Richmond, British Columbia

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Richmond, British Columbia
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image_caption =Richmond City Hall


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image_shield = Richmond_BC_coatofarms.jpg
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dot_map_caption =Location of Richmond within the Greater Vancouver Area in British Columbia
dot_x =60 |dot_y =100
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Canada
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = British Columbia
subdivision_type2 = Regional District
subdivision_name2 = Greater Vancouver
subdivision_type3 =
subdivision_name3 =
subdivision_type4 =
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government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =Mayor
leader_name =Malcolm Brodie
leader_title1 = Governing body
leader_name1 =Richmond City Council
leader_title2 =MP
leader_name2 =Raymond Chan (Liberal) John Cummins (Conservative)
leader_title3 =MLA
leader_name3 =Linda Reid John Yap Olga Ilich
leader_title4 =
leader_name4 =
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = 1879 (municipality status)
established_title2 =
established_date2 = 1990 (city status)
established_title3 =
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area_total_km2 = 129.666
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population_as_of = 2006
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population_total = 174,461 (Ranked 25th)
population_density_km2 = 1403.16
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timezone = PST
utc_offset = -8
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elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 0 to 12
elevation_ft = 0–39
postal_code_type = Postal code span
postal_code =V6V to V6Y, V7A to V7E
area_code =604, 778
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blank_info =
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website = [http://www.richmond.ca/home.htm Ciy of Richmond Official Website]
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coord|49|10|N|123|08|W|type:city|display=title

Richmond (IPAEng|ˈrɪtʃmənd) is an incorporated city on the Pacific coast of the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is located at coord|49|11|N|123|8|W and forms part of Metro Vancouver. Its neighbouring municipalities are Vancouver and Burnaby to the north, New Westminster to the east, and Delta to the south. The Strait of Georgia forms the western border. Richmond is the location of the Vancouver International Airport.

Geography

The city comprises most of the islands in the Fraser River delta, the largest and most populated island being Lulu Island (the eastern tip of which forms the Queensborough neighbourhood, which is actually part of the neighbouring city of New Westminster). The next largest island, Sea Island, is home to the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). In addition to Lulu and Sea Islands, 13 smaller islands make up the city's km2 to sq mi|129.66|spell=UK land area. The former village of Steveston takes up the far southwest corner of the city.

Since all of Richmond's land occupies islands in a river delta, the city has plenty of rich, alluvial soil for agriculture, and was one of the first areas in British Columbia to be farmed by Europeans in the 19th century. The drawback of Richmond's geographical location, was that since all the land averages just one metre above sea level, it is prone to flooding, especially during high tide. As a result, all the major islands are now surrounded by a system of dykes (quite different from the dykes of the Netherlands or the levees of New Orleans), which were created in the early days of European settlement. There is a possibility that, during an earthquake, the dykes could rupture and the alluvial soil may liquefy, causing extensive damage. Richmond is also at risk of a major flood if the Fraser River has an unusually high spring freshet. Recreational trails run along the tops of many of the dykes, and Richmond also supports about 1,400 acres (5.67 km²) of parkland. [cite web|url=http://www.richmond.ca/discover/about/profile.htm |title=City of Richmond Profile]

Because of the high water table, very few houses in Richmond have basements. Previous to the 1980s, very few buildings were above 3 storeys high. Because of proximity to the airport, current building regulations limit the height of buildings to convert|150|ft|m.

Climate

Richmond enjoys a temperate climate, and actually receives 30% less rain than neighbouring Vancouver because it is not as close to the mountains. It rarely snows in winter and the summer temperatures are mild to warm. Richmond is also very prone to fog in the cooler months.

History

The city was named after a local Richmond farm established by Hugh McRoberts. A daughter of his chose this name for their farm after one of the Richmonds in Australia (it is unknown exactly which one it is). The wife of the first reeve of Richmond, England later claimed that the city was named in honour of her birthplace. However, modern historians proved this claim to be false, since the Boyds immigrated to Richmond in 1863, but there had already been a pamphlet called "A Visit to Richmond" made in British Columbia in September 1862.

