Corp Comm Connects

York Region acquires 142 hectares of land and expands the York Regional Forest

Lands in the Town of East Gwillimbury will provide much needed additional natural space for residents
Sept. 28, 2021

The Regional Municipality of York has acquired lands at 20753 McCowan Road and 4762 Queensville Sideroad in the Town of East Gwillimbury to expand the York Regional Forest. The lands, shown on the map, were acquired through the Regional Greening Strategy.

“This land acquisition works to advance our woodland cover while enhancing and preserving our greenspace and fighting climate change impacts,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Residents can look forward to increased access to green space, expanded existing trail systems and connecting to nature.”

The 142-hectare protected countryside property is located within the Natural Heritage system of the Greenbelt Plan and contains a portion of the Oak Ridges Moraine Natural Core area, part of the Regional Greenlands System. Approximately 82 hectares will be reforested, contributing to the Region’s 25% woodland cover target.

Acquisition and reforestation of this parcel is partially funded (40%) through Infrastructure Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund and will help reduce the impacts of extreme heat and flooding.

“The purchase of this land will have a priceless impact on protecting significant woodlands and wildlife habitat,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Chair of Environmental Services. “Expanding the York Regional Forest helps grow our legacy as a leader in environmental education, stewardship and sustainability.”

COVID-19 has highlighted the important role natural spaces provide in the lives of our residents. With many activities reduced or suspended due to public health measures, residents have sought opportunities to explore natural areas, including the York Regional Forest.

The property should be ready for public use within the next few years. To learn more about the York Regional Forest, visit 

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 54,000 businesses with 650,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at