Corp Comm Connects

Don’t skate on thin ice! Richmond Hill warns residents to stay off Mill Pond, Bond Lake and Lake Wilcox

Richmond Green Skate Trail is open to Richmond Hill residents for skating
Jan. 6, 2021
Sheila Wang

The City of Richmond Hill issued a public statement on Jan. 4 to advise everyone to stay off of lakes, rivers, ponds and stormwater ponds as the ice may not be safe.

The warning came one day after York Regional Police were called in to help city staff clear people from the ice at Mill Pond Park on Sunday, spokesperson Ash O’Malley wrote in an email on Jan. 4.

While Mill Pond Park remains open, the pond is currently not safe for skating and is closed to the public, the statement says.

The city’s community standards officers visited the pond and installed barriers and additional signage on Sunday after concerns were raised about safety and breaking COVID-19 rules in the community.

No tickets were issued, the spokesperson said.

City staff are working on a plan to open the pond later this winter if ice conditions and provincial COVID-19 restrictions permit, O’Malley noted.

Meanwhile, skating is prohibited at all Richmond Hill stormwater ponds and lakes such as Lake Wilcox and Bond Lake, according to the statement.

Even if the weather has been cold, other factors such as water flow, fluctuating water levels and snow on the ice can contribute to unsafe conditions. In addition, even if the ice at the water's edge seems safe, it can get weaker as you get further out, it says.

The city reminds the public if someone falls through the ice, call 911. Do not put yourself in danger.

Throw a flotation device, rope, extension cord, ladder or long pole to hold onto. If they manage to get out, try to dry them off and keep them warm until emergency personnel arrive.

For those who would like to skate, Richmond Green Skate Trail is open to Richmond Hill residents for skating. Pre-registration is required.

The city is also expecting to open outdoor skating rinks at Ozark Park, Rouge Crest Park, Crosby Park and Town Park later this winter if the weather and provincial COVID-19 restrictions permit.

Meanwhile, there are other opportunities to have outdoor fun this winter in Richmond Hill.

The city has put together a number of maintained winter walking and hiking trails as well as a list of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails across the city available on

Residents are reminded to continue practising COVID-19 health and safety measures while out in the parks and trails by maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from others unless you live together.

And do not gather outside in groups of more than 10.