Ontario real estate agents are lobbying the province against the mandatory disclosure of offers among competing home buyers in transactions involving multiple bids.
The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) sent a bulletin to its members that the province is considering this change as an update to the 2002 Real Estate Business Brokers Act (REBBA).
Buyer agents and listing agents have both voiced their opinions. One buyer agent indicated that this could have an impact on the market in two ways. A lower number of offers could result in the competing bids not offering as much as they would have intended. Saving the buyer money.
e.g. Property for sale at $1,000,000. Buyer 1 places an offer of $950,000. Buyer 2 places an offer of $925,000 and does not wish to go any higher. The seller accepts Buyer 1’s offer. Savings of $50,000.
While on the other hand, it could have the opposite effect. In a normal market where a property is in demand, the property could have multiple offers and the price could be driven upwards by conservative amounts resulting in the buyer paying above market value.
e.g. Property for sale at $1,000,000. Buyer 1 places an offer of $975,000. Buyer 2 places an offer of $980,000. Buyer 3 places an offer of $985,000. Each party goes back and forth 3x increasing their offer $10,000 each time. The seller accepts Buyer 3’s offer of $1,015,000. Buyer goes above market value by $15,000.
One listing agent interviewed mentioned that this would be very bad for sellers. If the competing offers were allowed to see what the other was bidding, the seller would lose all leverage in the negotiating process. The seller could no longer try and get the best possible price from the buyer, thus leaving potential dollars on the table.
The price of the property is only one variable being considered. In an open offer process, each party will be able to see the conditions and all the other details of the offer.
Privacy is a big concern should this process become mandatory. Sharing information about competing bids could lead to the disclosure of personal financial information to any interested parties. The government should not force consumers into an experimental, mandated open offer process. Buyers and sellers should have a choice. Tim Hudak, CEO of OREA indicated that making the disclosure of offers mandatory, “would be a radical change in the real estate market that does not exist anywhere in North America.”
Under the current rules, only a real estate agent can share the details of offers with the seller.
It is unclear the motive behind the suggested change, but if the process is mandated one party will end up losing out.
April is now behind us and although the month may have been wet and cold it did not stop people from selling their home. April 2019 saw GTA realtors report a total of 9,042 sales. The highest number of sales since May of 2017. The number of sales jumped by 16.8% year over year and 11.3% month over month. During the month of April, the City of Markham had the largest number of sales at 382, while the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville completed a total of 60.
Number of Sales Per Region
City of Toronto – 3,234
Peel Region – 1,925
York Region – 1,468
Durham Region – 1,075
Halton Region – 965
Simcoe County – 312
Dufferin County – 63
The average home for all home types in the GTA continues to show increases year over year. April 2019 saw the average sale for all home types increase by 1.9% to $820,148. When we compare the average sale price of March 2019 to April 2019, we notice an increase of 4.04%. Price growth continues to be driven by the condominium apartment and higher-density low-rise segments. The average price for detached houses has dipped, specifically in regions surrounding the GTA.
While some communities may have witnessed a decrease in the average sale price of a detached home, other communities did not. The average sale price for a detached home in Markham increased by 6% to $1,257,635 while the Town of Stouffville had its average sale price for a detached home decrease by 14% to $914,910.
Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura indicated, “The strong year-over-year growth in sales is obviously a good news story and likely represents some catchup from a slow start to the year. TREB’s outlook for 2019 anticipates an increase over 2018.”
Overall, new listings in April were up by 8% year-over-year to 17,205. However, it should be noted that growth in new listings is not keeping pace with sales. This suggests that market conditions continue to tighten which points toward an acceleration in price growth.
The luxury market over $3 million operates at a level far different from the rest of the market. To date, only 4 homes, with an average selling price of $3,317,097 have sold in Markham since the beginning of the year while 47 remain on the market. In Stouffville, there continues to be no property available for sale above $3 million.
What Does This All Mean?
The market performed well last month with a large number of sales. However, there are many factors to consider in the coming months. Housing affordability continues to be a topic of conversation as individuals monitor interest rates and the OSFI stress test, which is still having its effect on the home buyer’s ability to qualify for a mortgage.
If sales continue to outpace listings, we could see further price growth at a rapid pace which could mean more buyers placing offers on a home above its market value. The next few months will have valuable information to study and review.
