Whitchurch–Stouffville is a municipality in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada, approximately 50 kilometres north of downtown Toronto, and 55 kilometres north-east of Toronto Pearson International Airport. It is 206.41 square kilometres in size, and located in the mid-eastern area of the Regional Municipality of York on the ecologically sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine. Its motto since 1993 is “country close to the city”.
The Town of Whitchurch–Stouffville consists of several distinct communities and the intermediary countryside. The largest urban area is the community of Stouffville proper (2011 pop. 24,866), while other communities in the larger town include Ballantrae, Bethesda, Bloomington, Cedar Valley, Gormley, Lemonville, Lincolnville, Musselman’s Lake, Pine Orchard, Pleasantville, Preston Lake, Ringwood, Vandorf, Vivian, and Wesley Corners. The town is bounded by Davis Drive (York Regional Road 31) in the north, York-Durham Line (York Regional Road 30) in the east, and Highway 404 in the west. The southern boundary conforms with a position approximately 200 metres north of 19th Avenue (York Regional Road 29), and is irregular due to the annexation of lands formerly part of Markham Township in 1971.
Between 2006 and 2011, the town grew 54.3%, making it the third fastest growing municipality in Canada. Over a decade, the number of private dwellings jumped 78% from 7,642 in 2001, to 13,614 in 2011, with an average of 2.76 people per private dwelling. The town projects a total population of 46,385 by mid-year 2015; 55,800 by 2021, and 60,600 in 2031, with 97% of the growth within the urban boundaries of the Community of Stouffville.
Future growth is governed provincially by the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act (2001), the Greenbelt Protection Act (2005) and the Places to Grow Act (2005). The intent of these statutes is to prevent urban sprawl on environmentally sensitive land and to accommodate future growth in approved settlement areas only. Consequently, Whitchurch–Stouffville’s future growth is planned as “sustainable development”, largely within the boundaries of urban Stouffville alone, which reflects the vision of “small town tradition between the country and the city”.