Richmond Hill: A Little North, A Little Nicer

The town of Richmond Hill, Ontario is located in the Greater Toronto Area, halfway between Toronto and Lake Simcoe. The third most heavily populated municipality in the York Region, Richmond Hill had the distinction of being the fastest growing community in Canada during the 1990s. Once, Richmond Hill was known as the “Rose Capital of the World” due to its flourishing rose growing industry. However, high property taxes forced the last rose greenhouses to relocate by 1973. Today, the largest industries in Richmond Hill include, in order of size, business services, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing and construction industries, and health and education. Corporations that have headquarters in Richmond Hill include Staples, Lexmark, Compugen, Compuware, Roger Communications and DMC Mining Services.

Driving and Insurance in Richmond Hill

While a fair share of commuters utilize the public transportation, many commuters prefer to drive their own vehicles. Ontario law requires that anyone who owns, leases or drives a vehicle needs to have car insurance. The government of Ontario sets the mandatory minimum amount of coverage that drivers are required to purchase. In September 2010, the government implemented several auto insurance reforms. Most of these reforms dealt with the portion of auto insurance known as Accident Benefits. The following is a summary of four types of Accident Benefits that were changed due to the reforms.

Medical, rehabilitation and attendant care coverage is divided into two categories: non-catastrophic injuries and catastrophic injuries. If you incur medical and rehabilitation expenses in the event of a non-catastrophic injury for things like chiropractic care, physiotherapy or dental treatments, the default coverage is $50,000. This limit can be raised to either $100,000 or $1,100,000. If you require attendant care after acquiring a non-catastrophic injury due to an accident, the default coverage is $36,000. This limit can be raised to either $72,000 or $1,072,000. For catastrophic injuries, medical and rehabilitation expenses are set at the default limit of $1,000,000, with the option to raise the limit to $2,000,000. The same is true for attendant care. Catastrophic injuries are different from non-catastrophic ones in that you cannot recover from a catastrophic injury. Examples of catastrophic injuries include permanently losing your vision, losing a limb or becoming a paraplegic or quadriplegic.

Caregiver benefit coverage is a type of coverage that only applies to people who provide full-time care to dependants. If you are a caregiver who becomes catastrophically injured due to a car accident, this type of coverage will kick in. Under this policy, you will receive $250 per week for the first dependent under your care and $50 per week for each additional dependent. If you want more flexibility in terms of caregiver benefits, you have the option of extending this coverage so you will receive money even if your injury is non-catastrophic. If you suffer an injury due to a car accident that leaves you unable to work and earn a living, income replacement coverage will give you either 70 percent of your gross income per week or $400 per week, whichever is less. If $400 is too low for you, you can raise your weekly maximum to $600, $800 or $1,000 per week.

Other Options for Getting Around in Richmond Hill

When it comes to getting around, commuters in Richmond Hill have the choice of taking public transportation or driving their own cars. York Region Transit (YRT) coordinates the public buses in Richmond Hill. In an attempt to get more commuters to use public transportation, YRT started a rapid transit bus system by the name of VIVA in 2005. VIVA is an attractive transit system due to the fact that its buses are able to speed up traffic lights and thus cut down on delays. Unfortunately, VIVA did not attract as many new commuters as YRT had hoped for. GO Transit provides commuter train service through Richmond Hill Station and Langstaff Station.