Vaughan, Ontario, is a bustling city in the York Region of Ontario. Located just north of Toronto, Vaughan is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Canada, with a population growth rate of nearly 80% in the last 20 years. The city is made up of five communities, Woodbridge, Maple, Thornhill, Concord and Kleinburg ,several of which date back to the mid 1800’s and the settling of the area. The city is known for its diversity and youthful population, as well as its many attractions and conversation areas, making it a dynamic and unique place to call home.
Vaughan’s rapid growth rate is in large part due to the age and diverse demographics of those who call the city home. Vaughan has one of the youngest age profiles in Canada, and has a notably large population of southern Europeans, eastern Europeans, and Jewish people. The recent growth of Indian, Hispanic, Jamaican, and Southeast Asian residents lends to the dynamic and culturally rich area, and Vaughan’s communities have a wealth of churches, synagogues, and mosques.
Vaughan’s attractions are as multifaceted and dynamic as its residents. The Boyd Conservation Hall and Canada’s Wonderland – Canada’s largest amusement park – are joined by many notable art collections and shopping malls. York University, located nearby in Toronto, lends its culture and resources to Vaughan residents as well.
Vaughan is located just north of Toronto. The city is bounded by Caledon and Brampton to the west, Richmond Hill and King to the north, Markham and Richmond hill to the east, and Toronto to the south. The city is accessible by air, rail, and highway, and has a municipally managed public transportation system that provides Vaughan residents with trains, shuttles, and busses.
The Humber, Don and Rouge rivers intersect in the Toronto area. Lakes and conservation areas highlight the natural beauty of Ontario.
Vaughan’s history dates back to the Huron-Wendat tribes of native peoples that settled in the area, with ossuaries and artifacts dating back to before the 17th century. It wasn’t until the later half of the 18th century that European settlers made Vaughan their home. As Pennsylvania Germans, English, and French Pioneers settled into the area, the name Vaughan was adoped, after the British Commissioner Benjamin Vaughan. Settlements continued to grow and by 1840 there were nearly 4,300 people in the area.
Vaughan stayed a relatively small agricultural city through the early 20th century, and hamlets slowly sprang up around the city; these included Maple, Richmond Hill and Thornhill, many of which are now identified as neighborhoods within the City of Vaughan. It wasn’t until World War II that Vaughan’s population began to grow. As immigrants from Europe settled in Canada, the population of the city grew from 4,800 to nearly 16,000 residents, many of whom were Jewish, Italian, and Eastern European.
In 1971, the new regional government of York Region was established. Vaughan Township merged with the nearby Village of Woodbridge to form the Town of Vaughan, In 1991 the city was legally recognized as the City of Vaughan, and remains one of Ontario’s fastest growing and dynamic cities.