Durham Region Celebrates 50 Years

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The Regional Municipality of Durham is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and we are inviting residents to celebrate and learn more about the Region we call home!

Explore the links below and learn more about how the region came to be the strong community it is today. From its inception to its current form, the Region strives to provide service excellence for our community, as reflected in the Durham Region Strategic Plan.



The history of Durham Region

In the late 1960s, the Province of Ontario noticed a large population growth attributed to the post-World War II baby boom, leading to increased density in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

And, as the GTHA poclick on the photo above to explore an interactive map of Durham Region pulation grew, so did the need for expanded water and sewer facilities, roads and public transportation systems. It was determined that a regional level of municipal government should be formed to provide and streamline additional services.

Durham Region was created on Jan. 1, 1974, under The Regional Municipality of Durham Act, 1973. The new bill introduced a regional level of municipal government, which would include eight area municipalities, now known as: the cities of Oshawa and Pickering, the towns of Ajax and Whitby, the Municipality of Clarington, and the townships of Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge.

Durham Region became the largest geographical jurisdiction in the GTHA, with an area of just over 2,500 square kilometres. Durham Region stretches from Pickering in the west, Newtonville in the east, Lake Ontario in the south and Lake Simcoe in the north.


Ontario Courthouse and Administration Building

The County of Ontario Court House and Administration Building, which first opened in 1964, housed administrative offices for the County of Ontario. This included: council chambers, the warden’s office, the clerk-treasurer, an engineer, the health unit, and juvenile and family court rooms.

When the Region was formed in January 1974, the building became a headquarters for this new upper-tier municipality. While it continued to house several Ontario courtrooms, over the years it also grew to house Regional departments.

In addition, the Region had offices at various locations across the eight area municipalities (for services related to finance, social services, health, works, etc.).

Regional Municipality of Durham Headquarters

The Regional Municipality of Durham officially opened its current headquarters, at 605 Rossland Road East in Whitby, in October 2005. This new facility was built on a piece of property, located directly beside the Region’s former headquarters (also the previous County of Ontario Court House and Administration Building).

Five years later, the original building was torn down. Prior to the start of this demolition in summer 2010, various plaques, the coat of arms and other landmarks of historical significance (to Durham Region and the former County of Ontario) were removed from in, and around, the building.


Providing key programs and services

Today, the Region provides a large number of programs and services. To learn more, visit our Durham Region 101 website.


Share your memories!

We invite you to share your stories and photos of the Durham Region by selecting the Stories button.

To sign our guestbook, select the Guestbook button.


The Regional Municipality of Durham is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and we are inviting residents to celebrate and learn more about the Region we call home!

Explore the links below and learn more about how the region came to be the strong community it is today. From its inception to its current form, the Region strives to provide service excellence for our community, as reflected in the Durham Region Strategic Plan.



The history of Durham Region

In the late 1960s, the Province of Ontario noticed a large population growth attributed to the post-World War II baby boom, leading to increased density in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

And, as the GTHA poclick on the photo above to explore an interactive map of Durham Region pulation grew, so did the need for expanded water and sewer facilities, roads and public transportation systems. It was determined that a regional level of municipal government should be formed to provide and streamline additional services.

Durham Region was created on Jan. 1, 1974, under The Regional Municipality of Durham Act, 1973. The new bill introduced a regional level of municipal government, which would include eight area municipalities, now known as: the cities of Oshawa and Pickering, the towns of Ajax and Whitby, the Municipality of Clarington, and the townships of Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge.

Durham Region became the largest geographical jurisdiction in the GTHA, with an area of just over 2,500 square kilometres. Durham Region stretches from Pickering in the west, Newtonville in the east, Lake Ontario in the south and Lake Simcoe in the north.


Ontario Courthouse and Administration Building

The County of Ontario Court House and Administration Building, which first opened in 1964, housed administrative offices for the County of Ontario. This included: council chambers, the warden’s office, the clerk-treasurer, an engineer, the health unit, and juvenile and family court rooms.

When the Region was formed in January 1974, the building became a headquarters for this new upper-tier municipality. While it continued to house several Ontario courtrooms, over the years it also grew to house Regional departments.

In addition, the Region had offices at various locations across the eight area municipalities (for services related to finance, social services, health, works, etc.).

Regional Municipality of Durham Headquarters

The Regional Municipality of Durham officially opened its current headquarters, at 605 Rossland Road East in Whitby, in October 2005. This new facility was built on a piece of property, located directly beside the Region’s former headquarters (also the previous County of Ontario Court House and Administration Building).

Five years later, the original building was torn down. Prior to the start of this demolition in summer 2010, various plaques, the coat of arms and other landmarks of historical significance (to Durham Region and the former County of Ontario) were removed from in, and around, the building.


Providing key programs and services

Today, the Region provides a large number of programs and services. To learn more, visit our Durham Region 101 website.


Share your memories!

We invite you to share your stories and photos of the Durham Region by selecting the Stories button.

To sign our guestbook, select the Guestbook button.

Living in Durham Region

Durham is excited to celebrate 50 years in 2024! To mark this memorable milestone, we invite you to share with us your favourite part about living in Durham and why you are happy to call this region home. 

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Durham has been home for more than twenty years, I love that the region has so much to offer; from pristine hiking trails to views of Lake Ontario, top-notch restaurants, and entertainment. We have it all here.

Jo G. about 1 month ago
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Durham Region has been home since 2017! It's a great place to live and work!

DB about 1 month ago
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I have lived in Durham on and off since 1978. I visited Durham during my youth in the 1960's and early 1970s. I love the mix of urban and rural areas, all the great parks and walking/biking trails. I also like being so close to the country (Duffins Creek).

PBD50 about 2 months ago
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I love the lake and all the green space!

Dani11 about 2 months ago
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Page last updated: 22 Feb 2024, 03:18 PM