*November 10, 1879 — Richmond was incorporated as a District Municipality.
*March 25, 1910 — The first flight in British Columbia was made from Minoru Racetrack.
*December 3, 1990 — Richmond was designated as a City.

An early centre of European (and Japanese) settlement in Richmond was the old fishing village of Steveston on the southwestern tip of Lulu Island. Steveston is now home to several museums and heritage sites, as well as a working harbour for fishing boats. Currently, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and the Britannia Shipyard, National Historic Site in Steveston highlight these parts of Richmond's diverse history.

Demographics

Richmond's estimated population in 2005 was 181,942 people. It is a city within the Greater Vancouver Regional District. After Vancouver (605,891), Surrey (420,900) and Burnaby (193,954), Richmond is the fourth largest of these GVRD cities.

Richmond has a visible minority population of 59%, the highest in Canada. [cite web|url=http://www.canada.com/richmondnews/news/story.html?id=add39b4e-452d-454b-b7a8-f35890156593&k=7115|title=Richmond has highest percentage of immigrants in Canada] More than half of its population is of Asian descent, most of whom immigrated in the early 1990s, many of them from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China. Other Asian Canadians in Richmond include East Indian Canadians, Filipino Canadians and Japanese Canadians,cite web|url=http://www12.statcan.ca/english/profil01/CP01/Details/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CSD&Code1=5915015&Geo2=PR&Code2=59&Data=&SearchText=&SearchType=&SearchPR=&B1=Population |title=Richmond at Statistics Canada] the latter having a long history in Steveston dating back to the 1800s. The Japanese Canadian community was devastated following the Pearl Harbor attack by Japan in 1942: the Japanese Canadians were "relocated" to internment camps in the BC Interior and Alberta and their property was auctioned off. Richmond is also home to two of the largest Buddhist temples in North America, the International Buddhist Temple and the Lingyen Mountain Buddhist Temple.

According to Statistics Canada, residents of Richmond have the greatest life expectancy in Canada at 83.4 years, and the lowest obesity and smoking rates as well. The average price of a detached home in Richmond is $758,915. Serious violent crime is very rare in Richmond, and Richmond was ranked as the third safest city in British Columbia for 2002.

Government and politics

With a mostly middle-class to upper-middle-class demographic, Richmond has voted quite regularly along centrist and right-of-centre lines, being a stronghold for the BC Liberal Party. The city's politics are well known in the Vancouver area for how seldomly political upsets or surprises occur and incumbents have tended to enjoy long tenures:

Municipal Elections

The current mayor is Malcolm Brodie, first elected in October 2001. Local government consists of an 8-member City Council and a seven-member School Board. The last elections were in November 2005. [cite web|url=http://www.richmond.ca/cityhall/council/members.htm |title=Richmond Council Members]

Like Vancouver, but unlike most cities in British Columbia or even Canada, Richmond runs on a political system of locally-based political parties. For the most part, however, their organization is weak and they may form or collapse frequently between elections.

In the November 2005 elections, the main local parties were: the right-wing Richmond First party (RF) , the centrist Richmond Independent Team of Electors (RITE) and the left-wing Richmond Citizens Association (RCA). [Richmond local parties: [http://www.richmondfirst.ca/ RF] , [http://www.voterite.ca/ RITE] , [http://www.richmondndp.ca/ NDP] ]

In the elections for City Council, the RF won 3 seats, the RCA won 2 seats, the RITE won 1 seat and there were 3 independents (including the mayor). For school board, the RF won 5 seats and the RITE won 2. [cite web|url=http://www.richmond.ca/cityhall/elections/results/2005.htm |title=2005 Civic Election Results]

Provincial Elections

In provincial politics, Richmond is a stronghold of the BC Liberal Party. In the 2005 provincial elections, the Liberals easily won all three of Richmond's electoral districts.

Federal Elections

In the Canadian House of Commons, Richmond is divided between two electoral districts: Richmond and Delta—Richmond East. In the 2006 federal election, the Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada each won one seat. Both seats have a history of voting for the main conservative party.

Transportation

Richmond is connected by a system of bridges and tunnels to Vancouver and Delta, and through the New Westminster suburb of Queensborough (on eastern Lulu Island) to the "mainland" portion of New Westminster.

