York Regional Council

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York Regional Council is the political body for the Regional Municipality of York in Ontario, Canada. Created in 1970, it consists of 20 elected representatives plus the Regional Chair. The elected members are the mayors of each of its nine municipalities (Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Newmarket, Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Whitchurch-Stouffville), as well as an additional eleven Regional Councillors from the more populous municipalities—four from Markham, three from Vaughan, two from Richmond Hill and one each from Georgina and Newmarket. These members are elected via double direct election.

The Regional Chair is elected at large by the members of Regional Council at their inaugural meeting and serves a four-year term. The first Regional Chair, Garfield Wright, was appointed by the provincial government upon the creation of York Region and served for two terms (1971-1978).[1] The current Regional Chair is Wayne Emmerson[2]

Regional Council usually meets on the third Thursday of each month at 9:30am at the York Region Administrative Centre offices in Newmarket.


2018-2022 Regional Council[edit]

The chairman and CEO for this term is Wayne Emmerson.

Municipality Representatives
Mayor Regional councillors
Aurora Tom Mrakas None
East Gwillimbury Virginia Hackson None
Georgina Margaret Quirk One: Rob Grossi
King Steven Pelligrini None
Markham Frank Scarpitti Four: Don Hamilton, Jack Heath, Jim Jones, Joe Li
Newmarket John Taylor One: Tom Vegh
Richmond Hill Dave Barrow Two: Joe DiPaola, Carmine Perelli
Vaughan Maurizio Bevilacqua Three: Mario Ferri, Linda D. Jackson, Gino Rosati
Whitchurch-Stouffville Iain Lovatt None

2014-2018 Regional Council[edit]

The chairman and CEO of York Regional Council is Wayne Emmerson, who was elected by a majority of York Region Councillors on December 11, 2014.[3]

Municipality Representatives
Mayor Regional councillors
Aurora Geoffrey Dawe None
East Gwillimbury Virginia Hackson None
Georgina Margaret Quirk One: Danny Wheeler (2014-2016); Naomi Davison (2016-present)
King Steven Pelligrini None
Markham Frank Scarpitti Four: Jack Heath, Jim Jones, Nirmala Armstrong, and Joe Li
Newmarket A.J (Tony) Van Bynen One: John Taylor
Richmond Hill Dave Barrow Two: Brenda Hogg, Vito Spatafora
Vaughan Maurizio Bevilacqua Three: Michael Di Biase (2014-2017); Sunder Singh (2017-present), Mario Ferri and Gino Rosati[4]
Whitchurch-Stouffville Justin Altmann None

2010-2014 Regional Council[edit]

The chairman and CEO of York Regional Council was Bill Fisch.[5]

Municipality Representatives
Mayor Regional councillors
Aurora Geoffrey Dawe None
East Gwillimbury Virginia Hackson None
Georgina Robert Grossi One - Danny Wheeler
King Steven Pelligrini None
Markham Frank Scarpitti Four - Jack Heath, Jim Jones, Gordon Landon, and Joe Li
Newmarket Tony Van Bynen One - John Taylor
Richmond Hill Dave Barrow Two - Brenda Hogg, Vito Spatafora
Vaughan Maurizio Bevilacqua Three - Michael DiBiase, Gino Rosati, and Deb Schulte
Whitchurch-Stouffville Wayne Emmerson None

Regional Committees[edit]

There is no executive committee, rather ideas are brought forth in regional committees and voted upon by the council.

  • Accessibility Advisory Committee
  • Audit Committee
  • Community Services and Housing Committee
  • Environmental Services Committee
  • Finance and Administration Committee
  • Planning and Economic Development Committee
  • Transportation Services Committee

Boards, Subcommittees and Task Forces[edit]

  • Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)
  • Character Community Foundation of York Region
  • Don Watershed Regeneration Council
  • Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA)
  • Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance
  • GTA Agricultural Action Committee
  • Housing York Inc
  • Human Services Planning Board
  • Humber Watershed Alliance
  • Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
  • Markham Stouffville Hospital
  • Rouge Park Alliance Executive
  • Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
  • Southlake Regional Health Centre
  • Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
  • York Region Abuse Program
  • York Region Community Partnership Council
  • York Region Rapid Transit Corporation
  • York Regional Police Services Board


Services under the region's scope include:

