The former York Township boroughs/cities of East York, York and North York were part of Metropolitan Toronto, which was amalgamated as Toronto in 1998. See Toronto/North York and the former City of York in Toronto/Midtown.
York is a region in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada. The successor to York County (from which Metropolitan Toronto was split in 1953), it includes sprawling north-of-Toronto suburbs (such as Markham and Vaughan) north of Steeles Avenue in telephone area code +1-905.
York Region is comprised of 9 municipalities.
- 1 Newmarket — its Main Street Heritage Conservation District includes several historic sites
- 2 Aurora — a smaller town whose growth is being restricted by greenbelt planning controls
- 3 East Gwillimbury — a rural area famous for the Sharon Temple
- 4 Georgina — a rural area on the shore of Lake Simcoe
- 5 King — a rural township known for its horse and cattle farms
- 6 Markham — a growing suburban community and technology centre with several charming heritage districts
- 7 Richmond Hill — a growing suburban town in the centre of the region
- 8 Vaughan — famous as the home of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection
- 9 Whitchurch-Stouffville — "small town tradition between the country and the city", and a 20-km heritage railway
- Canada's Wonderland — an amusement park with 200 attractions (including games), with over 60 thrill rides including 17 roller coasters; it is ranked second in the world by number of roller coasters
The main airport serving York Region is Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), which is just outside the Region's southwest border, in Mississauga. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) is near downtown Toronto. There are two small local airports in southeast York Region, Buttonville Airport (privately-owned, scheduled to close October 2017) and Markham Airport.
GO Transit offers commuter bus and train service connecting downtown Toronto to York Region. GO Transit bus routes to York Region originate from Union Station, York Mills Station or Yorkdale Station in Toronto all along Toronto's subway line 1. GO Transit's three commuter train lines (Barrie line, Richmond Hill line, Stouffville line) to York Region originate from Toronto Union Station. GO trains on the Barrie Line operate approximately every hour to Aurora daily starting late morning. There are GO Bus connections at Aurora to and from Barrie. GO trains on the Stouffville Line operate approximately every hour to Unionville GO station weekdays starting late morning. Otherwise, GO train service on all three lines is commuter-oriented with trains running inbound to Toronto during the morning rush hours and outbound in the afternoon rush. GO bus has a terminal at the Highway 407 station in Vaughan.
Viva and YRT buses offer service from Finch Station in Toronto into York Region. See next section.
Subway Line 1 Yonge-University provides service from downtown Toronto to three stations in Vaughan, York Region. The three stations are Pioneer Village (at the Toronto/Vaughan border), Highway 407 and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, all having bus connections. A trip from Union Station in downtown Toronto to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre takes about 50 minutes. Subway service is provided by the Toronto Transit Commission and uses only TTC fares. There are no free transfers between the subway and YRT, Viva, Go Transit or Züm buses.
York Region Transit
York Region Transit offers two types of bus service within York Region:
- Viva - Express bus system in York Region with limited stops and some Bus Rapid Transit routes. Viva bus routes are identified by colour.
- York Region Transit (YRT) - Local bus system in York Region with routes identified by number.
Viva buses offer faster service serving fewer stops than do YRT buses, and are also more comfortable than YRT buses. Viva serves only high-volume routes with often more frequent service than YRT buses. YRT offers a network of many local routes. Sometimes a YRT route may overlap or run parallel to a Viva route serving the local stops that the Viva route would bypass.
Both Viva and YRT buses share the same fare structure which allows transfers between the two services on the same fare. A fare allows stopovers and round trips if you can do it all within 2 hours.
For Viva buses, fares are paid at a machine on the platform before boarding the bus, and customers can enter or exit Viva buses at any door. Customers are required to have proof of fare while riding, as fare inspectors conduct random spot-checks to ensure people have paid the proper fares. Anyone caught without proof of fare can be subject to a fine or criminal charge. For YRT buses, fares are paid at the front door of the bus upon boarding. Presto card is accepted on all Viva and YRT routes.
GO Transit serves multiple towns/cities in York Region. GO Bus offers express service with limited stops by utilizing major highways and travels much faster than YRT or Viva. GO Trains serve communities in a north-south manner. Almost all GO Train stations and GO Bus stops offer connections to YRT.
GO Transit fares are based on point-to-point. Presto card is accepted in the entire GO Transit network. Passengers taking YRT before/after taking GO Train pay only $1 for the YRT fare.
Toronto Transit Commission
A few TTC bus routes operate from a Toronto subway station into York Region. If your trip crosses the city limits, you must pay a double fare [dead link]: a TTC fare south of Steeles Avenue, and a YRT fare north of that street. You can pay both fares with a Presto card or exact cash. TTC limited-use paper Presto tickets are not valid on YRT, Viva or TTC bus routes in York Region. For northbound TTC buses crossing Steeles Avenue, you pay the TTC fare when you board the bus in Toronto and the YRT fare when you get off in York Region. For southbound buses, you pay the YRT fare when you board in York Region, and the TTC fare when you get off in Toronto.
The following TTC bus routes cross into York Region (listed from west to east):
For many people, the star of the region is the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, which is the only major public art gallery devoted solely to the collecting and exhibiting of Canadian art. Its collection has almost 6,000 artworks by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, their contemporaries, and First Nations, Inuit and other artists who have made a contribution to Canada’s artistic heritage.
The David Dunlap Observatory, in Richmond Hill, is a working observatory operated by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
Newmarket's pretty Main Street Heritage Conservation District makes for a pleasant day of enjoying heritage buildings, and browsing in shops.
Unionville is a historic village in Markham focused on its Main Street, which developed in the 1840s. As typical of a small village, it boasts numerous quaint period buildings in an idyllic surrounding. Main Street Markham and Thornhill are also interesting heritage districts.
The Sharon Temple in East Gwillimbury, was built in 1825 by a Quaker sect, and restored in the 1920s. It's a unique Canadian Historic Site composed of eight distinctive heritage buildings and dwellings, and houses.
A more modern temple, the Byzantine Revival Cathedral of the Transfiguration, was built at the end of the 20th century in Markham, and features the world's largest three-bell carillon.
Canada's Wonderland is a large amusement park in Vaughan. It covers 134 hectares (330 acres) of land, with an artificial mountain as the central feature,and includes an 8-hectare (20-acre) waterpark, Canada's largest outdoor wave pool, a lazy river, and 16 water slides.
The Nokiidaa Trail is a trail system that runs through the heart of Newmarket connecting to the nearby communities of East Gwillimbury and Aurora.
The Kortright Centre for Conservation in Vaughan is a modern wildlife conservation centre that has hiking, workshops, and encounters with the wildlife.
The Aurora Arboretum offers 100 acres of parkland dedicated to the growth and maintenance of trees and shrubs.
The York–Durham Heritage Railway operates excursion trains over a 20-km route between the historic towns of Stouffville and Uxbridge.
Newmarket's Main St. has a range of shops which all appear to be small local independent businesses rather than the chain stores seen at malls.
Being a largely suburban region, there are lots of shopping malls full of chain stores to choose from. Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre has over 200 stores and 15 anchor stores. Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, Markville Mall, Vaughan Mills, and Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill are among the larger ones.
Pacific Mall, in Markham, is a huge Asian mall where you can fill your shopping bags with Chinese groceries, cell phone accessories, Japanese beauty products, cell phone accessories, Asian cookware and cell phone accessories.
There are three hospitals in York Region: Mackenzie Health Hospital in Richmond Hill, Markham-Stouffville Hospital in Markham and Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket. A fourth hospital, Mackenzie Vaughan in Vaughan is slated to be open in late 2020.