Three bridges (one of them twinned) connect Lulu Island to Sea Island and the Vancouver International Airport; one bridge connects Sea Island and the Vancouver International Airport to Vancouver; two bridges connect Lulu Island to Vancouver; one bridge connects Queensborough (on eastern Lulu Island) to New Westminster; one bridge connects Queensborough to Annacis Island in Delta; one twinned bridge connects Richmond to Annacis Island; and one of the few underwater tunnels in British Columbia connects Richmond to Delta.

Richmond is served by two freeways: Highway 99, which connects Vancouver to the United States, and Highway 91, which connects Delta, New Westminster, and Richmond.

Railway bridges connect Lulu Island to Vancouver, New Westminster, and Annacis Island, and serve the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways, as well as the Southern Railway of British Columbia (although the latter railway's Lulu Island trackage is entirely within Queensborough).

The public transit system in Greater Vancouver, planned and funded by TransLink, currently has bus connections from Richmond to Downtown Vancouver, Surrey, New Westminster, Burnaby, Delta and the University of British Columbia. A rapid, light rail transit line called the Canada Line (formerly the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver (RAV) Line) is scheduled for completion in late 2009 and will connect Richmond Centre and the airport to downtown Vancouver and points between, and is expected to replace the bus rapid transit 98 B-Line.

Vancouver International Airport, located on Sea Island (part of Richmond) to the north of Lulu Island, provides most of the air access to the region. Several Float plane companies Salt Spring Air, Harbour Air and Seair operate from the south terminal providing service to the gulf islands and Vancouver Island. The airport (YVR) is the second busiest in Canada and one of the busiest international airports on the West Coast of North America.

Economy

Richmond supports about 100,000 jobs in various areas including services, retailing, tourism, light manufacturing, airport services and aviation, agriculture, fishing, and government. [cite web|url=http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/data/dd/facsheet/cf187.pdf |title=BC Statistic Factsheet|format=pdf] Richmond also is a leading centre in the region for high-technology companies [cite web|url=http://www.richmond.ca/discover/demographics/hightech.htm |title=Biggest High-Tech Companies in Richmond] , including MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) and the Nintendo Corporation of Canada.
Microsoft has opened an office in September 2007 for software development and already employs hundreds from around the world. [cite web| url=http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/July2007/26/c9770.html|title=Richmond welcomes Microsoft Canada Development Centre]

Agriculture

The Agricultural Land Reserve preserves 4,800 hectares within the city as farmland, an area that makes up most of east Richmond. [cite web|url=http://www.discovervancouver.com/GVB/richmond.asp |title=Greater Vancouver Book - Richmond] Highbush blueberries and cranberries are the dominant crops grown. Among the other crops grown are strawberries, corn, and potatoes. Blackberries are also very common, but because of their rapid invasive growth are treated by many as a common weed. In 2001, Richmond made up approximately 47% of BC’s cranberry area.

hopping malls

Richmond is home to many Asian-themed shopping malls, most of them along No. 3 Road from Alderbridge Way to Capstan Way. This area is officially termed as the "Golden Village" by Tourism Richmond and includes malls such as Aberdeen Centre, Continental Centre, Union Square, Ethen Centre, President Plaza, Parker Place, and Yaohan Centre.

Non-Asian-themed malls in Richmond include Richmond Centre and the Lansdowne Park Shopping Centre.

Many businesses display their store names in large characters both in English and Chinese (including non-Chinese businesses such as Staples).