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz announced that the economy will grow much more slowly than expected this year. Factors affecting the slow growth include global trade disputes, slumping investment in the oil and housing sectors, Premier Doug Ford’s provincial budget and the winter weather.
All of these factors contributed to the Bank of Canada downgrading its forecast for growth from an estimated 1.7% to 1.2 %. The Bank of Canada estimated that the economy grew at an annual rate of just 0.3% in the first three months of the year. Mr Poloz characterized the slow start to the year as a “bit of a detour” rather than a permanent setback, adding that a rebound may already be underway. The consensus amongst economists is that for Canada’s economy to grow 1.5% this year. If the Bank of Canada is right, 2019 would be the weakest year for the economy since 2016.
This slow growth prompted the bank to abandon talks of hiking interest rates, indicating the economy still needs low rates to counter a global economic slump and weak business activity at home.
The central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 1.75 % and made no mention of raising its interest rate further. Something that the Bank of Canada has consistently been mentioning in other statements.
For borrowers, an official halt to hikes by the bank means rates on mortgages and other loans may already have peaked. Rates on five-year fixed mortgages have fallen more than half a percentage point in recent months. Although it may seem that interest rates have hit their peak, it does not mean that the bank will begin cutting rates. It just means that they have pressed the pause button. Mr Poloz said an eventual rate hike is still “more likely” than a cut.
Interest rate relief “continues to warranted” stated the bank. “We will continue to evaluate the appropriate degree of monetary policy accommodation as new data arrives”. Higher borrowing costs and tighter mortgage rules “appear to be having larger and more prolonged effects on residential investment” and some rate-sensitive consumer spending.
The bank says the housing sector is showing early signs it may be stabilizing, particularly in and around Toronto.
Approximately 186,000 York Region residents in the communities of East Gwillimbury, Newmarket, Aurora, Markham and Vaughan will be benefitting from a federal government investment to reduce the risk of flooding.
Francois-Phillipe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities announced that the federal government will be investing $150-million in four major flooding and storm mitigation projects.
Markham, Vaughan and York Region are contributing a total of $252.7-million to the project. The City of Toronto will be receiving funding and will also be contributing to the overall project costs.
With a cost of $120-million the York Durham Sewage System Forcemain Twinning Project will twin the existing 35-year-old main sewage conduit to minimize potential spills, particularly during storms. This will protect the environment, reduce service interruptions and safeguard the health of over 133,000 residents for the communities of East Gwillimbury, Newmarket and Aurora.
The City of Markham Flood Control Project will help protect vulnerable areas from flooding for 18,000 residents in the Don Mills Employment Lands and the West Thornhill Community. This project will cost $121.6-million.
More than 35,000 people in Vaughan will benefit from stormwater flood mitigation projects that will improve water quality and reduce the impact of flooding. The total cost for this project will be $41.5-million.
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti indicated, “through Markham’s Flood Control Project, we continue to upgrade existing infrastructure to improve flood resiliency and protect our neighbourhoods. This investment will increase capacity and reduce potential flood damage while protecting vulnerable homes and businesses now and for the future.”
In the City of Vaughan, Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua also mentioned, “it is our priority to make ongoing investments in the critical infrastructure that helps keep our residents safe, provides protection to our business community and maintains the high quality of life in our neighbourhoods.”
Construction on all the projects will start within the next two years and finish by 2025.
Each year the Fraser Institute publishes its Report Card on Ontario’s elementary schools. The ranking is a reflection of the previous year’s testing results. The Report Card collects a variety of relevant, objective indicators of school performance into an easily accessible public document so anyone can analyze and compare the performance of individual schools.
The ranking is derived from an overall rating out of 10 on the school’s performance on nine indicators, all of which are derived from province-wide tests of reading, writing and mathematics skill that are developed and managed by the province’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).
These particular set of indicators have been selected because they provide systematic insight into a school’s performance.
The act of publicly rating and ranking schools attracts attention, and this can provide motivation. Schools that perform well or show consistent improvement are applauded. Poorly performing schools generate concern, as do those whose performance is deteriorating. This inevitable attention provides an incentive for all those connected with a school to focus on student results.
The Report Card provides a valuable tool for parents looking to make a decision on whether to move to a different neighbourhood or stay where they are. Because it makes comparisons easy, it alerts parents to those nearby schools that appear to have more effective academic programs.
Families choosing a school for their children should seek to confirm the Report Card’s findings by visiting the school and interviewing teachers, school administrators, and other parents.
