Vaughan (2016 population 306,233) is a city in Ontario, Canada. It is located in the Regional Municipality of York, just north of Toronto. Vaughan was the fastest-growing municipality in Canada between 1996 and 2006, achieving a population growth rate of 80.2% according to Statistics Canada and having nearly doubled in population since 1991. It is the fifth-largest city in the Greater Toronto Area, and the 17th-largest city in Canada.
|City of Vaughan|
Vaughan as viewed from Canada's Wonderland
|Coordinates: 43°50′N 79°30′W|
|• Type||Municipal (City)|
|• Mayor||Maurizio Bevilacqua|
|• Regional Councillor||Mario Ferri|
Linda D. Jackson
|• City Manager||Tim Simmonds Interim|
|• Governing Body||Vaughan City Council|
|• MPs, and MPPs|
|• Land||273.56 km2 (105.62 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,119.4/km2 (2,899/sq mi)|
|• Total Private Dwellings||71,265|
|Population ranked 17th nationally|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||905, 289, and 365|
In the late pre-contact period, the Huron-Wendat people populated what is today Vaughan. The Skandatut ancestral Wendat village overlooked the east branch of the Humber River (Pinevalley Drive) and was once home to approximately 2000 Huron in the sixteenth century. The site is close to a Huron ossuary (mass grave) uncovered in Kleinburg in 1970, and one kilometre north of the Seed-Barker Huron site
The first European to pass through Vaughan was the French explorer Étienne Brûlé, who traversed the Humber Trail in 1615. However, it was not until the townships were created in 1792 that Vaughan began to see European settlements, as it was considered to be extremely remote and the lack of roads through the region made travel difficult. The township was named after Benjamin Vaughan, a British commissioner who signed a peace treaty with the United States in 1783.
Despite the hardships of pioneer life, settlers came to Vaughan in considerable numbers. The population grew from 19 men, 5 women, and 30 children in 1800 to 4,300 in 1840. The first people to arrive were mainly Pennsylvania Germans, with a smaller number of families of English descent and a group of French Royalists. This migration from the United States was by 1814 superseded by immigrants from Britain. While many of their predecessors had been agriculturalists, the newer immigrants proved to be highly skilled tradespeople, which would prove useful for a growing community.
Around the facilities established by this group were a number of hamlets, the oldest of which was Thornhill, where a saw-mill was erected in 1801, a grist mill in 1815, and had a population of 300 by 1836. Other such enclaves included Kleinburg, Coleraine, Rupertville(Maple), Richmond Hill, Teston, Claireville, Pine Grove, Carrville, Patterson, Burlington, Concord, Edgeley, Fisherville, Elder's Mills, Elgin Mills, Jefferson, Nashville, Purpleville, Richvale, Sherwood, Langstaff, Vellore, and Burwick (Woodbridge).
However, World War II sparked an influx of immigration, and by 1960, the population stood at 15,957. The ethnocultural composition of the area began to change with the arrival of different groups such as Italians, Jews and Eastern Europeans.
Incorporated in 1850 as Vaughan Township, a municipal government was established. Vaughan Road was a historic road constructed in 1850 that linked Vaughan Township with Toronto. It incorporated parts of present-day Dufferin Street north of Eglinton Avenue in Toronto, though all that remains of it today is the separate alignment farther south, running through the eastern half of the former City of York. In 1971, the new regional government of York Region was established, acquiring policing and welfare services from the communities it served; simultaneously, the township merged with the Village of Woodbridge to form the Town of Vaughan. In 1991, it changed its legal status to City of Vaughan.
An F2 tornado tore through the city of Vaughan during the Southern Ontario Tornado Outbreak on August 20, 2009. Premier Dalton McGuinty and Mayor Linda Jackson toured the destruction the next day and reported 200 homes in critical shape and as many as 600 additional homes likely to be demolished. The tornado also ripped up trees, flipped cars, and left thousands of people without power. Vaughan declared a state of emergency because of the widespread damage. One man injured in the storm suffered a heart attack the following morning.