City Centre development plan

As of June 2007, Richmond city planners are one year into their update of its official plan for the city centre. The plan is anchored by the Canada Line, currently under construction, and includes the development of nine transit-oriented village centres. The population of the area is expected to grow from about 40,000 to 120,000 residents. According to a senior planner for the city, the goal of the plan is to "turn the middle arm of the Fraser River into a focus instead of an edge."A Richmond parks manager said that for "too long residents have felt contained by the river, seen it as being to their backs. Now, They want people to face the river and embrace the waterfront." cite web|url=http://www.http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/business/story.html?id=377a8012-2745-420f-9541-d8dd72df27cf |title=Vancouver Sun, June 09 2007, "On the waterfront"] citeweb|url=http://www.richmond-news.com/issues07/052107/news/052107nn1.html|title=Richmond News - Canada Line drives massive development - May 08, 2007 ]

Fraser River development

The Olympic Oval-In March 2007 Aspac Developments Ltd purchased 7.5 hectares (18.6 acres) of land adjacent to the Fraser River and the unfinished $178 million Richmond Olympic Oval. The $1 billion plan includes 16 high-density towers, up to 14 stories in height. The towers will be stepped toward the waterfront and will include trees and green space. Aspac's plans are for "probably the highest-end development Richmond has seen to date" said Mayor Brodie. [citeweb|url=http://vancouvergo.com/Olympics2010/2007/03/30/richmond-is-141-million-richer-thanks-to-2010-olympic-oval/ |title=Vancouver 2010 News article] A $2.3 million hard-surfaced path will be constructed along the river to link the project to Aberdeen Centre.Aspac's initial plan includes constructing the development in four phases, with the first phase comprising 65,000 square metres (700,000 sq ft) of residential development, and 2,300 square metres (25,000 sq ft) of ground-level commercial space. Some construction will not begin until after 2010, and will take up to 12 years to complete. The warehouses and commercial parks near the development are also slated for redevelopment.

The John M.S. Lecky Boathouse-The University of British Columbia recently constructed a new boathouse along the river. The popular John M.S. Lecky boathouse [http://www.ubcboathouse.com/index.htm] draws crowds from rowing regattas and Dragon Boat Races.

Cambie Road Pedestrian Bridge-A possible pedestrian bridge where Cambie Road reaches the river is also being included in a future vision of the area. It would link nature trails on the north and south banks, and make Aberdeen Centre within walking distance for BCIT's aerospace campus students.

Capstan Way development

Developer Pinnacle International is planning a 16-building development on a seven hectare (17.2 acre) property near Capstan Way and No 3 road. The mixed use development would include over 2,100 residential units, various commercial uses, and a hotel.

The Canada Line is considered critical to the project. However, a fifth Richmond station at Capstan Way is only proposed for construction at an indefinite future date. This station is considered so critical to the development that the developer has offered $15 million to build it ahead of schedule. With a station adjacent to the development, the city would consider reducing the parking space requirements by 35%.

Also included will be 100 affordable housing units, a 25-space daycare, and a 0.6 hectare (1.4 acre) park. Live-work dwellings are also being proposed by the developers, where shop owners would live above their ground level operations.

Aberdeen Centre

Fairchild Developments is planning an eight floor expansion to its Chinese-oriented shopping centre. The plan includes a 150 room hotel, and a link to the Canada Line's Aberdeen station, currently under construction. The mall is also considering purchasing transit coupons for staff and customers to encourage them to use the new line.

Bridgeport Station

The River Rock Casino Resort, located near the future Canada Line Bridgeport Station, plans to build a 12 story hotel, and 1,200 parking space complex for casino patrons and for park-and-ride transit use.The parkade with over 200 stalls will cost $33 million CAN to build. TransLink (the Canada Line operator) will give the Great Canadian Casino Corporation land worth $9.5 million, and $4.5 million in cash in return for building the park-and-ride facility. Transit uses will be charged $2 to use the facility. [citeweb|url=http://www.richmond-news.com/issues06/124206/news/124206nn3.html|title=Richmond News - Casino gets 'sweet deal' from TransLink - December 2006]

Garden City

The 55-hectare/136.5 acre parcel known as the Garden City lands was leased by the federal government for decades and was formerly used as a transmitter site for program requirements of the Canadian Coast Guard. The property is bounded by Westminster Highway, Garden City Way, Alderbridge Way and No. 4 Road and has been within the Provincial Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) since 1973. [citeweb|url=http://www-comm.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pages/release/bckgrnd/2005/bg005_e.htm|title=Garden city property memorandum of understanding] Recently the Federal Government of Canada deemed the land as "surplus" to its' needs and transferred the property to the Canada Lands Company (an agency of the Federal Government) for liquidation.

