The Vaughan Rising Podcast
Vaughan, Ontario is the place to be. The city’s prime location, business-friendly climate and bold approach to city-building are creating unprecedented opportunities for businesses and residents. Host Michelle Samson takes a deep dive into Vaughan’s most exciting projects and businesses with the leaders making sure Vaughan keeps rising.
Season 1: City Building and Mega Developments
Vaughan is the commercial real estate market to watch. Mega developments, a business-friendly climate and a bold approach to city-building are creating unprecedented opportunities for businesses and residents.
Season 2: COVID Adaptation Stories
We’re talking to Vaughan businesses that are getting creative during COVID. They’re pivoting. They’re innovating. They’re doing what it takes to make it through to the other side.
July 16, 2019
Vaughan’s economy is booming, citizen and business satisfaction are at 97 per cent and 92 per cent respectively, and mega projects like a brand new downtown and Canada’s first smart hospital are rising from the ground. What made this community transform from a typical suburb to a leader in city-building? Vaughan’s formula for progress is revealed by the City’s chief spokesperson and champion: Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua.
August 20, 2019
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.
September 3, 2019
The Vaughan Enterprise Zone (VEZ) is 1,660 hectares (4,100 acres) of huge opportunity. It’s home to Canadian Pacific Railway’s (CP Rail) largest intermodal terminal, 607 hectares (1,500 acres) of developable land, and big names like Home Depot of Canada Inc., Longo Brothers Fruit Market Inc. and Adidas Canada – and that’s before the Highway 427 extension is built which will increase mobility (opening in 2020).
The City of Vaughan’s Director of Economic and Cultural Development, Dennis Cutajar, gives an overview while CP Rail’s Managing Director of Domestic Intermodal Sales and Marketing, Rob Nichols, connects the dots on the advantages of having an intermodal terminal within the VEZ.
September 17, 2019
In part two of our look at the Vaughan Enterprise Zone (VEZ) – home to Canadian Pacific Railway’s largest intermodal terminal, big lots, big buildings, and big names like Home Depot of Canada Inc., Longo Brothers Fruit Market Inc. and Adidas Canada – Craig Williamson, Gary Williamson and Pat Viele from CBRE break down the VEZ’s powerful value proposition for office and industrial users.
October 3, 2019
Niagara University is an American post-secondary institution that has been offering professional education programs in Ontario for more than 30 years. After a year-long searching process, the university found a permanent Canadian location within Vaughan’s emerging downtown – the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. Niagara University President Father James Maher gives us a lesson in site selection and why Vaughan was the place to be for the university.
October 17, 2019
Vaughan, a city of about 335,000 people, is welcoming the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital in 2020. Back in 2004, the need for a hospital in the city was clear and work began to build York Region’s first new hospital in 30 years. President and CEO Altaf Stationwala shares how Mackenzie Health saw an opportunity to be on the vanguard of healthcare and become Canada’s first smart hospital.
October 29, 2019
Cortel Group was an early believer in the potential of Vaughan’s new downtown and got development in the area moving with two 37-storey residential towers. Cortel Group President and CEO Mario Cortellucci and Head of Design and Sales Romina Cortellucci share the backstory of how Expo City seemed like a sure bet when the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre was barely off the ground.
November 12, 2019
The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) has a 34-hectare (84-acre) parcel of land in the VMC, managed by its real estate arm, QuadReal. BCI recently revealed this parcel will become Revel Park, a master-planned community of diverse neighbourhoods designed to inspire creativity. QuadReal Vice President of Development Mike Reel makes the case for thinking beyond bricks and mortar.
November 26, 2019
The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) is a new kind of downtown beckoning a new kind of community space. The City of Vaughan, the YMCA of Greater Toronto and SmartCentres put their heads together and came up with a state-of-the-art, urban community centre that will serve thousands of residents in Vaughan’s emerging downtown and beyond. The YMCA of Greater Toronto’s President and CEO, Medhat Mahdy, shares how it came together and what we can expect from the YMCA’s newest location.
December 10, 2019
SmartCentres is known for developing and operating big-box stores and plazas, but in the VMC, they’re working on a very different kind of vision: an urban mixed-use community called SmartVMC. SmartCentres founder Mitch Goldhar explains why he broke out of his low-rise comfort zone, and where he plans to take his legacy project.
September 1, 2020
For season 2 of the podcast, we’re talking to Vaughan business leaders and entrepreneurs who are getting creative through the ever-evolving COVID-19 restrictions.
We kick off with the City of Vaughan’s own adaptation story. Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua explains how the City took a cautious approach yet still managed to thrive thanks to a culture of resourcefulness that resulted in 125 innovations and process improvements.
September 15, 2020
On March 17, 2020, the Government of Ontario declared a State of Emergency to combat COVID-19. Measures included closing bars and restaurants and while they have been offered lifelines like takeout and patio service, physical distancing restrictions are still in place.
Some restaurants opted to temporarily or permanently close. Many made adjustments to keep business going under the new rules. Others, like Vaughan’s Giro D’Italia, took every opportunity and ran with it.
September 29, 2020
Stuck on Planet Earth is an alternative rock band made up of Al Capo (bass/vocals), Adam Bianchi (guitars/vocals) and Andrew Testa (drums). If you’re a rock fan, this proudly Vaughan-based trio is infiltrating your radio waves, Spotify playlists, and Instagram feed with a string of catchy singles from their debut album, Beautiful Nowhere.
And they’re doing it…in COVID lockdown. Beautiful Nowhere was released in June with tight restrictions on social gatherings, and no concerts allowed. In a world where recording artists make most of their money on touring, what made them go for it, and how are they paying the bills?
October 13, 2020
Pizza Hut Canada (headquartered in Vaughan) has been working for years to create a people-first organization with values like staff empowerment, transparency, trust, communication and inclusivity.
When COVID-19 lockdown orders came in March 2020, the company was deeply motivated to maintain their values and team spirit in an era of physical distancing. Pizza Hut Canada’s General Manager and Human Resources Director reveal how they stayed connected, while staying apart.