Celebrate Vaughan - December 2017

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O U R C I T Y. O U R H O M E .












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13 THE SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY Defining community through




the Spirit of Generosity.




A CONVERSATION WITH MAURIZIO BEVILACQUA Vaughan on the rise: The transformation of a City


The City of Vaughan celebrates Canada 150: Honouring the true north—strong, proud and free.



Meet Suzanne Craig Integrity Commissioner and new Lobbyist Registrar


Vaughan is the place to be!


Building a city based on integrity, accountability, and transparency.


A report highlighting Vaughan Council's success on its strategic goals.



When business and community unite, good things happen.


A new utility to better serve you.

52 TTC

New subway changes transit landscape in Vaughan.


Canada's first smart hospital.

Fadi Emeid, President & CEO of Elias Custom Metal Fabrication Ltd speaks about success in Vaughan.

Transforming palliative and end-of-life care in Vaughan.


Meet Carly and Charley, two 12 year old girls spreading warmth, kindness and goodwill one sock at a time.


A local hero spreading positivity

in times of struggle.


A conversation with one of its founders, Craig Kielburger.


An extraordinary place to visit.


Loving the city, living with purpose.


Vaughan water—safe, clean and sustainable.


Answering your questions regarding any City of Vaughan program or service.

60 EMERGENCY PLANNING Your Prep-E shortlist of emergency

preparedness items.


Reinventing the downtown.


A story of snow and ice: Vaughan is always ready for winter.

112 VAUGHAN RECREATION Programs and events for everyone. 118 VAUGHAN PUBLIC LIBRARIES

Vaughan Public Libraries helps more than 2.5 million visitors get creative.



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A B O UT U S Recognized as the place to be, the City of Vaughan is continuing to thrive as one of the most prosperous, multicultural and fastest-growing cities in Canada with a growing population of more than 330,000. It has remained one of Canada’s largest municipalities — ranking at 17th — and the eighth largest in Ontario. While the City includes the communities of Concord, Kleinburg, Maple, Thornhill and Woodbridge, residents and businesses can also take pride in the City of Vaughan’s newest downtown core—the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC), which is located at Highway 7 and Jane Street. Already flourishing, especially as it features a worldclass transit system, it too has become one of Canada’s largest master-planned communities brimming with potential, innovation and urban amenities. This is OUR City of Vaughan.


C O N TAC T U S Amendola Media Group 8555 Jane Street, Suite 102 • Vaughan, Ontario L4K 5N9 905.660.3330

K E E P I N TO U C H There are many ways to connect to the City of Vaughan. Stay up to date on what's happening by following the City on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, City Blog and Youtube

F O LLOW COPYRIGHT NOTICE All editorial content and photographs in this magazine are protected by copyright. Reproduction in any form, including in print and online, as well as storage on digital media, is prohibited without the prior written consent of the publisher. © Toronto Transit Commission, 2017. Reproduced with permission of the Toronto Transit Commission.


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The City of Vaughan is undergoing a transformation.

With economic, job and development numbers all on the rise, Vaughan is booming. More than 330,000 people already call it home, and it is one of Canada’s most desirable cities to both live and work. Residents, visitors and businesses recognize the incredible pace of change in Vaughan. One of the most exciting areas is the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) — the City’s new downtown.

As the most ambitious project in Vaughan’s history, the VMC promises to be a dynamic community that will serve as the heart of the city. Once complete, the new downtown will play host to numerous businesses, office and retail space, residential developments, entertainment and dining establishments, as well as cultural facilities. It will incorporate generous greenspace, enhancing an already established quality of life that Vaughan is known for. The vision to create a vibrant and dynamic “downtown core” crystalized in 2011 when governance structure and resources were invested for its realization. Fast forward to today and the VMC’s progress is self-evident. Already proving to be successful, it includes the first condo development known as Expo City and its first office building, the KPMG Tower. Located at Highway 7 and Jane Street, the VMC will also be home to other well-known companies including Miller Thomson, GFL Environmental and Harley-Davidson Canada. SmartCentres Place — a 220,000-square-foot mixed-use facility, featuring PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as the anchor office tenant — also features prominently. With approximately 442 acres under development, this is just the beginning of what’s to come for the VMC. “It’s going to be an expression of avant-garde thinking. We’re not comparing our city to any other city, we’re actually creating our own city with our own signature, and that, to me, is very important,” says Mayor Bevilacqua. From the beginning, his aim was to ensure it was

an existential exercise anchored to sensory based planning – a term he introduced in 2011. Building with a mindset that goes beyond the structures is something the Mayor is adamant continues as the VMC develops. “Creating a downtown is all about the human experience. It’s about what you see, feel and hear. The senses have to be totally engaged because a vibrant, dynamic downtown can only be realized when it’s built for people, so a sense of place is extremely important,” explains Mayor Bevilacqua. An exciting addition to the VMC will be the YMCA complemented by a Vaughan library and recreation space, which broke ground in the summer. Welcoming this worldwide organization as part of the Vaughan community is a big win for residents. “A city comes of age when you get your YMCA, it’s an iconic institution,” says Mayor Bevilacqua. He credits the City’s creativity and innovation for making this happen. Working together with the YMCA and developers, the City was able to pool available resources to make this project a reality. These developments within the VMC will substantially increase employment opportunities in Vaughan. While the City already generated more than 7,200 jobs in the past year, creating additional jobs is vital for continued growth. “Job creation is a very important measurement of a city’s success. I think there’s an economic responsibility, but also a social responsibility, to provide people with

opportunities. Although the indicator is usually number of jobs, I also look at the number of lives being affected. When you strip life down to its essential core, people want to live fulfilling lives. If a city can help an individual achieve his or her full potential (through employment and its benefits) then ultimately the city also benefits because you’re aiding people to be the very best they can be. That to me is the ultimate,” shares Mayor Bevilacqua. With an employment target of 11,500 new jobs, the VMC is projected to have a significant impact on employment (and, therefore, lifestyles) in Vaughan.

I think our downtown will be unique, people will know they are in Vaughan." — Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua

Critically important when considering the overall scope of the VMC was to ensure it also included a substantial amount of greenspace because as cities develop, it usually tends to decrease. This won’t be the case with the VMC. “I’m fully committed to making sure that when the downtown core is complete, we still 2 0 1 7 · C E L E B R AT E VAU G H A N


OUR CIT Y keep 40 per cent greenspace throughout our city available for sustainable community use,” says Mayor Bevilacqua. He doesn’t want to compare the VMC to other downtown cores and is confident it will make a unique statement, leaving a mark that is identifiably Vaughan. “It will be a downtown core with a Vaughan signature. I always say that if you’re standing in our downtown core and you think you’re standing in many other cities, then we’ve failed. I think our downtown will be unique; people will know they are in Vaughan.”

The Mayor hopes the VMC will provide residents and visitors with a sense of Vaughan’s identity and that it will also acknowledge everyone who helped make it happen. “City-building for me is more about making the individual the centre of the city and catering to the needs of a person. Once you do that, everything else around it becomes a reality. City life is really the result of all the human experiences that take place within that city. When people talk about the spirit of the city, that’s what they’re referring to. I think leadership that recognizes this and communicates it well makes city living even better.”


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A major part of Vaughan’s evolution has been the focus and prioritization of transportation. In December, Vaughan will officially celebrate the opening of the Toronto Transit Corporation’s (TTC) new subway extension. The Line 1 Extension will be the first subway line to cross the City of Toronto boundary. It will form a key component of the VMC, forever changing Vaughan’s transit landscape. “It’s transformational and life altering for many people. I think we’re doing a great job providing the services, but also the look and feel of transit in Vaughan is quite beautiful. We have bus terminals that are architecturally pleasing, we have subway stations with leading-edge architecture and a subway stop connected to the KPMG building,” says Mayor Bevilacqua. He is quick to point out that the addition of the TTC in Vaughan is recognition by the Province that Vaughan is a place where investment results in great achievements. Investing in the subway has encouraged numerous successful companies to plant roots here, increasing the City’s economic activity. In addition to the subway, Highway 427 is also being extended from Highway 7 to Major Mackenzie Drive to improve traffic flow, ease congestion and increase productivity. While improvement to transportation in the City is important, so is the development of the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. Scheduled to open in 2020, it will be the first new hospital built in York Region in 30 years. Construction began last fall and the arrival of cranes on-site this past summer marked another major step forward. The $1.6billion state-of-the-art medical facility will be the first in Canada to feature fully integrated “smart” technology, including systems and medical devices that can directly communicate for maximum information exchange. “It’s been a long journey. Fundamentally, the hospital is about recognizing that the city deserves a medical facility that provides greater access to health care for residents,” says Mayor Bevilacqua. While there have been many notable contributions, every little bit helps. “The hospital is a community project. People have rallied around it and it doesn’t

matter if the donation was a dollar or $20 million, the bottom line is that by giving, you’re demonstrating that you care about helping to build the hospital and helping people.” He goes on to explain, “The hospital is a manifestation of the human condition. I view everything through the prism of the human condition, everything I do deals with humanity. My decisions are made with the purpose of creating better lives for people. That’s the only way to lead. You have to make people the centre of your decision-making process; it’s the essence of servant leadership.” As Mayor for the past seven years, Maurizio Bevilacqua has a proven track record and is a leader that residents both admire and trust. He’s also a man who has remained true to himself along his journey and has made the City of Vaughan “about the people.” He describes his upbringing as humble, coming from parents who defined what it meant to work hard, instilling in him a strong work ethic that he brings to his role as Mayor. “My parents gave me the foundation of a value system, which has helped me to do what I do,” he says. “There’s a consistency of purpose, discipline and commitment. Over the past 30 years of public life, I have remained true to the calling and vocation of being a "servant". People and their needs are the centre of my life. They are the reason why I get up every morning with a desire to bring about positive change. I want everyone to believe in the art of the possible and fulfill their promise. Ultimately, you want all citizens to live happy lives where they achieve their dreams and desires. The "Vaughan Experience" must be an authentic and genuine one — rooted in hope, faith and optimism." Vaughan has evolved in the past seven years and the Mayor credits staff and Vaughan citizens for their contributions. “It gives me great satisfaction,” he says, “to lead a city that is transforming itself. Vaughan is greater than the sum of all its parts. We are a collective, each of us, adding to the value of the City as a whole.” Together with businesses, transit, charitable organizations, the new hospital, residents and City staff, Vaughan is undergoing a transformation like no other. A vibrant downtown core, and SO much more!



If our community has a defining feature, something that has come to be synonymous with the City of Vaughan, it’s the Spirit of Generosity. Championed by Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, the Spirit of Generosity has been making a positive difference since 2010. Through initiatives like the Mayor’s Gala and the Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua Annual Charity Golf Classic, over $6.4 million has been raised, with proceeds benefitting more than 150 local not-for-profit and community-based organizations. Providing much-needed essential services to Vaughan residents and beyond, the program reflects Mayor Bevilacqua’s philosophy of life: “The spirit of generosity is rooted in my belief that whatever role you play in life, you have to pay it forward. It’s about helping others.” Recipient organizations help a wide range of individuals and groups — from youth and seniors to individuals with special needs and women’s centres. With a supportive Council and City, the Mayor continues to recognize, acknowledge and celebrate these organizations, which play a vital role in the community. “I often say to volunteers and leaders of the many organizations who benefit from the funding, close your eyes and imagine for one second you didn’t exist. Picture all the lives that would not have been helped and the people who would have been left behind. When you do that times 150 organizations, you realize you’re having a guaranteed impact on our city,” says Mayor Bevilacqua.


Vaughan is the embodiment of strong community spirit. Together, residents, charitable organizations and the City have all had a huge impact on thousands of lives. “I define community as a physical and spiritual space where the human condition is manifested in ways that benefit the collective. That’s what a city is,” explains Mayor Bevilacqua. The Spirit of Generosity is alive and well, defining Vaughan as a city that truly cares for its citizens. The individuals who work hard at managing the many charitable organizations throughout Vaughan are, without a doubt, the backbone of our city. Their dedication to helping others is a vital element of what Mayor Bevilacqua says community building is all about. “These organizations and the individuals who run them are unsung heroes. They’re taking care of the hard stuff,” he says. “They really understand the real purpose and meaning of life.” In addition to the Mayor’s initiatives, Vaughan residents continue to be generous, through donations and otherwise. As we move closer to the holiday season, a time when people are most encouraged to give back, Mayor Bevilacqua had this to say: “Your most valuable resource is your time. If you’ve always wanted to help, volunteering is a great way to do so.” Paying it forward, helping others and the Spirit of Generosity — it’s what our residents, our Mayor and the City of Vaughan are known for.

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Q A +

We asked Council to speak about the exciting transformation in Vaughan and its impact on citizens. Here's what they had to say.


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Deputy Mayor and Regional Councillor

Q. Vaughan is in the midst

of a transformation — what part excites you the most?

GINO ROSATI Regional Councillor

Q. Vaughan is in the midst

of a transformation — what part excites you the most?

A. A one-of-a-kind master-planned

A. A planned transformation to

Most exciting is how the residents and businesses of Vaughan have embraced this change through hope and optimism — our collective will and determination makes this transformation possible. We are building a city, brick by brick, that will serve us well and provide a legacy of opportunity for future generations.

Q. How will this transformation

downtown core is rising, a state-ofthe-art hospital is being constructed, a transportation master plan including subways, commuter trains and YRT/ Viva is being realized and our economy is thriving. These are indeed exciting times. Vaughan continues to grow as the world-class city that it has always been in my heart.

Q. How will this transformation benefit citizens?

A. I am hopeful and optimistic

that the transformation of Vaughan will result in a better quality of life for all residents and a continued thriving economy for businesses. The goal of city-building is to ensure citizens are happy and thrive in their community while the City takes care of the well-being of its citizens. People of Vaughan have, and will continue to have, an opportunity to live, work, play and flourish in a city that provides them with opportunities to achieve their ideal lifestyle. We all have as vibrant and prosperous a future as our great city.

modernize our city and to bring about changes and improvements for the benefit of all our citizens; the most important and exciting part has been the planning and now construction of the state-of-the-art hospital to open its doors in 2020. It has not been easy and a long time in planning. While the hospital is a provincial responsibility, we as a city have been there all along, starting with the acquisition of the hospital land. We can all be proud and grateful for this achievement.

benefit citizens?

A. A hospital within our borders

brings many benefits: a $1.6-billion project creating many jobs and other opportunities during construction and on a permanent basis. But most importantly to provide quality health care to all our residents, thus improving the quality of life and comfort whenever needed. Certainly, a major milestone in the development and progress of our city that we can all cheer, welcome and support now and in the future.


SUNDER SINGH Regional Councillor

MARILYN IAFRATE Ward 1 Councillor

TONY CARELLA Ward 2 Councillor

Q. Vaughan is in the midst

Q. Vaughan is in the midst

Q. Vaughan is in the midst

A. There are many areas of

A. These are exciting times for

A. Without a doubt — and because

of a transformation — what part excites you the most?

transformation occurring in Vaughan. Using public spaces for initiatives like community gardens ensures that we continue to maximize our resources for the benefit of all our citizens. This includes people using parks to come out of their homes for yoga, meditation, tai chi, art and music. Our parks facilities are exceptional places for people to enjoy life because of their design accessibility. A modern City Hall and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) draw businesses into the City. I would like to see the VMC become the centre for high culture, fashion, music and art, expressing a richness in diversity. The VMC will then become the hub of cultural fusion.

Q. How will this transformation benefit citizens?

A. It will affect, in a positive way, every

aspect of a citizen’s life. Community gardening will encourage seniors, stayat-home parents, children and youth to engage in the growing of various fruits and vegetables, creating an opportunity for healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Participating in physical and educational activities in the parks connecting people with their neighbourhoods. The VMC will connect high fashion with cultural fusion, attracting the fashion industry into Vaughan, celebrating the cultural flair reflective of the exciting diversity and dynamism of the citizens of Vaughan.

of a transformation — what part excites you the most?

Vaughan. We continue to be one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada with many big projects underway. The TTC Line 1 Extension, the Highway 427 Expansion, the viva network system and increase of GO service will all benefit Vaughan’s public transit infrastructure.

of a transformation — what part excites you the most?

The Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital is perhaps the most exciting project in my Ward. It will provide stateof-the-art health services as well as help create an array of related jobs in health care, research and education.

it is opening so soon — I am most excited by the coming of the TTC subway to Vaughan (with stations at Steeles Avenue across from York University, at Jane Street opposite Beechwood Cemetery and at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) on Highway 7). For nearly 60 per cent of the 35 years I have lived in Vaughan, I had to drive to work in Toronto. That commute was a real chore, and has only gotten worse in recent years. For the many who still do it, this is a wonderful option.

Q. What has the impact

Q. What has the impact

A. Vaughan’s transformation will have

A. There are two things that have

been in your Ward?

enormous benefits for the residents of Maple and Kleinburg. As our City grows, the need for a strong position in support of OMB reform that respects our Official Plan will be essential in protecting the historical developments of these communities. As well, the newly adopted Community Area Policy Review for Low-Rise Residential will help to maintain the look and feel of our long-established neighbourhoods. The new Civic Centre Resource Library has won many awards for design and innovation, and is a hub for community learning and gathering. North Maple Regional Park is coming to life with the construction of two artificial turf soccer fields, a major trail system and parking. Phase 1 will be open to the public next year.

been in your Ward?

had an impact on Ward 2. The first is the provincial policy directing intensification and infill along major thoroughfares such as Highway 7 and in designated centres, such as the Woodbridge core, leading to a tremendous increase in the number of condominium apartments and townhouses. The second is the desire on the part of long-time Woodbridge residents to down-size while still remaining in Woodbridge. I know of six couples, all friends, who purchased condo units in the same building, on the same day. They all want to remain neighbours, but they look forward to more maintenance-free living.

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Ward 4 Councillor

ALAN SHEFMAN Ward 5 Councillor

Q. Vaughan is in the midst

Q. Vaughan is in the midst

Q. Vaughan is in the midst

A. Vaughan is a thriving, growing

A. Vaughan is in the midst of an

A. In fact, Vaughan has been in

of a transformation — what part excites you the most?

world-class city. Soon, the City will see multiple transformations including our new downtown, the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC), the TTC Line 1 Extension and the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. These new developments leave me excited for the future of our city! These changes mean not only much-needed jobs, but the addition of services and amenities to our growing community.

Q. What has the impact been in your Ward?

A. The City of Vaughan will soon see

an improvement in transit accessibility. Our new downtown will have a regional transit hub that includes the subway connecting us to Toronto and the new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Subway Station. This “connection” to Toronto and the airport will provide residents in Ward 3 with ease of mind, and more options for commuting, making the VMC the new “it place.” I am very pleased to be on the committee shaping the future of the VMC. The addition of the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will mean that Ward 3 residents can get much-needed medical assistance closer to home. All residents will be impacted by these developments. Ward 3 residents can expect Vaughan to be better than ever!



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of a transformation — what part excites you the most?

exciting transformation and I am privileged that many of these changes are taking place in Ward 4. When the provincial government announced their commitment back in March 2006 to provide funding that would bring the TTC Line 1 Extension into Vaughan, this opened up a wealth of opportunities for the City to re-look at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC). Over the past 10 years, the City has taken a pivotal role in ensuring the VMC is planned and developed with a vision of promoting a vibrant and healthy lifestyle for both residents and businesses to enjoy.

Q. What has the impact been in your Ward?

A. Once the VMC is complete, the

impact on my Ward will be great. Vaughan’s new downtown will include all the amenities of an urban lifestyle including multi-use office towers, residences, open greenspace, urban squares, pedestrian shopping areas, restaurants, and walking and cycling paths. Centred on a new regional transportation hub and the new subway line, the VMC will offer businesses and residents direct access to the GTA. When complete, the VMC will offer 12,000 new residential units, 750,000 square feet of new retail space, 1.5 million square feet of office space and an employment target of 11,500 new jobs.

of a transformation — what part excites you the most?

transformation mode for at least a decade. We have gone from a typical bedroom suburb to a self-sustaining urban municipality. What excites me most is the urbanization of our city. This includes the increasing sophistication of how we manage the City to the development of first-rate infrastructure, including transit, to the quality of services that are available to our residents and businesses. Within the context of this urbanization is the rapidly developing urban form of the City at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) and on the Yonge Street Corridor.

Q. What has the impact been in your Ward?

A. Ward 5 Thornhill has been

one of the longest-settled parts of our city — we have homes in the Village that were built before the turn of the 19th century. Much of our new era development was completed in the 1980s and 90s. It is an established area of Vaughan. While preserving the quality of our existing residential neighbourhoods, the area is in the midst of taking the next steps in its development, especially with construction of a rapid transit route in the community. The next few years of transition will see the redevelopment of Yonge Street, including a pinnacle building at the corner of Yonge and Steeles.


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Everyone knows that governments, through their elected officials, make decisions. Municipalities have enormous power to shape our communities. But who is responsible for ensuring the codes of ethics and behaviour are always applied?

For those of us fortunate enough to live in the City of Vaughan, there are easy answers to these questions: that’s the job of Vaughan’s Integrity Commissioner and future Lobbyist Registrar, and her name is Suzanne Craig. In 2006, the Municipal Act gave Ontario municipalities the power to establish an Integrity Commissioner. However, unlike the vast majority of municipalities, Vaughan jumped at the chance. This City’s commitment to ensuring transparent, accountable government is significant. To date, only a small minority of Ontario municipalities have appointed Integrity Commissioners. Suzanne Craig was named as Vaughan’s Integrity Commissioner in 2009. A lawyer by training, she knows that our legal and democratic systems are complex and often hard to follow. Much of her working life has been dedicated to her passion — helping people understand their rights and how decisions are made.


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As Integrity Commissioner, she’s responsible for overseeing the ethical behaviour of local elected or appointed officials, ensuring they follow the rules set out in the City’s Code of Conduct. She investigates complaints about potential lapses, making recommendations for penalties or sanctions with full support from Council. The most important aspect of her role is educating Members of Council and making sure they have the information and guidance they need. Vaughan’s version of accountable, transparent government is widely respected, with other Ontario municipalities basing their Codes of Conduct on our City’s. Suzanne Craig assumes her duties as Lobbyist Registrar in January 2018, a role that only a handful of Ontario municipalities have chosen to create. Vaughan is one of less than a half-dozen to require the mandatory registration of all lobbying activities. The goal of the Lobbyist Registrar is to keep track of who’s talking to government and to

shine a spotlight on how decisions are made. Not only does this keep government decision-making transparent, but it’s also fairer, levelling the field so everyone has equal access. As Craig notes, it’s a normal part of government to have groups or organizations with various points of view wanting to speak with decision makers. Her role will be to ensure complete openness in who’s talking to whom, and what influence is being used when decisions are made. By supporting a strong, independent Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar, the City of Vaughan has become a leader in this area. Its Code of Conduct already has been a model for cities across Ontario. And next, the Integrity Commissioner will focus on making the Lobbyist Registry another benchmark in municipal governance with a made-in-Vaughan approach that others can follow. By opening the windows to government for all to see, citizens can be confident in Vaughan’s commitment to accountability and transparency. For more information on Suzanne Craig and how to contact her, visit the City of Vaughan’s website at vaughan.ca.




GOOD THINGS HAPPEN THE CITY OF VAUGHAN IS BOOMING. The pace of economic development is strong and is making Vaughan a desirable place to live, work and do business. With more than 11,000 businesses already invested in its success, Vaughan announced the Corporate Partnerships Program earlier this year. It is a oneof-a-kind initiative providing companies with the opportunity to invest in the future, giving back in a unique and innovative way. Launched in February 2017, the Corporate Partnerships Program was created to generate alternative non-taxation funding sources to support City programs, services and infrastructure. It was designed based on the success of similar programs in other municipalities as well as private and not-for-profit sectors. Recognizing that maintaining City assets is imperative to the quality of life Vaughan residents enjoy, the program’s main purpose is to build partnerships with companies that want to make a positive contribution to the community now and in the future. Partnerships follow established guidelines designed to protect Vaughan’s image and assets while utilizing new forms of investment, benefitting the whole community. HOW COMPANIES CAN GET INVOLVED: Program Partnerships: Funding can help reduce the cost of recreation programs for low-income residents, support accessibility to arts and culture initiatives, engage youth and families in programming, and beautify Vaughan through environmental projects like tree plantings and community gardens. Infrastructure Revitalization Partnerships: Funding can support renovations of a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities to make them more accessible and user-friendly. Naming Rights Partnerships: Naming or renaming City facilities or individual components of facilities like activity rooms, pools and outdoor amenities will help sustain and improve public spaces. Vaughan businesses are already making a difference. Saputo, the first Community Builder partner, has contributed to the renovation of three tennis courts at Torii Park in Woodbridge, which will be unveiled as the Saputo Tennis Courts in the spring. Olivia Goodfellow, Corporate Manager of Community Relations at Saputo, had this to say about the program: “Promoting healthy lifestyles is at the core of Saputo’s community engagement mandate, and the Corporate Partnerships staff at the City helped

us find the perfect community investment aligned with our objectives. We are proud to be a Community Builder through our contribution … which will allow the entire community to enjoy a better space to be active and have fun.” Exhibition Partner Scotiabank recently supported a Canada 150 and diversity-themed photography exhibition at City Hall — Project 99: Photographs by Stephen Woo. “Partnering with the City of Vaughan allowed us to resonate locally with staff and clients as a company that cares about arts and community. We had a fantastic experience with the new Corporate Partnerships Program,” said Fulvia Cantarutti, Vice-President, GTA North District, Scotiabank. UNIQUENESS OF THE PROGRAM: This isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” sponsorship philosophy. Instead, the program allows for flexibility and customization, which in turn creates opportunities for companies to give back to Vaughan in a way that is meaningful to them. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. “The spirit of generosity defines our community. The City of Vaughan is blessed with people and businesses that truly understand the importance of giving back. We have many corporate citizens who recognize the value in funding a special program or facility because they truly want to contribute to city-building. The Corporate Partnerships Program is an excellent way to generate additional resources that will go to support and enhance services for residents. Vaughan’s business leaders understand that the success of their business is just as important as the well-being of the community, and for this, we are truly grateful,” says Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. Whether a business needs to generate brand awareness, is looking to build customer loyalty or a meaningful way to engage with their staff, the Corporate Partnerships Program provides solutions that allow both business and our community to succeed. If you would like to learn more about the Corporate Partnerships Program, visit vaughan.ca/CorporatePartnerships.

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99 %

Fire Services

97 %

Public Libraries

93 %

Online Services

92 %

Natural Trails

92 %

Arts and Culture

91 %

Garbage / Recycling Collection

91 %

Business Support Services

91 %

Recreational Programs and Facilities

90 %

Park Maintenance

% 90 88

Park Development




Good value for tax dollars

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It’s a great time to be living in Vaughan. The results from the 2016 Citizen Survey show that 97 per cent of citizens are happy with the quality of life here, giving high satisfaction rates for everything from libraries and recreation to fire services and waste collection. Since 2007, the City has consistently received top marks, often scoring above the national average. VAUGHAN IS A CITY OF CHOICE and the survey reinforces the incredible work that is done every day to make it the place to be. With one of the lowest tax rates in the Greater Toronto Area, programs and services have maintained the highest quality — in fact, 94 per cent of citizens are satisfied with them. As well, 85 per cent feel they receive good value for their tax dollars. The survey, which is done every two years, plays an integral role in improving the services delivered and citizen experience. It is directly connected to the City’s commitment to Service Excellence. This is reflected in the positive responses from residents — 88 per cent are pleased with the overall service they receive from staff, citing their knowledge, helpfulness and courtesy. For more information about the survey, visit vaughan.ca/CitizenSurvey.


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It was a historic moment for the City of Vaughan

when the merger of PowerStream, Enersource Corporation and Horizon Utilities, combined with the purchase of Hydro One Brampton, took place earlier this year. This significant event resulted in the birth of a new and innovative utility company named Alectra — the Greek word for “bright.”

Alectra Utilities is now the second-largest municipally-owned electric utility (by customer base) in North America — behind the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power — and represents about 20 per cent of the electricity consumed in Ontario. While it was a long journey to get here, Alectra is now positioned as a leader in innovative energy solutions for all of North America. In 2014, during a provincial panel led by former TD CEO Edmund Clark, there had been talk of a merger between PowerStream, Enersource and Horizon, and even a discussion about a potential joint bid to buy out Hydro One Brampton. Two of these major players, Horizon and PowerStream, were each born as a result of previous mergers amongst municipal hydro companies. Both the chairman of PowerStream, Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, and Brian Bentz, its President and CEO, were looking to further grow PowerStream to its full


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potential. Each believed consolidation opportunities would be a beneficial strategy towards achieving the ultimate goal of providing better services to consumers and increased value to shareholders.

totalled 34 per cent. As a result, it was imperative for Vaughan residents — and 14 neighbouring communities in the Greater Toronto Area/Hamilton corridor — that a successful merger take place.

Mayor Bevilacqua explains, “Distribution companies need to gain economies of scale through consolidation to lower expected costs for consumers and create greater access to capital to both adapt to, and invest in, the emerging electricity marketplace and new technologies." Essentially, the motive behind the merger was twofold: lower rates for consumers while promoting innovation and gaining efficiencies. The negotiations could not have come at a better time, especially since there were growing concerns around energy costs and changing customer needs. A recent report by the Fraser Institute, which used data from Statistics Canada, revealed that from 2008 onwards, residential hydro costs in Ontario rose 71 per cent, while the average increase across Canada

Negotiations were extensive and involved many strategic planning, audits and finance committee meetings. “We had very late meetings. I remember one day we were in Markham until 2:30 in the morning,” says Mayor Bevilacqua. Despite the long nights, those rooting for the merger, especially Mayor Bevilacqua and Bentz, maintained their sense of optimism and were persistent because their concern for ratepayers was the priority. The merger received approval in 2016 from all seven shareholders including Vaughan, Barrie, Hamilton, Markham, Mississauga and St. Catharines, as well as from OMERS, a division of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and a shareholder of Enersource.

IN G E N U ITY & D E V E LO P M E N T The final approval and the subsequent acquisition of Hydro One Brampton came from the Ontario Energy Board in December 2016. It meant victory for those who fought for the merger and for the many cities that would benefit. “This entire journey really started by planting the seed that we could do better, that we must do better and that it is important for us to achieve our full potential,” says Mayor Bevilacqua. The Mayor then went on to explain this merger solidified “that our full potential could in fact be achieved through consolidation of the sector, creating greater opportunities for the companies and placing the business on a solid foundation for further expansion.” Today — after the merger of the three

utility companies on Jan. 31, 2017, and the purchase of Hydro One Brampton from the province of Ontario on Feb. 28, 2017 — the benefits to the City are tangible.


According to Bentz, Alectra residential and business customers are already seeing lower rates and more innovative energy

technologies and conservation choices, including solar panels, electric vehicle charging, microgrids (a small power grid that can work independently or together with the main electrical grid) and other new and nextgeneration reliable energy solutions. “We want to stay very much customer focused,” says Bentz. “Our philosophy is to be an ally for customers. So as the electricity sector evolves and as more customers have more choices as to how they want to consume and actually produce energy, we want to be their trusted energy provider.” Now that sounds like a bright idea. To learn more about Alectra Utilities, please visit alectrautilities.com.

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The contemporary Hotel Novotel Toronto Vaughan offers simple elegance and an award winning culinary team making the hotel a sought-after venue for baptisms, communions and other special celebrations. Make your next event memorable at Novotel Vaughan. Choose from Trio Restaurant or one of our private function rooms. We look forward to welcoming you!


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MARK YOUR CALENDARS The City of Vaughan offers a variety of events and activities throughout the year to keep the community involved. As a multicultural city, Vaughan is proud to hold some of the most culturally diverse celebrations every year in addition to great City events like Concerts in the Park, Canada Day, Winterfest and park openings, to name a few. There is something exciting every month!

