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May 2024 Newsletter

What's Inside:


A Big Thank You!

For Making the Royal Orchard Park Community Clean Up a Huge Success

RORA kicked off Earth Day with its annual Royal Orchard Park Community Clean Up. Together we collected 28 bags of garbage. While this is a significant improvement from last year, we are still finding too many bags of dog poop, snack wrappers, household and yard waste, even a tarp! We thank all of you who joined us for a great afternoon. We enjoyed meeting you over coffee and rock painting! Special recognition goes to our Councillor Keith Irish who attended no less than three Community Clean Ups that day including ours.


It’s Garlic Mustard Season! 

Our valley is filled with garlic mustard! Garlic mustard is an invasive herb native to Europe. It was brought to North America in the early 1800s for use as an edible herb. Available in the early spring and high in vitamins A and C, it has a strong, distinctive smell similar to garlic.  Yes, you can harvest and eat it, but wash it well first! 

However, it spreads easily and if you look closely, you may have some growing in your garden. This plant spreads its seeds in the wind and gains a foothold in fields and forests by emerging earlier in spring than many native plants. By the time native species are ready to grow, garlic mustard has blocked their sunlight and outcompeted them for moisture and vital nutrients.  Further, garlic mustard’s roots release chemicals that alter the important underground network of fungi that connect nutrients between native plants, inhibiting the growth of important species like trees.

Fortunately for us, we have options to rid ourselves of this pest of a plant. The best way to get rid of garlic mustard is manually:

  • Try to pull up the whole plant before they set seed, because the action of yanking the plant from the ground will spread the seed.

  • A good time to pull garlic mustard is after it rains, when it’s easier to get all or most of the long tap root.

  • After you have pulled the plants, bag them up and throw them out with your garbage; do not compost.

Grab your garden gloves and a garbage bag and join your neighbours to pull garlic mustard in Royal Orchard Park!


Neighbourhood Watch

RORA has been in contact with York Regional Police (YRP) about setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Program for our community. Neighbourhood Watch may reduce crime through the active participation of residents in crime prevention. It involves working with neighbours to keep an eye on each other's property and reporting suspicious activity.


We are organizing an evening Community Information Session with the YRP via Zoom. If you are interested in attending, please email us at Residents on Portree Crescent, Banquo Road and Kirk Drive have expressed their interest.


Development News

Yonge Corridor Secondary Plan

The Yonge North Subway Extension (YNSE) will be bringing increased density to the Yonge Street corridor. The City of Markham is developing the Yonge Corridor Secondary Plan to shape this transformation and define the infrastructure requirements needed to support future development (e.g. parks, schools, retail, community amenities).


RORA attended the recent April 18, 2024 Community Information Meeting. You can view the presentation and respond to the engagement questions at


RORA has raised concerns about lack of park land, parking, disruption to basic services needed by existing residents, traffic, impact on schools, hospitals, community facilities, and the overall scope and scale of the developments proposed along Yonge Street. As the people who live, work, and spend time here, we are best-positioned to tell Markham what is working, what is not, and what issues we would like the Secondary Plan to address. Make sure your voice is heard and help Markham develop a Secondary Plan that benefits current and future residents. RORA has expressed our interest in taking an active role in the development of this plan.


28 and 32 Kirk Drive

On April 30, 2024, the City of Markham’s Development Services Committee held a statutory public meeting for review of Major Zoning By-Law Amendment application (24-161084 PLAN) from JKO Planning Services Inc. (Jim Kotsopoulos) c/o MYterms (Arash Fazelipur & Somayeh Badali) for 28 and 32 Kirk Drive. 


RORA has provided a written submission.

RORA April 30 letter to Markham Council
Download PDF • 135KB

While we do not object to the light density increase, we outlined concerns including the management and minimization of construction disruptions, road safety, and the potential heights of the new homes, especially in light of the surrounding bungalows.

The Committee noted that the application already complies with Markham's Official Plan and the proposal as presented is within the standards expected in the Zoning By-law.  As such it was approved by the Committee and will move to Council for a final decision. The Committee directed Markham staff to work with the developer on the design of the four new homes to provide greater complementarity with the existing neighbourhood.


Yonge North Subway Extension

Metrolinx is tracking to open the Yonge North Subway Extension (YNSE) Community Office on High Tech Road to the public by mid-May.  The Community Office will host the Sound Lab and Kiosks to hear the future train storage facility.


RORA has been invited to an advance tour of the Community Office. Stay tuned for our review.


Help Us Make RORA More Successful

We are interested in your views and your ideas for our neighbourhood. We need volunteers to help with events and committees. If you have some time to give, we would love to hear from you. We are still looking for a treasurer and secretary.  



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