The Regional Municipality Of York

ALERT: In response to the COVID-19 situation, York Region has declared a State of Emergency  |  Get the latest on our response to COVID-19  |  Masks and face coverings are mandatory in York Region effective July 17  |  Re-opening and resuming business during COVID-19  

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Re-opening and Resuming Business during COVID-19

York Region is following the provincial lead with respect to re-opening businesses, services and public spaces during COIVD-19 in accordance with the Government of Ontario’s plan, called A Framework for Reopening our Province.

Businesses and services will reopen in stages over periods of weeks and months. Through all stages, public health and safety will be the number one priority, while focusing on the needs of residents and businesses.

Stage 3 Openings

Expanding on the list of businesses permitted to re-open in Stage 2, the Province of Ontario is allowing more businesses and more sectors to re-open.

Nearly all businesses and public spaces can gradually reopen as regions enter Stage 3, with public health and workplace safety restrictions in place, while some high-risk venues and activities will remain closed until they can safely resume operations.

York Region also has a number of resources available to support business and workplace as they reopen and resume service, which can be found below. For a complete list of resources, download the full Re-opening and Resuming Business During COVID-19 Toolkit.

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 economic impact recovery measures or federal and provincial supports for businesses, please refer to our Business Grants, Subsidies and Loans page.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID‑19:

  • Amusement parks and water parks
  • Buffet-style food services
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements
  • Overnight stays at camps for children
  • Private karaoke rooms
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments

For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, as well as the public health guidance necessary to keep the people of Ontario safe, visit Ontario.ca/reopen


Businesses and Workplaces

Mandatory Masks and Face Coverings

Effective Friday, July 17, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., York Region’s Medical Officer of Health instructions require operators of enclosed public spaces to have a policy in place prohibiting persons from entering premises of the establishment if the person is not wearing a non-medical face covering. This means customers, employees or visitors who enter enclosed public spaces must wear a mask or face covering.

Effective Friday, August 7, 2020 as of 12:01 a.m., building owners or operators to have a policy to ensure masks or face coverings are worn by individuals in common areas of condominium buildings, apartment buildings and multi-unit residential buildings.

This policy is subject to appropriate exemptions. The instruction will remain in place until Monday, November 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

If you are a business owner or operator and have questions about the use of face masks and coverings in York Region, please visit york.ca/mandatorymasks.

View the frequently asked questions — What you need to know about wearing a face mask or covering

Guidance

The Ontario Government has developed sector-specific guidelines and posters to provide guidance to businesses and services as they re-open to help protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19.

At this time, customer screening is not mandatory for businesses. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, businesses should practice physical distancing, good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, clean and disinfect surfaces, and prohibit sick employees from coming to work.

Employers and Employees

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers must take precautions to keep workers safe, including keeping them informed, creating health and safety policies and procedures and ensuring workers use the right protective equipment.


Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health is advising employers in Ontario to facilitate virtual work arrangements to enable employees to work from home where possible. In workplaces where this is not possible, employers are recommended to operate in a manner that encourages physical distancing.

Employees worried about the safety of their workplaces can call the Health and Safety Call Centre at 1-877-202-0008.


Schools

Find out what to expect as schools reopen for the 2020-2021 school year at Ontario – re-opening schools.


Summer Day Camps

The Province of Ontario is permitting summer day camps to operate during the months of July and August 2020.

York Region Public Health has developed a guidance document intended to help organizers and day camp staff reduce the spread of COVID-19.

While every camp is different, it is ultimately the responsibility of organizers and operators to review their own policies, procedures and site-specific circumstances to assess their ability to deliver programs and activities while ensuring the appropriate infection and prevention control measures are implemented and maintained.

York Region Public Health has also developed a Summer Day Camp Self-Audit Checklist to assist operators prepare and manage COVID-19 through the development of policies and procedures, adherence to infection prevention and control practices as well as appropriate response planning to ensure the health and safety of staff, campers, parents/guardians and visitors.

Complete this self-assessment daily before sending your child to day camp, child care or school settings.


Licensed Child Care

Licensed child care centres and home care providers across Ontario are able to re-open with limited capacity and strict safety and operational requirements. 

Licensed child care centres and home child care providers across Ontario can operate with strict safety and operational requirements in place.

Beginning on July 27, 2020, child care centres will be permitted to operate with cohorts of 15 children, which is an increase from the current cohort capacity of 10. This change will allow parents to return to work, and bring the child care sector to approximately 90% of its operating capacity before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Complete this self-assessment daily before sending your child to day camp, child care or school settings.

