The Regional Municipality Of York

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York Regional Council Highlights - May 17, 2018

2014 to 2018 York Regional Council Accomplishments

Over the past four years Regional Council has made significant progress towards achieving York Region’s Vision 2051 and fulfilling priority areas within the York Region 2015- 2019 Strategic Plan. To ensure these long-range strategic plans are on track, Regional Council reviewed major accomplishments, events and successes over their 2014-2018 Council term.

For a full list of 2014 to 2018 highlights and accomplishments, follow the links below:

United Way Greater Toronto update

United Way Greater Toronto President Daniele Zanotti provided Regional Council with an update on their work within York Region’s communities and thanked Council members and staff for their support of the annual York Region United Way employee campaign. Last year, York Region and York Regional Police employees donated a record-breaking $701,695. United Way brings a wide range of partners together to find local, community-led solutions to community priorities. It is the largest non-governmental supporter of social services in York Region, and depends on support from organizations and community members to help ensure its success.

York Region supports Pride

Pride Week will be recognized in York Region June 8 to 17, 2018. This year marks the 18th anniversary of Pride Week in York Region. It celebrates the contributions of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities living in York Region.

Regional Councillor Naomi Davison Council's Nominee for AMO Board of Directors

Regional Council appointed Town of Georgina Regional Councillor Naomi Davison as Council’s nominee to the Board of Directors of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). The election of the Board will be determined at AMO’s Annual General Meeting in August. As a member of the Board, Councillor Davison would help set policy and serve as a key municipal leader at AMO.

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. They support strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promote the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada's political system.

More than 90 per cent of York Region’s Strategic Plan’s key performance measures are on track

The Regional Municipality of York released its third year progress report on the 2015 to 2019 Strategic Plan which shows the Region has made significant progress on its four-year strategic plan. More than 90 per cent of the key performance measures associated with this plan are progressing in the desired direction. The strategic plan provides a detailed course of action over a term of Council within the following four strategic result areas: Economic Vitality, Healthy Communities, Sustainable Environment and Good Government.

In 2015, York Region released its 2015 to 2019 Strategic Plan – From Vision to Results. The plan is tracked, measured and reported annually to ensure progress is made on Council’s priorities. A copy of the progress report and other documents relating to York Region’s strategic planning is available at

York University Markham Centre Campus funding agreement

Regional Council authorized a funding agreement to contribute up to $25 million toward the building of a university campus in the City of Markham. Construction of York Region’s first university campus is scheduled to begin by December 31, 2018.

The first phase of construction will build a 400,000 square foot, 10-storey campus, accommodating 4,200 students and 20 degree programs. These programs will help meet the needs of York Region’s growing technology sector. Future plans for the campus include an expansion to serve between 10,000 and 20,000 students. The new campus will help alleviate post-secondary living and transportation costs for residents and provide local businesses with access to local talent and research collaboration opportunities.

Development Charge Bylaw amended to include 56 road projects

Regional Council approved an amendment to the 2017 Development Charge Bylaw to include an additional 56 road projects in the Region's development charges, originally identified in the Transportation Master Plan. To assist in funding these projects, development charges payable on new homes will increase by 19 per cent, and between 18 and 28 per cent on new non-residential properties.

The treatment of structured parking has also been amended so standalone structures for vehicle storage and retail motor vehicle establishments be considered separately and charged the appropriate rate based on usage. A new development charge deferral policy for open-air motor vehicle storage structures within the Regional Centres and Corridors was also approved.

The amended bylaw will take effect July 1, 2018.

York Region seeks additional revenue-raising powers

York Region has one of the largest capital budgets in the Greater Toronto Area, yet it has similar revenue-raising powers as a smaller municipality. To address a capital-related fiscal gap of more than $220 million per year and to meet the demands associated with growth, Regional Council is again requesting the Province of Ontario extend to York Region the same or similar revenue-raising powers afforded to the City of Toronto, under the City of Toronto Act, 2006, including a municipal land transfer tax and vehicle registration tax.

These additional revenue sources will put the Region in a stronger financial position to address the ongoing infrastructure needs of our communities.

Travel survey results show more residents choosing transit, cycling or walking over vehicles

Regional Council received the key findings from the 2016 Transportation Tomorrow Survey. The results from 18,374 York Region households surveyed indicate Regional Council’s ongoing focus on investments in transportation initiatives is having a positive impact on travel behaviour.

Highlights from the survey include:

  • 2.1 million trips recorded daily by residents’ walking, cycling, taking public transit or travelling by car
  • 69 per cent increase to residents walking and cycling since 2001
  • 81 per cent increase of York Region Transit trips since 2001

The survey was conducted by the Ministry of Transportation in the fall of 2016 to correspond with the national census. Data from the Transportation Tomorrow Survey is used in a wide range of Regional transportation studies including the Transportation Master Plan.

