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Vaughan Rising Podcast – More Growth to Come

This blog is a summary of the Vaughan Rising Podcast Season 1 Episode 2 by the host, Michelle Samson. For more detail, listen to the full episode (links below).

About the episode

Growth drives business and real estate, and Vaughan is booming. The city of Vaughan had the distinction of being Canada’s fastest-growing municipality between 1996 and 2006, and the people, companies and jobs just keep coming. Vaughan’s Director of Economic and Cultural Development, Dennis Cutajar, tells the story behind the growth and why this city’s location is such a sweet spot.

Thoughts from the host

Vaughan is a growing city. To get some context explaining this growth, I put my boss Dennis Cutajar, Vaughan’s Director of Economic and Cultural Development, in the hot seat.

Like me, Dennis is a recent addition to the City of Vaughan team. I saw an opportunity to get his first impressions. Dennis explains that the highly engaged business community, and their pride in the Vaughan community and marketplace, is what stood out most to him.

Last year, we hired an external research firm to deliver the Vaughan Business Satisfaction Survey. Ninety-five per cent of respondents indicated the overall quality of life in the city of Vaughan is very good or good.

This community pride is one of many reasons Vaughan has grown to nearly 335,000 people, and more than 12,000 businesses and 220,000 jobs. The City of Vaughan was incorporated just 28 years ago with a population of 110,000. It’s come a long way and projections show growth to reach approximately 500,000 people by 2041.

The city’s three- to five-per cent annual population growth rate is driven by assets like its central location just north of Toronto, diverse housing options and employment growth.

These assets are attractive and appeal to different age groups for various reasons – like newcomers to Canada and Vaughan or millennials working and living in Vaughan. The city has a large selection of urban highrise units near the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre subway station complementing the traditional stock of detached and semi-detached homes.

Vaughan is also seeing impressive business growth. It’s the third-largest business centre in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and employment is so strong that there are more jobs in Vaughan than there are working-age people. These jobs are in a wide range of sectors including manufacturing, construction, logistics, warehousing, retail, and a growing number in business and professional services.

What’s bringing so many businesses to Vaughan? According to the 2018 Business Satisfaction Survey and anecdotal evidence, location is the number-one factor. Vaughan has subway and rapid-bus service, and direct access to highways 400, 407 and 427 – great for logistics, but also easy for the GTA’s impressive labour pool to commute here. Secondly, the businesses that are here, stay here. Even if they need to expand, they tend to look for properties nearby.

As I did with Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua in our premiere episode, I asked Dennis about his favourite food options in Vaughan. He referenced our local supermarkets which feature a diverse selection of food from all around the world.

This episode was recorded in the Green Room at Vaughan’s Civic Centre Resource Library. For more information on Vaughan Public Libraries’ creation spaces, visit vaughanpl.info/shareit/.