Resources to support operators in re-opening child care:

Public Gatherings

Effective Friday, July 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province has increased the limit on social gatherings from 10 to 50 people in indoor settings and from 50 to 100 people in outdoor settings across the province, with physical distancing in place when gathering with individuals outside your immediate household or social circle.

Places of worship and faith-based gatherings can either accommodate a maximum of 50 people indoors or 30% of the building capacity, whichever number is greater as long as physical distancing can be maintained. For example, if a place of worship hosts a gathering of 70 people but remains under 30% capacity of the venue, this would be permitted

For wedding and funeral ceremonies:

  • Indoor wedding or funeral ceremonies can host a maximum of 30% capacity of the ceremony venue or 50 people, whichever number is greater
  • Outdoor wedding and funeral ceremonies are limited to 100 attendees
  • The 30% venue capacity or 50 person limit for indoor ceremonies and the 100 person limit for outdoor ceremonies does not include the staff working at the ceremony venues

For both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, attendees must follow proper health and safety advice, including practicing physical distancing from people who are not from their established 10 person social circle.


Personal Service Settings

The Province of Ontario announced that Personal Service Settings (PSS) can re-open for business on June 19, 2020. Personal Service Settings include hairstyling and barbering, tattooing, micropigmentation, ear and body piercing, electrolysis, nail salons, and aesthetic services.

Personal Service Settings must comply with the PSS Regulation (O. Reg. 136/18), Ontario’s Emergency Orders and guidance as directed from York Region Public Health. Employers may also refer to additional sector-specific guidance provided by the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD), Workplace Safety and Prevention Services: Guidance on Health and Safety for Personal Service Settings During COVID-19 and industry partners to ascertain what types of preventative measures may be appropriate for particular workplace settings.

York Region Public Health has also developed COVID-19 Guidelines for Personal Service Settings.


Long-term Care Homes, Retirement Homes and other Congregate Care Settings

As part of Phase 2, long-term care homes, retirement homes and other congregate care settings that are not experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak are permitted to open facilities to visitors. Each location will have slightly different policies and protocols in place. If planning to visit family or loved ones, be prepared and confirm what will be required before your visit.

As required by the Ministry of Long-Term Care, all long-term care homes require visitors to attest to having received a negative COVID-19 test result from a test taken within the last two weeks and have not subsequently tested positive. COVID-19 testing is not required for outdoor visits.

Additional visitor requirements for long-term care homes, retirement homes and other congregate care settings will include:

  • Not visiting any of these settings if you are sick. Active and/or passive screening protocols prior to entering facilities will be in place, which may or may not include temperature checks
  • Adhering to new rules around physical distancing, hand hygiene, and face coverings or masks
  • A maximum number of visitors per resident

Other protocols may dictate where (e.g., inside or outside, in certain rooms, only in private rooms, etc.) visitors can see residents and what personal protective equipment is required.

If a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care setting is in outbreak status, only essential visitors will be allowed into the facility.



York Region Service Distruptions and Facility Closures

York Region facilities closed to the public

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, York Region facilities (except waste depots) are currently closed to the public. A number of services have also been impacted.

Details on disruptions and closures will be updated as the situation evolves.

Key services essential to York Region continue, including Paramedic Services, Water, Waste Management, Shelter Services, Long-term Care, Road Operations and York Region Transit.

Children's Services

Following the Government of Ontario’s announcement,  emergency child care ends effective June 26, 2020. As a result, York Region is no longer accepting any emergency child care applications.

Licensed Child Care

Licensed child care centres and home care providers across Ontario are able to re-open with limited capacity and strict safety and operational requirements.  The earliest a child care centre can open is June 12, 2020.  Opening dates will vary.

EarlyON child and family programs

While all face-to-face meetings with individual clients or groups have been discontinued, virtual/telephone visits are continuing.

EarlyON programs have closed across York Region. Families can access EarlyON programs and services by telephone, email and social media.