York Region has some of the best performing elementary schools in the province. Here are few from the Markham, Unionville and Stouffville communities.
Rank: #19 School Name: Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys Score: 9.8
Rank: #21 School Name: Donald Cousens Score: 9.7
Rank: #25 School Name: Stonebridge Score: 9.5
Rank: #1 School Name: St. Justin Martyr Score: 10.0
Rank: #19 School Name: St. Benedict Score: 9.8
Rank: #250 School Name: Oscar Peterson Score: 8.1
To search nearby schools and their rankings on our website. Click here
Back on November 15, 2018, we wrote about how the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) was misleading the public by not accurately reporting the Days on Market for a sold listing.
For years, TREB heard from its members that the market statistics it kept was missing some crucial information. Now it is getting closer to providing its more than 50,000 members with more accurate data. For example, it takes about 11 more days to sell a home in many of the sub-markets across the Greater Toronto Area than the currently published statistics suggests.
“Days on Market” or “DOM” is a term that has stirred up a lot of confusion for realtors and the public. It seems that there are many individuals in the Greater Toronto Area who do not know how long it takes to sell the average home.
DOM is calculated as the amount of time a single listing lasts in the system before it is recorded as a sale. Because the system has been set up this way it is missing some of the accumulated days a property spends on the market from previous listings, terminations, price changes as part of a new listing and other activity.
Since January 2003, the average spread between the ‘Avg. LDOM [listing days on market]’ statistic and the new ‘Avg. PDOM [property days on market]’ statistic was approximately eight days. In February 2019, the spread was approximately eleven days.
In February 2019, 20% of sold listings were part of a relist cycle, and over the entire study period, the average was 16%. During the time where the housing market was under stress the volume of sales via re-listings spikes. For much of 2017 and 2018, the share of homes sold as part of a relisting cycle hovered between 25% – 30% of all sales.
In Markham, a listing at 46 Clover St was first terminated on May 28, 2018, and subsequently terminated four more times before it was finally sold on December 13, 2018. The property was on the market for a total of 198 days, but TREB will only record the 24 days it took to sell the property after the final termination.
In Stouffville, a listing at 15 Coronet St was on the market in November 2017 and was cancelled and relisted three more times before selling on December 27, 2018. The property was on the market for a total of 373 days. TREB will only report the property being on the market for 28 days.
Now that the research shows there are some meaningful gaps in the data, the PDOM stat will make its way into future TREB monthly market reports. DOM has always been a lagging indicator that describes where the market has been, but perhaps in the future, the spread between the PDOM and LDOM will be a number worth watching. The number will provide another snapshot of the marketplace for sellers and buyers and give realtors another tool when discussing the current state of the market.
The month of March saw Greater Toronto Area Realtors report a total of 7,187 sales. The number of sales is nearly the exact number from March 2018 where it was 7,188. Month over month March had a 43% increase in sales over February. During the month of March, the City of Markham had the largest number of transactions at 300, while the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville completed a total of 55.
The average home price for all home types in the GTA continues to show increases year over year. March 2019 saw the average sale price for all home types increase by 0.5% to $788,335. When we compare the average sale price of February 2019 to March 2019, we notice a 1.1% increase in the GTA.
The average sale price for all properties in Markham decreased by 0.48% ($892,744), while Stouffville saw its average sale price increase by 7.8% ($934,459). The less expensive and higher density low-rise home types continue to drive price growth within the GTA.
Overall, new listings in March were up by 42% over last month to 13,996. This suggests that the spring has arrived, and sellers are excited to have their home on the market.
With three months completed in 2019, the luxury home market continues to operate at a different level than the rest of the Greater Toronto Area. As of April 1, there have only been two sales of luxury homes in Markham. The first at $3.26 million and the other at $3.08 million. In Stouffville, there have been zero sales for luxury homes.
What Does It All Mean?
2019 continues to have an uncanny resemblance to 2018. The month of March showed that everything from sales to listings is following the same path as 2018. The warmer weather we received in March help perk up the spring market and help buyers come off the sidelines and back into the market.
There are other factors to consider throughout the year such as the OSFI stress test, which is having its effect on home buyers by making it difficult to qualify for a mortgage. Also, the ongoing discussion regarding interest rate hikes or even a rate relief is something to closely monitor. Should the next few months follow the same pattern as 2018, then April, May, June will show similar strong results to March.