  • Children Services
  • Community Planning
  • Construction
  • Corporate Services
  • Economic Strategy and Tourism
  • Emergency Medical Services - York Region EMS - downloaded from the Province of Ontario
  • Environmental
  • Financial Department
  • Forestry
  • Housing
  • Infrastructure Planning Branch
  • Legal Services
  • Long Term Care and Seniors
  • Public Health and Safety
  • Real Estate
  • Planning Services
  • Regional Property Taxes
  • York Region Tourism
  • Transportation Services - regional roads only
  • Sewers
  • Employment and Financial Support
  • Transit - York Region Transit and VIVA
  • Water - water source via Toronto Water
  • Waste management (garbage, recycling, hazardous waste; excludes curbside collection)
  • Policing - York Regional Police

Regional Chairs[edit]

The Regional Chair is the CEO of the Region and serves, ex officio, on all Committees. The position replaced the former Warden of York County (1850-1970) and is selected by the other members of Regional Council.

Regional Chair Term of Office Notes
Garfield Wright 1971-1978 Former Town Councillor (1958-1961), Deputy Reeve (1961-1962) and Reeve (1964-1969) of East Gwillimbury; Former Warden of York County (1968-1970); Appointed Regional Chair by Lieutenant-Governor in Council. Died 2009.
Bob Forhan 1978-1984 Former hockey player and high school teacher; Town Councillor and Mayor of Newmarket (1971-1978); CAO of York Region (1978-1996)[6]

[7] Died 2018.

Tony Roman 1984 Township Councillor (1966-1968), Regional Councillor and Mayor (1970-1984 and 1988-1992) of Markham, Federal Member of Parliament for York North (1984-1988). Died 1992.
Eldred R. King 1984-1997 Vice Chair and Chair of GO Transit, member of the Markham Township School Board (1965-1969) and councillor on Markham Township Council (1969-1970), member of Whitchurch-Stouffville Township Council (1971-1977) and Mayor of the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville (1978-1984). Died 2011.
Bill Fisch 1997–2014 Lawyer, formerly practicing in Thornhill, Ontario (1976-1997); Former Councillor, Ward 7 (1988-1994) and Regional Councillor (1994-1997) for Markham.
Wayne Emmerson 2014–present Former Town Councillor (1998-1994) and Mayor (1997-2014) of Whitchurch-Stouffville.[8]

Former Regional Councillors[edit]

Regional Councillor Term of Office Notes
Ronald Moran 1972-1991 Former Deputy Mayor of Markham;[9] Died 2013 [10]
Donald Cousens 1994-2006 former mayor of Markham, Died 2017.
Tony Roman 1971-1984 and 1988-1992 former mayor of Markham and Regional Chair, Died 1992.
Tony Wong 2006-2009 former Markham Town Councillor, Died 2009.

York Region Administrative Centre[edit]

York Regional Council main operations are located at 17250 Yonge Street. The four floor complex was designed by Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal and opened in 1992. It features an organic building shape with various towers located at the end. The main entrance features two clock towers.

Before 1992 it sat at 50 Eagle Street now home to the Newmarket Courthouse.

A new 8 storey glass annex by WZMH Architects[11] is planned to consolidated various rented facilities and also house the Newmarket Courthouse by 2020.[12]


  1. ^ Carter, Terry (13 May 1970). "Towns to win in regional land 'stakes". The Era. pp. 1, 17. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Council Members for the Term 2014-2018". York Regional Council. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  3. ^ Queen, Lisa (11 December 2014). "Wayne Emmerson is new chair of York Region". East Gwillimbury Express. York Region Media Group. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  4. ^ City of Vaughan 2014 Elections: Local and Regional Councillors (unofficial results) Archived October 31, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, City of Vaughan, October 28, 2014.
  5. ^ "York Region Chairman and Chief Executive Officer". York Regional Council. Archived from the original on August 26, 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  6. ^ "Changing Faces: York Region Governance from 1792 to the Present" (PDF). york.ca. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  7. ^ "Meet sports Class of 2010". Yorkregion.com. 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  8. ^ "Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson". York Region Council. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Markham civic centre showcased on 20th anniversary". Yorkregion.com. 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  10. ^ "Grassroots politician' remembered for role in city's Civic Centre". Yorkregion.com. 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  11. ^ "York Region Administrative Centre Annex (ACA)". WZMH Architects. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  12. ^ "York Region plans to build $212M headquarters". CTV News Barrie. November 9, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2019.