Known as “the city above Toronto”, Vaughan is popular with commuters who are looking for residential comforts within the city limits. Successfully catering to its communities’ needs, Vaughan offers something for everyone, and has established a reputation for being a city of balance, where its residents can both thrive in their work and enjoy a heightened quality of life in their leisure.
A melting pot of cultural inhabitants and a community that continues to expand and grow each day, the City of Vaughan has become highly sought after by both investors and home buyers alike.
1. Vaughan, by the numbers
- Population: according to the City of Vaughan website, the current population sits at nearly 341,000
- Location: Vaughan is located in the Regional Municipality of York, north of Toronto Per Wikipedia: Vaughan is bounded by Caledon and Brampton to the west, King and Richmond Hill to the north, Markham and Richmond Hill to the east, and Toronto — in the dissolved cities of Etobicoke and North York, to the south
- Size and standings: Vaughan ranks as the fifth-largest city in the Greater Toronto Area, and the 17th-largest city in Canada
2. One of Canada’s fastest growing cities
Vaughan took the top spot as Canada’s fastest-growing municipality between 1996 and 2006, during which time the city grew by a staggering 80%, having doubled its population overall since 1991.
If construction activity is any indication of local growth, the $1 billion mark has been hit in eight of the last 10 years, measured per the value of building permits.
With all of this growth and development, it’s not surprising that the real estate market in Vaughan continues to thrive. The city is continuously rated as one of the best places to live in the Greater Toronto Area. Popular for both real estate investors and end-users alike, the city’s booming population has given way to ever-increasing demand and supply for residential property.
3. The third-largest employment centre in the GTA
Coming in just behind Toronto and Mississauga, Vaughan ranks as the third-largest employment centre in the Greater Toronto Area, and is the largest contributor to York Region’s economy. Vaughan’s economy is dominated by the manufacturing industry, which accounts for 22% of employment. Other major local industries of note within Vaughan are construction, retail trade, wholesale trade and transportation and warehousing. Small businesses operating with fewer than 20 employers make up the majority of business establishments in Vaughan and account for 81% of total business operations.
4. Plenty of recreational greenspace to enjoy
With over 700 hectares of open land and boulevards, Vaughan’s city amenities include 273 playgrounds, 18 splash pads, 130 tennis courts (and 59 facility locations), 73 basketball courts, 58 baseball diamonds, 18 splash pads, 150 soccer fields – and more!
Looking for the perfect park for your next outing? Check out this chart on the City of Vaughan’s website, where you’ll find a complete list of city parks and be able to see what amenities are located where. Boyd Conservation Park, Bindertwine Park and Sonoma Heights Community Park are the top-rated Vaughan parks on Google, but it’s worth checking out the full list of fantastic local parks.
5. Countless major attractions for tourists and residents to enjoy
The City of Vaughan is proud to play host to several major attractions which draw in both tourists and delight local residents year-round.Some of these major attractions include:
- Canada’s Wonderland – Canada’s largest amusement park, Wonderland is located on the east side of Highway 400 between Rutherford Road and Major Mackenzie Drive
- Vaughan Mills – this large shopping centre, popular with residents and tourists, is known as Toronto’s Premier Outlet Mall and offers over 200 fashion outlets as well as attractions like Pro Hockey Life, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
- Kortwright Centre for Conservation – located located between Rutherford Road and Major Mackenzie Drive east of Islington Avenue, this destination has been a pillar in the field of sustainable technology since 1982, offering visitors the chance to explore the 1.6 km Innovation Trail and take part in “Canada’s largest educational demonstrations of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies”
- McMichael Canadian Art Collection – located in the heart of the village of Kleinburg, the McMichael gallery is situated on the original lands of the Ojibwe Anishinaabe People and hosts a permanent collection of over 6,500 works by historic and present-day Canadian artists
- National Golf Club – widely considered and ranked as the “best golf course in Canada”, this exclusive, members-only golf club is considered unparalleled by those who love the sport. But if the idea (and costs) of a private club have you wary – don’t worry! The City of Vaughan is host to 44 golf courses, with the popular Copper Creek course as an top option, offering excellence and quality to the public with their 40,000 square foot clubhouse, stunning views and the best in premium golf
- Baitul Islam Mosque – located on Jane Street, this mosque is the headquarters of the Canadian Ahmadiyya Muslim community
One of the most unique aspects of Vaughan is its wide selection of specialty shopping. Here shoppers can find a variety of international specialty vendors and products. From apparel to food to housewares, supplies and so much more, the city is a mecca of specialty shopping which attracts not only local residents but tourists and visitors from other communities, near and far.
