Just what is the North? It’s the growing area at the focal point of the Cincinnati-Dayton megalopolis, the network of large and small communities evolving into a single urban area between the cities of Cincinnati and Dayton.

It’s roughly defined by the editors of Cincy Magazine as the area north of state Route 126/Ronald Regan Highway in Hamilton County and south of state Route 122 across Butler and Warren counties.

That’s just geography. The North is also where thousands of people live, work and play.

It includes some of southwest Ohio’s fastest-growing communities such as West Chester Township, the city of Mason and Deerfield Township and some of its oldest communities such as the city of Hamilton (named for Alexander Hamilton and founded in 1791) and the city of Lebanon (which dates from 1802).

It includes thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses and some of the region’s largest and best-known employers such as Procter & Gamble Co., GE Aviation, the Kroger Co. and Anthem BlueCross BlueShield Ohio.

It is home to the growing “Health Care Highway” along Interstate 75 with new facilities by some of the region’s largest health-care providers such as the Christ Hospital Health Network, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Premier Health’s Atrium Medical Center and UC Health’s West Chester Hospital.

It’s also home to the regional campuses of Miami University, Sinclair Community College’s Mason center and vocational education centers such as Butler Tech, Great Oaks Career campuses and the Warren County Career Center.

The North also offers a variety of retail and entertainment options such as Miami Valley Gaming and King’s Island to Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield and Liberty Center, the multiuse community in Liberty Township.