A Character Community is one in which elected official community leaders in the education, business, faith community, law enforcement and media sectors, and citizens-at-large recognize and promote the importance of good character.
Everyone works together to ensure that families are strong, homes and streets are safe, education is effective, business is productive, neighbours care about one another and citizens are free to make wise choices for their lives and families.
The idea that York Region could become a Character Community was born at an international ‘Quest for Character’ symposium hosted by the York Region District School Board. At the symposium, Markham Mayor Don Cousens took on the challenge to host a forum about building cities of character. On June 7, 2001, York Region Council approved the establishment of a Steering Committee to develop a proposal for a Character Community in York Region. Following this, on January 24, 2002, York Region Council approved a resolution declaring York Region a ‘Character Community’ – the first regional municipality to do so in Canada. A kick-off to York Region’s Character Community was held at the Regional Offices in February of 2002. The event was a great success with representation from across the entire Region. At this time, the Town of Aurora Council also passed a resolution declaring the Town of Aurora as a ‘Character Community’ within York Region.