DECEMBER 2017 City of Vaughan Toy Drive Making a difference one toy at a time! The eighth annual toy drive in support of the CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish.


Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Join the City of Vaughan in kicking off the holiday season with festive music, holiday treats, a visit by Santa Claus and the lighting of the Christmas tree.


Rotary Club of Woodbridge Christmas Concert

Enjoy classic music to get you in the holiday spirit.


Menorah Lighting Ceremony

Joyous Hanukkah songs will be heard during the lighting of the Menorah. Join Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Members of Council for festive music, holiday treats and more.


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Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre (VBEC) Business Expo An opportunity for business owners to connect, learn and take the opportunity to grow their local business.





Chinese New Year


Family Day

With live entertainment, attractions and activities including meet and greets to take part in, it’s no wonder that year after year Winterfest is always an exciting event for all.

It’s the Year of the Dog! You are invited to enjoy colourful cultural performances, activities and refreshments in celebration of Chinese New Year!

A day designated to spending time with your family, the City of Vaughan recognizes the importance and offers a number of free activities at community centres.




Vaughan Film Festival & Gala

The Gala is the final event in a four-day festival recognizing both local and international filmmakers. Attended by entertainment industry professionals, the grand finale gala event provides an opportunity to celebrate film and the arts.



JUNE TO AUGUST 2018 Concerts in the Park



Earth Hour at City Hall

The City of Vaughan’s 24th annual Concerts in the Park series featuring FREE professional concerts are held on select Wednesday evenings from June to August at 7:30 p.m.


SEPTEMBER Binder Twine 2018 Come out and participate in the annual Kleinburg festival held in September and enjoy an exciting day filled with unique crafts, entertainment, activities and great food.


42nd Thornhill Village Festival

Sponsored by the Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill, this traditional street festival will be held on the side streets in the historic heart of Thornhill. Expect to find craft and commercial booths; community displays; music and entertainment; an old baking contest; petting zoo; and food and beverages.


Vaughan Culture Days

A national celebration of arts and culture, Vaughan residents are invited to experience free activities offered by cultural groups, organizations and artists from the community.

Be part of the change by attending Earth Hour at City Hall. An outdoor lantern walk, activities, live entertainment, refreshments and an awards ceremony are all on the agenda for an exciting evening.


O' Canada! Come out to a fun-filled day during the City of Vaughan’s annual Canada Day event and celebrate the country’s 151st birthday.






20 Minute Makeover

Everybody, everywhere, it’s time to clean up! In honour of Earth Day, take 20 minutes out of your day to do your part in keeping Vaughan litter-free.


Vaughan Volunteer Recognition Awards Ceremony

Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Members of Council will recognize the actions and efforts of volunteers at an official ceremony held at City Hall during National Volunteer Week, April 15—21.


Earth Day

Join the environmental movement with the rest of the world and celebrate our Earth. Plant trees, invest in renewable energy or even spread the word — any action is action taken towards a better future.

Canada Day

Vaughan Pizza Fest

After its inaugural event in 2015, Vaughan Pizza Fest is destined to be a popular event. Featuring slices from ovens in the area, you can expect this celebration to include pizza, pizza and more pizza!

Woodbridge Fall Fair

As one of the oldest fairs in Ontario, the Woodbridge Fall Fair is a Thanksgiving weekend tradition. Bring the family and discover the past while also enjoying the exhibits and activities.



Benjamin Vaughan Day

(Civic Holiday) In December 2013, Vaughan Council chose to dedicate the Civic Holiday to Benjamin Vaughan, the British diplomat for whom our City is named. On this date, many City buildings and services are closed.


Woodbridge RibFest

Great food, great music, rides, games and more at RibFest. It’s a highly anticipated event in Vaughan and after 10 years in the making, it’s undoubtedly getting bigger and better each year.

For more information on upcoming events, visit

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The need for clean drinking water is universal.

Water sustains us. It flushes the body of toxins and helps keep our biggest organ — our skin — hydrated and supple. The human body requires fresh drinking water each day (three litres for men and 2.2 litres for women) simply to stay healthy.


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The City of Vaughan is committed to providing clean, safe and reliable drinking water for more than 81,000 residential water accounts and 3,100 Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI), mixed-use and multi-residential properties. It’s a huge undertaking but Vaughan’s Environmental Services department is more than ready to rise to the occasion. According to Jennifer Rose, Director of Environmental Services, "Vaughan residents and businesses consume an average of more than 3-million cubic metres of water per month and this amount rises to more than 3.9-million cubic metres during the summer. It’s the responsibility of the water division to operate, maintain and repair the vast network that provides all this water." FIVE BENEFITS OF DRINKING WATER REGULARLY: • water promotes weight loss. • water aids in digestion and promotes regularity. • water helps us feel energized and awake. • water boosts our immune system. • water improves our overall skin complexion. WHAT DOES THE CITY’S WATER DIVISION DO? The water division operates, maintains and repairs the network of watermains within the City, providing safe drinking water for residential, commercial and industrial uses. The City's 2016 Water Quality Report states that Vaughan water distribution system is a stand-alone system that receives treated water from York Region, which, in turn, purchases the treated drinking water from the City of Toronto and the Region of Peel. Vaughan’s water distribution system is transparent and residents can obtain findings and reports from the past two years by visiting vaughan.ca/water. In 2002, the Province of Ontario passed new water regulations and, as a result, the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 requires the City of Vaughan to produce an annual report that contains the following: • An outline detailing how the City receives its water. • A thorough description of the water works system. • A rundown of the results of the City’s ongoing water sampling including testing for levels of arsenic, lead, mercury, sodium, fluoride and nitrate. In 2016, the City of Vaughan collected approximately 2,000 water samples. The samples are taken by water operators certified by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, (MOECC), and

tested by an accredited and MOECC licensed laboratory. The results help the City maintain compliance with all government-issued rules and regulations, and implement any necessary changes, continually improving the overall effectiveness of our quality management system. HOW YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO WATER CONSERVATION Clean water is a precious resource that we cannot afford to waste. Here are a few simple things you can do as a home or business owner to help conserve fresh water, with the added benefit of lowering your water bill: • Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater to water your lawn and/or garden. • Run your dishwasher and washing machine sparingly and only when full. • Take short five-minute showers using warm water (vs. hot). • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. • Check for outdoor and indoor pipe leaks regularly and replace all faulty fittings. THE IMPACT OF STORMWATER AND HOW YOU CAN PREVENT FLOODING Some of us have experienced the negative impact of the effects of stormwater and flooding either firsthand or through someone we know. This past spring, the Toronto Islands saw major water level increases and extensive flooding that had residents and business owners packing sandbags around the perimeter of their homes and storefronts. The islands were closed to the public until August because of the damage. According to Rose, “Vaughan will continue to bring awareness to the City’s basement flooding program, which assists homeowners in protecting their

basements with a subsidy program for backwater valve installations.” The threat of flooding is very real, especially considering the inclement weather we’ve had this year. Here’s what you can do to safeguard your home:

By working together to prevent flooding, we have the potential to avoid costly home repairs and higher insurance costs in the long run.

• Make sure all sockets, circuit breakers and electrical wiring is raised at least one foot off the ground in the basement. • Anchor and raise outdoor equipment like air-conditioning units, fuel tanks and generators. • Ensure the drainage system in and around your home is clear and functioning properly. If you need to, unclog all drains to ensure water runs smoothly and unhindered. • Observe how water flows around your property and consider additional drainage options if you feel there is a possible threat of blockage. By working together to prevent flooding, we have the potential to avoid costly home repairs and higher insurance costs in the long run. It is far better to be aware of potential dangers and how to fix them then to assume water damage will never happen. 2 0 1 7 · C E L E B R AT E VAU G H A N





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WHAT IS WASTEWATER? Wastewater is collected in sewers and then treated at plants to remove contaminants before being returned to the environment. The Environmental Services department is responsible for monitoring and maintaining infrastructure for the collection of wastewater and to control the environmental impact of the storm management system. There are two types of sewer systems in Vaughan: sanitary and storm sewer systems. The water from the sanitary sewer system gets treated at the wastewater treatment plant; however, the water from the storm system goes untreated and enters the local water source. Everyday items such as hygiene products, wipes and waste products should not be flushed or

poured down either sewer system because of the many negative effects they have on the City’s infrastructure and the natural environment. WHAT CAN YOU DO AS A HOMEOWNER? • Think before you flush waste down your drains. • Learn how to discharge pool water the right way. • Help prevent your home from flooding by disconnecting your downspout from the City’s sewer system during heavy rain events. • Reduce potential sewer back-up by disposing of fats, oils and grease properly. When it comes to water, the City will continue to be proactive. ““Earlier this year, 34 water, wastewater, and

stormwater projects in Vaughan were eligible for $20.8 million in funding from Infrastructure Canada’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund,” says Rose. “Funding will help repair and restore important water infrastructure and develop management plans. It will contribute to ensuring our community continues to have access to clean, reliable drinking water and healthy rivers. It’s the City’s goal to continue to invest, renew, repair and manage Vaughan’s water distribution system.” You can find plenty of helpful information and engaging video content about water testing, stormwater management and water conservation at vaughan.ca/water. You can also download Vaughan’s Water Quality Reports for 2015 and 2016 to get more information about the City’s safe, reliable and accessible water supply.

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Vaughan is committed to its business community by helping them grow, prosper and succeed.

One of Vaughan’s business success stories began with a man named Fadi Emeid, President and CEO of Elias Custom Metal Fabrication Ltd.

Emeid immigrated to Toronto from Palestine in 1987. His initial years were spent learning a new language and the nuances of a new profession. He was a construction worker by trade in his native Palestine, which made his successful sheet metal training that much more impressive. After graduating, he spent six years working with a sheet metal company before he and his brother Sam began their entrepreneurial journey right here in Vaughan. The brothers sought inspiration from a source close to home when naming their new company. Elias Custom Metal Fabrication Ltd. is a tribute to their father — also named Elias — who instilled a strong work ethic in his children. The Emeid family brought this sense of commitment to Vaughan, building their business and subsequently moving their families here. “I watched the growth of Vaughan, the whole transformation of it, and it’s been

incredible. It’s a great city and it continues to grow, just as we are,” said Emeid. The metal fabrication company is currently based in Concord. Like any business start-up, Elias Custom Metal had very few offerings in its early years. In Emeid’s words, “We started with basic sheet metal shearing and welding and that was it. Our business is customer driven so when someone asked us if we could do something, we stepped up to the plate and added the necessary personnel and equipment to service their needs.” The enterprising spirit that marked the company’s beginnings has given birth to innovation in recent years. After building their business by “rising to the occasion” when clients required an application they had not previously offered, Elias Custom Metal Fabrication Ltd. built the largest first-build manufactured electrical enclosure in Ontario. The unveiling of the E-House was attended by dignitaries from across Ontario, including Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua.

The E-House is a “1,100-square-foot, 60,000-pound, insulated, air-conditioned and heated fully livable unit. We are proud of being the first to build that in Ontario,” Emeid explained. Mississauga Hydro’s Enersource is now home to the E-House and the Emeids see a bright future of further innovation ahead, encouraged by the ongoing education that comes with striving to build a business that meets their clients’ ever-changing needs. In addition to the E-House project, Emeid has also been participated in trade missions with the City of Vaughan to China and Israel. While Elias Custom Metal’s success led Emeid to trade missions and the company to unparalleled heights in the industry, the family has never lost sight of their roots and, most importantly, in finding ways to share their success. “We are always involved in the community,” Emeid proudly states. He mentioned a recent donation to the Mackenzie Health Foundation as a sign of their commitment to growing in, and with, the City of Vaughan, a place they don’t plan to leave. “We’re looking to move into a larger facility in the next couple of years and plan on doing so right here in Vaughan. It’s a hub for manufacturing,” he says. As the success of Elias Custom Metal has proven, Vaughan is a hub for opportunity and success for people motivated by the entrepreneurial spirit and an unrelenting work ethic.

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With its red-hot economic expansion already making it one of Canada’s fastest-growing communities,


Vaughan will welcome thousands of new jobs and residents over the next few years. But accommodating that growth requires money for more amenities and infrastructure.

Fortunately, the City has established effective partnerships with the provincial and federal governments, accessing funding to address current and future needs. “We have worked hard to nurture meaningful intergovernmental relationships,” notes Mayor Maurizio Bevilaqua. “And, as a result, we have been able to move forward with important projects that are significant for residents and people who travel through our city.” ROAD EXTENSIONS AND LANE EXPANSIONS The Province is extending Highway 427 6.6 kilometres from Highway 7 to Major Mackenzie Drive, and widening from Finch Avenue to Highway 7. In addition, a 15.5-kilometre stretch of dedicated High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes with electronic tolling is being built from south of Highway 409 to north of Rutherford Road. These projects will improve the quality of life for Vaughan residents in a few ways: wider roads and more lanes will reduce commuting times so people can get home to their families faster at the end of the workday; it will be easier for parents to get their kids to programs on time; and less idling on the highway will improve air quality. TTC TO THE 905 The 8.6-kilometre extension of the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Line 1 into Vaughan will transform our city. Commuting into the City of Toronto will be faster and most cost-effective, which will make travelling to and from downtown easier.


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AN INVESTMENT IN HEALTH Health care is a critical priority for Vaughan residents. The Province recognized this and contributed $1.3 billion to build Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital at Major Mackenzie Drive between Highway 400 and Jane Street. The new facility is set to open in 2020. It will create hundreds of new jobs and make healthcare so much easier to access for children, families and seniors. The federal government is also contributing to health and wellness in Vaughan. They committed $13.9 million to support 34 City projects that will ensure future access to clean water, and an additional $1 million to pay for nine city projects, including improvements to local parks, community centres and other local amenities. Beyond these significant capital investments, this year Vaughan is getting $8.765 million through the federal Gas Tax Fund, part of the City’s total allotment of $78 million since 2005. This permanent funding, which arose through negotiations between Ottawa, provinces and the municipal sector, is earmarked for local infrastructure needs including roads and other priorities. Smaller awards and grants include $10,000 from the Celebrate Canada: Celebration and Commemoration Program; $50,000 from the Municipal Asset Management Program; and $70,250 from the Canada 150 Fund. As the Mayor points out, city-building is a team effort. Through the City’s commitment to nurturing meaningful relationships with federal and provincial partners, Vaughan residents will be able to enjoy a higher standard of living into the future.




With its growing population and expanding job opportunities, more and more people want to live their lives in Vaughan. And for most people, although they may not talk about it, living here also means dying here. But too often, end-of-life takes place in a hospital, away from the familiarity and comforts of home. That’s something Hospice Vaughan wants to change. Established in 2005, Hospice Vaughan’s mission is to help people facing end-oflife illnesses. The organization provides counselling, home visits and other supports to enable Vaughan residents to die at home, surrounded by family and friends, giving them the ability to have some control over their final days. According to Hospice Vaughan President Maria Castro, most people would prefer to die at home. But that’s not always possible for those who don’t have the support, or whose end-of-life needs are more complex than what can be provided at home. Hospices, providing a more homelike setting, give compassionate end-of-life support. But, she notes, there are no hospice beds in Vaughan. To fill that gap, Castro and her board created the Better Ending capital funding initiative, led by a steering committee with Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua as honorary chair. It aims to raise $10 million for a 10-bed residential hospice to be built near Islington and Rutherford in Woodbridge, to open in spring 2019.

The hospice will allow those who are unable to die at home to live their final days and moments in a non-medical, home-away-from-home environment, and their families supported throughout with compassion and respect. Better Ending has three goals, notes Belinda Marchese, Executive Director of Hospice Vaughan. Not surprisingly, its first priority is to raise funds for much-needed programs. Respite care, day programming, counselling support and links to professional and community resources will help family and other caregivers take care of their loved one through their final days, whether at home or in the new residential facility. To date, $4.5 million has been raised, and a portion of the future operational funding is already committed from the Province. The second goal, since many of these programs rely on volunteers, is mobilizing the community to get people involved, and to spread the word that having hospice beds nearby is great news. And to deliver

programming, a wide mix of volunteers is needed to ensure the new facility reflects and celebrates the full diversity of Vaughan’s cultures, faiths and races. The third goal is to establish the new hospice as a hub for the community, simplifying access for individuals and professionals looking for information or resources related to end-of-life questions or needs. The Hospice Vaughan Centre of Excellence in Palliative Care will offer education reflecting best practices, research and cutting-edge approaches. The hospicevaughan.com website shows designs for a tranquil and welcoming building, full of quiet spaces where children, family and friends can gather. It also provides more information on how people and businesses can get involved and contribute, to make this future community asset a reality. Visit www.hospicevaughan.com to see how you can get involved as a donor or volunteer.

