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The Regional Municipality of York – Building for the Future: A Region on the Rise

August 30, 2022

York Region is the third largest region in the Greater Toronto Area and is home to 18 Greybrook developments ranging from modern townhome developments in the City of Markham to stunning estate homes in the Village of Kleinburg.1

Click here to view Greybrook’s portfolio in York Region

Stretching north from Toronto to Lake Simcoe, York Region is a rapidly growing municipality comprised of nine cities and townships and is home to more than 1.1 million residents, forming the third-largest census division in Ontario and the seventh-largest in Canada.2

Substantial population increases in combination with notable growth rates throughout the local municipalities have fueled York Region’s cascading growth, spawning a 5.7% increase in the population from 2016 to 2021.  Within the Region, the City of Markham is the largest of the nine municipalities and it is the fourth most populous city in the Greater Toronto Area (‘GTA’). The City of Vaughan, located in the southwest end of the Region, is a rapidly growing city that welcomed the greatest number of new residents out of all of the municipalities in the Region during the most recent census period, while the Township of King, located north of Vaughan on the Oak Ridges Moraine, grew by nearly 12% from 2016 to 2021. These are just a few of the burgeoning cities and towns that have contributed to the regional boom that is drastically transforming York Region from rural and suburban communities to a collection of thriving cities and towns.2

Powered by a Diverse Industries and Cultural Lifestyle Options

Home to over 54,000 businesses, York Region’s surging economy is powered by diverse industry sectors that drive business and job growth. Anchored by the financial and professional services, manufacturing, information and communications technology, and the life sciences and health technology industries, York Region is the third largest business hub in Ontario. It is home to Canada’s second largest tech hub with over 4,500 companies and Ontario’s second largest financial and professional services sector with more than 6,400 companies. The Region houses Canada’s largest auto parts manufacturing cluster with over 100 auto parts and electronics manufacturing companies, a critical part of the Canadian economy. Sixteen Fortune 100 companies have operations in the region and six of the GTA’s top 10 corporate R&D spenders call York Region home. With a diverse spectrum of job opportunities, the Region has attracted individuals seeking new opportunities to build careers.3

Culturally, York Region is filled with diverse restaurants, art galleries, local festivals, shopping centres, and has a healthy balance of urban and suburban life. Heightened diversity allows for a multi-cultural experience and increased feelings of connectivity, with nearly half of the region’s population being foreign-born. The Region offers plenty of access to green space, hiking trails including 2,070 hectares of forest and the ecologically diverse Oak Ridges Moraine, offering serene landscapes, and endless outdoor activities for residents and visitors.4

Fueled by Investments in Transit and Infrastructure 

Investments in transit are also driving regional success. York Region has benefitted from multi-billion-dollar investments from all levels of government for major public transit infrastructure, highways, and broadband technology investments that will bring high-speed internet to underserved areas which will support local economic and population growth. Notable infrastructure investments include the Toronto York Subway and Yonge subway extension. The subway extension into the Region will accommodate a new six-stop line 1 expansion to the City of Vaughan, and the development of a second subway extension line to the York Region that will connect Richmond Hill and Markham to downtown Toronto. In addition to the subway, the completion of the 34-kilometre vivaNext bus rapid transit lanes within the Region’s designated urban growth centres will improve accessibility, and mobility, and reduce congestion.5

Planning for Growth

The Province of Ontario’s Growth Plan provides population and employment growth forecasts to the 2051 planning horizon year and requires regional and local municipalities to update their official plans to accommodate their distribution of such growth. York Region is expected to accommodate the largest share of growth of any upper tier municipality in the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area (‘GTHA’) by 2051, growing from just under 1.2 million people and 645,000 jobs today to approximately 2.02 million people and 990,000 jobs by 2051 – an addition of 800,000 people and 345,000 jobs between 2021-2051.6

York Region adopted an updated official plan in June 2022 which conforms to the updated Growth Plan and accommodates the 2051 growth targets through a combination of intensification and expansion of the urban boundary to accommodate new greenfield development. The adopted Official Plan prioritizes building “complete communities” where people can conveniently access most necessities for daily living, prioritizes sustainable growth and financial responsibility by phasing growth, infrastructure, and other community services over time, and encourages employment close to existing and future transit service and opportunities for people to live and work in their communities. These same priorities drove the transformation of the region over the past decades and will guide its successful expansion in the decades to come. The adopted regional official plan is awaiting final approval by the Provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.5,6

The various local municipalities within York Region will be required to update their official plans over the next few years to conform to the updated regional plan. Intensification areas or “urban growth centres” within the region that will accommodate significant growth include Markham Centre, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, Richmond Hill Centre / Langstaff Gateway, and Newmarket Centre.

As Canada’s population continues to grow with record numbers of new Canadians welcomed annually, York Region is poised to attract new immigrants to its complete communities and thriving cities because of all that it has to offer. Similarly, the Region is expected to continue seeing growth come through migration from other parts of the GTA and the Greater Golden Horseshoe as young professionals and families seek new jobs and more affordable housing options outside of the Toronto core.

Greybrook Investing in the Region’s Growth

Greybrook has been investing in the development of new housing in York Region to meet the demands of its growing population for many years. Beginning with our first investments in the development of townhome communities in Vaughan and Markham in 2014 and 2015 respectively through to our most recent investments in Stouffville. In aggregate our 18 investments in the region are expected to deliver more than 3,300 new homes to the region. With a broad portfolio of investments in the York Region, we are continuing to actively evaluate high-quality investment opportunities across the Region leveraging our knowledge and our collective expertise with our active developer partners to acquire the best parcels of land, execute strategic business plans that allow us to create value for investors and deliver homes to address the supply shortage and meet the growing demand for housing in the Region.


1 The Regional Municipality of York 2020 Operating Budget
2 York Region 2021 Census Release Report, Population and Dwelling Counts
3 Major Toronto Area Business Centre
4 Ontario’s Central Counties Media Kit
5 York Region: Future Focused
6 The Regional Municipality of York Proposed 2051 Forecast and Land Needs Assessment

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