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Planning & Economic Development Department

About Economic Development & Tourism

The Economic Development & Tourism Division acts as a liaison among area municipalities, local businesses and educational institutions to promote Durham Region as an ideal place to grow a successful business and enjoy a high quality of life. Business attraction, retention and expansion remain the highest priority for the department, which works with local and foreign governments and industries to further promote Durham's strengths, including its emerging creative economy and its reputation as "Ontario's Energy Capital." In addition to economic development, a number of key sectors--including innovative technologies, agriculture, tourism and film--are promoted by staff, who develop goal-oriented programs to oversee various studies, develop key partnerships, marketing campaigns and investment inquiries.

Business Assistance

  • Provides liaison between the business community and all levels of government
  • Assists with site selection requirements
  • Assists existing businesses in sourcing capital and developing new business relationships
  • Serves as the prime contact for business expansions or new opportunities
  • Provides export support for businesses to register on the World Information Network for Exports (WIN Exports), which is a database of Canadian exporters


  • Works with the Business Advisory Centre Durham, supporting local small and medium sized businesses by providing research and advice
  • Partners with the Durham Region agricultural and horticultural sectors
  • Oversees and manages a Strategic Alliance Program, in which local and foreign firms join together in order to gain a competitive advantage in today's global economy
  • Continually involved with Greater Toronto Area (GTA) initiatives through organizations such as the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA) and Greater Toronto Airport Authorities (GTAA).
  • Continues to advise and support Durham Region (Community) Economic Development Advisory Committee’s (DREDAC) with regard to the Community Strategic Plan recent Millennium Strategy
  • Works with Foreign Trade Offices concerning incoming and outgoing missions
  • Creates an environment for partnering on special projects and initiatives


  • Promotes the Region as an ideal location for fostering business opportunities
  • Prepares and distributes statistical and promotional materials and specialized reports
  • Provides advice to Regional Council and other Departments on matters pertaining to the economic well-being of the Region
  • Promotes Durham Region to the domestic and international film industry
  • Promotes businesses, and topical business/tourism information through the various publications including, Durham Business Times, Durham Construction News, and Durham Times publications


  • Promotes Durham as a destination for domestic and international visitors via trade shows, promotional materials and the Internet
  • Assists international tour operators with destination information
  • Co-ordinates familiarization tours of the Region for Travel Trade and Media Writers