The City of Richmond, Canada Lands Company, and the Musqueam Indian Band entered a 2005 agreement with the federal government that included the intent to remove the land from the ALR for the purposes of high-density development. [citeweb|url=http://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/MOU19709.pdf | title=Memorandum of Understanding] In April 2008, an application to exclude the land from the Agricultural Land Reserve was made to the Agricultural Land Commission, which is currently considering the application.citeweb|url=http://www.alc.gov.bc.ca/application_Status/38099/38099_main.htm|title=Agricultural Land Commission - Garden City Lands application status

Film and television production

Steveston Village has played home to several major American movies such as Blade II and The 6th Day, and television series such as "Supernatural", "Outer Limits", "Killer Instinct", "X-Files", "Smallville", "Stargate SG-1", the "Final Destination" series and the "Scary Movie" series.

Fantasy Gardens (an old amusement park which is largely unoccupied now) served as Halloweentown in the popular Disney Channel television movie "" and was also featured in the TV series "Killer Instinct" and "Stargate SG-1". The television series "Aliens in America" also made use of Cambie Secondary School in the northern part of the city.

Vancouver International Airport on Richmond's Sea Island has also been featured in numerous films and television series, commonly standing in for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (as it does in "The Cleaner" and "Dead Like Me"). It is also featured as stand-ins for other airports in films such as "Final Destination", "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants", "The L Word", "The Lizzie McGuire Movie" and "".

Education

Richmond is home to a campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. In addition, the British Columbia Institute of Technology runs its aircraft maintenance courses at facilities at Vancouver International Airport.

School District 38 Richmond has 11 secondary schools and 38 elementary schools, including two late French Immersion schools and six early French Immersion schools. [cite web|url=http://www.sd38.bc.ca/ourschools |title=Richmond School District] The school district also hosts one International Baccalaureate World School, located at Richmond Secondary School.

Parks and Recreation

Community/Recreation Centres [ [http://www.richmond.ca/parksrec.htm Richmond.ca] - Parks and recreation]
*Cambie Community Centre
*Hamilton Community Centre
*Lang Centre (City Centre)
*Minoru Aquatic Centre
* Minoru Arenas
* Minoru Artificial Turf
* Minoru Sports Pavilion
*Richmond Ice Centre
*McLean Park
*Richmond Nature Park
*Sea Island Community Centre
*South Arm Community Centre
*South Arm Pool
*Steveston Community Centre
*Steveston Pool
*Thompson Community Centre
*Watermania Aquatic Centre
*West Richmond Community Centre

ports

Richmond is home to the Richmond Sockeyes Junior B hockey team, and the Richmond Budgies Senior Men's Baseball Club.Richmond also has two swim clubs: the Kigoos summer swimming club and the Richmond Rapids (winter) Swim Club.As of October 01, 2006, the middle arm of Richmond’s Fraser River became home to both the UBC Thunderbirds varsity rowing program and St. George’s School rowing program, with the completion of the new $6 million CAD John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse. [cite web|url=http://www.gothunderbirds.ca/sports_team_story.asp?id=14&storyid=1436 |title=UBC Athletics] In addition, this facility will also function to enhance participation in the sports of rowing and dragon boating for the greater community, including youth, adults, and rowing alumni. [cite web|url=http://www.ubcboathouse.com/facility.htm |title=John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse]

Richmond and the 2010 Winter Olympics

For the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the City of Richmond is also constructing an 8,000-seat speed-skating oval near the No. 2 Road Bridge, close to Vancouver International Airport. The estimated construction cost (paid for by the city, the provincial government and the federal government) is around $178 million CAD but is an issue of debate right now due to rising construction costs. After the Games, the oval is to serve as a recreational structure for residents. It is scheduled to open in the summer of 2008. [cite web|url=http://www.richmond.ca/discover/events/oval/oval.htm |title=City of Richmond Olympic Oval Information] The city received $141 million CAD from ASPAC Developments for city owned land next to the Oval. The sale more than covers the unfunded portion of the Oval's price tag. [cite web|url=http://vancouvergo.com/Olympics2010/2007/03/30/richmond-is-141-million-richer-thanks-to-2010-olympic-oval/ |title=Vancouver 2010 News article]

ister cities

*flagicon|Canada Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada
*flagicon|Japan Wakayama, Japan