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“THERE’S NOTHING ODD ABOUT THESE SOX!” Carly Goldhar and Charley Rengal are two girls on a mission.

Turning 12 soon, these best friends since the second grade are spreading warmth, goodwill and kindness one sock at a time.

Founders of “the Odd-Sox Project,” Carly and Charley have turned what was a unique fashion statement into an example of charitable giving, starting a movement first recognized locally and, now, around the world. After making several trips into downtown Toronto, they recognized a need among the homeless and set about investigating how best to help. Socks, as it turns out, were high on the list of priorities. Ironically, the girls say they “have always worn mismatched socks. It has always been our fun and crazy Carly-Charley style.” An idea began to take root. By collecting mismatched and lonely socks and partnering them together, they could provide a “pair” of socks for the homeless. And so the Odd-Sox Project was born. Just 10 years old when they hatched the plan, Carly and Charley set an ambitious goal of collecting 5,000 socks during their first drive, held at a local Starbucks. Seeded by a donation of 500 new pairs, they were successful. Within months, more than 20,000 socks were collected, and in 2016, they were recognized as

Ward 4 Civic Heroes by Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Local Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco. Soon, companies like Ivivva, Lululemon, the Bay, Costco and Si Vous Play (SVP Sports) were supporting the project while donations from individuals poured in from across Canada, the United States and around the world. Overwhelmed with the response, their garages now serve as storage facilities while the girls work to sort, pair and send socks to remote locations like Nunavut and Sierra Leone. Entrepreneurial as well as generous, the girls realized an opportunity to take their sock project to the next level, creating Carly and Charley’s Single Sox, a brilliant idea to sell three single socks together as a set. The sets, “one pair plus a spare that makes the socks fun to wear,” each sport inspirational messages like Live, Love, Dream and Wish, encouraging the wearer to “Be yourself ” and “Turn that frown upside down.” Manufactured in Toronto, the Odd-Sox story is shared on the packaging, and every pair sold results in an additional pair donated.

Since the sock line debuted, which is carried at the Bay, more than 55,000 pairs have made their way to those in need. The girls took their idea to Dragon’s Den in April of this year where they struck a deal with Michael Wekerle and Manjit Minhas. Asked by the Dragons if they hoped to profit or take a salary, both girls replied, “The whole idea of this was to help other people in need.” Recently, the girls were invited to address a crowd of 30,000 at Toronto’s “WE” day — now messages (and socks) are flooding in from around the world. Always thinking, the girls — who also dance and participate in a number of extracurricular school activities — have embarked on yet another initiative: the GloveLove Project, collecting single gloves for pairing and donation. Carly and Charley personally accompany as many local deliveries as possible, and are spreading the word to schools and universities to maximize donations. Socks have also been sent to Ecuador and Africa, in partnership with Dr. Simone’s Canadian Food For Children foundation. The Odd-Sox Project is anything but odd. It’s a highly successful, resourceful recycling effort that has turned a quirky fashion statement into a charitable initiative warming the hearts (and feet) of people around the world.

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City of Vaughan and suggested that the City acknowledge April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month so tulips, a symbol of the disease, could be sold at City Hall to help raise funds. The ideas had a lasting impression on those he met, including Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Members of Council, which approved the SuperWalk. It is held in September at City Hall. “It’s been going on now for five years, which is fantastic,” says Pallotta. “And the Mayor and every Member of Council, during the last five years, have all been showing up. Through his Spirit of Generosity initiative, the Mayor has donated a total of $10,000 to the SuperWalk. So, you know things like that make it worthwhile.”

In life’s most difficult moments, whether it’s losing a loved one or being diagnosed with a disease, the most common question is often, “Why me?” Peter Pallotta, a 62-year-old Vaughan man living with Parkinson’s, says this: “We shouldn’t be asking the question ‘why did it happen to me?’ We should be asking ourselves how can I try and help others, who also have a disease, in a positive way?” It was in 2007 when Pallotta received the news that he had Parkinson’s, a progressive disease that affects the nervous system. It occurs when the brain slowly stops producing the neurotransmitter dopamine, a chemical responsible for sending messages between the brain and nerve cells within the body. When dopamine decreases, it impacts movement, motor skills, body function and emotions. A few months after his diagnosis, Pallotta faced more challenging news. The neurologist had found a growth behind his right eye, which was later identified as a tumour. It had grown so large that his doctor felt it would lead to blindness and/or nerve damage if not removed. “I guess when I look at it, this Parkinson’s disease saved my life. This tumour growth would have been worse for me if it had never been discovered,” he says. What is perhaps most inspiring is that despite the challenges he has faced, his positivity, courage

and faith remain unbroken. Before surgery, he promised to make “a super-fast recovery” so he could walk his daughter Jessica down the aisle the following year. To the pleasant surprise of his doctors, he remained true to his word and made a quick recovery. The following June, he walked his daughter Jessica down the aisle on her wedding day. Pallotta also made a pledge to help others dealing with Parkinson’s disease, as well as those living with other forms of disabilities. “I just like to keep positive about everything that I do, and whenever I meet people, I like to present a positive attitude,” he says. For the past 10 years, he has participated in public meetings held by Members of Provincial Parliament and Vaughan Council that focus on issues surrounding accessibility and the challenges that people with disabilities face every day. His unique, first-hand perspective provides valuable insight that may help make the life of someone living with a disability easier. He has called for increased funding for Mobility Plus — a York Region Transit program that provides services such as specially equipped buses for the disabled, as well as more financial assistance to help disabled persons living on a fixed income live an easier life. He even proposed bringing the Parkinson SuperWalk to the

Pallotta also joined the Vaughan Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Parkinson Society and the Vaughan Parkinson's Support Group to help make a difference. In 2015, he received the great honour of carrying the Pan Am torch through Vaughan, with many watching calling him a hero. “I was speechless,” he said. Fast forward to today and even though Pallotta’s condition has become a little more challenging — there are some days he has trouble walking, which has led him to give up control of the Vaughan Parkinson’s SuperWalk — he still tries to make a difference and to spread a positive message to anyone he meets. As well, his family, including his wife Angela — whom he calls his “sweetie” — his daughter Jessica, son-in-law Anthony, son Michael and his girlfriend Lauren, are always by his side helping him to continue his mission. “Think about happy things and what you should try doing to help, because I’ve been doing it for the last 10 years,” said Peter. “In the morning when I get up I thank the Lord I’ve gotten up, I’m ready to meet new people today and bring change to people’s lives. At night when I go to bed, I thank the Lord for the day that I’ve had. I thank Him and I hope that I’m able to change someone’s life.” That’s spreading the power of positivity!

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It’s been many years in the making and now the City of Vaughan is set to welcome the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Line 1 Extension. The subway will change the way people travel in the city and the way they view transit. Most importantly, for the first time, it will link Vaughan directly with the core of Toronto — something that no other 905 municipality can claim. For the CEO of the TTC, Andy Byford, it’s a bright new beginning for the transit system. 52

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“It’s been fantastic for me, as CEO, to see the emergence of this beautiful new set of stations,” says Byford. “From what were huge holes in the ground, we now have six absolute jewels in the crown of the TTC subway system.” The Line 1 Extension was an ambitious project from the get-go, but from the perspective of the growing needs of people in and around York Region, and especially Vaughan, it was a necessary one. “When York Region approached the TTC sometime back — before my time — about also opening up Highway 407 and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre in the emerging centre of Vaughan, that made huge sense to us,” says Byford. The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, or VMC, is the City’s new downtown. This is where the subway extension will end, providing a new level of connection for citizens, visitors and commuters. For Byford, it showed that the TTC can think outside Toronto and serve people throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

“To expand up into Vaughan, I think is indicative of our newfound confidence as a company and our cemented role as the key provider of transit in the Toronto area,” says Byford. The subway will support Vaughan’s evolution into a world-class city. For commuters, it provides an alternative to driving into Toronto for a sporting event or to see a live show. It means convenience for York University students and a great option for people who work in Vaughan. There are plenty of ways that Vaughan residents will also be able to use this extension for local travel. As Byford explained, “These extensions have been


The subway is the centrepiece of a growing public transportation system, one that will change the way people travel into and out of the city.

designed with lots of multi-modal interchanges. There are bus lines that will feed the new subway. There are commuter parking lots, and, at Finch West, the subway line will interchange with the Finch LRT.” The subway is the centrepiece of a growing public transportation system in Vaughan, one that will change the way people travel into and out of the city. The launch of subway service also showcases the City’s growing role in the business and cultural landscape of the GTA and the province. The future is now for Vaughan making it the place to be.




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In 2006, the City launched Access Vaughan, a service designed to provide answers to residents’ questions, ranging from by-law issues and property taxes to everything in between. Created to address a “noticeable gap” in servicing Vaughan citizens, it has grown to become a “one-stop shop,” providing information on all things Vaughan. Need to know where or how to pay your property taxes? Call Access Vaughan. Want to talk snow removal? Call Access Vaughan. Dictionaries have several definitions for the word access including “the right to know.” When describing the purpose of this critically important department, this definition seems appropriate. It’s about giving residents answers to their questions in a timely manner, with courtesy and respect. As Stephanie Brienza, Manager of Access Vaughan, explains, “We’re here to help. At the end of the day, at the end of every call, we want people to feel their questions have been answered.” Access Vaughan has become so successful that in 2014 a decision was made to expand its hours of operation, ensuring help is available from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. It fields an average of 530 calls per day, or more than 195,000 calls per year. That’s a lot of questions, and the five full-time and nine part-time staff have the answers. On a typical call, a citizen service representative answers the phone in 20 seconds or less,


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76 per cent of the time. The representative tracks the call and, in 68 per cent of cases, is able to resolve the concern on first point of contact. Most calls take between three and five minutes. If the call requires further action, the representative connects the caller with the right subject-matter expert using the “Inquiry Type Tracker,” and all calls and emails are logged and recorded until resolved. The morning we spoke with Brienza, 218 calls had already come in, of which 207 had been answered directly. She describes some days are more challenging than others when things like a “significant snow event” might result in larger call volumes. During such times, the team does its best to anticipate the increased volume and type of concerns residents might have so the representative can assist effectively and efficiently. Asked how the team handles concerned callers, Brienza had this to say: All representatives go through an initial training program for a minimum of two months. Part of this training includes softskills/customer service skills training, and

they also receive periodic coaching and training both in-house and by industryleading professionals. The goal of the department remains to “provide accurate and consistent information ensuring the citizen is not frustrated or confused in the future. It’s all about being consistent and making sure that everyone is treated fairly.” No day is ever the same at Access Vaughan. “Every single time you answer the phone you have no idea what to expect,” says Brienza. What we do know is that fielding 500+ calls a day, in a timely manner and with a consistent approach, is what you can expect from Access Vaughan. There’s also an after-hours hotline ensuring calls are logged and recorded 24/7. Access Vaughan has even occasionally helped lonely residents and callers in distress who need help accessing available social service agencies. That’s not typical, but staff will do their best to connect residents to the right resources. So, if you’ve got a question and are wondering who to call — call Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281!


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According to the City of Vaughan, the key to ensuring your personal safety is to be proactive. "It's not a question of if, but when a disaster will strike Vaughan," explains Sharon Walker, Manager of Emergency Planning. Referencing the 2003 blackout and natural disasters such as the 2009 tornado and the devastating 2013 ice storm as examples, she notes that each had the potential to wreak havoc. While Vaughan has resources in place to help in a crisis, having a personal plan of action to “help yourself until help arrives” is imperative. On the City’s website, “PrepE”, the Emergency Preparedness Penguin, has a complete list of what you’ll need should disaster occur. It’s a 72-hour emergency kit that takes just a few hours to assemble. Many of the items are probably already in your home and you can involve the family by turning it into a fun activity. "Being prepared begins with you,” Walker says. “Take the time to put together your emergency kit and create a family plan of action.” A lifesaver in the rare case that you are confined to your


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home for several days, this kit is a “must-have” and should be stored in a readily accessible location. Build personalized kits for your home, car and pets. Visit vaughan.ca/PrepE for a full list. Walker reminds residents that food items and water bottles should be replaced every six months. She also advises to make sure your home escape plan includes a designated outside location, away from your home, to be used as an alternate meeting place should you become separated. As well, choose someone outside the City as your point of contact. Finally, Walker recommends scanning important documents (i.e., identification, insurance policies, medical information or special photographs) to a flash drive and store offsite. During a state of emergency, access to reliable information is crucial. The City recommends tuning in to news sources that will keep you up to date on developments. Download a simple weather app onto a mobile device. Vaughan residents might receive alerts in a variety of ways including automated calling,



Are you ready for an emergency? Should disaster strike, ensure your family is prepared with a personal action plan.

SHORT LIST OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS ITEMS: ☐☐Backpack, storage bin or duffle bag ☐☐Blankets, sleeping bags ☐☐Candles and matches and waterproof lighters ☐☐Canned food and other non-perishable food items with can opener ☐☐Change of clothes (one per person) ☐☐Crackers and/or biscuits ☐☐Duct tape/aluminum foil ☐☐Flashlight/first aid kit ☐☐Important documents (ID, passport)

door-to-door notification by emergency personnel, emails, social media posts and any other method deemed necessary.

☐☐Non-prescription medication

To further assist in your emergency preparedness plans, the City’s website lists important contact information, useful links and step-by-step guidelines on what to do in case of tornado, extreme heat, winter storms, forest fires, severe rainstorms and flooding. It even contains advice if the “unfamiliar” occurs, like a pandemic outbreak, hazardous materials spill or an earthquake. Finally, families should print and store both the Emergency Planning and Preparedness Guide and information on local shelters and social service agencies in their kit.


Solidarity in times of crisis is vital. The City of Vaughan is blessed with a great community of caring friends and neighbours. Make sure your plan includes checking on neighbours, the elderly and those with special needs so that together with the City of Vaughan, we’ll all be prepared if disaster happens.

☐☐Batteries ☐☐Toilet paper and hygiene products ☐☐Water (four litres per person, per day)

These are the type of items your kit should contain, but the City urges you to visit its website for a complete list that also covers an emergency kit for both your car and/or any pets you might have. 2 0 1 7 · C E L E B R AT E VAU G H A N




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Noses tickled by the earthy scent of freshly mowed grass. Eyes squinting against the bright sun’s rays. Palms calloused from gripping the monkey bars. Ears bursting with shrieks of delight, laughter and, of course, the occasional shout of the universal word for being caught: “Grounders!” These are the words, sights and sounds experienced at any one of the many beautiful parks and outdoor spaces dotted around the City of Vaughan. Vaughan has a wide variety of neighbourhood parks, district parks, splash pads, trails and sports fields. All reflect the City’s strategy to be inclusive, with citizens who are encouraged to be active and engaged in community life. These outdoor spaces have played an integral role in the lives of countless residents of this great city and have left many with very fond memories. Let’s go behind the scenes and see what it is that makes Vaughan parks so great.

Jasleen, a 22-year-old resident who brought her two younger cousins to play at Agostino Park, speaks warmly of her childhood days playing there. “I spent my entire childhood at the park with my siblings. Every day after school, we hurried to finish our homework so we could jump on our bikes and get


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to the park. That’s where all the action was. I miss those days and I want to make sure my cousins have memories as fond as mine about the good old park days.” The cousins weighed in saying their favourite part about coming to the park was having the chance to play “tag and grounders.”

