The Regional Municipality Of York

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York Region recognized with Excellence in Municipal System

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York Region is proud to be a recipient of the 2020 Excellence in Municipal Systems Award from the Municipal Information Systems Association Ontario, recognizing the innovative and collaborative work done through YorkTrax.

MISA’s annual award recognizes an Ontario municipality or region that has successfully undertaken a significant initiative or set a new standard for other municipalities to follow. YorkTrax was one of five winners selected by a panel of representatives from municipalities across the province, who looked at criteria such as use of technology to advance strategic objectives, improved service delivery and increased internal collaboration.

YorkTrax is a centralized, browser-based solution that was developed in-house and is now used across multiple departments enabling the Region to forecast and manage growth, prioritize infrastructure delivery and enhance customer service. It streamlines the development application review and commenting process by incorporating automated workflows and integrated mapping capabilities.

The solution was created by weaving together functions offered through Salesforce for workflow management, ArcGIS and GeoCortex for mapping and SharePoint for document filing. It has replaced all other application review systems across every Regional department, along with their associated data and document repositories. Users are connected in real-time and everyone knows what stage an application’s review or approval is in. Through the mapping window users see where the application is geographically and what’s nearby.  

For Regional employees who have been using YorkTrax since it was launched in November 2017, the recognition is welcomed, but not a surprise considering the benefits they’ve experienced.

“YorkTrax has been a game changer,” explains Karen Whitney, Director, Community Planning and Development Services. “It has made significant improvements in our workflow, document management, and enabled mapping and reporting. I can access any file, see it on a map, see all the related documents, and view the complete history of any development application at any time.”

YorkTrax is eliminating silos and ensuring better coordination and decision-making across the Region, which leads to better service delivery for residents. What made this possible was the collaborative way YorkTrax was conceptualized, developed and executed.

Development application review is an important job at York Region. It gets at the very heart of the Region’s vision of ensuring “strong, caring, safe communities.” And it’s a big job, which for many years was challenging because each department had their own systems, processes and databases.

The Region became determined to find an application that could handle the complex process more effectively and create a single source of truth to enhance service delivery. When it became clear that an outside vendor wouldn’t be able to meet the Region’s needs at a reasonable cost, a working group was established with employees from across the Region to try to find a solution that could.

By working with “boots on the ground” employees to help develop the solution, the Region was able to prioritize corporate requirements from across different levels of the organization and look at different needs for different business units and initiatives. This level of collaboration and cooperation from across the Region led to increased support and a successful launch less than one year after initial discussions began.

Users from across the Region continue to drive the growth of YorkTrax. Enhancements are made regularly and each month a new version is released that provides some level of expansion, enhancement or improvement.

Looking forward, the focus is on even greater collaboration and transparency.

“We're looking at general integration next between the Region and its local municipalities,” notes Rica Saporta, Program Manager, Innovation and Implementation (YorkTrax project lead). “The next step is to provide local municipalities with information on applications in their area and move to automate the data exchange between us. We’re also looking at sharing information with the development community, so a developer would be able to see where we’ve noted their involvement, the status of those projects and any issues. This technology will continue to help us manage the approval process in a truly collaborative manner.”

If you would like to learn more about YorkTrax, please contact Rica Saporta, Project Lead, at Rica.Saporta@york.ca or 1-877-464-9675 ext. 71566.


Award,Excellence in Municipal Systems Award York Region is proud to be a recipient of the 2020 Excellence in Municipal Systems Award from the Municipal Information Systems Association Ontario. The Regional Municipality of York en-US News

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