The Regional Municipality Of York

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Municipal Comprehensive Review

Have your say on your community

York Region is expected to grow to approximately 1.8 million people and 900,000 jobs by 2041. In order to plan for and accommodate this growth, York Region is reviewing and updating its Official Plan. York Region is seeking input from the public through a process called the Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR). Our goal is to help ensure we are building communities that are healthy and complete, where residents of all abilities and ages can live work and play.

Using Public Consultation to Plan York Region’s Future

We took the information we gathered through a variety of public consultations and events across York Region to date to identify key themes from our public.

What we heard:

  • Residents want compact, walkable communities that offer employment opportunities, community facilities, local services, stores and places for social connection
  • Affordable housing is one of the most important components of building complete communities, however, many of us are facing housing market challenges
  • Residents want our communities to reduce emissions and are aware of the impacts of climate change in York Region
  • Residents want to protect our forests, parks, trails, agricultural lands and green spaces
  • Transit is the top Regional service that residents will rely on most in the future and York Region should continue to invest in public transit infrastructure

Did we get it right?

For more information or if you have any questions, email

Want to Get Involved?

Community consultation provides an opportunity for residents to provide feedback about the kind of place they want York Region to be. Residents are invited to participate in shaping the Region’s planned community structure through current consultation activities and events

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Live or Work Near Major Transit?

Drop a comment pin on the interactive map to share your opinion and help make our long-term plans match your vision of the future.

Municipal Comprehensive Review Work Plan

The Municipal Comprehensive Review helps the Region plan for growth and ensures that the infrastructure to support that growth is in place, now and for the future.  Different methods are used to collect public input on various topics from housing to transportation and that feedback is shared with Council through a reporting structure. To find out the schedule of the reports, a Municipal Comprehensive Review Work Plan has been developed. Public consultation will align with the report dates.

There are several ways residents and business owners can provide feedback. If you would like to get involved, or receive communications for these upcoming reports and consultation events related to the Municipal Comprehensive Review please contact

Tell us the Kind of Place You Want York Region To Be

Why is York Region consulting with the public?

York Region is currently undertaking a review of the York Region Official Plan as a component of a broader Municipal Comprehensive Review. An updated Regional Official Plan, following this review, will guide the Region’s population and employment growth in accordance with the Provincial Policy Statement (2014) and updated Provincial Plans: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Greenbelt Plan and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (2017). In October 2017, Council endorsed a work plan and schedule for completing the Municipal Comprehensive Review.

We want the public to directly participate in shaping the Region’s planned community structure. We will be consulting with the public over the next three years.

How the Built Environment Affects Your Health

Did you know that the way communities are planned and built have an impact on the physical, mental and social health of its residents. To learn more, visit Healthy Built Environment. Have your say and get involved in planning for your community through contacting your local and regional government. Stay informed on the Municipal Comprehensive Review by emailing

Creating Strong, Caring and Safe Communities

Comprehensive consultation is being carried out with York Region continuing to work towards achieving the goal of sustainable communities. The Regional Official Plan update includes growth management work known as the Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR). Consultation will also assess the Vision for York Region’s future. A report to Council in January 2018 outlined the contents of the consultation plan in detail.

  • The Consultation Plan consists of five phases which align with the key deliverables associated with the Municipal Comprehensive Review and Regional Official Plan update
  • York Region is well positioned to address conformity with Provincial Plan policies as the foundation of an urban structure was introduced in the original 1994 York Region Official Plan
The Regional Municipality of York en-US


Intensification directs residential growth to existing built-up areas

Intensification rates reflect the amount of new residential growth which is to be directed to existing built-up areas. Directing a significant amount of new residential growth to existing built up areas makes the best use of infrastructure, including transit, water and wastewater. It also minimizes outward growth into the Region’s agricultural areas. The Growth Plan 2017 requires that the Region’s existing intensification target of 40 per cent be increased to 50 per cent at the time of the Municipal Comprehensive Review and then increased to 60 per cent by 2031. Staff will be undertaking an analysis of lands best suited for intensification and will ultimately recommend to Council how our population should be distributed among our nine local municipalities in order to meet Growth Plan intensification targets.

Did you Know?

York Region is planned to grow by almost 600,000 residents by 2041, the majority of new residential units will be directed to existing built up areas.


The Regional Municipality of York en-US


Density targets concentrates residential and employment growth to create transit supportive and complete communities

The Provincial Growth Plan sets density targets, expressed as the number of ‘residents and jobs per hectare’. They are applicable to development on land around major transit stations, and to areas known as ‘designated greenfield areas’ (DGA). DGA includes areas recently developed, or vacant lands with urban designations subject to future development where opportunities exist to strive for more transit supportive compact and complete communities (i.e. those areas outside of the existing built up area). The Growth Plan 2017 requires that the Region’s existing DGA wide density target of 50 residents and jobs per hectare be increased to 60 residents and jobs per hectare through this Official Plan update, and to plan for 80 residents and jobs per hectare for any urban expansion lands required to address growth beyond 2031, and to 2041. Around major transit station areas, the Region needs to plan to achieve targets ranging from 150 to 200 residents and jobs per hectare.

Did you Know?

York Region is focusing growth in its four centres of Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill and Vaughan

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Planning for Employment

Business and job growth are fundamental to the economic vitality and long term livability of York Region

York Region’s thriving business community is home to over 52,000 companies and 636,600 employees. . It is home to two of the GTA’s largest business hubs, attracting leading businesses and top talent in multiple industries. The attraction of new businesses and growth or expansion of existing business operations are the generators of wealth and job creation. A municipality that can attract and keep high quality jobs across a range of sectors will strengthen the economic stability for the entire community, improve resiliency and raise the standard of living. This will provide residents with access to a full range of employment opportunities and supports the Region’s long-term vision of building complete communities.