North American telephone customers placing calls to Vaughan may not recognize the charge details on their billings. Although Vaughan has been incorporated as a town since 1971 and as a city since 1991, the local incumbent local exchange carrier, Bell Canada, splits the city into three historical rate centres–Kleinburg, Maple and Woodbridge. Part of the Thornhill rate centre extends into Vaughan. Indeed, Vaughan does not even appear in the telephone book.
Mayor and Councillors
Vaughan is governed by a nine-member council comprising a mayor, three regional councillors, and five local councillors. The mayor, elected at large, is the head of the council and a representative on York Region Council. The three regional councillors are also elected at large, and serve on both the city council and York Regional Council. Five local councillors are also elected, one from each of Vaughan's five wards, to represent those wards on Vaughan Council.
City councillors meet at Vaughan City Hall, located in Maple. The City's City Hall was opened on September 25, 2011, and is named in memory of late Mayor Lorna Jackson. The new Civic Centre is one of the first in Canada to conform to a LEED Gold Standard, the second highest environmental classification available.
Vaughan is the first municipality in Ontario to have a Youth City Councillor. The youth city councillor is appointed as a non-voting member of Council every six months to represent the youth of Vaughan. Vaughan council originally rejected the proposal of a youth councillor but, after the Vaughan Youth Cabinet amended its proposal, Council accepted the recommendation.
After serving as mayor for nine years, Lorna Jackson saw the Town of Vaughan become incorporated as the City of Vaughan. Following the death of Mayor Lorna Jackson in 2002, Michael Di Biase was appointed mayor by Vaughan council by virtue of his position as one of two regional councillors representing Vaughan, Joyce Frustaglio was the other regional councillor. Gino Rosati, a Vaughan local councillor, was subsequently appointed by Vaughan Council to fill Di Biase’s position as regional councillor and a by-election was held to fill Rosati’s local councillor’s position which was won by Linda Jackson, the daughter of Mayor Jackson. Di Biase first became involved in the city's politics in 1985, when he was elected as a local councillor in 1985. Di Biase retained the mayorship in the 2003 municipal election, defeating challenger Robert Craig.
In the municipal election on November 13, 2006, Di Biase was narrowly defeated by Linda Jackson, who was sworn in as mayor on December 4, 2006. On June 18, 2008, an audit of Jackson's 2006 campaign finances found that the politician exceeded her legal spending limit of $120,419 by at least $12,356, or 10 per cent. The auditors, LECG Canada Ltd., say that amount could almost double if what they believed to be unreported contributions in kind at various election events but couldn't prove are later verified.
They also found other apparent contraventions of the Canada Elections Act, including at least five instances where associated companies made donations that exceeded the normal $750 donation limit per company.
On June 24, 2008, Vaughan Council voted unanimously to hire a special prosecutor to consider laying charges against Mayor Linda Jackson under the Municipal Elections Act in reaction to the auditors' report. Council hired Timothy Wilkin, "an expert in municipal law" to decide what if any charges are to be laid. If Jackson is charged and found guilty, she would face punishments ranging from fines to removal from office.
Subsequently, an audit was conducted on former Mayor Di Biase's 2006 election campaign funds. This exposed 27 contraventions under the Elections Act, along with a $155,000 anonymous cash payment made to his lawyer to cover his legal fees. Di Biase has refused to disclose who made this payment.
The city is made up of five major communities. Most residents (and even non-residents) identify more with these smaller communities than they do with the city as a whole. Even though Vaughan is a city, it is not listed in the phone book. Instead, Bell Canada uses the original community rate centres and lists them separately, resulting in local calling areas being different throughout the city.
- Woodbridge: North/South - Major Mackenzie/Steeles, East/West - Hwy 400/Hwy 50
- Maple: North/South - King Vaughan Line/Rutherford, East/West - Bathurst/Hwy 400
- Thornhill: North/South - Hwys. 7 and 407 (Major Mackenzie for the area west of Bathurst)/Steeles, East/West - Yonge/Dufferin
- Concord: North/South - Rutherford/Steeles, East/West - Dufferin/Hwy 400
- Kleinburg: North/South - King Vaughan Line/Major Mackenzie, East/West - Hwy 400/Hwy 50
These communities are seen today are extended far beyond their original sites, encompassing lesser-known and smaller communities (e.g. Pine Grove or Teston). In addition, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, is the city's planned downtown core.
