Young was born in Scotland to parents John and Grace (Imrie) Young. He immigrated to Canada in 1957 with his brother Ron. It was here he met his wife, Vivien.
He began his career as a tool and die maker, first testing the waters of politics by organizing his local union. He was a shop steward and later a business agent within the United Electrical Workers.
As a political candidate, he first ran for office as a city councillor in Ward 9 in 1976. When that was unsuccessful, he ran for federal office for the NDP, twice losing the Beaches riding by narrow margins. In 1980 he returned and earned the voters’ confidence, which he kept for more than a decade. Young represented the Beaches riding from 1980 to 1988, and continued in that role when the riding changed to Beaches-Woodbine, staying in office until the 1993 election.
During his time in office he served as party whip, as well as critic at various times for seniors, supply and services, housing, health, pensions, veterans affairs, persons with disabilities, and social policy.
After retiring, Young worked as a consultant on issues faced by the disabled. He continued to golf no matter the weather, as well as travelling, gardening, cooking, and woodworking.
Young is survived by wife Vivien, children Neil, Leslie (Steve), Moira, Fraser (Cecilia), grandchildren Daniel, Marshall, Drew, Lucas, and Elyse, brothers and sisters Grace (Keith), Ron, Dorothy, Allan (Mary), and extended family in Canada, Scotland, and the US. A memorial service was held on March 11.