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For other uses, see Vaughan (disambiguation).
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.
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 This migration from the United States was by 1814 superseded by immigrants from Britain.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).
In 1846, the Township was primarily agricultural but had a population of 4,300. There were six grist mills and 25 saw mills. By 1935, there were 4,873 residents.
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.
Vaughan City Hall
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.[needs update]
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.
On 25 October 2010, longtime MP Maurizio Bevilacqua was elected mayor and he assumed office in December 2010.
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
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.
Vaughan like much of the Greater Toronto Area features a continental climate Dfb and has four distinct seasons.