Overview of Durham Region
The Region of Durham is situated in the highly developed and populated economic centre of Ontario, known as the Golden Horseshoe, that stretches from Oshawa to Niagara Falls. Durham Region lies immediately to the east of the City of Toronto within the Greater Toronto Area and encompasses an area of approximately 2,590 square kilometres (1,000 square miles). The area is characterized by a variety of landscapes and communities. A series of major lakeshore urban communities contrast with a variety of small towns, villages, hamlets and farms which lie immediately inland. The relatively flat lakeshore area marked by the bluffs, wooded creeks and ancient shoreline, features contrasts with the hummocky topography of the Oak Ridges Moraine running parallel to the shoreline only 15 miles to the north. This diverse landscape of woods, headwaters, ridges and hollows gives way to rolling farmlands and lakes to the north. Here the Municipality spreads into the prime recreational lakelands of Simcoe, Scugog and the Kawarthas.
The Region lies along a continuous urbanized lakeshore and shares prime access to the Great Lakes and northeastern markets of the continent, encompassing some 120 million persons. The area is well known for the strength of its manufacturing sector which is continually undergoing rapid diversification. Durham is endowed with a young, skilled labour force. It has all the utilities, transportation and social infrastructure associated with modern metropolitan communities. The single most significant economic factor for the Region has been the dramatic increase in residential development.
A recent report by the Planning Department estimates that the population of the Region of Durham was 633,130 in May 2011. A target of 810,000 people has been estimated for the number of people living in the Region by the year 2021, and a target of 970,000 people by the year 2031.
The Community Vision
Durham will be a united group of vibrant and diverse communities recognized for their leadership, community spirit, and exceptional quality of life.
Durham Region's Corporate MissionMeeting the needs of the Durham community through leadership, co-operation and service excellence.
Durham's Community Strategic Themes
- Promote and strengthen a vibrant economy that will support prosperity for Durham residents, businesses and organizations.
- Protect and enhance our environment for today and tomorrow through stewardship of our natural resources.
- Balance growth, enabling sustainable communities.
- Promote a safe, healthy, caring, inclusive community.
- Enhance partnerships while providing continued service excellence.
Durham Region's Corporate Values and Operating Principles
The Region of Durham has a set of values, which are integral to the organization’s collective behaviour.
We demonstrate integrity and vision, providing the organization with good governance and management.
We respond to the changing needs of residents and other organizations by providing transparent government within the framework of financial sustainability.
We encourage professional excellence through collaboration, partnerships and teamwork in an environment that fosters trust and respect.
Continuous Learning and Improvement
We support life-long learning and commitment to innovation, research, knowledge exchange and ongoing program evaluation.
We provide an accessible, inclusive environment that values the diversity of our staff and the community.
- View the Strategic Plan (PDF)
History of the Organization
The Regional Municipality of Durham was created January 1, 1974 as a Regional Government in the Province of Ontario under The Regional Municipality of Durham Act, 1973 of the Ontario Legislature.
The Act provided for the formation of the eight Area Municipalities (The Cities of Oshawa and Pickering, the Towns of Ajax, and Whitby; the Municipality of Clarington and the Townships of Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge), by the annexation and amalgamation of twenty-one former local municipalities in the Counties of Ontario, Northumberland and Durham, excluding a small portion of the former Township of Pickering, which was annexed by Metropolitan Toronto.
Durham Region Corporate Services
Did you know that police officers, paramedics, curbside recycling collection, water supply, health programs, and traffic control signals are just some of the services provided by The Regional Municipality of Durham? To help educate residents about the responsibilities of this upper-tier level of government, a copy of the Region of Durham Corporate Services Video is now available online.