A public meeting was held on March 13 at Milliken Mills Community Centre where a plan was unveiled for a 5-tower residential condo development. The project has been named Panda Markham and is planned for the area near Hwy 7 and Warden Ave in the rapidly expanding Downtown Markham.
The Lifetime Developments plan for the project would involve buildings that climb between 28 and 48 floors and would have a total number of 2,206 units. The suites for the tower would range from one bedroom to three bedrooms in size.
The project was first submitted to the City of Markham last July after two years of development work had been done with consultants, including traffic studies.
Lifetime’s principal Brian Brown indicated that their proposal would bring “new attention to one of the most desirable locations in the Greater Toronto Area.” Brown also added, “that the city still needs to expand on its unique identity and we have challenged our architects to design a development with a distinguishing factor, world-class character and a vibrant, sustainable and flourishing community.”
The overall design of the development is very modern and very iconic, while still blending in with the existing infrastructure.
The project is still in the earliest stages of the planning process and has to go through a full public meeting before being approved.
This isn’t the only project that is being planned in the City of Markham. The much talked about York Downs development is another project that has been approved and will be commencing shortly. The York Downs Golf Course informed Sixteenth Land Holdings Inc that they were exercising the option to extend the lease and will remain open through the 2020 golf season. Indicating that construction on the new development would not take place until 2021.
The federal budget was announced by Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Tuesday, March 19, with a large section targeting housing affordability. Billions of dollars in new incentives, including zero-interest mortgages for first-time buyers and subsidized loans for the construction of tens of thousands of rental units were introduced.
“Finding an affordable place to call home is not just a challenge. For too many hard-working Canadians, especially for young people, it feels like an impossibility, Mr Morneau indicated in his speech.
FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER INCENTIVE
The centrepiece of Ottawa’s housing plan is a $1.25-billion, a three-year program of zero interest loans for low and middle-class income people looking to buy their first home. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMHC) will offer mortgage loans – up to 10% of the purchase price of newly built homes and 5% of existing homes to help prospective homeowners.
The loans will be available to people who provide down payments between 5-20% and have household incomes of $120,000 a year or less. The loan will be repayable when the mortgage is repaid. CMHC will release full details later this year, with the loans available in September, pending passage of legislation.
The new interest-free loan program will help first-time buyers, who are the group that has been most affected by the new stress-test rule. The solution avoids overstimulating the real estate market more broadly and spurring rapid growth in home prices in expensive markets.
HOME BUYERS’ PLAN INCREASE
First-time buyers will receive another boost as the government will be increasing the amount that Canadians can withdraw from their RRSPs to buy a home to $35,000 from $25,000, effective immediately.
NEW CONSTRUCTION AGREEMENT
The budget also proposed to extend for nine years an existing program of subsidized loans to builders of rental homes and apartments in areas with low vacancy rates. The upfront cost would be $10 billion. The extension in funding will boost the number of units built to 42,500 from 14,000.
The federal government has tried to appeal to the masses with this budget. They have introduced a few things to benefit first-time home buyers and although it is a small step, it is a small step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it will not be enough.
York Region is full of activities from the youngest of children to the oldest of adults. See below for an event near you and partake in all the FUN!
MARKHAM Easter Egg-Citement – April 7, 2019 | Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: Varley Art Gallery, 216 Main Street Unionville, Unionville, Ontario, L3R 2H1
Admission: $20 – Ages 5 – 10
Make your own Easter-themed artwork and décor! We will end the afternoon with a good old-fashioned Easter egg hunt, where kids will keep all their goodies!
Earth Day – April 20, 2019 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Earth Day 2019 marks the 11th celebration of all things sustainable and green in Markham. The City has been a leader in municipal sustainability for over a decade and we take pride in partnering with our communities, businesses and residents to improve our footprint here on Planet Earth! This interactive event offers our students and residents an opportunity to show off their cool and innovative projects, and how they are working to help make our community a better place. Visitors will also learn how to reduce their carbon footprint and achieve a more sustainable lifestyle.
Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Big Bike Event – May 9, 14, 16 ,30, 2019 |Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM It is the Big Bike event where as many as 30 riders at a time will ride down the street for approximately 3.5 km in total to raise awareness for the foundation and raise funds for heart disease and stroke research.