Jamie Bronsema, Director of Parks Development, says for the City of Vaughan a lot goes on behind the scenes to ensure the enjoyment of parks by members of the community like Jasleen. “Vaughan has an aggressive plan. The standard is to provide 2.2 hectares of parkland per 1,000 population,” he says. While currently sitting just slightly below that target, Bronsema discussed Vaughan’s Active Together Master Plan, drafted to “identify current and future needs that are consistent with the City’s commitment to providing safe, accessible community parks and facilities that appeal to a wide range of interests and abilities.” This plan, he says, will help ensure parkland targets are met. The Master Plan also includes the goal of making parks more useable during the winter months. One of the highlights will be realized with the future opening of North Maple Regional Park, described by Bronsema as “the largest and most

ambitious park project in Vaughan’s history,” and one that is planned to include ice rinks and tobogganing hills among other great park amenities and natural spaces. The development of North Maple Regional Park began as a community-based vision when residents banded together to promote the closing of the Keele Valley Landfill site in the 1990s. The Maple Valley Plan was then implemented. This initiative involved transforming the landfill into what will become a large parkland setting with plenty of natural amenities, resulting in the creation of North Maple Regional Park, a 200-acre parcel of land purchased by the City and located immediately adjacent to the landfill areas. In addition to this significant project, other “big things” are in the works for Vaughan including the development of the new downtown, the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) featuring a major urban central park, Transit Square and TTC Plaza located near the new subway station and Edgeley Pond and Park, which is being designed with local cultural and natural history in mind. The City has also launched a new idea called the Vaughan Super Trail — a planned100-kilometre cycling and pedestrian trail system that

CITY S E RV ICE S will connect all major corners of the city. “The broad vision for parks in Vaughan is to provide a high-quality and abundant park and open-space system,” says Bronsema. “This includes natural rivers, valleys, ravines and better parks. Vaughan has an amazing system of parks and open spaces.” And we couldn’t agree more. The truth in that statement became strikingly clear as we explored the community and spoke with citizens outside enjoying these spaces. A young mother, Mandeep, emphasized that “it’s nice to have friendly outdoor spaces because it’s what the community should be about,” as she pushed her daughter on the swing at North Thornhill District Park. Henry shared the same thoughts while at Jack Pine Park walking his dog.

“Neighbourhood parks give people a reason to get outside and enjoy the summer. They give people the chance to socialize and get to know their neighbours in the area.” It seems the City’s hard work is paying off and that parks are indeed meeting residents’ expectations. According to the 2016 Citizen Survey, 90 per cent of residents are happy with parks and greenspace, and 92 per cent are pleased with trails. From splash pads, soccer fields and basketball courts to jungle gyms, small neighbourhood parks and district parks, Vaughan is committed to offering accessible programs and options that support a vibrant and healthy community. Parks make for memories of the soft crunch of sand beneath sneakers, grass stains

on clothes (sorry, moms and dads), first goals scored, a venue for family events like Concerts in the Park and so much more. Vaughan’s parks and outdoor spaces give kids a place to rush to, adults a place to gather (and play, too) and the community a chance to be united, socialize and enjoy what this great city has to offer. So, no matter how old you are, the question, “Want to go to the park?” has the ability to get your heart pumping! Whether this reaction arises in the form of excitement or as a fond memory is completely up to you. For more information regarding nearby trails, sports fields, splash pads and parks, visit vaughan.ca or take a look at the Recreation Vaughan Guide.

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It takes vision to build a successful city.

Innovation and opportunity are key factors, along with the principles of integrity and accountability. At the City of Vaughan, leading the team is City Manager Daniel Kostopoulos

“Diversity, innovation and opportunities for citizens contribute to a city’s success. Vaughan is diverse, with 105 languages spoken within our borders. Our residents come from around the world, which enriches our culture and community. They have new and innovative ideas, which have helped Vaughan flourish into a rapidly growing, diverse urban centre,” says Kostopoulos. Drawn to a career in public service because of a desire to make a difference, his career spans more than 27 years, including with the Toronto Transit Commission as a senior engineer and later with York Region where he held a variety of positions. Now sharing his experience with Vaughan, Kostopoulos places a great focus on ethics and integrity — a message he promotes within his office. “It all boils down to being open and transparent. I take advantage of many opportunities to talk to staff about my

commitment to ethical standards and integrity. Whether it’s at regular meetings with senior management or at staff engagement sessions, I focus on these values and our need to build trust as an organization. I want to lead by example and empower staff at all levels to make a difference so that we can move forward together as an even stronger team,” he says. It appears his commitment to team building is making a difference. Residents are extremely satisfied with the overall quality of life in Vaughan. According to the results of the 2016 Citizen Survey, 97 per cent of residents found the quality of life to be either good or very good. “We know the quality of our services and programs contributes to this score as we received high satisfaction rates for everything from libraries and recreation to fire services and waste collection. We offer exceptional community centres, facilities, programs and events to

support our diverse population and encourage residents to get involved. Council and staff take great pride in going above and beyond to deliver service excellence to our residents and businesses, and the citizen survey results are a testament to our collective efforts.” Taking on the role of City Manager couldn’t be happening at a better time. “There is no doubt this is an exciting time for Vaughan,” says Kostopoulos. “Every day we face new opportunities and challenges related to our transformation into a growing and vibrant urban centre. This is an unprecedented period in our history. The decisions we make today will impact this city for decades to come. I can tell you I have never had a dull day in this job, and that’s what makes it so stimulating.” As City Manager, supporting Council priorities by providing the right systems and structures, Kostopoulos remains deeply committed to ethical standards. “As head of the administration, it is my duty to foster and promote a positive work environment. Everyone has a role to play in this culture change, and mine is to lead by example and model the values I hold above others — integrity, accountability and transparency.” That’s a successful vision for the future.

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REINVENTING THE DOWNTOWN The City of Vaughan is reinventing what it means to be “downtown.” Rising along Highway 7 between Jane Street and Highway 400 is the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, or VMC. It is the future of the city — a downtown that is being built from the ground up. Planning began back in the mid 1990s, and today the VMC is taking shape with condos and office buildings, a YMCA under construction, along with a new library and community space. The landscape has completely transformed and Vaughan’s skyline will soon rival that of larger, more developed cities. The VMC will be a hub for new talent, technology and innovation, and provide the kind of urban amenities that people desire. It is a downtown for the future, today.


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CITY S E RV ICE S WHAT IS THE VMC? Once complete, the VMC will be a vibrant and modern urban centre for residents and businesses that will include residences, multi-use office towers, open greenspace and urban squares, pedestrian shopping areas, restaurants, walking and cycling paths, and some of the most technologically advanced sustainable buildings in the world. With approximately 442 acres of development, it will have at least 1.5 million square feet of office space, 750,000 square feet of retail space, house 12,000 residential units (making it home to 25,000 people) and include an impressive employment target of 11,500 jobs. The VMC will provide a much-needed anchor, a “destination” for visitors and residents alike. “The VMC will become a people’s place, a place where people will live, work and play all in the same area,” says Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. “Our new downtown represents a unique opportunity to shape a new city core and offers limitless potential for our community. We are creating a vibrant and exciting downtown that will become the heart of a world-class city.” THE SUBWAY COMES TO VAUGHAN The arrival of the TTC Line 1 Extension will forever change transit in the City. Vaughan is, without a doubt, a city on the move. Providing residents with new transit options like the subway will support Vaughan’s continued transformation in numerous ways. It is the first subway line to cross the City of Toronto boundary. Opening in December, the 8.6-kilometre line includes six new subway stations and is a major step forward in making Vaughan the most well-connected community in the 905. The subway terminal located at Highway 7 and Jane Street will link Vaughan to both downtown Toronto and York University, making commuting to either more convenient than ever. Sidewalks and bike lanes are part of this project, as is an underground pathway with direct access to the VMC Subway Station and the SmartCentres Place Bus Terminal. “The subway terminal located at Highway 7 and Jane Street will link Vaughan to both downtown Toronto and York University, making commuting to either more convenient than ever,” says Fred Darvish, President of Liberty Development Corporation. In addition to the subway, public transit within the VMC and surrounding area will get a boost thanks to the vivaNext bus rapidway being built along Highway 7. Work began in 2013 with the Highway 7 right-of-way, and the rapidway segment between Jane Street and Bowes Road. The project will be completed with a segment west of Jane Street and the completion of phase two, stretching west to Bruce Street and east to Yonge Street via existing viva routes on Bathurst and Centre Street. These transformative transit initiatives are among many projects making their mark on the Vaughan landscape. The VMC has seen the development of its first office building, the 15-storey KPMG tower located in the SmartCentres Place. KPMG is the lead tenant in the 350,000-square-foot office building. Other tenants include Miller Thomson, GFL Environmental and Harley-Davidson Canada. 2 0 1 7 · C E L E B R AT E VAU G H A N



Cortel Group, whose President and CEO is developer and philanthropist Mario Cortellucci, was the first developer in the VMC to build residential suites with its Expo City condo towers. “Cortel Group has believed in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre since day one, when there were no evident markings of a downtown. The belief was rooted in a strong and committed vision for the future of Vaughan. Fast forward to the present and we are even more excited about the area. Every passing day brings more projects to the VMC. The parks, buildings, spaces, transit and people all strengthen our belief and excitement in the VMC. I can, with great confidence, say we look forward to a vibrant downtown Vaughan and we are thrilled to have a role in this defining moment in Vaughan’s growth,” says Peter Cortellucci, Vice President of Cortel Group. ONE-OF-A-KIND GREENSPACE A key factor in the development of the VMC is to establish beautiful greenspace both residents and visitors can enjoy. The City is doing so with Edgeley Pond and Park. It is the largest open City-owned piece of land in the VMC, located at the northeast corner of Highway 7 and Jane Street. Plans for the park are currently underway with the intention of creating a one-of-a-kind greenspace in the heart of the downtown core. The aim is to build a sustainable park that will operate as a hybrid for vital stormwater management infrastructure through a truly unique atmosphere. Part of this development will include retrofitting the pond to provide both water quality and flood control, optimize ecological function and provide functional natural habitats. With water views and a trail system,


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Edgeley Pond and Park will also be a destination for recreational activities. Another environmental-focused project within the VMC is the Black Creek Renewal Project. The open area running the length of Jane Street forms the southern end of the VMC’s visionary green corridor. It will include a series of promenades, plazas and parks where people can enjoy a natural environment, while still in an urban setting. The vision for the Black Creek corridor is to create a signature location within the VMC that will attract investment, sustain urban growth and become a natural heritage feature. Like Edgeley Pond, the Black Creek Renewal Project will also manage the critical stormwater needs of the community. VAUGHAN’S FIRST YMCA Located in the heart of the VMC will be a 100,000-square-foot flagship YMCA that will include an aquatics centre with a 25-metre pool, a temperature adjustable pool with movable floor, a gymnasium, studio spaces, conditioning and weight rooms, a multipurpose space and a child care facility. Also calling the VMC home will be PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the anchor office tenant in an impressive 236,000-square-foot, nine-storey mixedused building. In addition to these exciting projects will be a 20,000-square-foot City of Vaughan Library, a 10,000-squarefoot community recreation centre and 3,000 square feet of retail space, all with a targeted completion date in 2019. Located adjacent to this, SmartCentres Place, President and CEO of Penguin Investments Inc. and founder of SmartCentres, Mitchell Goldhar noted that they plan to build their first residential project in the VMC — a two-towered 1,200-unit condo development in a joint venture

with CentreCourt Developments Inc. “A strong downtown is the heart and the economic engine for a growing city and we have that with the VMC,” says Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. “We need to make sure that as the VMC takes shape, we are creating a sense of place, not just a collection of buildings. This will be the heart of Vaughan and a major destination for retail, employment and residents in the GTA.” Another exciting addition to the VMC is the arrival of Buca. As one of the GTA’s finest restaurants, it will be a muchwelcomed establishment for foodies. “It’s really exciting to be part of an innovative development like Transit City. The opportunity to add to the local food and entertainment community with our Buca offering allows us to build on the already inspiring and growing culture in the City of Vaughan,” says Rob Gentile, Chef Director, the King Street Food Company. Building a true downtown core has been an exciting and massive project for the City of Vaughan. Once complete, the VMC will include commercial retail, hotels, event venues and convention centres, restaurants and bars, fitness clubs, entertainment, an arts and cultural hub, office space, recreational areas and residential developments. As one of Canada’s largest master-planned communities, the VMC will surely be one of Vaughan’s greatest accomplishments, uniting five communities — Woodbridge, Maple, Kleinburg, Concord and Thornhill — as one in a single, notable, vibrant and connected downtown. Want to learn more about the VMC? Visit: vaughan.ca/VMC or myVMC.ca.

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The Vaughan Momentum Report 2016/2017 · MOMENTUM REPORT


Message From The Mayor THE CITY OF VAUGHAN’S GOLDEN ERA Vaughan is a city on the move. With a downtown core rising from the ground, a new hospital under construction and the subway opening for service starting this December, these and many other exciting projects are changing the landscape of our growing community. With time, focused planning and hard work, we are witnessing the seeds we planted throughout the years now bearing fruit — Vaughan truly is in the midst of a golden era.

­­ Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, P.C. Mayor

As one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, Vaughan’s journey has been impressive, and I believe the best is yet to come. More people are becoming aware of the Vaughan Advantage and the many reasons why residents are proud to live, work, play and invest here. This Momentum Report highlights how strong governance and sound fiscal management have resulted in a respected community that is recognized as one of the best places in the country to live and do business. The City is committed to providing high-quality programs and services while respecting citizens’ hard-earned tax dollars. We are achieving our goals and embarking on the next step of our path forward, the next chapter of our evolution. The success we have realized is possible because of our collective contributions. City-building is a team effort. It is through collaboration and cooperation that we are putting Vaughan on the map beyond our borders. By taking charge of our future, we are ensuring that we are building a vibrant city with the financial and economic strength that will have an enduring competitive advantage in attracting the people and businesses to support our continued prosperity. Our agenda for positive change has proven successful, and I am proud of what we have been able to achieve.



City of Vaughan Council Members


City Of Vaughan Council Members 2014-2018 "As a Council we have had many successes throughout this term." — Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua

Our City continues to experience tremendous growth and we are excited about the many changes taking place. We have worked to make progress on the priorities that are important to Vaughan citizens throughout this Term of Council. Construction is underway on the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital and new developments are taking shape in our downtown, the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. The TTC Line 1 Extension is opening and is one of several new transit initiatives that will make getting around the community easier for residents and visitors. All of this is contributing to Vaughan’s transformation and our goal of building a world-class city.



The Service Excellence Journey This is a special year for Vaughan as we make an important milestone - the opening of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station The City of Vaughan began its Service Excellence Journey two years ago with the introduction of the Service Excellence Strategy Map. It aligns people, priorities, processes and technology with Vaughan’s vision, mission and values. The City is committed to enhancing the citizen experience and how services are delivered to

ensure the entire organization uses a consistent approach. The Service Excellence Strategy Map also identifies the priorities for this Term of Council. The Momentum Report highlights the progress Vaughan Council has made on each of these and provides an update on the City’s success so far.

