A Brief Guide to Living in Vaughan
A Brief Guide to Living in Vaughan
Vaughan, Ontario – also known as the “city above Toronto” is home to a mosaic of cultures thriving within a bustling hub of economic development. Ranked in 2018 as one of the best places to live in Ontario by MoneySense Magazine, the city is one of balance, innovation and ongoing growth.
While there are many stellar attributes that lend to this city’s claim to fame, some of the key features in livability that stand out the most include Vaughan’s excellent location, its rich history, first-rate education, world-class transportation infrastructure and diverse demographics.
The City of Vaughan is situated in the Regional Municipality of York, just north of Toronto.
Location is one of the key lures of this area – where accessibility is ensured for residents and visitors via a world-class transportation system in an already-prime location, just 25 minutes from Downtown Toronto.
Vaughan has bragging rights as one of the first municipalities outside of Toronto to foster its own TTC subway service, which translates into shorter commute times and added convenience for its commuters.
Vaughan is one of the first municipalities outside of the Toronto area to have its own TTC subway service. This offers shorter commute times, and residents can commute to and from work without sacrificing hours away from their families.
Wikipedia notes Vaughan as 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.
These are a few brief facts on the area, as noted on the city’s official website:
- Total land size: Vaughan covers 27,550 square hectares (68,077 acres)
- Total greenspace: 4,109 square hectares (10,153 acres)
- Highest geographical point: just south of King-Vaughan Road, west of Bathurst Street
- Lowest geographical point: just north of Steeles Avenue West, west of Islington Avenue near the Humber River overpass
Image Credit: Elections.ca
In its earliest days, the area now known as Vaughan was populated by the Huron-Wendat peoples.
In 1615, Etienne Brule crossed the Humber Trail as the first European to do so, but there would be no settlements established in the area until 1792, when the townships were created. This was owing to the then-remote location of the area and the lack of accessibility in limited local roads.
British commissioner Benjamin Vaughan is the namesake for the township and signed a peace treaty with the U.S. in 1783. The regional government of York Region came into effect and was established in 1971, and the township officially merged with the Village of Woodbridge, thus forming the Town of Vaughan – changing its legal status to “City” from “Town” in 1991.
In terms of early growth, in 1846, still known as a township, the area was predominantly agricultural, with a population of 4,300 – with six local grist mills and 25 saw mills, seeing a slow incline in growth to just 4,873 by 1935. It was immigration brought on by WWII that generated a significant boost in population numbers, with the numbers spiking to 15,957 by 1960. This would also be the period of time where diversity in the area would shift and grow significantly, with the arrival of people from Italian, Jewish and Eastern European backgrounds.
Transportation in Vaughan
Image Credit: YRT
Transportation in Vaughan is second to none, offering locals an innovative and efficient infrastructure, which includes public transit, highways, regional roadways, municipality-funded roads, and train services.
There are 5 major GO Transit terminals in Vaughan:
- Promenade Terminal (located at Promenade Mall)
- Vaughan Mills Terminal (located in Vaughan Mills Mall)
- 3 TTC Subway Stations offer GO terminals: SmartCentres Place Bus Terminal at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, Highway 407 and Pioneer Village
There are also connections to other transit systems including Brampton Transit, GO Transit, and the TTC.
Education in Vaughan
Image Credit: City of Richmond HIll
Education in Vaughan means access to a multitude of scholastic options at all levels for families to choose from to best suit their needs.
Vaughan offers more than over 100 public and 50 private elementary and high schools. Full lists are available via York Region’s two school boards and the Ministry of Education.
- York District School Board
- York Region Catholic District School Board
- Ministry of Education – Private school contact information
Some of the top schools in Vaughan include:
- Michael Cranny Public School – JK to grade 8 (including gifted programs for students in grades 4 to 8) this elementary school scored a 9.1 out of 10 from the Fraser Institute
- Delano Academy Private School – PS to grade 12, this co-ed private school offers an enriched curriculum 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 and has a high university acceptance rate
For a comprehensive 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.
Vaughan also plays host to several IB schools and program options. For a full list check out IBSchoolsofOntario.ca.
Vaughan is also home to 150 licensed child care centres. Per the Vaughan Business website, it notes that there are resources from York Region and the Ministry of Education are available to help you find and pay for local daycare:
Demographics in Vaugha
The City of Vaughan is the fifth-largest in the Greater Toronto Area, and the 17th largest city in Canada. Vaughan ranked as Canada’s fastest-growing municipality between 1996 and 2006, when the population boomed in growth by 80%, doubling overall since 1991. According to the City of Vaughan website, the current population sits at nearly 341,000.
The median age of residents in Vaughan as of 2016 was 40.2, which is just slightly lower than the provincial median age of 41.3.
The 2016 census reveals English as the dominant language of the area for 45.2% of residents, followed by Italian (12.3%), Russian (6.8%) and Spanish (2.4%). The city’s range of diversity is represented within the other languages commonly found in this area: Punjabi, Tagalog, Hebrew, Persian, Mandarin, Urdu, Cantonese and Vietnamese.
In terms of faith, the theme of diversity in this community continues. While 60.62% of the population practices Christianity, the community is also home to many other faiths, including Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, with 10.04% identifying as having no religious affiliation (as of 2011).
The abundance of cultural diversity in Vaughan is one of the major contributors to the unique and storied fabric of this community. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why inclusivity and accessibility for all are such strong and visible themes in Vaughan.
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