date, Richmond Hill has remained a community with a friendly, down-to-earth flavour. That is why the Town's un-official motto is "A little north, a little nicer."
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