On September 23, 1787, 1,035 square kilometres were purchased from the Mississagua Indians for £1,700 cash, a number of bales, and boxes containing cloth, blankets, laced hats, pieces of ribbon, brass kettles, mirrors, tobacco, fish hooks, ammunition, tools, and three hundred litres of rum. This agreement later became known as the 'Toronto Purchase'. Misunderstandings between Upper Canada Officials and the Indians about land alocation resulted in tense resentment until 1797 when the Mississaguas – with the assistance of the leader of the Grand River Iroquois and Honorary Mississagua Chief – withdrew in defeat to the Peterborough and Niagara areas. Richmond Hill and the Toronto Purchase were left to the European settlers.
By the early 1800s, local residents and Yonge Street travellers used the name Miles' Hill to refer to both the rise of land and the community that grew along the highway from Major Mackenzie Drive north through the core of modern Richmond Hill. The hamlet was named after the father-and-son duo of Abner and James Miles, who did so much to shape the infant settlement.
By the mid-1820s, the area became known as Richmond Hill. Despite several accounts of the origin of the new name, it remains unclear where or how the name took shape.
One of the nine municipalities nested in York Region, Richmond Hill is divided into six wards and incorporates various communities such as Bayview Hill, Dollar, Gormley, Jefferson, Langstaff, Oak Ridges, and Temperanceville twenty minutes north from the downtown core of Toronto. It is the third most populous municipality in York Region and 28th in Canada. It was once considered the 'Rose Capital of the World'.
Bayview Hill is a subdivision located on the northeast side of Bayview Avenue and 16th Avenue. Built in the early 1990s, the subdivision is mainly a residentical expanse of large homes.
Dollar is a former community of the City of Markham, located Leslie Street and Hwy 7. By 1871, Dollar had a post office, a general store, a blacksmith shop and a Methodist church. With the arrival of the railroad through Markham Village and Unionville in the 1870s, the importance of smaller communities like Dollar began to fade.
In 1962 the name "Dollar" was rescinded and the hamlet ceased to exist. In 1971, the north side of Highway 7 was annexed to Richmond Hill.
The community was named after its first postmaster, James Gormley, who served from 1851 to 1876. The hamlet was originally a part of Markham to the south and Whitchurch to the north.
The old community of Gormley is situated east of the Hwy 404 at the corner of Woodbine Avenue and Stouffville Road. The newer West Gormley is the area surrounding Leslie Street and Stouffville Road.
Bounded by Gamble Road in the south, Bathurst Street in the west and Bayview Avenue in the east, Jefferson is a newly developed neighbourhood named after Jefferson Sideroad, a major thoroughfare in the community.
Langstaff is a residential community a part of both Richmond Hill and Markham. Located near Langstaff Road and Yonge Street, the homes in the area date to the 1960s and 1970s.
Oak Ridges was established along Yonge Street in 1799 by Joseph Geneviève who, amongst others, was granted land to settle by the British government. It was originally named Windham in honour of Geneviève's friend William Windham, Secretary at War for Britain at the time. Shortly after Geneviève departed and by 1840, the settlement and surrounding areas became known as Oak Ridges. Oak Ridges was annexed from King and Whitchurch by Richmond Hill in 1971.
Temperanceville is a hamlet straddling King and Richmond Hill. It is located at the southeastern edge of King and northwestern part of Richmond Hill, east of King City and adjacent to the western part of Oak Ridges. Originally named 'Love's Corner' after a local farming family, its name was changed in the early 1900s through the 'temperance values' of the prohibition campaign.
Temperanceville would grow to boast a post office, several businesses, and a market.
Today, the most popular part of Temperanceville is the Temperanceville Park, which has parking, a soccer field, and a large children's play area.