Each year we aim higher in the pursuit of excellence so we can fulfill our vision of creating a place where people want to live, work and play. As a city, we want to be renowned for our first-class administration, transparency, accountability and respect for hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Our commitment to public service and enhancing the citizen experience is what inspires us to continue to achieve great things, take pride in our quality of life and build a strong sense of community." — Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua

Term of Council Priorities



Improve municipal road network


Attract investment and create jobs


Continue to develop transit, cycling and pedestrian options to get around City


Create and manage affordable housing options (secondary suites)


Facilitate the development of the VMC



Support the development of the hospital


Re-establish the urban tree canopy

Meet Council tax rate targets (no greater than 3%) Update the Official Plan and supporting studies


Invest, renew and manage infrastructure and assets


Continue to cultivate an environmentally sustainable city


Continue to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens


Continue to advance a culture of excellence in governance


Support and promote arts, culture, heritage and sports in the community


Establish a lobbyist registry


Enhance civic pride through a consistent citywide approach to citizen ngagement


Improve municipal road network Continue to develop transit, cycling and pedestrian options


Vaughan On The Move Vaughan has approximately 1,200 kilometres of sidewalks, signed cycling routes and shared multi-use pathways. Great change is happening right across Vaughan. With major developments underway and several transportation projects near completion, there are plenty of options for residents and visitors to get moving, and participate in a healthier and more active lifestyle. The City of Vaughan is continuing to develop transit, cycling and pedestrian options to improve opportunities for people to move around the City, manage congestion on roads and encourage a healthier and more active lifestyle. This includes a study to update the existing Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. It will build on several existing plans, and includes a robust and transparent engagement process to ensure it reflects the needs of the community. The new Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan will be transformational — enhancing Vaughan’s livability, moving and connecting people from one end of the city to the other, and providing more opportunities for recreation. Vaughan is also working closely with its government partners to develop local transit routes and

strategies that will support existing communities and ensure easy access to the TTC Line 1 Extension, bringing public transportation to a greater segment of the population. The Concord GO mobility hub study will look at integrating the Highway 7 vivaNext Bus Rapid Transit System, the future Barrie GO rail line and the future 407 transitway to offer even better connectivity to and between these transit services. Infrastructure upgrades are currently underway at the Maple and Rutherford GO Stations in support of Metrolinx’s vision for the Regional Express Rail (RER). It promises two-way all-day GO train service. And, the Ministry of Transportation began construction on Highway 400 to widen it from Major Mackenzie Drive to King Road. The City also remains committed to ensuring Vaughan’s roads stay in good repair. The 2017 budget included $3.6 million to improve the City’s more than 2,000 kilometres of local roads. Vaughan also continues to protect the walking needs of citizens by maintaining all publicly owned sidewalks along roads and paved trails in parks.

Transportation Achievements





TTC Line 1 Extension

Viva Rapid Transit

Metrolinx Regional Express Rail (RER)

Highway 427 Expansion

TTC Line 1 Extension will be open for public ridership in December 2017.

Phase 2 construction west of Edgeley Boulevard to Pine Valley Drive and east of Bowes Road to Yonge Street is underway, expected to be complete by 2020.

More peak-period GO train service is coming on the Barrie line, including increased GO bus service.

Heavy construction on the 6.6-kilometre extension from Highway 7 to Major Mackenzie Drive will start in 2018.




Update the official plan and supporting studies

Planning Now And For The Future Secondary suites approved in Vaughan

As part of the City of Vaughan’s commitment to create and manage affordable housing options, a new policy allowing for secondary suites was approved by Vaughan Council this year. It protects the safety and well-being of citizens by making it mandatory for secondary suites to comply with the Ontario Building Code, Ontario Fire Code and Vaughan’s Zoning By-laws. The regulations are now in effect. Before beginning renovations to incorporate a new or upgraded secondary suite, homeowners should visit Vaughan’s Building Standards department to discuss the plan and obtain the necessary information about zoning and building permit requirements.

Updating the Official Plan

Vaughan is a city of choice for families, young professionals and businesses. It has a variety of amenities, a new downtown on the horizon, a state-of-the-art hospital under construction, greenspaces, and many arts and cultural programs. With the population and employment projected to increase significantly, the City is updating its Official Plan to accommodate growth to the year 2041. The Official Plan provides the land-use and development policies that will guide its future expansion and intensification. It must conform to the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and York Region’s Official Plan. The amendments to the Official Plan will be identified through a review of the current Growth Management Strategy and a Municipal Comprehensive Review.



Provincial policies

●● Throughout 2016—17, the City of Vaughan played a pivotal role in providing input on the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review process. As part of this, the Province of Ontario released the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, which came into effect in July 2017. It is a long-term plan that works with the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan to manage growth, build complete communities, curb sprawl and protect the natural environment. ●● The City was instrumental in providing input on Bill 139 – the proposed Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017, which proposes changes to the way land-use appeals are handled. It will also influence the Planning Act to give communities a stronger voice in land-use planning. ●● The City of Vaughan is working with York Region and the Province of Ontario to implement a new land-use policy framework that will help better manage growth and development in our city.

Facilitate the development of the VMC


Building a Downtown From the Ground Up The transformation continues for Vaughan’s new downtown — the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC). The TTC Line 1 Extension and mobility hub are set to open in December. The City is working with transit agencies, York Region and landowners to ensure a smooth opening. The first mixed-use building, which will be home to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), officially broke ground in 2017. It will feature a 120,000-square-foot flagship YMCA facility as well as a 20,000-square-foot Vaughan Public Library and a 10,000-square-foot City of Vaughan community space. The nine-storey building will sit next to the SmartCentres Place Bus Terminal, near the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station. Other developments are also underway to accommodate new residents including Transit City, the first condominium development at SmartCentres Place. In all, 450,000 square feet of office space is planned or under construction in the VMC.

VMC Quick Facts 1.5 million square feet of office space, at minimum 750,000 square feet of retail space, at minimum 12,000 residential units to be home to 25,000 people, at minimum Density targets of 200 people and jobs per hectare by 2031

Edgeley Pond and Park Rendering Edgeley Pond and Park

Edgeley Pond and Park is the next step in the evolution of the VMC. A first-of-its-kind project for Vaughan, it will combine stormwater infrastructure with vibrant outdoor spaces. The goal is to create a landmark destination in the new downtown — a place where residents and visitors can learn, play and grow. The final design concept will be ready by the end of the year with construction to begin in 2018.

Black Creek Renewal

The renewal of Black Creek is critical for development in the VMC. The final environmental study report is anticipated before the end of 2017 and follows extensive consultation with stakeholders and the public. The vision for the Black Creek corridor is to create a signature location that will attract investment, support urban growth and become a natural heritage feature.


A new website was launched in 2017, dedicated to marketing and promotion of the VMC: MyVMC. ca. The content includes both the current and future experience in the new downtown, as well as living and working in the VMC, development plans, districts and events. A key feature of the site is an interactive 3D map, which allows users to explore the VMC from street-level views.





Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital Construction is underway on the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. The groundbreaking was held in October 2016 and construction is expected to be complete in 2020. As part of Mackenzie Health’s two-site hospital model, it will provide increased access to state-of-the-art health care closer to home for the residents of Vaughan. This facility will bring world-class healthcare to Vaughan citizens. It will be the first in Canada to feature fully integrated “smart” technology systems and medical devices that can speak directly to one another to maximize information exchange. The 1.2-million-square-foot hospital will have 350

Patient Care Services ●● A state-of-the-art emergency department ●● Modern surgical services and operating rooms ●● Advanced diagnostic imaging ●● Specialized ambulatory clinics and intensive-care beds ●● Medicine, birthing (obstetrics), pediatrics, mental health and the York Region District Stroke Centre ●● Approximately 90 per cent single-occupancy acute-care patient rooms for infection prevention and control 82


beds, with flexibility to increase capacity to 550 beds, and set a new standard for care and services.

Vaughan Healthcare Centre

The Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct Plan provided the framework for the development of Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital and the balance of the City-owned lands. The City has completed the work that was needed to prepare the site. It included watermains, sewers, sidewalks and streetlights on the site at the northwest corner of Jane Street and Major Mackenzie Drive, as well as two new signalized intersections.

Re-establish the urban tree canopy Continue to cultivate an environmentally sustainable city


Building a Sustainable City Protecting the Environment, Water Quality and Your Property

Vaughan must be prepared to address challenges that come with a growing population and increased and more intense weather-related events. This year, the stormwater charge — which has always been funded through property taxes and the wastewater fee — began appearing as a separate item on the utility bill. It funds important maintenance activities and programs, including inspections, water quality monitoring, stormwater pond sediment cleanout, flood mitigation and climate-change adaptation measures.

Building a Sustainable City

Sustainability means making decisions and taking actions that encourage a healthy environment, vibrant community, and economic vitality for current and future generations. Green Directions Vaughan, the Community Sustainability and Environmental Master Plan, is the vision for a more sustainable city. It influences how and where the City will grow, how people get around, how they live and how the City leads, operates and manages natural resources.

Cultivating Our Urban Forest




6,200 residential

3,000 residential

6,200 residential

trees are planned

trees replaced

trees replaced

for replacement

Vaughan has made extraordinary progress on rebuilding its urban tree canopy. In fact, the City is ahead of schedule to replace the more than 13,000 residential trees that were identified for removal in 2015 because of the 2013 ice storm, ongoing damage caused by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and other pests, as well as natural tree mortality.

Vaughan: Leading by Example ●● More than 19,000 people participated in environmental outreach events such as Earth Hour, 20-Minute Makeover and Environmental Days in 2017.

●● Five hectares of land purchased by Alectra Utilities have been deeded to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority for ecological restoration.

●● The City’s electric-vehicle charging stations expanded with new units installed at the Joint Operations Centre.

●● The City introduced a new community garden at Vaughan City Hall.

●● Alectra Utilities tracked more than 340 rooftop solar installations in Vaughan with a generation capacity of more than 16,200 kilowatts. ●● LED streetlight replacements will save the City an estimated 9,000 MWh annually and approximately $1.5 million in electricity costs each year once completed. 2016/2017 · MOMENTUM REPORT



Attract investment and create jobs

Job Growth Equals Strong Economy The City of Vaughan is committed to pursuing opportunities that will strengthen its local economy and global reach. Businesses choose Vaughan because it has a lot to offer – location, growing customer base, and an educated and skilled workforce.





Vaughan is now home to more than 11,370 businesses.

More than 208,000 people are employed in Vaughan, up from 176,000 in 2011.

Average annual employment growth 2006-2016

Vaughan is the largest employment centre in York Region, accounting for 38 per cent of the total regional employment.



Since 2006, there has been an increase of 3,301 businesses in Vaughan from 8,069 to 11,370 or a jump of 3.5 per cent in business growth. Small business continues to be a significant economic driver, making up more than 80 per cent of all the companies in Vaughan. For the last 10 years, Vaughan has had the highest average annual employment growth and the second highest business growth within York Region. Employment has surpassed the national (0.4 per cent), provincial (0.5 per cent) and regional (3.1 per cent) growth rates between mid-2015 and mid-2016, growing by 3.6 per cent.

Entrepreneurial Hub Vaughan’s suite of entrepreneurial services continues to grow. This year, eight local entrepreneurs received commercialization



support through the Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre (VBEC) and Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, in partnership with the Vaughan International Commercialization Centre (VICC), a program led by Economic Development and Culture Services. These commercialization-stage companies were able to access opportunities to test their new products in real-life settings, join a co-working office space, and received mentorship and guidance from seasoned business owners and consultants. Through all stages of growth — from creating a business plan and finding the right location to testing a new product and establishing market channels — VBEC and Economic Development and Culture Services provide support to Vaughan’s vibrant entrepreneur community.

Support and promote arts, culture, heritage and sports in the community


Celebrating the Past, Present and Future Canada 150 was an opportunity to celebrate the country’s birthday, as well as highlight the people, places and events that have shaped, and continue to shape, Vaughan’s culture and identity. With grant monies received from the federal government’s Canadian Heritage Canada 150 Fund, the City introduced several different projects and enhanced programming to give residents a chance to share in the celebration of a lifetime. To commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary, Vaughan created a beautification plan to decorate various sites with hanging baskets, flower pots, flags and flower beds. Vaughan also received a $25,000 grant through the CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up program, which funded local tree-planting projects, as well as a special plaque and three ceremonial trees.

Celebrating diversity

As a multicultural community, the City promotes equality, inclusiveness, respect and tolerance for everyone who lives here. Festive celebrations like the Christmas Tree Lighting, Chinese New Year and Menorah Lighting Ceremony have become annual traditions.

NORTH MAPLE REGIONAL PARK This year, the City broke ground on Phase 1 development of North Maple Regional Park. As the largest and most ambitious park development project in Vaughan’s history, the 81-hectare (200acre) property is envisioned to be a city-wide cultural and recreational destination that features a variety of year-round uses for residents and visitors to enjoy. The park is scheduled to be open for public use by the summer of 2018 with planning for future phases of development in progress.

Pierre Berton Heritage Centre

The Pierre Berton Heritage Centre will offer visitors an engaging, interactive experience of Canada’s national story, driven and inspired by the work of one of Canada’s preeminent authors and media pioneers. Pierre Berton was a writer, broadcaster, columnist and editor who lived in Kleinburg for more than 50 years. He was an active member of the community, a supporter of local events, an environmentalist and a champion of the Canadian identity.

Other Key Parks Development projects and initiatives • Active Together Master Plan

• Parks Redevelopment Strategy

• Vaughan Super Trail

• District parks

• Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) Park development includes the

• Canada 150 Grant Projects

An update is underway to shape future planning for parks, open spaces, recreation services and libraries.

Development of Chatfield District Park will start in 2017 and planning for additional district parks is in progress.

Work is underway to plan the renewal and redevelopment of park facilities and aging parks throughout the City.

construction of Transit Square and TTC Plaza, and design plans for Edgeley Pond and Park.

Council endorsed the concept of establishing a 100-kilometre trail system that connects all corners of the city to major destinations.

Park improvements are being completed at five locations to celebrate Canada 150 including the installation of new playgrounds, shade shelters and a new boardwalk.




Establish a lobbyist registry Continue to advance a culture of excellence in governance

Excellence in Governance:

Establishing a Lobbyist Registry As part of the City of Vaughan’s commitment to transparency and accountability, a Lobbyist Registry was introduced in January 2017. Lobbying activities have been registered through an online portal on a voluntary basis for the year to educate and train stakeholders. The registry is an effective tool that allows the public access to information on who is meeting with decision makers. The lobbying of Members of Council and staff on municipal issues can be beneficial to the public process by providing the perspective of other stakeholders.

In January 2018, the Lobbyist Registry will become mandatory and a Lobbyist Registrar will be in place to administer the system. Suzanne Craig was appointed by Council and will take on this position in addition to her role as Integrity Commissioner.

Her expanded role includes:

●● Providing advice, opinions and interpretations regarding the Lobbyist Registry. ●● Conducting investigations or inquiries to determine if the Lobbyist Registry By-law has been contravened. ●● Suspending or revoking a registration. ●● Enforcing the Lobbyist Registry By-law.

Vaughan is among an elite group when it comes to transparency and accountability. Out of 444 municipalities in Ontario, the City is...

1 of 38

1 of 19

1 of 8

1 of 6

To have an Integrity Commissioner.

To have an Internal Auditor.

To have an anonymous reporting system.

To voluntarily implement a Lobbyist Registry.

Trust and accountability are key priorities at the City of Vaughan. I championed the creation of a lobbyist registry because I believe in an open government." — Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua



Continue to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens + Enhance civic pride through a consistent city-wide approach to citizen engagement


Keeping The Community Safe

Public safety is one of the highest priorities for the City of Vaughan. Emergency services are vital to the well-being of citizens and our community. Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service demonstrates this every day with a commitment to protecting lives and property. This year, the City celebrated the opening of joint Fire Station 7-3 and Paramedic Response Station 31. The state-of-the-art station will improve co-ordination of resources and enhance efforts to bring emergency services closer to the surrounding community. The By-law and Compliance, Licensing and Permit Services department provides enforcement and animal services for the City. By-laws are put in place to ensure a safe and orderly community for all who live, work and play in Vaughan. Officers patrol the community and investigate complaints to ensure by-laws are being followed. The City is undergoing a review to create new by-laws and update some of the existing ones. This process will help address community needs

and concerns, and ensure residents feel safe and understand their rights.

Join the conversation

Vaughan citizens are encouraged to have their voices heard and participate by visiting the City’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and blog sites. Information and stories about Vaughan are always being updated and there are opportunities to provide input and ideas on projects and initiatives. Residents can sign up for City Update, the City’s eNewsletter, to learn more about new programs, meetings and events. The City also has 10 digital signs across Vaughan as another tool to help keep the community informed. They are located at City Hall, the Joint Operations Centre, community centres and fire halls. Vaughan residents can also attend public meetings, including Council and commitee meetings, to stay informed. Dates, times and agendas are posted online.




Meet Council tax rate targets

Delivering Service Excellence Through Fiscal Responsibility The City of Vaughan is focused on improving service delivery, managing growth and delivering services more effectively and efficiently.

Where Does Your Tax Dollar Go?

