The Regional Municipality Of York


York Regional Council Highlights - October 20, 2016

Commissioner of Community and Health Services to retire in February 2017

York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson announced the retirement of Adelina Urbanski, York Region's Commissioner of Community and Health Services. Commissioner Urbanski joined York Region in 2010 and will retire in February 2017, following many years of municipal and provincial service.

Ms Urbanski is responsible for York Region’s largest department as well as operations of Housing York Inc. She oversees the staff support to various other advisory bodies including the Human Services Planning Board, the Accessibility Advisory Committee and, most recently, the Seniors Strategy Advisory Task Force.

Fall edition of York Region Matters celebrates York Region’s 45th anniversary

York Regional Council received advance copies of York Region Matters, the Region’s corporate newsletter delivered to more than 370,000 homes and businesses. Mailing of the newsletter will begin tomorrow, October 21.

In addition to providing highlights of many programs and services provided by York Region, this edition travels back in time to visit the first 45 years of The Regional Municipality of York. A more comprehensive anniversary review is available online.

Residents are encouraged to provide feedback on this edition of York Region Matters by completing the survey at

Character Community Week in York Region

York Regional Council will recognize Character Community Week on October 24 to 29. Character Community Foundation of York Region uses the week to raise awareness of the Character Community initiative and the benefits of living with positive character.
The core values of the Character Community Foundation are Collaboration, Inclusiveness, Integrity and Responsibility.

A Character Community attracts people and businesses of character and acts as a driver for economic growth and prosperity. Among the activities planned for the week:

  • Character Community Awards
  • Music Alive Festival
  • Character 4 Organizations workshops

285 Syrian refugees resettle in York Region

York Regional Council received an update on the success of The Region’s response to the federal government’s Syrian Refugee Resettlement initiative, with 285 Syrian newcomers welcomed to York Region this year

Making use of strong community partnerships, York Region developed a Refugee Planning Table to assess refugee service needs and the expected long-term impact on existing programs and services. In response to this increased demand for services, York Regional Council allocated up to $200,000 to community agencies to help newcomer refugees.

York Region to submit list of projects for funding under the federal Clean Water and Wastewater Fund

York Regional Council approved a list of 10 projects for submission under the federal government’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF). The CWWF is designed to achieve immediate improvements to water distribution and treatment infrastructure and will help to improve reliability of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems.

Only specific projects meeting program guidelines can be considered for funding. If approved, York Region is eligible to receive a maximum federal allocation of $23.2 million and a maximum provincial allocation of $11.6 million.

Submissions are due by October 31, 2016 and successful projects will be identified in January 2017.

Joint report from York Region and the United Way highlights importance of affordable housing

The Regional Municipality of York and the United Way Toronto & York Region released Understanding the Numbers, a joint report providing data-based research on homelessness in the community.

Based on data collected from the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System and the January 2016 Point in Time count, the report found 1,326 individuals (less than one per cent of York Region’s population) found themselves homeless and staying in emergency housing facilities and seasonal shelters.

Understanding the Numbers provides a better understanding of homelessness in York Region, and helps Regional Council work with other levels of government to provide further community supports and increase the range of affordable housing choices in York Region.

Commenting on the future of transportation in Ontario

The Regional Municipality of York is providing comments on the Discussion Paper to Metrolinx for the next Regional Transportation Plan. Metrolinx is updating the plan to ensure York Region’s long-term plans are in line with the Regional Transportation Plan and other provincial planning documents.

Strong infrastructure supports York Region services

The Regional Municipality of York 2015 Corporate State of Infrastructure Report shows Regional assets are in good condition as a result of ongoing investment, maintenance and monitoring efforts.

York Region owns and maintains approximately $11 billion in infrastructure assets, including administrative facilities, housing, information technology, paramedic services, policing, health care, transportation, transit, water supply, wastewater treatment, waste management and forestry.

These assets were evaluated against the criteria of condition, reliability and capacity, with most asset categories rating very good or good as of December 31, 2015.

The Corporate State of Infrastructure Report is completed every two years. For more information, please consult the full 2015 Corporate State of Infrastructure Report.

York Region awards Annex construction contract to EllisDon Corporation

York Region has awarded a contract to EllisDon Corporation in the amount of $172,084,354 for construction of the York Region Administrative Centre Annex at the corner of Yonge Street and Eagle Street in the Town of Newmarket.

