Vaughan is well known for its slogan “The City Above Toronto”. Indeed its southern border Steeles Avenue, is also the north boundary for the City of Toronto. It is the fifth-largest city in the Greater Toronto Area and the 17th largest city in Canada.
In the late pre-contact period, the Huron-Wendat people populated what is today Vaughan. 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.
Incorporated in 1850 as Vaughan Township, a municipal government was established. Vaughan Road was a rural road constructed in 1850 that linked Vaughan Township with Toronto, though this street’s current alignment is much shorter and serves only much of 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 officially changed its legal status to City of Vaughan.
Vaughan is the only municipality in York Region that has City status. Vaughan has a population of approximately 306,233 residents and growing. The city is made up of five major communities: Concord, Kleinburg, Maple, Thornhill and Woodbridge. Tourists and visitors from across the Greater Toronto Area, come to Vaughan, to view the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, for the shopping at Vaughan Mills or to spend the day at Paramount Canada’s Wonderland.
One of the City’s most exciting projects is the creation of Vaughan’s new downtown, the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) which consists of a 100 acre parcel of land bound by Hwy 400 on the west, Jane St. to the east, Portage Pkwy on the north and Hwy 7 to the south. This master planned community is one of the biggest mixed commercial-residential projects in Canada. It will include retail shops, commercial spaces, hotels, banquet halls and convention centres, dining establishments, fitness clubs, entertainment spaces and office developments. The VMC is being developed as an important transportation hub with the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension and the VIVA rapid transit system.
- visit York Region District School Board for a list of all public schools in Vaughan
- visit York Catholic District School Board for a list of all schools in Vaughan
- Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto
- The Toronto Waldorf School
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