Vaughan Metropolitan Centre
The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre is a new 179 hectare (442 acre) central business district under development around the intersection of Highway 7 and Jane Street, at the site of the former hamlet of Edgeley.
When the Town of Vaughan officially became a City in 1991, was made up of five municipalities–all with their own historic village or town centre. Vaughan committed to building a new business and commercial core. This commitment became policy in 1998 when Official Plan Amendment 500 called for the Vaughan Corporate Centre, as it was then branded, to become a focal point for business activity and major commercial development.
It is served by the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre subway station, which is the northwestern terminus of Line 1 Yonge–University of the Toronto subway system. It is also a major transit hub for York Region Transit (YRT), as well as Viva and Züm bus rapid transit services.
|Climate data for Vaughan 1981–2010 (Woodbridge)|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.0
|Average high °C (°F)||−2.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−6.6
|Average low °C (°F)||−10.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−34.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||50.3
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||20.4
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||29.9
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||13.5||10.3||10.7||11.8||12.0||10.8||9.5||9.6||10.6||12.7||13.1||12.8||137.4|
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||4.2||4.4||6.4||10.7||12.0||10.8||9.5||9.6||10.6||12.6||11.1||6.5||108.3|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||10.2||6.8||5.1||1.5||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.23||3.0||7.5||34.3|
|Source: Environment Canada|
Vaughan is the largest city in Canada without a hospital. The nearest full-service hospital facilities are Humber River Regional Hospital, to the south in Toronto, Brampton Civic Hospital, to the west in Brampton, and Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital to the east in Richmond Hill.
Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital is under construction along Major Mackenzie Drive (between Highway 400 and Jane Street) which would serve Vaughan. Its planning stage began in 2007. The provincial government of Ontario approved construction of the hospital in July 2011, and a tender for bids to construct it will be issued in 2014 or 2015. Land preparation for construction began in the summer of 2014. Construction on the grounds began in October 2016. The expected date of completion is late 2020. It will be part of a regional hospital system with a "single governance, administration and medical staff" managed by Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital.
|Ethnic Origin (2016)||Population||Percent|
Vaughan is known as having some of the highest concentrations of southern Europeans (notably Italians), Eastern Europeans (chiefly Russians) and Jewish people in Ontario, while those who are of British and/or Irish origin form a smaller proportion than in many other Southern Ontario cities.
According to the 2016 Census, English is the mother tongue of 45.2% of the residents of Vaughan. Italian is the mother tongue for 12.3% of the population, followed by Russian (6.8%) and Spanish (2.4%). Each of Punjabi, Tagalog (Filipino), Hebrew, Persian, Mandarin, Urdu, Cantonese, and Vietnamese has a percentage ranging from 1.5% to 2.9%, signifying Vaughan's high linguistic diversity.
As of 2011, 60.62% of the city's population adheres to Christianity, mostly Catholicism (46.23%). Those who practice non-Christian religions adhere to, in order of size, Judaism (15.28%), Islam (4.92%), Hinduism (4.50%), and Buddhism (2.52%). Those who do not have a religious affiliation account for 10.04% of the population.
The total crime against persons in 2017 was 619.43 per 100,000 population, with 1.49 per 100,000 being violations causing death. Organized crime also has a notable presence in Vaughan. Notable incidents include mob shootings outside the Terrace Banquet Hall in July 2013 resulting in two deaths, one of which was mobster Salvatore Calautti and the Regina Sports Café in April 2014 resulting in the death of Carmine Verduci, as well as the Woodbridge Cafe shooting at Islington Avenue and Highway 7 in June 2015. Three killings in March 2017; on March 14, a 28-year-old Vaughan woman was shot as she sat in a car parked outside of a lighting business on Caster Avenue, on March 23, a shooting of a 26-year-old Ajax man at Jane Street and Highway 7, and on March 30, a private social club shooting near Martin Grove Road and Highway 7. In April 2017, Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua spoke after the third March murder, stating people "should not live in fear".