Traveller safety and commitment to customer experience highlighted in YRT/Viva enforcement and security

Regional Council received York Region Transit’s (YRT/Viva) 2017 Enforcement and Security Annual Report highlighting YRT/Viva’s commitment to providing a high-level of customer service and traveller assistance while maintaining safety and security on public transit.

Highlights include:

  • Staff engagement with over 489,000 travellers through fare inspections, security and assistance
  • Partnerships with York Regional Police and community groups to provide additional training and outreach opportunities for staff
  • Staff training and certification sessions surrounding mental health, emergency preparedness and diversity

In 2017, York Region Transit continued to see low evasion rates. Travellers benefited from the additional education and outreach staff provided.

Greater Toronto Airports Authority Update

Regional Council received a presentation from the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), operators of Toronto Pearson International Airport, on their continued efforts to accommodate the Region’s growing communities and plans to enhance customer experience.

In 2017 Toronto Pearson welcomed 47.1 million passengers and estimated 85 million passengers by 2037. Efforts to accommodate continued growth include:

  • Employing 49,000 employees; 4,000 live in York Region
  • Committed to building a Regional Transit Centre to service the GTHA
  • Creating 17,000 new job opportunities in the Region by supporting work in and around the airport terminals

The GTAA continues to focus establishing Toronto Pearson as an international gateway.

Toronto Global 2016 to 2018 results

Regional Council received an update on Toronto Global – a non-profit corporation funded by all levels of government with the mandate of attracting global investment.

Presentation highlights include:

  • Toronto Global successful in raising awareness on the Toronto Region brand globally
  • The Amazon HQ2 joint bid resulted in two York Region locations being short-listed

The partnership with Global Toronto is one of many strategies York Region has in place to advance economic growth, which includes working closely with local municipalities and operating York Link, the Region’s ongoing business attraction campaign.

Employment growth in York Region continues to promote economic vitality – a key pillar of the York Region 2015- 2019 Strategic Plan.

Changes to Mobility Plus and On-Demand contractor services will provide faster response times for travellers

Starting this fall, York Region Transit’s Mobility Plus and On-Demand services will merge their transit vehicle operators under a new consolidated contract.

These efforts will provide greater efficiency in service delivery by expanding transit options during low-demand times and in low-demand areas, while still providing registered Mobility Plus clients with exceptional service. These changes will result in faster response times for all travellers, and helps make spontaneous travel more convenient.

Mobility Plus is York Region's door-to-door, shared ride, accessible public transit service for people with disabilities.

York Region social housing goes green

Regional Council received an update on the GreenON Social housing Program

The Green Ontario Fund announced the GreenON Social Housing program for eligible social housing apartment buildings across Ontario in February 2018. The program provides $25 million in funding to improve living conditions and address climate change for apartment buildings with less than 100 units. The Region has submitted a business case requesting $7 million in funding with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 163 tonnes annually.

A number of building retrofits will be included in the funding, including:

  • Replacing building heating and cooling systems
  • Upgrading exterior or interior insulation
  • Installing solar walls
  • Upgrading building windows and exterior doors
  • Upgrading building lighting systems including converting to LED lighting systems, lighting controls and sensors
  • Retrofitting that uses low carbon and carbon free energy technologies/systems

Impact of export market policy changes for recycled newsprint

Regional Council received an update on new worldwide limits for recycled newsprint and its impacts to material recovery facilities across York Region. As a result of these global changes to contamination limits on imported recyclables, York Region is searching for alternative markets for recovered newsprint.

Regional staff continue to work with contractors and engage with other cities and towns to determine options for improving both quality and marketability of the Region’s newsprint through process and technology upgrades.

York Region helps more than 60,000 residents in 2017 through Community Investment Funding

Regional Council received an update on the Community Investment Fund’s 2017 activity. Council also approved an enhancement to the application process to provide a move inclusive and streamlined application process.

Regional Council is committed to ensuring our communities are diverse, innovative, resilient and sustainable places for all residents to live. To support this goal, the Region invested $5.5 million in the Community Investment Fund in 2017, funding 51 projects and helping 60,000 residents.

The new funding model allows for a stronger focus on service delivery for residents living with low and moderate income. It also provides greater financial stability for the programs.

Information sessions to learn more about the new application process are scheduled for later this month. To register, visit

Safer Ontario Act, 2018 and its implications to York Region

Regional Council received an update on Bill 175, the Safer Ontario Act, 2018 and its impact on York Region.

Safer Ontario Act, 2018 repeals the existing Police Services Act and replaces it with six related statues which include the new Police Services Act, 2018.

Under the Police Services Act, 2018, Regional Council will have greater responsibility for civilian governance and oversight, special constables, accountability for Police Services Board size, diversity planning and community safety and well-being planning.