The 2017 budget achieved $3.3 million in savings and positioned the City to deliver on Council’s priorities to move Vaughan forward while meeting Council’s direction to not raise property taxes by more than three per cent each year in this term of Council.


Healthcare Centre Precinct Plan – Development Levy Based on the current levy rate, the $80-million contribution — necessary to cover the cost of the City’s portion for the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct land, development and servicing to prepare the site for the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital — will be recovered within approximately seven years or by 2022, which is seven years earlier than initially planned.

Household Spending Comparison

Region of York


City of Vaughan


Province of Ontario


Hospital Precinct Development Levy

Budget Highlights

To support City operations and continued growth, the City’s budget includes the following highlights:



Hydro and Natural Gas

Cable, Internet and Phone

Auto Insurance

Vaughan Services

ANNUAL $3,975

ANNUAL $3,085

ANNUAL $2,292

ANNUAL $1,545

ANNUAL $1,370






DAILY $10.89

DAILY $8.45

DAILY $6.28

DAILY $4.23

DAILY $13.75

Based on 60L of Gas per Week

Based on 1,000 Kwh Consumption/Month and Based on 1,500— 2,000 Sq.Ft. Home

Average GTA Premium

Property Tax


●● $16.9 million for environmental sustainability ●● $3.6 million for improving roads ●● $9.7 million for arts, culture, heritage and sports ●● $2.5 million for tree replacement ●● $8.3 million for the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre ●● $5.9 million for developing transit, cycling and pedestrian options ●● $0.5 million for citizen safety ●● And many other programs and services


TERM OF TERM OF COUNCIL PRIORITIES A Message from the Mayor COUNCIL A Message from the contact Mayor information Council member PRIORITY

Council Member Contact Information

Maurizio Bevilacqua

Mario Ferri


Gino Rosati


905-832-2281 ext. 8888 maurizio.bevilacqua@vaughan.ca

905-832-2281 ext. 8999 mario.ferri@vaughan.ca

905-832-2281 ext. 8441 gino.rosati@vaughan.ca

Sunder Singh


Marilyn Iafrate WARD 1 COUNCILLOR

Tony Carella


905-832-2281 ext. 8316 sunder.singh@vaughan.ca

905-832-2281 ext. 8344 marilyn.iafrate@vaughan.ca

905-832-2281 ext. 8386 tony.carella@vaughan.ca

Rosanna DeFrancesca

Sandra Yeung Racco

Alan Shefman

905-832-2281 ext. 8339 rosanna.defrancesca@vaughan.ca

905-832-2281 ext. 8342 sandra.racco@vaughan.ca

905-832-2281 ext. 8349 alan.shefman@vaughan.ca






2016/2017 2 0 1 7 · · MOMENTUM C E L E B R AT E REPORT VAU GHAN 2016/2017

89 89 89


C E L E B R AT E VAU G H A N · 2 0 1 7


With your commitment, we will help build an outstanding state-of-the-art hospital and purchase the leading-edge equipment and technology that will attract and inspire best-in-class specialists and health care teams at both Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital and Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital.

Charitable Business Number 11930 6215 RR0001

Learn more about the ways you can give at mackenziehealthfoundation.ca

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2 0 1 7 · C E L E B R AT E VAU G H A N



B U I L D I N G C A N A D A' S F I R S T

SMART HOSPITAL Have you seen the live camera overlooking the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital construction site? VISIT WWW.MACKENZIEHEALTH.CA/MVH When accessing the camera, you will be able to see a series of images taken every ten minutes, as well as a time-lapse video.


Mackenzie Health is proudly moving forward with the construction of Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, the first new hospital to be built in York Region for more than 30 years and the first hospital in the City of Vaughan. “The past year marked the largest milestones to date for the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital project with the official groundbreaking in October 2016,” says Altaf Stationwala, President and CEO, Mackenzie Health. “Since then, the project has been moving forward at full speed to advance the world-class design as well as construction on the site.” Designed through the eyes of the patient, Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will be connected to nature, enabled by smart technology, and filled with daylight and warm, natural materials to optimize the patient, visitor and staff experience. Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will also be the first hospital in Canada to feature fully integrated smart technology systems and medical devices that can speak directly to one another to maximize information exchange,” says Stationwala. “The smart hospital vision will be applied at Mackenzie Health’s new Mackenzie


C E L E B R AT E VAU G H A N · 2 0 1 7

Vaughan Hospital as well as at the existing Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital, for a seamless care experience.”

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT As part of its community engagement efforts, Mackenzie Health partners with the City of Vaughan to provide regular updates to City Council and the residents of the City of Vaughan and neighbouring communities to keep them apprised of Mackenzie Health’s ongoing initiatives to improve the health care experience for patients and their families. In the past year, the focus of the many presentations was on providing a preview of Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital’s interior and exterior design, as well as speaking about Mackenzie Health’s smart hospital vision.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATES With implementation well underway, bulk excavation for the main building and concrete pouring started in June 2017. During July and August 2017,

four tower cranes were installed and the foundation poured, which will continue in the coming months. This is an exciting time in the construction process and in making the new hospital a reality!

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES Mackenzie Health does business with over 150 companies in York Region, and the number is expected to grow with the construction of the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, to be completed in 2020. In October 2016, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Mackenzie Health awarded a fixed-price contract to Plenary Health to design, build, finance and maintain the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. All contractual steps have been completed and construction began with a groundbreaking ceremony, which took place on Oct. 25, 2016. Based on the number of jobs created for similar-sized hospital projects,

IN G E N U ITY & D E V E LO P M E N T Mackenzie Health expects that over 1,000 new construction jobs will be created in the building of the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. At the peak of construction, Plenary Health — the company in charge of employing sub-contractors — estimates that more than 600 workers will be on-site daily. As part of the Plenary Health team, PCL Contractors Canada is responsible for construction-related products and services. While vendor demonstrations of products or equipment will not be considered in advance, business opportunities associated with the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital Project, including retail, will become available on bidding websites such as www.merx.com or www.biddingo.com. In accordance with Mackenzie Health’s procurement policy, the Broader Public Sector Policy Guidelines and the DBFM procurement model (design, build, finance, maintain), no firms or businesses are afforded advance notice of Request For Proposals (RFPs). For more information, please visit mackenziehealth.ca/mvh.

EXCEPTIONAL CARE BELONGS HERE CAMPAIGN With the cranes in place and construction well underway on Canada’s first smart hospital, the Exceptional Care Belongs Here campaign is gaining momentum. Mackenzie Health Foundation is spearheading the largest capital campaign for a community hospital in Canada — the $250-million campaign

to help build and equip Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital and enhance care at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital. More than $72 million has been committed to date — including more than 20 gifts of $1 million or more — from exceptional individuals, families, businesses and community partners who support the vision to bring a world-class health experience close to home, according to campaign cabinet co-chairs Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor of Vaughan, and Greg Sorbara, Chancellor of York University. Adding to the inspiration of multi-milliondollar transformational pledges from Magna International and the De Zen, Sorbara and De Meneghi families, the foundation recently received a $1-million gift from the Longo Family Charitable Foundation and a $15-million gift from the De Gasperis and Muzzo families — the largest single donation in its history. Generous community partners are setting an example for others to follow, including the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada, which pledged $2 million and organizes the popular Run for Vaughan each year; long-time supporters Vaughan in Motion; Vaughan Fire Fighters Association, which has stepped up with a pledge of $100,000; and Vaughan Pizza Fest organizers, who dished up $5,000 this year and have committed their support for the new hospital. This type of leadership and community support has set the pace for the campaign and is crucial, says

Ingrid Perry, President and CEO of Mackenzie Health Foundation. The total cost for the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital is $1.6 billion, of which the Ministry of Health and LongTerm Care is investing $1.3 billion. “While the Province of Ontario is covering 90 per cent of the construction costs, what most people don’t realize is that it’s the community’s responsibility to raise the remaining construction costs and fund the equipment and technology requirements,” Perry says.

Building a hospital is ultimately about people. It's about investing in people's health and ensuring that we all have access to the very best health care services available. — Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua

All gifts, large or small, will directly impact the health of our community, Campaign Cabinet Co-Chair Greg Sorbara says. “We are asking every member of our community to make an investment in something that will have a direct impact on our lives and our families’ lives for generations to come,” Sorbara says. “Every gift, of every size, will help create a lasting legacy and quite literally transform health care in southwest York Region.”

HOW CAN I GIVE? There are many ways to make an investment in the health and well-being of your community. ☐☐ Make a one-time gift in support of the Exceptional Care Belongs Here campaign. It’s easy to do online and you’ll receive an electronic receipt immediately. ☐☐ Join our Partners in Care monthly giving program and sign up for monthly donations that can be automatically deducted from your credit card or your chequing account. ☐☐ Leave a gift in your will as a legacy. ☐☐ Start a fundraiser ­— we provide you with all the tools you need to personalize your webpage.

☐☐ Attend a signature or community event throughout the year. ☐☐ Host your own event to raise vital awareness and funds. ☐☐ Ask if your company has an employee donation matching program for your personal gift. ☐☐ Give the gift of your time and talents by volunteering for our events, committees or boards. For more information about how you can help bring exceptional care close to home, visit mackenziehealthfoundation.ca or call 905-883-2032.

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VAUGHAN IS ALWAYS READY FOR WINTER Living in Ontario, we’ve become accustomed to massive amounts of snow, sleet and ice dumping on us each winter. However, no matter how much we’ve adjusted and learned to cope, winter weather still takes a huge toll on City resources and services. Despite Mother Nature’s fury, the City of Vaughan works tirelessly to keep our roads, sidewalks and pathways as safe as possible by clearing snow and ice within hours upon arrival.


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Everyone has somewhere to be. Life simply doesn’t stop when the weather gets tough and we’re hit with a snowstorm. Isn’t it wonderful when we bravely peek outside expecting to see heaps of snow blanketing our roads, but instead we find the streets miraculously cleared? The reality is, it’s no miracle — it’s the result of hard work. It’s something we’ve come to depend on in Vaughan: the prompt removal of snow and ice from our roads.

SALT, PLOW, WINDROW, REPEAT! The City has made it a priority to have all main roads cleared within four hours of the end of a snowfall so residents and emergency service vehicles can travel safely. Residential streets and narrower roads can expect to be plowed within 12 to 16 hours of a snowfall. Windrow service — the clearing of snow from the bottom of residential driveways — is completed up to four hours after the plow has passed. This pattern of effective — and efficient — snow removal has proven to be a great success and helps maintain safety for all throughout harsh winter weather. Without exemplary winter snow removal services, Vaughan residents, business owners and employees would be stuck indoors, unable to attend work or school. That’s why the City has entered into a multiyear snow removal contract that is truly one of a kind.

THE FIRST OF ITS KIND: A PERFORMANCEBASED ROAD MAINTENANCE CONTRACT In November 2016, the City released details outlining a brandnew trendsetting winter road maintenance contract. “The performance-based winter maintenance contract is industry leading and the first of its kind among municipalities in Ontario,” explains Zoran Postic, Director of Transportation Services, Parks and Forestry Operations at the City of Vaughan. “It is a model that delivers costs savings, increased efficiency and enhanced service delivery to the citizens of Vaughan.” What makes this contract stand out among the rest is its performance-based nature. Think back to when you were in school — typically, you were rewarded if you did well on a test or assignment. Perhaps your parents even gave you an incentive to encourage studying. Well, the City’s new road maintenance contract works much the same way: it’s performance and incentive-based. If road crews perform well, there are incentives and, for underperformance, there are disincentives in place. Implemented last year, this system promotes efficiency and responsibility, and has proven extremely successful. According to the City, the new performance-based contract is supported by quality assurance measures that encourage contractors (Ashland Paving Limited and Maple-Crete Inc.) to deliver on contractual requirements 100 per cent of the time.

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Before the contract was finalized and implemented, the City met with representatives of Ashland Paving Limited and Maple-Crete Inc. to hash out the details of the performance plan. “The qualitycontrol plans are designed to drive targeted performance and can be adapted to the City’s changing needs,” says Postic. After a snow event, performance would be evaluated and measured against this strategy and, depending on the results, contractors were either awarded incentives or given disincentives. Postic describes the new contract as a “platform for relationship building that has resulted in a long-term partnership with the contractors. It’s a partnership that encourages service excellence.” He goes on to say, “Every year, the City and its contractors will continue to work together to review the season’s operations, reflect on what went well, identify areas needing improvement, and adjust the contract as necessary for the following year.” The program is a great example of how Vaughan is working to eliminate unnecessary spending, fostering a better, more promising future for residents and businesses. Postic reveals that last winter, the City’s new performance-based contract “resulted in approximately a five per cent decrease in the City’s fixed costs for winter road maintenance services.” No doubt, this has resulted in savings being re-allocated elsewhere to help build better programs and services within the City. In fact, even other cities, including Barrie to the north, took note of Vaughan’s trendsetting snow-removal service when CTV News Barrie (@CTVNewsBarrie) chimed in on Twitter saying, “Vaughan has a unique contract this year (2016-2017) that could help them save money on snow removal.” Another noteworthy change to Vaughan’s winter road maintenance program is the expansion of the City’s fleet of vehicles. “The City put an age limit on all equipment that resulted in contractors purchasing a fleet of more than 100 new units in the first year,” Postic tells us. In total, the new fleet includes 50 salter/ snowplow units, 45 windrow vehicles, 16 pickup trucks that are each equipped with plows and salters, eight cul-de-sac clearing machines and four anti-icing units. The vehicles were put into use last winter and the improvement in service was astounding! With a host of new snow removal vehicles and salters, our roads, sidewalks and driveways are cleared faster and more efficiently than ever before. The new cul-de-sac clearing machines are particularly special. Never used before, they essentially pick up and clear snow more effectively by making tighter turns around street bends and dead ends. Traditional snowplows can’t make these tighter turns and are largely ineffective on smaller, unyielding roadways, but these new machines efficiently address this issue.

HELP KEEP VAUGHAN’S ROADS AND SIDEWALKS SAFE THIS WINTER! Finally, while this new program is fantastic, by working together with the City’s winter road maintenance crew, we can all help keep our roads and sidewalks safe this coming winter. Here are a few helpful hints and tips you can use to safeguard your property, your neighbours and your loved ones:

• Keep fire hydrants around your home or business clear of snow and ice so they may be used in the event of an emergency. • When clearing your driveway of snow and ice, do not shovel onto the road. • Clear the sidewalk in front of your home within 24 hours of snowfall to ensure residents can travel safely by foot. • Remember not to park your vehicle on the street during a snowfall as that can hinder the effectiveness of the City’s road maintenance crews. • On garbage and blue bin pick-up days, ensure that your containers are placed at least one metre away from the curb. If you’d like to stay up to date on the City’s snow-removal schedule and processes, please check out the following: • Follow @City_of_Vaughan on Twitter for regular updates • Bookmark vaughan.ca/snow for more detailed coverage and information • Call the official snow hotline at 905-879-SNOW (7669) • Email the official snow account at snow@vaughan.ca 2 0 1 7 · C E L E B R AT E VAU G H A N


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CREATING SUSTAINABLE IMPACT “Are you ready to change the world!?”

shouts Marc Kielburger, his voice echoing across Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, igniting a deafening roar from the thousands of enthusiastic young people attending September’s world-renowned WE Day celebration.

This year, the youth empowerment event Kielburger presents annually, alongside his brother Craig, featured a surprise appearance by humanitarian, HRH Prince Harry. The Kielburgers, founders of arguably the most powerful positive social movement of modern times, (ME to WE) stand on stage alongside A-list musicians, actors, speakers and royalty, but are local boys at heart. Born and raised in the City of Vaughan, these brothers are inspiring positive change on a global scale. Changing the world is an ambitious endeavour. However, after 20-plus years of committing their lives to this purpose, the brothers are proving it can be done. As the brain children behind the WE Movement (ME to WE Social Enterprise, WE Charity and WE Day celebrations), they have brilliantly devised an innovative, multifaceted endeavour that assists in providing education, health, clean water, sanitation, alternative income, agriculture and food security for people around the world.


