A growing number of people are choosing to both live and work in York Region, which is on track to meet 2031 population and employment forecasts. At the same time, it continues to take steps to protect its natural environment.
According to the 2018 Regional Official Plan Monitoring Report, the live/work ratio increased more than two per cent between 2011 and 2016 and is expected to rise further. That’s important because it indicates the jobs in the Region continue to provide a better match to the skills of its residents, the report explains.
“I expect the live/work ratio to increase in York Region as companies are looking for more than just office space,” City of Markham Regional Councillor Joe Li, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development, says in a statement. “They continue to seek out strategic office locations supported by infrastructure, transit and close to desired amenities – places where their employees can thrive.”
A strong live/work ratio has a number of positive advantages on transportation and the economy. Providing quality jobs in the Region strengthens the economy and makes the Region more attractive to existing and potential businesses and investors. Shorter commute times and less traffic congestion on roads will improve the quality of life increasing the ability to attract and retain the right workforce.
Other report highlights:
• More than 600 hectares of land have been protected since 2009, further strengthening the Region’s Greenlands System
• The Region is achieving diversity of housing mix and shifting towards higher density forms of housing, with medium and high-density housing forms up 21 per cent since 2012
• There is more than one job for every two residents
• Annual gross farm receipts increased 28 per cent from 2001 to 2016
• Overall transit use is up in York Region, with less residents relying on the car
“Significant progress continues to be made towards achieving our long-range planning targets, maintaining a sustainable natural environment, creating healthy communities and encouraging economic vitality,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “I’m pleased with the progress made towards building the kind of communities we want future generations to inherit.”
With 17 of 22 indicators trending in the right direction, the Region says the monitoring report shows it is well on its way to meeting the objectives set out in its Official Plan (York.ca/regionalofficialplan). Two indicators have not trended in the right direction: loss of agricultural land (a result of lands converted for urban uses through amendments) and employment lands converted (a result of the conversion several sites to non-employment uses, including residential and major retail).
The York Region Official Plan is part of the Region’s Vision for the future. In addition to guiding York Region’s Strategic Plan it outlines growth management policies on city building, complete communities, agriculture and rural areas as well as on infrastructure and service provisions.