Many of the provisions having direct effect on York Region will be implemented on a series of dates yet to be announced.

2017 Growth and Development and Centres and Corridors Review

Regional Council received two reports confirming York Region is on track to meet its long-term planning objectives. The first report on growth and development confirms the significant population, employment, construction and housing market growth. The second report reinforces York Region’s Centres and Corridors as hubs for intensification and economic activity, supported by transit and infrastructure investment.

Additional Centres and Corridors report highlights include:

  •  Since 2006, 62 per cent of new high density residential building permits were issued in these areas
  • 26 multi-storey residential and mixed-use buildings are under construction
  • 77 per cent of all highrise buildings under construction in the Region are located here; 98 per cent of these units are sold
  • 14 multi-storey buildings are at the pre-construction stage of development; 80 per cent of units are sold

Growth in York Region continues to promote economic vitality – a key pillar of the York Region 2015 to 2019 Strategic Plan. The progress made puts the Region closer to fulfilling the goals and objectives of the York Region Official Plan and Vision 2051.

Making accessibility a priority; The Regional Municipality of York sets the standard

Regional Council remains committed to promoting and supporting accessible communities for all residents through the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the York Region Accessibility Advisory Committee (YRAAC).

The YRAAC advises Regional Council and York Regional Police on what can be done to make it easier for people with disabilities to use the Region’s many programs and services.

The committee is made up of citizen volunteers and most members are people with disabilities. The current York Region Accessibility Advisory Committee, which will complete its term in September 2018, achieved numerous milestones to meet its legislated mandate, including:

  • Advising on compliance with the provincial accessibility legislation and implementation, including the submission of two Accessibility Reports (2015 and 2017)
  • Releasing the Region’s annual accessibility status reports in 2016 and 2017
  • Advising on the update of the York Region Multi-Year Accessibility Plan 2015 to 2021
  • Reviewing and advising on more than 30 projects to improve accessibility standards throughout the Region
  • Participating in focus groups, facility tours and hands-on testing sessions to offer accessibility advice on Regional projects like new transit terminals, the travel training centre and several mobile applications
  • Participating in national and provincial accessibility legislation consultations, reviews and forums
  • Hosting a forum during National Access Awareness Week, bringing together accessibility advisory committees from local municipalites, school boards and hospitals to share learnings and best practices

Recruitment for the 2019 to 2022 York Region Accessibility Advisory Committee will begin this fall with appointment recommendations to Council in spring 2019.

State of Regional assets in good condition

Regional Council received an update on the Region’s first Corporate Asset Management Plan. The plan shows 93 per cent of Regional assets such as roads, bridges and facilities are in fair or better or fair condition.

The plan is aligned to Provincial legislated requirements and consolidates asset management practices across 13 service areas including inventory, asset life and condition and replacement value while ensuring assets are valued consistently across the organization. As of December 2016, the estimated replacement value of Regional assets is $12.3 billion.

Earlier this year York Region updated its Corporate Asset Management Policy which provides a coordinated and sustainable approach to asset management practices. Over the last five years, the Region has continued to grow its asset base and put programs in place to manage these important resources through all life-cycle phases.

The Corporate Asset Management Plan will again be updated in 2022.

Regional investments performing well

Regional Council received a report detailing the success of the General Fund and Sinking Fund investment portfolios.

Investment returns for the General Fund totaled $66.9 million, representing a return of 2.51 per cent. These returns help in financing York Region’s operating and capital costs over the longer term. Returns on the Sinking Fund totalled $20.25 million, or 3.39 per cent. Both funds exceeded their respective targets or benchmarks.

2019 budget timelines approved by Regional Council

The timeline for preparation and approval of the 2019 budget was endorsed by Regional Council; the first year of a multi-year budget for the new term of Council.

A multi-year budget:

    • Enables better coordination of budgeting and strategic priorities
    • Provides greater certainty for departments in managing expenditures
    • Improves fiscal discipline
  • The 2019 budget and an outlook for the following three years will be tabled with Council in January 2019, with tentative Council approval as early as February 2019.

    York Region and National Road Safety Week

    May 15 to 21 marks National Road Safety Week, a Canada-wide campaign aimed at making our roads the safest in the world. During this week-long campaign York Region is encouraging residents to discover new people and places within their communities by taking a staycation. Residents who choose to participate can follow York Region on Instagram or visit to learn more.

    York Region manages and maintains over 4,200 lane kilometres of Regional roads that connect our nine local cities and towns.

    Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

    Regional Council will meet on Thursday, June 28 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 local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents, 51,000 businesses and 620,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at

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    Compiled by:
    Nancy La Neve, Communications Specialist,
    The Regional Municipality of York
    Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext.71226
    Cell: 289-716-9605

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