Farmers Market – May 11 until October 12 – 8:00am – 1:00pm The award-winning market is a great place to enjoy amazing local products and live entertainment. Find fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, baked goods, preserves, flowers and much, much more, all well listening to live performances – this year, featuring new musicians and performers!
Markham Village Music Festival – June 14 and 15, 2019
The Festival will be holding their 42nd edition on Main Street on Friday evening, June 14 and Saturday, June 15 all day and evening. Once again, there will be four stages of entertainment, craft & food vendors, farmers market and much more! Morgan Park will be bringing back the Carnival Rides on Thursday and Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Saturday evening. The Petting Zoo will be back on Saturday and the Kids Entertainment stage will be going on Friday evening and Saturday. Family fun for everyone!
Music On Main – Every Friday night from June 21 until the end of August on Main Street Markham – 6:00pm – 9:00pm Each week, there will be 3 bands set up along Main Street Markham. Walk the street and listen for the artists to discover where they are playing. Enjoy the evening and explore the street or sit on a patio and indulge in the entertainment.
16th Annual Markham Ribfest- July 7 – 9, 2019 Taste Ribbers from all over North America. Held in Downtown Markham, admission is $2 with 100% of the fees going to charity.
Markham-Milliken Children’s Festival – August/September 2019 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. The Markham-Milliken Children’s Festival is the party kids wait for all summer! Now in its 20th year, this festival is the perfect way for families to beat the end-of-summer boredom. It features a variety of free play zones, crafts, educational and engaging activities, vendors, food from around the world, live entertainment, Disney princesses, superheroes and much more!
Doors Open Markham- September 7, 2019 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m Doors Open Markham is a free community event that invites the public to explore Markham’s historical and cultural places of interest, featuring locations that are not generally open to the public or that would otherwise charge admission. It provides residents and visitors with an opportunity to explore the City’s unique and sometimes hidden treasures.
Markham Auto Classic – September 8, 2019 See classic cars from every different decade as you walk up and down Markham Main Street.
Cycling Day – September 22, 2019 | Time: 8:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m. Markham Cycling Day is York Region’s largest public cycling event, featuring the Tour de Markham (15 km, 30 km and 60 km routes) and bicycle races for kids aged 3-10. It offers a safe, fun and educational experience that encourages everyone to enjoy all that the City of Markham has to offer – while staying active. Participants enjoy free lunch, giveaways, raffle prizes and local entertainment.
Santa Claus Parade – November 23, 2019 | Time: 11:00 a.m.– 1:00 p.m. The 47th Annual Markham Santa Claus Parade is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season with your loved ones. This festive tradition is a time to believe in magic and a time to come together to show who we are as a community – warm, welcoming and spirited. The parade features 100+ floats including marching bands, local businesses and our cultural community, and of course, jolly Old Saint Nick.
UNIONVILLE Thursdays Nights at the Bandstand – Every Thursday from June 14 – August 2 – 7:30pm – 9:00pm Our popular, free music series “Thursday Nights at the Bandstand” kicks off summer on May 30 at Unionville’s Millennium Bandstand at the corner of Main Street and Fred Varley Drive. Organized by community-based Unionville Presents, the summer series attracts talented Canadian, International and local performers to the outdoor Unionville Millennium Bandstand stage for all to enjoy free of charge.
Unionville Festival – Saturday June 1 and Sunday June 2 for 2019 The first weekend in June signifies “Festival Weekend” in Unionville. There will be the traditional Saturday morning Parade, the Fun Zone for kids, the annual Funky 5K race, the York-Durham Heritage Train and don’t forget Family Fun Day in Crosby Park on Sunday. There will be music everywhere and plenty of vendors – including, of course, the unique shops of Unionville.
Stiver Mill Farmers’ Market – Every Sunday from June 9 until November 10 – 10:00am – 4:00pm Enjoy shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables every Sunday at Unionville’s historic Stiver Mill. Live entertainment and special events.
Unionville Exotic Car Show – Sunday, July 27 – 11:00am – 4:00pm Held on beautiful historic Main Street Unionville, exotic cars and vendors will line the street for all to see. A DJ and live entertainment will keep the crowd hopping! Proceeds go to Hand Over Hand community organization, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering a community where people with disabilities will feel safe, accepted and supported through peer networks. HOH provides free programs for youth with developmental disabilities in York Region.
STOUFFVILLE Victoria Day Fireworks| May 19, 8-9:30pm (Rain Date May 20) Celebrate Victoria Day with food, crafts and fun for the whole family!