The following adjustments are made to services:

  • Child Care Fee Subsidy — intake and annual reviews are done by telephone.
  • Early Intervention Services Intake Line  — intake is continuing (by telephone) to answer client inquires
  • Infant and Child Development Services — is continuing to support families with intervention and case coordination  by telephone, videoconferencing or email
  • Neonatal Follow Up Clinics — offered through videoconferencing or telephone  
  • Inclusion Support Services  is contacting families to help children develop and maintain skills that will help them successfully return to licensed child care, while offering service coordination for families and providing capacity building training to early learning and child care providers
  • Online capacity building workshops for early learning and child care professionals are now available. In-person sessions have been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date
  • After School Programs in social housing have closed, but 360 Kids continues to support the community and will be offering online programs soon
  • Fair Access Programs have closed

For more information visit   york.ca/childcare

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Court Services

Provincial Offenses Courts

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a provincial State of Emergency has been declared. Court operations are limited during this time. If you have a trial scheduled, a notice of your new court date will be sent to you by mail to the address on file with the court. If you were summoned to appear in court for a provincial offence during the State of Emergency, you do not need to attend, as the matter will be rescheduled.

Please note: York Region Court Services and Prosecution offices will be closed until further notice. Statutory timelines have been extended, including time to exercise your options on the Offence Notice (ticket).

We will not accept applications (i.e. time extensions, re-openings, trial requests, serving an appeal) until further notice. Exception: If your driver’s license was suspended due to an overdue fine, you may request a time extension or re-opening by submitting an application to NewmarketPOA@york.ca or RichmondHillPOA@york.ca. The Regional Prosecutors office is still accepting disclosure requests and Charter applications by email to the following: for Newmarket, 4960disclosure@york.ca. For Richmond Hill, 4961disclosure@york.ca.

You can pay your tickets at paytickets.ca

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Economic Development

York Small Business Enterprise Centre

In-person consultations are postponed until further notice. Business consultations will be moving to telephone consultations, wherever possible.

Seminars, group sessions and workshops are postponed until further notice. York Region will continue to evaluate to determine which events can be held online.

To learn more visit york.ca/business


Business Advisory Services

In-person consultations are postponed until further notice. Business consultations will be moving to telephone consultations, wherever possible.

To learn more visit york.ca/business

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Forestry

Outdoor Education - Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education

Bookings at the Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre are cancelled until further notice.

To learn more visit york.ca/yrf

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Housing

Housing York Inc. Essex Office

Offices are closed to the public.

Residents can still call or email Housing York Inc. during regular business hours at:

Housing York Inc. drop boxes are located at all of our properties. We encourage you to use the drop boxes to submit maintenance requests, rent cheques and information about rent renewals. We can copy and return original documents to you as needed.


Housing York Inc. Gorham office

Closed to the public.

Residents can still call or email Housing York Inc. during regular business hours at:

Housing York Inc. drop boxes are located at all of our properties. We encourage you to use the drop boxes to submit maintenance requests, rent cheques and information about rent renewals. We can copy and return original documents to you as needed.


Housing York Inc. Woodbridge Leasing Office

Closed to the public.

Residents can still call or email Housing York Inc. during regular business hours at:

Housing York Inc. drop boxes are located at all of our properties. We encourage you to use the drop boxes to submit maintenance requests, rent cheques and information about rent renewals. We can copy and return original documents to you as needed.


Community Partnerships and Support Services

Closed to the public.

The Community Partnerships team is working remotely and will continue to provide support to clients.

  • RGI tenants’ rents will be recalculated starting April 1st based on demonstrated drop in income
  • Market rent tenants will be supported if their ability to pay is negatively impacted to establish manageable payment terms

We encourage you to send us an email. If you do not know the email address, please call Access York at 1-877-464-9675 and the correct email address will be provided to you.

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Long-term Care

Visiting Policy

York Region’s two long-term care homes, Maple Health Centre and Newmarket Health Centre, are again accepting visitors with strict protocols in place. These protocols are in place as long as the long-term care homes remain outbreak-free.

Protocols include:

  • All visitors having had a negative COVID-19 test result from a test taken within the last two weeks without a subsequent positive test result
  • If you are sick, stay home. Active and passive screening is in place prior to entering facilities, including temperature checks
  • New rules around physical distancing, hand hygiene, and masks
  • A maximum number of visitors per resident

On July 22, 2020, York Region’s two long-term care homes began accepting both indoor and outdoor visitors.  

Outdoor Visiting: The Homes can allow two people visit per resident, and testing for COVID-19 is not required for outdoor visitors. Visitors must pass the on-site screening questions prior to the visit, provide and wear their own surgical mask and practice physical distancing.

Indoor Visiting: The Homes can allow two people visit per resident. Visitors will still need to pass the screening and are required to verbally attest to home staff that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous two weeks and not subsequently tested positive. The visitor will be required to wear a surgical mask and practice physical distancing while inside the Home.