Construction will begin on the eight-storey, 422,000-square-foot facility in 2017 with completion expected in 2020.

Located next to York Region’s existing administrative headquarters at 17250 Yonge Street, the Annex will consolidate community, health and courts services into one central, fully-accessible, modern facility. In accordance with York Regional Council’s direction, the Annex is designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) Silver designation.

An overall project budget of $212 million has been approved for the Annex project.

Building better roads: 114 construction projects underway this year

There are 114 construction projects underway in the 10-Year Roads and Capital Construction Program making 2016 the most active project year in history to improve and enhance the travel options for people in The Regional Municipality of York.

The 10-year program has an overall budget of $1.5 billion and is divided into two programs. The Growth Plan, valued at approximately $1.2 billion, is used for road widening and building new roads. The State of Good Repair Program is valued at $315 million and includes pavement repair and intersection improvements.

Smart Commute Workplace Program continues to reduce vehicle travel demand

York Regional Council continues to provide support and funding to the Smart Commute Workplace Program, which encourages those living and working in the area to choose more efficient transportation options.

Annual Regional funding of $222,000 will be provided to Smart Commute Markham Richmond Hill, Smart Commute Central and Smart Commute North Toronto Vaughan.

The success of the Smart Commute Program in York Region has eliminated 2.6 million kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions, avoided more than 12.85 million vehicle kilometres travelled and has saved commuters $4.7 million in commuting costs.

Coming soon: York University’s Markham Centre

York Regional Council received updates on the new Markham Centre Campus from York University and the York University Development Corporation.

The University plans to open a Community Engagement Centre for the new campus in early 2017. Located at 169 Enterprise Boulevard, the centre will host collaborative research projects for University faculties and serve as the University’s “front door” to Markham while the new campus is being built.

York Region leads the way in waste reduction

York Regional Council received the 2015 Waste Diversion Report detailing waste reduction efforts and successes for last year. By achieving an 87 per cent diversion rate, including energy-from-waste initiatives, York Region is on track to realize its 2016 Strategic Plan goal of diverting 90 per cent of its waste from landfill and creating a healthier environment.

2015 successes include:

  • 1,305 tonnes of household hazardous waste collected, an increase of 102 tonnes over 2014
  • 85,335 tonnes of blue box material collected, a decrease of 2,310 tonnes over 2014 due to less paper and more lightweight plastics being included in the blue box system
  • 96,593 tonnes of green bin material collected, an increase of 1,893 tonnes over 2014

Working to slow the spread of invasive species across York Region

York Regional Council received an update on the status of invasive species and plants in York Region. Since 2008, York Region staff have collaborated with partners to raise awareness of invasive species and remain informed of new and emerging threats to the environment. Updates include:

  • Emerald ash borer (EAB) – Emerald Ash Borer is present in all nine municipalities across York Region; select large healthy ash trees with high landscape value are being protected with TreeAzin, dead and dying ash trees are being removed and replacement trees planted in their place
  • Hemlock woolly adelgid – Invasive insect has been found in two Ontario locations; it is expected to spread to hemlock trees throughout Ontario
  • Invasive plants – Plants such as giant hogweed and dog-strangling vine impact natural areas throughout the Region; public information is shared through a variety of sources including, information sessions and printed publications

Making York Region an even more vibrant place to live, work, visit and invest

The Annual Tourism Update to York Regional Council highlights continued success across a range of initiatives in partnership with the York Region Arts Council to promote tourism, the arts and culture across York Region. York Region tourism, arts and culture highlights in 2015/16 include:

The Annual Tourism Summit, which has helped to drive industry engagement through collaboration, with a total of 600 participants since it began in 2013.

Sewer Use Bylaw fee update

York Regional Council received an update on the Sewer Use Bylaw enforcement program and approved a new fee schedule to help support program initiatives. The enforcement program protects infrastructure, works, the public and the environment from harmful effects of industrial waste being put into the sewage system.

Program officers work with Regional businesses to help educate them on the importance of adhering to the bylaw to protect underground pipes and where required, ensure necessary equipment is in place or changes are made to facility processes to keep polluted water from entering the sewage system.

Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, November 17 at 9 a.m. in the York Region Administrative Centre Council Chambers, located at 17250 Yonge Street in the Town of Newmarket.

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to almost 1.2 million residents, 50,000 businesses and 580,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at

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Compiled by:

Barbara Moss, Corporate Communications Advisor
The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 71237, Cell: 905-505-5775

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