Recreational trails run along the tops of many of the dykes, and Richmond also supports about 1,400 acres (5.7 km Because of the high water table, very few houses in Richmond have basements and until the late 1980s, very few buildings were above 3 storeys high.
The drawback of Richmond's geographical location was that since all the land averages just one metre above sea level, it was prone to flooding, especially during high tide.
As a result, all the major islands are now surrounded by a system of dykes, which, although not as massive as those in the Netherlands or the levees of New Orleans, serve to protect the town from anticipated sources of flooding.
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.
The Township of Richmond was modeled after Ontario’s political townships – an incorporated municipality, consisting of communities that are united as a single entity with a single municipal administration.
Each community was represented on the municipal council through a ward electoral system with five wards until 1946 when the ward electoral system was replaced with the at large electoral system that is currently in place.
Richmond is home to many Chinese-oriented shopping malls, most of them along No. This area is officially termed as the "Golden Village" by Tourism Richmond and includes malls such as Aberdeen Centre, Richmond Centre, Continental Centre, Union Square, Lansdowne Centre, President Plaza, Parker Place, and Yaohan Centre.
The strip malls located on Alexandra Road are famous for their restaurants and the area is more commonly known as "food street".
On December 3, 1990, Richmond was designated as a City.