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Royal Orchard Park

Royal Orchard Ratepayers' Association

A volunteer-led, membership-based organization, striving to act as an advocate to protect and enhance our neighbourhood. 

What's happening?

Construction developers

Development and land-use planning

Within the past few years, the Ontario government has significantly changed the province’s planning framework. Most recently, in spite of fierce criticism by citizens, municipalities, environmentalists, and conservation authorities, the province passed the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 (Bill 23). Concerns included changes to site plan approval, third party appeals and potential property tax increases due to reductions in development charges.


The City of Markham expects that Bill 23 could cost the city $136 million in annual revenue, requiring an increase of 50-80 % in property taxes to maintain existing service levels (estimated $600 to $1,000 per year to the average homeowner).  Worse than trampling planning and property rights, is the complete disregard for environmental protections that we have come to expect.  Conservation authorities will no longer be able to comment on development applications, leaving municipal staff without their expertise to make informed recommendations.


Further, the province is opening up the Greenbelt to housing, contrary to past commitments. The Greenbelt was established in 2005 to permanently protect 1.8 million acres of farmland, forests, river valleys and wetlands. Its food security, climate mitigation and adaptation, recreation and economic values are almost incalculable. Over 90 % of Ontarians support the protection of the Greenbelt and the Premier and his Ministers have repeatedly promised not to touch it. The need has not been demonstrated and the parcels suspiciously associated with developers/PC party supporters.


These changes, in addition to the increased use of Ministerial Zoning Orders and Transit-Oriented Community designations, require a strong, organized community voice. Through RORA, we can collectively work together to mitigate the adverse impact of development. 

Yonge North Subway Extension

Without public consultation, Metrolinx and the Ontario government announced in March 2021 a re-routing of the Yonge North Subway Extension (YNSE). Instead of running north on Yonge Street to Richmond Hill Centre, as previously planned, the subway will veer off Yonge, north of Royal Orchard Blvd, run under homes, Pomona Creek, and St. Anthony’s Catholic Elementary School. 


The YNSE will impact community health, safety and wellness. Well before construction, many Royal Orchard residents have been affected.  On May 1, 2023, Metrolinx sent letters to residents whose property is located on, or within 30 metres of, the transit corridor land designated by the province under the Building Transit Faster Act, 2020 for the YNSE. The impact for affected residents includes: notices placed on titles that the property falls within transit corridor land; requirement of permits from Metrolinx for any planned work on or under properties; right of access to properties by Metrolinx for subway planning. We understand you may have many questions for Metrolinx.


RORA has a dedicated YNSE subcommittee with the objective to work with Metrolinx in communications and co-creation of mitigation strategies. Priority issues for Metrolinx engagement include a detailed project schedule with clear milestones and completion dates; placement and profile of the subway tunnels; results of the soil and groundwater testing; profile of soil conditions; monitoring of noise and vibration; and compensation for residents. 

Yonge North Subway Extension depiction by Metrolinx
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