Rotary Club of York was chartered on June 28, 2001 and the charter members were inducted by RI President Richard King on August 10, 2001 at the Presidential Convention in Toronto. The picture of such event appeared on the front cover of the October 2001 Rotarian magazine, which became the talk in District 7070.

In 2000, District 7070, participated in the RI pioneer project of looking into new ways of running Rotary clubs in the millennium and innovative approach of resolving the problem of declining membership world wide, looked at the possibility of forming new clubs in ethnic communities.

Past district governor, John Bertrand, encouraged Rotarian Margaret Wong, a Chinese lady Rotarian and PE of the Rotary Club of North York, to work in the Chinese community. She networked a close circle of friends and a steering committee was formed. They met weekly to study the process of establishing a Rotary club among the Chinese community.

In March 2001, the first official meeting of the Provisional Rotary Club of York took place. Ms Doris Au, an educator, was elected as the founding president. After having met all the requirements, the Club was chartered on June 28, 2001 and its members were inducted by RI President King in August.

Second president, Paul Cheung, with his Board, helped lay the foundation and set the direction of the club now that Rotary Club of York (RCOY) was selected among more than 160 clubs in the world to participate in RI new model clubs project. With support from PDG John Bertran and PDG David Ing (the first and only Chinese District Governor so far in District 7070) the Club progressed in double strides.

New model clubs have been given a blank sheet to write their own constitutions and bylaws within the foundation and principles of Rotary. RCOY introduces a major change from the traditional clubs' meeting schedule. It holds its regular meetings twice a month—that is first and third Tuesday of each month—leaving the other Tuesdays for board meetings, workshops and committee meetings. RCOY also brings in other changes such as eliminating minimum age limit of club member, territory boundary and the number of membership within same professional classes.

Rotary Club of York is one of the first ethnic clubs, with mostly Asian members, in Rotary District 7070. Since its inception, this Club has not only impressed the district 7070 executives and other fellow clubs but also listened to its community‘s needs and has been serving and will be supporting its community. Here are some of RCOY's involvements, among many other projects:
  • Sponsored and volunteered at the Chinese Arts and Literacy Contest for Youth
  • Volunteered in the "Rotary Drive" project - Built houses for low-income family
  • Raised funds for York Central Hospital, Scarborough Hospital Urban Outreach Program
  • Sponsored the Community Safety Village of York Region
  • Sponsored Carefirst's transportation van for the senior citizens
  • Initiated RCOY 4 Way Test Award, to be presented to a person or organization in the local communities for conducting/operating their business according to the highest ethical standards.
  • Sponsored the Clean Drinking Water project in Pojiao Village in Yunnan, China
  • Volunteered in the natural disaster relief fundraising campaigns, e.g. China & Haiti Earthquakes, etc
  • Sponsored ANCOP program in building houses for the needy in Philippines
  • Raised funds and supported the Canadian Landmines Foundation to clear the land in some of the most heavily mine affected countries in the world
  • Sponsored the international project, the Gift of Life program, for needy children to go through the life-saving open heart surgery
  • Raised funds and supported the PolioPlus program to eradicate polio in the world
  • Raised funds for Mosaic Interfaith Out of The Cold, programs which provide food and shelters for the homeless.
  • Engaged many local schools and business enterprises to participate in our March book drive for “Rotary Educates Young Mind” literacy project in the Philippines. The project benefited over 1000 students.
  • Sponsored The Kid, Cops & Computers program. This program encourages at-risk kids to succeed in technology.and education. Six kids benefited from our sponsorship.
  • Participated at Bowl for Seniors, Heart & Stroke Sing For Your Heart Gala and Carefirst Annual Gala to raise funds for senior and community services.
  • Participated in the University of Philippines Alumni Association Golf Tournament to raise funds to support academic research.
  • Participated in the Trump AIDS Poker Walk at the Toronto Habourfront. Our team, Royal Flush of York was among the largest teams and raised $1,635 to fight AIDS.
  • Participated in Batteries Recycle campaign, a joint project with Ecowatch and organized “Batteries for Burgers BBQ event at the local Canadian Tire store to raise awareness of the importance of recycling batteries.
  • Sponsored students to attend the Toronto Argonauts & Rotary Service Above All All-Stars Youth Leadership Program at the Rogers Centre and students to attend 2010
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program in Belleville.
    In the past ten years Rotary Club of York has been gaining recognition in the community and has built strong confidence among its members under the Rotary International themes—in sowing the seeds of love, lending a hand, serving above self, sharing and making dreams real—in the local and global communities.