Holidays, events and festivals

On Canada Day, Richmond has an annual festival in Steveston called the Salmon Festival. In this event, there is a carnival set up and there is a huge barbecued salmon sale in front of the Steveston Community Centre. Locally-based municipal, provincial and federal politicians frequently show up at this event, usually as part of the Canada Day parade or to hand out Canadian flags.The 5th annual Richmond Maritime Festival will be held at the Britannia Shipyard, National Historic Site on August 15-17, 2008. It is a family event that celebrates the region's maritime heritage with live entertainment, ships, exhibits and demonstrations.From 8 to 12 August, 2002, Richmond hosted a tall ships festival which attracted an estimated 400,000 people to Steveston. The success of this event surpassed many expectations and caused traffic congestion in the usually-quiet area. [cite web|url=http://www.richmond-news.com/issues02/082202/news/082202nn2.html |title=Richmond News: "Richmond Tall Ships 2002 attracts 400,000 people"] [cite web|url=http://www.richmond-news.com/issues02/082202/news/082202nn8.html |title=Richmond News: "'Holy mackerel,' tall ships festival draws huge crowd"] There was insufficient parking in the area, which gave locals the idea of selling "parking space" by using their driveways and front yards. [cite web|url=http://www.richmond-news.com/issues02/082202/news/082202nn6.html| title=Richmond News: "Parking woes lead to anger and profits"] Despite the event's popularity, there was a revenue shortfall and the city decided not to host the event again. [cite web|url=http://www.royalcityrecord.com/issues03/104203/news/104203nn2.html |title=Royal City Record: "Small - but Tall - better"]

During the summer weekends, Richmond holds its annual Richmond Night Market. Toys, clothes, cell phones, and food are available along with live entertainment. It is very popular and is usually crowded.

Richmond also hosted the 2006 Gemini Awards, which were be held at River Rock Casino. This marked the first time the ceremony has taken place on the West Coast, as it traditionally takes place in Toronto. [cite web|url=http://www.cknw.com/news/news_local.cfm?cat=7428327912&rem=34161&red=80132723aPBIny&wids=410&gi=1&gm=news_local.cfm |title=CKNW AM 980: "Richmond's River Rock Casino to host this year's Gemini Awards"]

Notable people

The following notable people were born in, live in or have resided in Richmond for a long period of time:

* Aaron Ashmore, actor
* Shawn Ashmore, actor
* Nicki Clyne, actress
* Edison Chen, Hong Kong entertainer
* Coco Rocha, Canadian supermodel
* Charlotte Diamond, Juno-winning children's singer
* J.D. Frazer, cartoonist
* Gary Fung, founder and administrator of the BitTorrent index site "isohunt"
* Scott Hannan, professional NHL hockey player with the Colorado Avalanche
* Kyle Hamilton, Gold medal-winning Olympic rower
* Rick Hansen, disability activist and former Paralympian
* Chris Haslam, professional skateboarder
* Jason Jordan, striker for the Vancouver Whitecaps
* Alexa Loo, Olympic snowboarder
* Brent Seabrook, professional NHL hockey player with the Chicago Blackhawks
* Bobby Singh, professional CFL football player with the Calgary Stampeders
* Ryan Stiles, comedian
* Brittany Tiplady, teen actress
* Bjarni Tryggvason, astronaut
* Bill Vander Zalm, former Premier of British Columbia

External links

* [http://www.richmond.ca/home.htm City of Richmond Official Website]
* [http://www.discovervancouver.com/GVB/richmond.asp Discover Vancouver article on Richmond]
* [http://www.richmondnightmarket.com/ Richmond Night Market]

References

urrounding municipalities

Canadian City Geographic Location (8-way)
Northwest = University Endowment Lands
North = Vancouver
Northeast = Burnaby
New Westminster
West = "Strait of Georgia"
Centre = Richmond
East = Surrey
Southwest = "Strait of Georgia"
South = Delta
Southeast = Delta


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