On July 18, 2019, the York Regional Police announced the largest organized crime bust in Ontario, part of an 18-month long operation called Project Sindicato that was also coordinated with the Italian State Police. York Regional Police had arrested 15 people in Canada and seized $35 million worth of homes, sports cars and cash in a major trans-Atlantic probe targeting the most prominent wing of the 'Ndrangheta in Canada (the Siderno Group), allegedly headed by Angelo Figliomeni of Vaughan. On July 14 and 15, approximately 500 officers raided 48 homes and businesses across the GTA, seizing 27 homes worth $24 million, 23 cars, including five Ferraris, and $2 million in cash and jewelry. The charges laid included tax evasion, money laundering, defrauding the government and participating in a criminal organization. The investigation was motivated by a series of violent incidents in Vaughan in 2017 according to CBC News, "including an attempted murder, drive-by shootings and arsons". The charges laid included tax evasion, money laundering, defrauding the government and participating in a criminal organization.
- Baitul Islam Mosque, headquarters of the Canadian Ahmadiyya Muslim community
- Boyd Conservation Area, park located east of Islington Avenue, south of Rutherford Road.
- Canada's Wonderland, Canada's largest amusement park, located on the east side of Highway 400 between Rutherford Road and Major Mackenzie Drive.
- Kortright Centre for Conservation, located between Rutherford Road and Major Mackenzie Drive east of Islington Avenue.
- McMichael Canadian Art Collection, located in Kleinburg.
- Vaughan Mills, a large shopping mall opened in 2004, which includes Legoland Discovery Centre
- Reptilia Zoo, a 25,000 sq ft Reptile Zoo and Education Centre located near Vaughan Mills and Canada's Wonderland
- J. E. H. MacDonald House
Vaughan is home to many amateur sports teams for a variety of sports, with an organization running a league for each of the four major sports. There are also rep and select levels of these sports where the Vaughan Rangers, Vaughan Panthers, and Vaughan Kings represent the city in youth hockey, the Vaughan Vikings represent the city in baseball, the Vaughan Rebels represent the city in football, and the Vaughan Panthers represent the city in basketball. Vaughan also has a high softball following, with the Vaughan Vikings and Woodbridge Warriors offering house league and rep opportunities, as well as and adult World Series Slo Pitch league. The city also hosts the Vaughan Flames, a youth organization exclusively for woman's hockey. The name also belonged to the former CWHL hockey team that folded in 2010. Additionally, the Vaughan Vipers formerly played in the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League. In 2012, the Vipers were decommissioned and withdrew from their league.
The city is also home to numerous golf and country clubs. These include The National Golf Club of Canada, one of Canada's highest ranking golf clubs.
|Soccer||Toronto FC II||USL||2015-2017||Ontario Soccer Centre||0|
|Vaughan Azzurri||L1O||2014–present||McNaughton Turf||1|
|Woodbridge Strikers||L1O||2014–present||Vaughan Grove 1||0|
|York Region Shooters||CSL||1998–present||St. Joan of Arc Turf Field||3|
|Hockey||Vaughan Flames||CWHL||1999-2010||Vaughan Sports Village||0|
Vaughan SC and Woodbridge SC offer house league and rep programs for youth soccer, as players for Vaughan Azzurri and Woodbridge Stikers respectively. These team names are also used for the city's two League1 Ontario teams. Additionally, Vaughan is home to the Ontario Soccer Association, the largest sports organization in Canada. The OSA has over 400,000 registered players, and runs leagues across the entire province. Vaughan is also home to the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum. Vaughan is also home to the semi-professional York Region Shooters from the Canadian Soccer League.
Prior to 2018, Vaughan also played home to Toronto FC II, the United Soccer League affiliate team for Toronto FC. Because the stadium's expansion to include more seating fell through, the team announced it would be moving to play in BMO Field/Lamport Stadium for the 2018 season.
Vaughan's weekly newspaper the Vaughan Citizen was first published in 2001 and has a circulation of roughly 59,000. The neighbourhood of Thornhill has its own weekly paper, the Thornhill Liberal. From 1878 to 2000 Vaughan's news was covered by The Liberal published in Richmond Hill.
Kleinburg was once home to the Cinespace Film Studios, a centre for television and motion picture production. The popular children's TV show The Forest Rangers, starring Gordon Pinsent, was filmed here between 1963 and 1965. In 2006, the movie The Sentinel was filmed at the McMichael Art Gallery.