For updated information about the Visiting Program please review the  Guidelines for Visits during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

At this time, only essential visitors are permitted inside the long-term care homes. An essential visitor is anyone with a loved one who is very ill or receiving end of life care. Active screening is in place for everyone accessing our Long-Term Care Homes.

Private caregivers and companions are not permitted in the Homes at this time.

For more information on York Region’s long-term care homes and current protocols, please visit our Long-Term Care webpage.


Screening Procedures

Active screening is in place for everyone accessing York Region’s Long Term Care Homes, including visitors and staff.

Screening includes taking temperatures. Any visitor who do not pass the active or passive screening will not be permitted entrance to the facility. Any staff  who do not pass active or passive screening at the start of their shift will be directed to contact their immediate supervisor, who will connect the staff to resources through Employee Health.

A mandatory 14 day self-isolation period for all new admissions and readmissions has been implemented.


Recreation activities/lunch programs

Off-site recreation activities, lunch programs and external outings are suspended


Volunteers/Tuck Shop

Volunteer work is suspended immediately, including the Tuck Shop.


Adult Day Programs

Adult Day Programs located in Maple and Keswick are closed. During the closure, staff from these Programs are making an effort to proactively check in on program clients and caregivers

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Paramedic Services

Building Restrictions at 80 Bales Drive East

Effective Friday, March 20, 2020 Paramedic Services headquarters at 80 Bales Dr. E. East Gwillimbury will be closed except for essential staff

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Planning

Municipal Comprehensive Review

Public consultations were in progress for the Municipal Comprehensive Review to update the York Region Official Plan.

York Region is reevaluating public consultation avenues and postponing any planned public engagement. To learn more visit york.ca/mcrgetinvolved

Development Services

We continue to process and accept development applications. To learn more visit york.ca/developmentservices

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Police Services

Police Facilities

York Regional Police facilities are closed to members of the public. In the case of an emergency, call 9-1-1.

For non-emergencies, please call 1-866-876-5423 toll-free, or complete a report online at yrp.ca/reportit

For further YRP closures visit yrp.ca/covid-19

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Public Health

Sexual Health Clinics

Appointments available for urgent needs only.

Please call Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 and a Public Health Nurse will assist you over the phone.

For more information visit york.ca/sexualhealth


Dental Services for Children and Youth

Preventive and non-urgent screening appointments, as well as school dental screening have been cancelled until further notice.

To speak with a Registered Dental Hygienist, please call 1-877-464-9675.

The program continues to screen clients with urgent dental needs.

For more information visit york.ca/dental


Seniors Dental Program

Preventive and non-urgent screening appointments have been cancelled until further notice.

To speak to a Registered Dental Hygienist or Certified Dental Assistant about the Ontario Seniors Dental Care program please call 1-877-464-9675 ext.75809. The program continues to receive calls about the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program and is assisting clients with emergency dental needs.


Transition to Parenting Group

Please note Transition to Parenting groups will be cancelled until further notice If you are pregnant or a new parent and wish to speak with a registered nurse about your emotions, parenting or infant feeding, please call Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or chat with a nurse at york.ca/nursechat


Breastfeeding

We continue to provide breastfeeding support; please call 1-800-361-5653 and press 2 to speak to a public health nurse, or visit york.ca/nursechat


Healthy Babies, Healthy Children

We continue to provide support through the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program; please call 1-800-361-5653 and press 2 to speak to a public health nurse, or visit york.ca/nursechat


Health Connection

Public health nurses continue to provide health teaching, parenting information and referrals for breastfeeding support, the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program and perinatal mental health support. The program is accessed through 1-800-361-5653 or through e-chat – york.ca/nursechat


All Babies Count

Please note that York Region Public Health will not be offering prenatal and postpartum support at the All Babies Count program until further notice.

If you would like to speak with a registered nurse about your pregnancy or parenting, please call Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or chat with a nurse at york.ca/nursechat


Immunization Clinics

Please note that all community clinics have been cancelled until further notice. If you have any questions please call 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73456

Please note that all Grade 7 school immunization clinics have been cancelled until further notice.

For more information, please visit Immunization Clinics and School Immunization Clinics.


Immunization Education sessions

Please note that all immunization education sessions have been cancelled until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions please call us at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 73456


Food Handler Certification Program

Please note we are postponing all food handler certification exams until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please check our webpage for updates as to when exams will resume.

A list of online and alternate providers can be found on the Ministry of Health site.