6. Vaughan is a great place start and grow your business
Vaughan offers support and guidance at every step of the way with Vaughan’s Economic and Cultural Development department.
The Vaughan Business and Enterprise Centre (VBEC) is all about fostering innovation and helping to nurture and support entrepreneurs and local business owners via resources, training and other methods of assistance at every stage of business development and growth. The VBEC is part of Small Business Centres of Ontario as well as the Ontario Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network.
7. A community that celebrates local contributors
In 2006, in celebration of Vaughan’s 25th anniversary, Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua established The Order of Vaughan. The highest honour bestowed by the city, the award is in recognition of those local contributors who have been a significant and lasting positive impact on the community via their actions in the eligible categories for nomination. Those categories consist of: accessibility, athletics, arts and entertainment, business, education, environment, equity and diversity, health and wellness, media and communications, not-for-profit, philanthropy, public service, public service, science and technology, and spirituality. Nominations are submitted for consideration to the Order of Vaughan Selection Committee, and recipients are awarded annually.
Past recipients include Royal LePage Your Community Realty’s own President and Broker of Record, Vivian Risi, who received the prestigious award in 2016. As a celebrated entrepreneur and industry leader, Vivian has consistently set her sights on giving back to the community, with countless contributions and lends of support made to local charities, including the Yellow Brick House and Mackenzie Health.
This annual honour is another example of how the City of Vaughan goes the extra mile when it comes to acknowledging and celebrating the best of their communities and the residents within them.
8. Top-tier healthcare and education
In 2021, the City of Vaughan proudly opened the much-anticipated Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, the first hospital opening for the city. The hospital operates as part of Mackenzie Health’s two-site hospital framework. Since its opening in February of 2021, the hospital has played an integral role in relief efforts owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital is Canada’s first “smart hospital”, using a fully-integrated system of “smart tech” to align and integrate communication across internal systems and devices, resulting in innovation and state-of-the-art medical care for patients. Vaughan prides itself on having a wealth of options when it comes to top-tier educational facilities for children within its communities, offering both public and private options for parents to choose from.
Some of the top schools in Vaughan include:
- Michael Cranny Public School – ranging from JK to grade 8 as well as gifted programs for students in grades 4 to 8, this elementary school received an impressive score of 9.1 out of 10 from the Fraser Institute
- Mackenzie Glen Public School – ranging from JK to grade 8, Mackenzie Glen also ranks high with the Fraser Institute, earning an 8.5 out of 10
- Delano Academy Private School – PS to grade 12, this co-ed private school boasts an enriched curriculum and an emphasis on a balanced structure with a focus on academics, arts, athletics and student wellness
- Vaughan College Private School – Grade 9 to grade 12, this private preparatory college in Vaughan focuses on confidence-building, has a high university acceptance rate, and per their website notes being one of “the most distinguished ministry inspected private high schools in Woodbridge, Vaughan”
For a full list of local schools, check out the Find My School tool via the York Region District School Board link. For a breakdown of the best private schools in the region, check out OurKids.net for a comprehensive list of private schools and rankings.
9. A city that plays host to nearly a dozen historic communities
One of the things that makes Vaughan so unique and inclusive is the fabric of nearly a dozen major communities that thrive within it. Just a few of these communities are: Woodbridge, Thornhill, Concord and Kleinburg. This cultural mosaic allows for countless communities to connect and also provides the ideal environment for people from different backgrounds and walks of life, to come together and grow as a community.
10. Vaughan is an ideal place for families to stay active and engaged
Recreational options are abundant in Vaughan. The city offers its residents and visitors activities in every arena, such as fitness centres, community centres, camps, playhouse theatres, swimming and skating, just to name a few, and providing both in-person and virtual programs to choose from.
The city’s website boasts 10 community centres featuring swimming pools, a community theatre and an award-winning golf course and ski hill as just some of the options available for locals and guests of Vaughan to partake in. This is a city that loves its sports! Vaughan has leagues in operation for each of the four major sports (baseball, basketball, football and hockey), as well as rep teams and levels for these sports. There is also a steady local softball following, with house and rep leagues available for that as well.
Soccer is another major sport of interest in Vaughan, where Vaughan Soccer Club, Woodbridge Soccer Club and Kleinburg Nobleton Soccer Club offer house leagues and rep programs. Notably, Vaughan is home to Canada’s largest sports organization, the Ontario Soccer Association as well as the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum.
The City of Vaughan is also a proud participant in the national event, Culture Days, designed to bring communities together in celebration, with the core themes being “creating, sharing and connecting” through local art, music and food.