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Durham population has soared to 745,000: John Henry

Regional Chair and CEO John Henry

Since the creation of the Region of Durham half a century ago, the population of the region has soared from 247,000 to 745,000 residents, said a top official.

“On January 1, 1974, Durham Region became the largest jurisdiction in the GTHA, with an area of just over 2,500 square kilometres. What started as a merger of 21 local municipalities from various counties has transformed into a region driven by innovation, creativity, skills and education,” said Regional Chair and CEO John Henry.

He was spaeking on February 8 at the 2024 Annual Regional Chair Luncheon for the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade, Clarington Board of Trade, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and Whitby Chamber of Commerce.

Family Physician Recruitment Strategy

He revealed that the Regional Council has approved the creation of a region-wide Family Physician Recruitment Strategy to help attract and retain family medicine trainees and family physicians to Durham.

‘This strategy will help address the shortage of family physicians in Durham Region; bridging a substantial gap in primary care access for our residents,” said Henry.

He also said the council has approved a 10-year Service and Financing Strategy which will increase much needed transit service in the region by 127 per cent.

84,000 new homes

Henry said the region is working closely with local municipalities to support the provincial housing target of 84,000 new housing units across Durham’s lakeshore communities.

“We look forward to consulting with the province over the next year on growth, planning and the financial impacts of legislation like Bill 23 – More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, which puts strain on municipal governments who are building critical infrastructure,” he said.

He said the future looks bright for Durham Region. “We will continue to deliver service excellence through leadership, collaboration, innovation and environmental stewardship.”

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