Tuberculosis Program

At this time, we are unable to commit to previously scheduled services, including home visits.

For information about our services or to speak to a public health nurse, please contact our TB program intake line at 1-877-464-9675 extension 76000.


Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

The Substance Use Prevention & Harm Reduction program is continuing to provide access and distribution of naloxone and other harm reduction supplies to clients and community agencies.  

If you have questions regarding obtaining naloxone and/or other harm reduction supplies, please call 1-877-464-9675 ext. 76683 or email substance@york.ca


Private Well Water Testing

Until further notice, private well water sample pick-up and drop-off is limited to two locations from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. from Monday to Thursday only (closed statutory holidays).

Georgina (drop-off only)
24262 Woodbine Avenue
Keswick L4P 3E9

Newmarket (drop-off and bottle pick-up)
Tannery Building – Public Health
2 nd Floor, 465 Davis Drive
Newmarket L3Y 7TP

Alternatively, water samples for private citizen drinking water samples can be dropped off at the Public Health Laboratory located at 81 Resources Road, Etobicoke, ON from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (closed statutory holidays)

For more information or questions about private well water quality, please contact Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.


Submitting a Tick for Testing

Tick submissions are no longer being accepted.

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Regional Roads

2020 National Public Works Week

National Public Works Week Family Fun Day on May 23 in the City of Richmond Hill has been cancelled.


Transportation and Works Operations Centre

The Transportation and Works Operations Centre at 90 Bales Drive is closed.

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Social Assistance

Community Resource Centres

Community Resource Centres in all Ontario Works offices are closed.

The Community Fair scheduled at the Vaughan Ontario Works Office at 9060 Jane Street in the City of Vaughan on March 18 has been cancelled.

Learn more about Community Resource Centres


Homelessness Community Programs

All face-to-face meetings with individuals at Violence Against Women Emergency Housing Shelters, Homemakers and Nursing Services or Housing with Supports Facilities have been discontinued.

Drop-in programming at 360Kids, Belinda’s Place and Sutton Youth Services are closed until further notice.

Support will be provided to customers and we will be accepting and granting applications over the phone for Integrated Support Program, Housing Stability Program and the Outreach and Diversion Program.

Homelessness Community Programs at 17310 Yonge Street Unit 5, Newmarket are closed to the public.

For more information visit york.ca/emergencyhousing.


Early Intervention Services Closed to the public
Social Assistance Closed to the public
Employment Services Closed to the public
Social Services – Markham-Stouffville Hospital Closed to the public
Children’s Treatment Network Closed to the public
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Transit

Due to COVID-19 and a significant decrease in transit ridership, many YRT routes are still not operating, while others are undergoing a service review. For schedule information, please visit yrt.ca

Effective Thursday, July 2, travelers must wear a non-medical face mask or covering on public transit and board all buses at the front doors, and exit at the middle or rear doors, to help with physical distancing measures. This applies to all YRT and Viva routes.

Barrier shields are being installed in the driver’s area to help with physical distancing, and protect drivers and passengers. As we work to install these barriers on all of our buses, drivers in the meantime will be provided with face shields to help keep themselves and others protected.

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United Way

Employee Giving for United Way

United Way events and initiatives, including Pop-Up Shops, Spring Market and Spring Auction are currently cancelled or postponed.

Event participants have been notified and refunded if applicable.

For more information visit york.ca/giving

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Waste Management

York Region waste depots remain open during regular service hours.

Service offerings have been reduced in an effort to enhance physical distancing on site and reduce potential risks and further spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of our customers, staff and community is our top priority. 

In order to protect our depot customers and staff during this difficult time we will not be accepting cash at any of our waste depots until further notice. Thank you for your understanding.

Waste Depots are closed civic and statutory holidays.

For hours, locations and an updated list of what’s accepted at each depot visit york.ca/wastedepots


Repair Café

Future Repair Cafés may be cancelled.

For more information visit york.ca/repaircafe


Materials Recovery Facility Education Room

Materials Recovery Facility education room is currently closed.


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Water

Student Water Conservation Programs

The 2020 York Children’s Water Festival on May 12, 13 and 14 at Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville has been cancelled.

For more information visit york.ca/ycwf

Tap'd In — Mobile Drinking Water Trailer

In response to COVID-19 and in consultation with York Region Public Health, Tap’d In will not be used at community events in 2020.


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Access York

Phone: 1-877-464-9675
TTY: 1-866-512-6228
(for deaf and hard of hearing)
accessyork@york.ca

Resources


 
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