The North York Concert Orchestra was started in 1975 as a reading orchestra under the auspices of the North York Symphony.

In 1988, the North York Symphony ceased its sponsorship of NYCO, and the orchestra evolved into an independent, community-based orchestra with a public subscription series. Maintaining its community-based origins, the orchestra also began performing outreach concerts, at seniors' homes and community centres, to ensure that classical music can be heard and enjoyed by many members of our community.

Today, NYCO continues these activities, actively including both professional and amateur musicians of all ages. To further increase its reach into the community, since 2008 NYCO has broadened its activities to include a Chamber Players group drawn from the orchestra.