Mayor’s Bike & BBQ | May 25, 10:30am-12:30pm Take a ride on one of the many trails Whitchurch-Stouffville has, then join us for a delicious BBQ at the Reservoir!
Art in the Park | June 8, 11am-6pm Celebrate arts and culture at this annual juried art show and sale. Enjoy great food and music as you wander the park to revel in the talent of artists from across Southern Ontario.
Movies in the Park– June 14 & 21, July 19 & 26, August 16 & 23, | Starts at 8:00pm Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy family favourites under the stars!
Food Truck Frenzy| June 20 and September 13, 5-9pm Experience Food Trucks from across the GTA in our own Memorial Park. Enjoy bands and entertainment as you sample dishes from over 20 different vendors.
Strawberry Festival – June 28 – July 1 In 1984 the Stouffville Strawberry Festival was the town’s Canada Day celebrations teamed with the annual baseball tournament. Today it has grown into the second largest attraction in York Region with over 30,000 people visiting the Strawberry Festival each year. The Strawberry Festival is organized by a volunteer committee which has grown to more than 20-people strong. There is plenty to do and see at this year’s Festival including fun for the whole family, young and old.
Stouffville Country Ribfest – August 9 – 12:00pm – 11:00pm (FRI & SAT); 11:00am – 7:00pm (SUN) This three-day event featuring national BBQ pit-masters, live music, food trucks, local breweries, marketplace, kid’s zone and more! This Whitchurch-Stouffville tradition is high energy fun for the whole family!
46th Annual Antique & Classic Car Show – Sunday, August 11 – 11:00am – 4:00pm Exhibitors from across southern Ontario display their prized antique & classic cars. Enjoy all this family event has to offer, including live entertainment, food vendors, heritage & children’s activities.
Stouffville Farmers’ Market – Every Thursday night from 2:00pm – 7:00pm Eat Local. Eat Fresh.
Santa Claus Parade| December 7, 6pm Celebrate the season as a parade of lights makes its way down Main Street. This evening parade will bring Christmas magic with floats, entertainment, holiday music and a visit from Saint Nick himself!
New Year’s Eve| December 31, 6:30-8pm Ring in the New Year with food, family activities and our most spectacular fireworks show of 2019!
RICHMOND HILL Cultural Summit – March 26 | 6:30pm – 10pm The 2019 Cultural Summit will take place at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. The Cultural Summit brings together artists, arts organizations and culture lovers to learn more about what is happening in Richmond Hill. The night will feature an update on the Richmond Hill Cultural Plan, performances by local artists, presentation of the 2019 Richmond Hill Arts Awards, demonstrations by local arts organizations and much much more!
Doors Open Richmond Hill – May 11 Explore 16 featured sites participating in this year’s Doors Open Richmond Hill. Explore the heritage, architecture and culture Richmond Hill has to offer! There are four NEW sites this year that are sure to delight!
Richmond Hill Farmers Market – Every Sunday from June 9 until September 29 – 9:30am – 2:00pm Bring your family and friends to the Richmond Hill Farmers Market for fun activities and to support local farmers and artisans! There will be family entertainment, food, crafts and activities for children. Visiting the Farmers Market is a great way to connect with the community.
Come early for entertainment by local musicians, children’s activities including planting and face painting, games, prizes and giveaways and of course farm fresh produce, honey, preserves, baked goods, meats and more!
Canada Day Celebrations – July 1 | 11:00am – 11:00pm Every year, thousands of people in Richmond Hill and the GTA come to Richmond Green Park to celebrate Canada’s birthday. It’s a fun-filled day full of activities with something for everyone.
Ribfest – July 26 – July 28 – 12:00pm – 11:00pm (FRI & SAT); 11:00am – 8:00pm (SUN) Ribfest is a three-day outdoor festival that features professional rib teams travelling to Richmond Hill from across North America. Ribbers cook and compete for various Best titles including Best Sauce and Best Ribs as decided by honorary judges. Bring your friends and your appetites as this festival is one you won’t want to miss!
Concerts in the Park – Every Thursday in July and August from 7-9pm Richmond Hill’s free Concerts in the Park series are great outdoor summer events. Bring a lawn chair, blanket or cushions to sit back and enjoy the Concert in the Park series. Come out to enjoy all kinds of music including Blues, Country, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Celtic, Tribute bands and Children’s acts.
