Economy

Stouffville’s economy prior to 1900 flourished because of its position on juncture of the Markham-Uxbridge Road and the Town Line, and the coming of the railway in 1871. In recent years the town of Whitchurch–Stouffville has increasingly become a bedroom community for commuters working in Toronto and its environs: in 2006, only 30% of the total employed labour force living in Whitchurch–Stouffville (4,025 of 13,100 people) worked locally or at home, compared to the Ontario average of 56.6%.

The greatest proportion of employment in Whitchurch–Stouffville is concentrated in service-producing industries (72.7%), which includes personal services and retail trade. Golf-related employment accounts for the 34.9% of jobs within the personal services sector. 27.0% of local employment is in the goods-producing sector.

The top private sector employers in Whitchurch–Stouffville are:

  • Teva Canada, pharmaceutical manufacturing: 300 employees
  • Southwire, cable manufacturing: 225 employees
  • K-Line Group, electrical power generation: 120 employees
  • Strategic Information Technology, software development: 115 employees
  • Hanson, concrete pipe manufacturing: 105 employees
  • Walmart

Whitchurch–Stouffville is York Region’s largest “mineral aggregate resource area;” these gravel sites and designated resource areas are located north and south of Bloomington Road, and all lie within the boundaries of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Under the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act (2001), future aggregate resource operations must meet stringent review and approval standards.

In 2001, 20,406 acres (8,258 hectares) of land in Whitchurch–Stouffville was dedicated to farming; 45% of the farms were between 10 and 69 acres (280,000 m2) in size; 25% focused on “other animal production,” (792 horses and ponies on 50 farms) and 24% in greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production. Gross farm receipts for 2000 were $27,182,691; gross forestry receipts (once the backbone of Whitchurch Township’s wealth) were $59,098.

Based on the 2006 Census data, the median household income of Whitchurch–Stouffville residents was $95,007, which is 37% higher than the Ontario median household income of $69,156. The unemployment rate in 2006 was 4.8%, well below the Ontario average of 6.8%

Industries of employment, from the 2006 Census
Industry People employed
Agriculture and other resource-based industries 410
Wholesale trade 890
Health and Social Services 895
Educational Services 965
Retail trade 1,165
Finance and real estate 1,215
Manufacturing 1,385
Construction 1,400
Other services 2,295
Business services 2,950

New housing starts in Whitchurch–Stouffville jumped from 242 in 2005 to 1,159 in 2007. In the first six months of 2009, Whitchurch–Stouffville’s population grew by 4.6% (1,500 people), far out-pacing the York Region average of 1.3% change. The Town of Whitchurch–Stouffville has planned for 650 new housing starts in 2010. In 2009, there were 3,527 residential units within the built boundaries of urban Stouffville; the city is planning to increase this number by 43% (or 1,500 units, including second suites) by 2031 to meet provincial intensification guidelines, with a total population of 67,289.

The relative prosperity of the town has made it difficult for those with low income; a high proportion of recent immigrants experience housing affordability problems in certain census tracts in Whitchurch–Stouffville. The ratio of owned dwellings to rented dwellings in Whitchurch–Stouffville is almost 6 to 1, whereas for Ontario as a whole it is 2.5 to 1. Between 1994 and 2009, 84% of the new residential units in Whitchurch–Stouffville were low-density dwellings. In 2006, the median monthly payments for rented dwellings in Whitchurch–Stouffville was $924.00, or 15% higher than the Ontario median; the average value of homes in Whitchurch-Stoufville was 66% higher than the provincial average in 2006, and 52.6% higher than in 2001. Soaring housing costs in the region have resulted in a 28% rise in Food Bank use between January 2008 and January 2010. The Community and Health Services Department of York Region has no resources in Stouffville for the homeless; there are two group homes in Whitchurch–Stouffville, as well as 51 units of public social housing and 124 not-for-profit units for the elderly (including a long-term care facility). In 2006, 4% of residents were in a low-income bracket, compared to the provincial average of 11%. Social services in Whitchurch–Stouffville include the Whitchurch–Stouffville Food Bank, located at the Churchill Community Church (Baptist) between the communities of Musselman Lake and Ballantrae and the Care and Share Thrift Store (Mennonite Central Committee) located on Main Street in urban Stouffville on the original settlement site of Abraham Stouffer. The YMCA also operates an employment resource centre in Stouffville.

Whitchurch–Stouffville is also home to internationally respected, church-based non-governmental service organizations: Emmanuel International Canada, EMAS Canada and Christian Blind Mission – Canada (CBM), all located on Stouffville Road near Kennedy Avenue.