"Simcoe District" was established in 1843 by the Legislature of Upper Canada. The Corporation of the County of Simcoe is comprised of the 16 towns and townships located within Simcoe County.
As an "upper tier" municipality, the County of Simcoe is responsible for a range of municipal services which include social housing, land ambulance and emergency planning, environmental services (solid waste management), a County road system, Ontario Works, children's services, long term care, museum, archives, forests, tourism, and land use policy planning.
The local, or "lower tier" municipalities are responsible for water and sewer services, local roads, public libraries, recreation services, fire and police services, land use development control, licensing, and permitting services.
The head of County Council is called the Warden
. The members of County Council elect a Warden from amongst the council members at an Inaugural Meeting, held in December of the first and third year of the Council's term. At this meeting, Council also elects the chairs and vice-chairs of the Business Sections for Human Services, Corporate Services, and Performance Management related matters.
All members of County Council sit as Committee of the Whole. Members of Council are also appointed to various internal and external committees and boards, such as the Accessibility Advisory Committee, Audit and Finance Committee, Economic Development Sub-Committee, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, and Hospital Board or Committee positions.
Committees are not authorized to make decisions unless specific authority to do so has been delegated by County Council. Committees make recommendations which are recorded in a report from each meeting. Committee reports are then presented to the next regular Council meeting for consideration.
Numerous sub-committees follow a similar reporting system. Generally, they report to a one of the Business Sections within Committee of the Whole, however, there may be occasions when the report of a sub-committee meeting is presented directly to Council.
Individuals who wish to appear before a Committee or Council may submit a request, in writing, to the County Clerk. For additional information, see Appearing before Committees and Council
The cities of Barrie and Orillia, although separate politically and administratively from the County, are geographically and economically part of the County. The County of Simcoe provides services such as long term care, social services, and social housing to residents of the cities and the cities participate in funding for the archives and museum. City representatives serve on the County committees that oversee matters that relate to these departments.