About Regional Government

In 1973, the Province of Ontario passed the Regional Municipality of Durham Act to establish Durham as one of five Regional governments in the Greater Toronto Area. The Act annexed and amalgamated 21 former municipalities of the counties of Ontario, Northumberland and Durham to form eight area municipalities: Ajax, Brock, Clarington, Oshawa, Pickering, Scugog, Uxbridge and Whitby. Members of the first Regional Council were elected late in 1973 and the Regional Municipality of Durham began operating on January 1, 1974.

The regional system of municipal government consists of two tiers. The first tier is the regional level, which operates at a broader scale to provide planning, servicing and financing for the Region. The eight area municipalities constitute the second tier, and operate at a more local scale, handling services such as local planning, fire protection, tax collection and parks and recreation.

Durham Region lies just east of Toronto in the area of Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe. The southern part of Durham has experienced rapid growth of its residential, industrial and commercial sectors in the past decade. North Durham is predominately rural lands with a thriving agricultural sector and the environmentally important Oak Ridges Moraine. With access to ample greenspace, Lakes Ontario, Scugog and Simcoe, as well as urban amenities, Durham Region offers a high standard of living for both city and rural dwellers.

This unique mix of urban and rural lifestyles is supported by an excellent transportation network, public utilities and social infrastructure.

Regional Government

Regional Council is comprised of the Regional Chair and the Mayors and Regional Councillors from the eight Area Municipalities. Regional Council meetings are held at The Regional Municipality of Durham Headquarters in Whitby.

Regional Responsibilities:

Area Municipal Government

The local councils are located in each of the eight area municipalities. The main responsibilities of the area municipalities are listed below.

Area Municipality Responsibilities: