Durham Region was established in 1974 as one of a number of new "regional" governments in the Province of Ontario, primarly centred around fast growing Toronto. Durham Region encompasses areas that were previously part of Ontario County and Durham County.
The southern portion of the region, adjacent to Lake Ontario is primarily urban in nature, and is essentially part of Toronto's extended suburbs. The northern area encompasses rural areas and small towns.
Major employers include General Motors of Canada, Ontario Power Generation, Lakeridge Health System, Durham College, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and many smaller component and transportation firms supplying the automotive industry.