More recently, Vaughan City Hall has served as a film location. City Hall served as the new Red Center (the Rachel and Leah Center) in season 2 of Netflix's The Handmaid's Tale. It also served as the United Federation of Planets building and Office of the President in the season 1 finale of CBS' Star Trek: Discovery.
York University in North York, Ontario lies on the Toronto side of the Toronto-Vaughan border. It is a major comprehensive university, with more than 43,000 students enrolled through 10 different faculties.
There are also a number of elementary and high schools in Vaughan, which operate under the York Region District School Board and the York Catholic District School Board. There are also some private schools, the largest of which is the Anne & Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (TanenbaumCHAT), a Jewish day school serving over 600 high school students. There is also a Waldorf school, the Toronto Waldorf School, which offers early childhood, elementary and accredited high school programs.
The American private Catholic Niagara University runs a campus in Vaughan, its first university in the city. Niagara University in Ontario opened a 12,000 square foot facility at Expo City in downtown Vaughan. This campus will offer Master of Science in Education and Bachelor of Professional Studies in Education programs.
Within the Greater Toronto Area, Vaughan is the third largest employment center after Toronto and Mississauga. With a real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $20.6 billion in 2018, it is the largest contributor (35%) to York Region's economy.
In 2018, the City was home to 12,105 businesses employing more than 222,000 people. Between 2008 and 2018, Vaughan’s average annual employment growth was 3.2% and its business growth was 2.9%, exceeding provincial and national rates.
Manufacturing continues to dominate the local economy, accounting for 22% of total employment, followed by Construction (13%), Retail Trade (12%), Wholesale Trade (10%) and Transportation and Warehousing (6%). Small businesses with fewer than 20 employees account for 81% of all business establishments.
In 2018, the Accommodation and Food Services industry accounted for $295 million of Vaughan’s real gross domestic product. Vaughan currently has 12 hotels and four motels with a total of 1,845 rooms. Development applications have been submitted that have the potential to add another 1,200 rooms to current supply in the coming years. Major tourism operators include Canada's Wonderland, Vaughan Mills, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Kortright Centre for Conservation, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Reptilia, the mainstreet and village cores of Kleinburg, Thornhill, and Woodbridge.
Construction activity, as measured by value of building permits, has exceeded the $1 billion mark in eight of the last ten years.
As of 2018, the largest employers in Vaughan are:
- Canada's Wonderland
- United Parcel Service (UPS) Canada
- Canadian National Railway
- Bondfield Construction
- NPL Canada Ltd.
- Condrain Company Ltd.
- Ozz Electric
- Rollstamp Manufacturing
Vaughan is home to 184 Canadian or regional headquarters, including:
The Seed-Barker archaeological site is a 16th-century Iroquois village on the Humber River in Vaughan. It has been used as a summer school field trip site since 1976 by the Boyd archaeological field summer school for high school students. The school is sponsored by the York Region district school board in co-operation with the Royal Ontario Museum and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). In 1895, a local farmer began finding Iroquoian artifacts in the area. In 1895, Roland Orr recognized the classic ecological features favoured by the Iroquoian people for their villages: floodplains along a river, an easily defensible plateau and nearby forests. The Iroquois used the floodplains to plant maize, beans and squash,:1 known as the three sisters. In the 1950s, University of Toronto professor Norman Emerson and the students excavated artifacts from the Seed-Baker site. Since 1975, more than a million artifacts were discovered and nineteen longhouses were excavated revealing that the village was occupied by the Iroquois from c. 1500 - 1550 AD.
Order of Vaughan
In 2016, to celebrate the city's 25th anniversary, Mayor Bevilacqua introduced the Order of Vaughan. This award is meant to be the highest honour bestowed by the city. Initially, twenty-five recipients were given the award as a reflection of the anniversary; however, the city announced in 2017 that up to ten new individuals would receive the award each year after. The award is meant to recognize people in the categories of: accessibility, arts and entertainment, athletics, business, education, environment and spirituality, equity and diversity, health and wellness, media and communications, not-for-profit, philanthropy, public service, and science and technology.
- List of townships in Ontario
- List of settlements in the Greater Toronto Area
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