Moonlight Movies – Every Wednesday in August – Pre-movie fun starts at 7:00pm Richmond Hill’s Moonlight Movies series is an outdoor cinema experience during the summer months. It’s free and all you need to bring is a blanket or lawn chair. Movies start when the sun goes down.
Santa Claus Parade – November 16 | 6:00pm – 7:30pm Richmond Hill’s Santa Claus Parade brings the holiday spirit to life each year for spectators of all ages. This popular night time parade attracts thousands and features a number of diverse floats, walking groups and marching bands from in and around the community.
NEWMARKET Canada Day 2019 Fireworks Event – July 1 Cap off Canada’s Birthday, and a day filled with fun activities, with our amazing fireworks show!
Music in the Park – Throughout July and August – 7:00pm – 8:30pm Watch free musical performances where guests are invited out to Newmarket Riverwalk Commons as entertainers showcase their talents.
Kids Downtown – Tuesday from July 9 & 23 – 7:00pm – 8:00pm This child-oriented entertainment show allows you to bring a lawn chair or a blanket to delight in the evening’s entertainment.
Moonlight Movies – Throughout May & August – Movies begin at dusk.
Enjoy an outdoor movie on a huge inflatable screen under the stars. Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair, blanket and snack to enjoy during the movie. Free popcorn will be provided by the Newmarket Scouts. Movie titles and locations will be revealed online closer to the date of the event.
New‘bark’et Dog Festival – September 7 & 8 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Newmarket’s one of a kind, family-friendly dog festival. Bring your dog for a swim at the Gorman Outdoor Pool ($5 per dog), watch exciting dock diving shows from Aqua Dogs, let your dog try a lure course with Dog Lovers Days, have a blast in the kids zone (inflatables and face painting), and visit all of the dog-related vendors to shop for your furry friend.
Farmers’ Market – May 4 until October 5 – 8:00am – 1:00pm A band of farmers, vendors and volunteers create a hive of activity reminiscent of the town’s early years as a new market. A place to buy farm fresh produce, home-made baking, hand-made crafts and a great place to meet up with friends over breakfast or lunch.
Princess and Superhero Party – October 26 | 10:00am – 1:00pm Come dressed as a princess or superhero for the day and enjoy a variety of games, inflatables, stage shows, tasty treats, meet your favourite characters and more!
Santa Claus Parade – November 16 Welcome, Santa Claus to Newmarket at our annual Santa Claus Parade. Bundle up and bring your family and friends to see the festive holiday floats followed by our special guest – jolly Old St. Nick. Please remember to bring your letter to Santa to be picked up by Santa’s Elves and your non-perishable food item to be collected for the Newmarket Food Pantry.
AURORA Easter Egg Hunt– Saturday, April 20 | 9:30am – 1:00pm
Drop-in any time that works with your family’s schedule.The activities are spread throughout the Aurora Seniors’ Centre and outside along the Arboretum Trail. Attire for indoor and outdoor activities is advised.
Movies in the Park – April 27, August 15, 22, 29
This event is FREE! Please bring a non-perishable food donation for the Aurora Food Pantry. Your help is greatly appreciated
Celebrate Aurora and Celebrate Canada – Monday, July 1
Concerts in the Park– Held every Wednesday in July and August
Aurora’s summer tradition continues, with a concert every Wednesday in July and August.
Aurora’s Ribfest– August 23, 24 and 25 The tastiest event of the year will be taking place at Machell Park, as the rib teams get fired up starting on Friday, August 23. Not only will there be the tastiest ribs but also roasted yams, roasted corn on the cob, beavertails and many other dishes for every appetite. There will also be great live entertainment, an inflatable midway and activities for kids of all ages.
Aurora’s Haunted Forest – Saturday, October 26 | 6:00pm – 9:00pm There are many decorated trails and three cabins to explore for all ages. A charitable BBQ will be on site for a nominal fee. In addition to the fun that takes place at Sheppard’s Bush, there are crafts and games available to enjoy at the Aurora Family Leisure Complex. Aurora’s Haunted Forest has been acclaimed as one of the Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario.
Santa Under the Stars Parade – Saturday, November 23 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm Don’t miss the magic of the Santa Under the Stars Parade. Watch as Santa and beautifully decorated floats, festive walking groups and incredible marching bands go by under the twinkle of the night sky.