What is an Employment Area?

Provincial policies direct municipalities to build compact, mixed-used, complete communities. This includes protecting employment areas in appropriate locations for a variety of employment types. Employment areas are defined as “areas designated in an official plan for clusters of business and economic activities including, but not limited to, manufacturing, warehousing, offices and associated retail and ancillary facilities”. Non-employment uses are prohibited and/or restricted within employment areas. Protecting these lands for the long term is fundamental to business and job growth and provides residents with live/work opportunities in York Region.

What is an Employment Area Conversion?

An employment area conversion is required to re-designate employment lands to accommodate non-employment uses such as residential or major retail. A careful and comprehensive assessment of conversion requests is an essential part of planning for employment as Regional Council decides where to deliver future jobs across the Region Ensuring that employment opportunities are available for the future is a key component of building complete communities. As of November 1, 2019, the Region has received 60 site-specific employment area conversion requests. Staff are currently assessing these requests and will provide recommendations to York Regional Council early in 2020.

Additional Information 

Information regarding the York Region Employment area conversion process, including a map which identifies the conversion sites and the preliminary staff recommendations is contained within the Employment Land Conversion Update Report that was presented to Regional Council on October 17, 2019.

To identify issues of concern and/or express views on requests for employment area conversion, members of the public are invited to make a written submission to

Landowner Submissions

To ensure sufficient time for assessment, any additional submissions for employment area conversions are requested by November 29, 2019. Requests received after this date will be referred to the next Municipal Comprehensive Review.

When making a submission landowners should:

  • Make the submission in an electronic format
  • Direct the request to Paul Freeman, York Region’s Chief Planner, with copies to Sandra Malcic, Director of Long Range Planning and Paul Bottomley, Manager of Policy, Research and Forecasting and to your local municipality
  • Include a map that clearly delineates the subject lands and describe the request that is to be considered
  • Confirm that you would consent to be added to the Region’s distribution list to be kept apprised of key milestones in the Municipal Comprehensive Review process

Did you Know?

York Region is forecast to grow to 900,000 jobs by 2041, growth of approximately 264,000 jobs from 2018.


The following links provide additional information related to Reports to Council on Planning for Employment in York egion.

The Regional Municipality of York en-US


Housing Strategy will identify a range and mix of housing options to address the needs of current and future residents

The Growth Plan requires municipalities to develop a Housing Strategy. This Strategy is intended to support the achievement of intensification and density targets and identify a range and mix of housing, including affordable housing options to address the needs of future residents. York Region has a number of housing related initiatives and documents that will be reviewed and updated to support the development of a Housing Strategy.

Did you Know?

52 per cent of renter households in York Region are spending 30 per cent or more on housing - the highest in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.


The following links provide additional information related to Regional housing initiatives including

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Agriculture and Natural Heritage Systems

Agriculture and Natural Heritage Systems will continue to be protected and enhanced

The Provincial Policy Statement, the Growth Plan, the Greenbelt Plan and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan all have policies related to the protection and enhancement of the agricultural and natural heritage systems. 

A province wide agricultural system has been introduced as part of the updates to key provincial plans to be implemented by York Region through updated policies and mapping.  To assist staff in updated the agricultural land based mapping in the York Region Official Plan, a consultant was retained to compare and assess differences between the proposed provincial mapping to the Region’s current mapping. Forty-one refinement study areas identify where provincial agricultural areas overlap with York Region’s rural areas. This information is contained within the following report and appendix, Region of York Agricultural Land Base Refinements and Appendix One.

Did you Know?

In 2016, the Agricultural industry generated over $300 million in economic activity.


The following links provide additional information related to Regional initiatives including

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Integrating Growth and Infrastructure

Integrating growth and infrastructure will ensure transportation and water and wastewater is available to accommodate future growth

Financially responsible planning for growth includes extensive coordination with infrastructure planning. The Region has Master Plans for Transportation and Water and Wastewater. Reviewing and updating these plans as we plan to accommodate additional Growth to 2041 is of paramount importance.

A financial impact study will be carried out to assess the cost of accommodating future growth in York Region.

Did you Know?

In 2018, York Region will complete 8.9 km of centre lane bus rapidways on Yonge Street in the Town of Richmond Hill and the Town of Newmarket, and 12.6km on Highway 7 west in the City of Vaughan.


The following links provide additional information related to Regional Master Plans and a Centres and Corridors update including

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Climate Change

Climate change policies will help municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure communities are resilient

York Region recognizes the need to address climate change to ensure resilient communities. As prescribed by the Growth Plan, municipalities are required to develop policies and actions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change adaptation goals. Through the Municipal Comprehensive Review, York Region will be reviewing and updating this approach.

Did you Know?

It is estimated that by 2050 the intensity of extreme storms will increase by 28 to 31per cent.


The following links provide additional information related to Climate Change including

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Policy Updates within the Municipal Comprehensive Review will result in an update to the York Region Official Plan

All of the Municipal Comprehensive Review background documents will inform the development of new or updated Regional Official Plan policies. It is expected that updated policies will be drafted throughout 2019, leading to a release of a draft Official Plan update towards the beginning of 2020. The objective is to receive Council adoption in mid-2020.

Related Resources

Municipal Comprehensive Review The Regional Municipality of York en-US Municipal Comprehensive Review Municipal Comprehensive Review

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