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With environmental concerns and other global issues, "There is an urgency to act,” states Craig Kielburger, “especially with issues regarding refugees and violence, but I like to look at this as a time of opportunity. We can create a world in our generation that is free of extreme poverty, where every child goes to school and where sustainable consumption is the norm. It's the most exciting time in our history." The Kielburgers, with their past work and lengthy list of accolades, are the right people to inspire and foster future leaders. Thirty-five-year-old Craig is an Executive MBA graduate from Toronto's Schulich School of Business, while 40-year-old Marc graduated from Harvard University, completing his law degree at Oxford University. In addition to being celebrated activists and humanitarians, they are also best-selling authors, motivational speakers and recipients of several honorary doctorates and degrees including the Order of Canada.


These two pioneering men first launched their philanthropic endeavours at just 12 and 13 years of age — attracting global media attention from the likes of the BBC, the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and “60 Minutes.” Eldest brother Marc was the first to delve into philanthropy, travelling with the Toronto Catholic District School Board to the slums of Jamaica to aid leprosy patients. Craig's journey began in 1995 after he read a newspaper article about a Pakistani boy sold into slavery at the age of four and later killed at age 12 for defending his rights and fighting against child labour. Disturbed by this tragic story of a child his age, Craig decided to take action. "The first thing I did was call up charities I found in the yellow pages and say I want to help. All they kept telling me was to send money, and because I was 12, I didn't have a lot of money to send," he says. This sparked a desire to gather fellow students from his Thornhill school and create the Free the Children charity — the precursor to the WE Charity. Later that year, Craig took a trip to southeast Asia where he gained insight into child labour. "In order to go, my parents set a rule. I had to raise half the money for travel expenses myself and prove that I would be safe," chuckles Craig. "My greatest influences, hands down, have


been my parents," he adds with glowing admiration, describing Fred and Theresa Kielburger as entrepreneurs in addition to being educators. "I lived in multiple houses in Vaughan where every spring we'd buy a new house. Over the summer months we'd fix it up and 12 months later sell it and move into the next. Through this (my parents) taught us the value of hard work. They became teachers because they believed in education and it’s what they loved to do in order to give back to society. Yet they showed us that going beyond nine to five is necessary and being entrepreneurs is what helped them financially to give us the privileges they never had in childhood." In fact, they went beyond what many might consider standard parental support when they actually moved out of their existing home, handing it over to their sons as a headquarters for their newfound charity. Switching into high gear the brothers were now well on the road to changing the world. Understanding their vision could not be realized without assistance, so they looked to Ottawa for help. They contacted Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua who, at that time, was York North’s Member of Parliament. To this day, he continues to proudly support the WE Movement he has watched grow and evolve over the last 20 years. In return, Craig has shown his gratitude by serving as co-chair of Mayor Bevilacqua's 2012 Mayor's Gala, which raises funds for various charitable causes. A pivotal moment truly catapulting them to international recognition was when Oprah Winfrey learned of their charity and “pledged to build 100 schools with us, and like a pre-internet movie, bags upon bags of mail arrived!" exclaims Craig. "Thousands of letters got poured onto our living room floor, and all from people who wanted to help. The reality was that our lives were turned upside down in such a profound way and we didn't have the resources to fund things." Oprah’s magic wand helped fix that! Through the mentorship of many, along

with professional services provided pro bono, the boys established the ME to WE Social Enterprise, WE Charity and WE Day with each title symbolic of a shift from me to we thinking — a mindset that encourages people to make socially responsible decisions and helps transform local and global communities through the goods, services and experiences ME to WE provide. "The idea that charity is only a once- or twice-a-year transaction, usually at tax time or during the holidays with the occasional volunteering on a Saturday afternoon, is a broken model when the world's needs are so profound. We have so many more ways we can better the world today and create larger social change through the sustainable choices we make," Craig explains. To put it in simple terms, ME to WE Social Enterprise is a for-profit corporation generating income through the sale of consumer-conscious products and services, offsetting costs for the WE Charity by donating 50 per cent of its annual revenue to the cause. ME to WE then funnels the remaining 50 per cent back into the business to fund programs, cover administrative costs (which are only 10 per cent of the gross revenue) and expand the enterprise. By being self-sufficient and promoting a philanthropic lifestyle to the public, the WE Charity becomes a highly effective model that does not need to rely on donations for its survival. Since 2009, ME to WE have donated more than $8.5 million to the WE Charity in both cash and in-kind donations. To date, WE Charity has built more than 1,000 schools and schoolrooms around the world, empowering more than 200,000 children with an education. Hundreds of underdeveloped communities have benefited from its water and sanitation projects, medical resources and alternative income programs, helping them to become truly sustainable.

The social enterprise programs, goods and services are varied. International Day of the Girl Child bracelets sold on the ME to WE website are made by artisan women and, in turn, create employment and raise funds for girls’ education in Kenya. Partnering with large corporations such as Walgreens, a purchase of a deodorant or shampoo can help provide clean water sources. ME to WE also offers international family trips centred around service including local school programs and camps that teach and get kids excited about philanthropy. "All businesses should be social enterprises," suggests Craig, explaining that he measures the success of his own in two ways. "Globally, we look at the fact that there are about a million beneficiaries over the last 20 plus years while the second key measurement is here, closer to home, where we are creating an engaged generation of young change-makers." How do we know the ME to WE Movement creates a long-term impact by encouraging youth to become proactive citizens who make socially responsible decisions? Craig already has the proof. "In tracking our alumni, we found that 795 had voted in the recent election. Studies show a correlation — that if you get young people to care about a cause, where they see themselves as a positive agent of change, they then cast ballots and create an electoral impact." To keep this momentum going is WE Day and what the Kielburgers refer to as "the world's largest classroom." Record-breaking attendance levels rival that of music concerts, filling stadiums across Canada, the United States, the UK and Caribbean with kids committed to service and ready to hear from some very influential people. As the WE Movement blazes a trail across the globe inspiring humanity, Craig is finally realizing the dreams of his 12-year-old self. "When you add up ordinary individuals who want to make a difference and live in acutely impactful ways, it creates a tidal wave of positive change. And my vision of a perfect world is one infused with purpose." 2 0 1 7 · C E L E B R AT E VAU G H A N


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HONOURING THE TRUE NORTH – STRONG, PROUD AND FREE What a party! Thousands of Vaughan citizens demonstrated their civic pride by celebrating Canada's 150th birthday on July 1 at a once-in-lifetime event at the Boyd Conservation Area. The festivities honoured our nation's sesquicentennial, as well as Vaughan’s heritage and contribution to this great country. With a legacy tree planted in the park, an official welcome by Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Members of Council, as well as an exciting star-studded concert, it was a day to be remembered. A steady flow of entertainment throughout the day included live performances by headliner and Canadian chart-topping artist Coleman Hell and Juno-winner Dominic Mancuso. Samba Squad, Eric Ethridge and Michelle Treacy also performed throughout the day. It was a fun-filled time for everyone as families enjoyed the midway rides and inflatables, and visited a pavilion that housed an art mural, button-making


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workshop and the opportunity for children to participate in the City of Vaughan's popular Dream Weavers Project honouring Canada's First Nations. A fantastic finale to the celebrations featured an electrifying laser show that wowed the crowd. The City celebrated Canada 150 in a number of ways throughout the year. An official flag raising kicked off the countdown to July 1 at the first Concerts in the Park in June at Vaughan City Hall. As part of that ceremony, a Sugar Maple was planted and a commemorative plaque put on display


From coast to coast, Canadians united on this special day to celebrate all that is wonderful about our great nation. Canada is built upon a rich past that uniquely defines us, and reaffirms our common identity as a country — strong, proud and free. Canada Day brought citizens together here in Vaughan a nd nationwide to mark the sesquicentennial in a profound demonstration of our shared values of peace, hope and generosity." — Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua

at Civic Park. Paying homage to our First Nations’ unique heritage, culture and many contributions to Vaughan — as well as reflecting on the country's past, present and future — the City unveiled a ceremonial plaque at the Civic Centre Resource Library. As well, a second tree planting took place: a Sugar Maple for Canada, an Eastern Pine for Ontario and a Cedar tree representing the AboriMarial community. This event and others like it taking place throughout the year would not have been possible without assistance in the form of grant monies from government and corporate

sponsors. These grants were instrumental in funding Canada 150 celebrations both locally and nationwide. With the environment being a central theme at the very heart of these community celebrations, the federal government encouraged tree-planting tributes through the CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up fund. The City of Vaughan was the recipient of $25,000 from this fund and a further $70,200 was awarded from the Department of Canadian Heritage 150 Fund. Throughout these events, the patriotism of Canadians was on proud display. We truly are the true north strong and free. Happy 150 th birthday, Canada!

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RECOGNIZING CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE COMMUNITY Our city is full of inspirational people who work tirelessly to improve the fabric of our communities and make life better for everyone in the City of Vaughan. They’re the mentors, coaches and teachers who go the extra mile; the business leaders who create jobs and fuel the local economy; and the philanthropists who give their time, money and energy to not-for-profit causes. That’s why, in 2016, Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua established the Order of Vaughan as the City’s highest civic honour for those in our community who have made a very real, significant and valued contribution to Vaughan’s success. It was created to celebrate the people who, through their positive influence and dedication, have shaped and continue to shape our city into what it is today.

“We are blessed to have citizens who dedicate their time giving back, representing Vaughan at home and abroad,” says Mayor Bevilacqua. “I championed the creation of this new program because I believe that exemplary citizenship must be recognized in a meaningful way.” The hope is that people across the City are inspired by those bestowed with the Order of Vaughan, and follow in their footsteps to continue improving the lives of everyone in our community. For more information, visit Vaughan.ca/OrderOfVaughan.

Twenty-five individuals were honoured with the Order last year to celebrate the City’s 25th Anniversary, and 10 were invested this year:

Bob Bak (Education)

Carlo Baldassarra (Philanthropy)

Vic De Zen (Philanthropy & Business)

Alessia Dickson

Frank Dimant (Not-for-Profit)

Geraldine Di Marco

Meriel Gordon

Rona Kleiman (Not-for-Profit)

Dominic Lee

Rabbi Yoseph Zaltzman

Founder of the Korean Community Centre for Multiculturalism

(Not-for-Profit) President and co-founder of A Touch of Love and Hope Foundation for Multiculturalism

Founder of Greenpark Homes, one of Canada's largest homebuilders

(Philanthropy, Not-for-Profit) Advocate for Crohn’s and Colitis research

Local entrepreneur and recipient of the Order of Canada

Founder and former president of Project Linus Canada

Voice of the Jewish community

(Arts & Entertainment) Author of The Crystal Chronicles

(Health and Wellness) Founder and president of the First Chinese Senior Association of Vaughan

(Not-for-Profit, Spiritual) Founder of the Jewish Russian Community Centre

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G R O W I N G U P AC T I V E :


RECREATION IN VAUGHAN “People ask how we have time to go to the gym,” say Vaughan residents Maria and John, parents of four children ranging in age from three to 11. They find the time at their local community centre, which gives the couple a chance to work out in the fitness centre while their kids are in the babysitting room, playing basketball, attending swim lessons or studying in the library. “It’s the one place where we can go and everyone in the family can be busy.” This typical Vaughan family are experts at navigating Vaughan’s wide range of recreational programs and services. Maria and John have been members of Vaughan fitness centres since 2008, and now their children participate in City-operated swim lessons, summer camps, Vaughan Playschool, recreational skating, gymnastics and ballet lessons. Their oldest son even has a youth membership, which gives him access after school, to the games room and pick-up basketball in the gymnasium. Maria and John have nothing but rave reviews for the staff and facilities. “The classes are good and the instructors are very knowledgeable. They are the kind of people you dream of having an influence in your child’s life,” says Maria. What first got their feet through the door was the centre’s library. From there, in 2006, Maria participated in a parent and tot swim class and says she met other people in the program that she still talks to today. Fostering friendships as well as fitness keep Maria and John coming back again and again. “BEING ACTIVE IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY,” Maria emphasizes. With a family of six, it’s very difficult to accommodate varying schedules and interests, but at Vaughan’s 10 community centres that boast indoor and outdoor amenities and programs, there is something for everyone.

The family is enrolled year-round in a variety of recreation programs. A bonus, John says, is that there is greenspace you won’t get at private gyms. “We can send the kids out with a ball or to the playground, so they are playing in the middle of the field and I can jog around the track while keeping an eye on them.” Like many other Vaughan families, it’s the quality of programs, convenient locations and having everything in one place that keeps them coming back.

The classes are good and the instructors are very knowledgeable. They are the kind of people you dream of having an influence in your child’s life.

BEING INVOLVED IN RECREATION FROM A YOUNG AGE FOSTERS MANY STRONG CHARACTER TRAITS AND ENCOURAGES YOUTH TO STAY INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY THROUGHOUT THEIR LIVES. Attending camps is another fundamental way to engage children and youth in their community. The City of Vaughan offers more than 60 summer camps for kids from ages 4 - 16, categorized by areas of interest: creative, culinary and performing arts; fitness

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and sports; leadership; plus, outdoor and water adventures. Research indicates that camp experience contributes to the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of a child. Maria and John’s children vary widely in age yet each has had an opportunity to attend a camp that piques their curiosity and provides exercise. “We are very happy with what we’ve experienced — the camps are wellorganized and professionally run,” Maria says. Vaughan also offers various programs to help those little ones find their interests and get ready for the real world — school! Maria’s preschooler (or youngest child) attends Vaughan Playschool three times a week for two hours at a time, and already they find he is becoming a great learner and trusting of his teachers, whom Maria describes as warm, caring and professional.

is popular with older adults, especially in the mornings. This is in line with Vaughan’s commitment to providing older adults with access to a variety of programs meant to keep them engaged and physically active. The full-day Community Connections program, for example, allows for older adults to socialize and stay active as they enjoy activities like bocce, bowling, cards, walking on the track and even the occasional field trip to the casino.

Interestingly, while being active is crucial, Maria also mentioned that community centres are a “safe environment to help give kids independence.” Their tween has made many friends at the community centre and is eager to work and give back to his community through volunteering. As a major youth employer, the Recreation department hires hundreds of partThe Recreation Vaughan Guide features recreation programs, camps, swim lessons time and seasonal staff each year, in and aquatic leadership courses for all ages. VAUGHAN IS COMMITTED positions where they learn key life skills The guide – published in February and August – is available at community centres, including teamwork and leadership, TO OFFERING ACCESSIBLE libraries and vaughan.ca/eGuide. PROGRAMS AND OPTIONS THAT and gain valuable experience to add to SUPPORT A VIBRANT AND HEALTHY COMMUNITY their resume. For volunteer and employment opportunities, visit FOR ALL AGES — The couple mentions the community centre the seasonal recreation jobs website at vaughan.ca/RecJobs.


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Enrich People

Inspire Opportunities

Transform Community

Ansley Grove Library | Bathurst Clark Resource Library | Civic Centre Resource Library | Dufferin Clark Library Kleinburg Library | Maple Library | Pierre Berton Resource Library | Pleasant Ridge Library | Woodbridge Library

or ch f Wat ning! e Op

Vellore Village South Library Under Construction

t! Ma k e I Learn It !

It! Create

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! t i e t c rea CI TY S E RVICES



Vaughan Public Libraries helps more than 2.5-million visitors get creative!

Sitting poised and ready to record a track, 63-year-old songwriter and musician Donald Lazar (“Don Laz”) plucks his guitar effortlessly, singing his rendition of a Johnny Cash classic. After a while, he pauses, glances around the studio (which he refers to as his “source of inspiration”) and smiles. “What I have seen here, I’ve never seen in a library before,” he states. As for recording, “If it wasn’t for this [studio], I wouldn’t have taken the next steps,” Lazar says passionately.

is adapting to meet those needs by transforming into creation spaces, branded as Make It, Learn It and Create It areas.

The music studio Lazar is referring to could easily be mistaken for a standard studio in Los Angeles or Toronto. With vibrant décor and a wide selection of semi-professional recording equipment and software, DJ mixers and instruments, it’s located inside one of Vaughan Public Libraries’ (VPL) locations: the Civic Centre Resource Library. Yes, you read that right. This music studio is inside a library!

VPL has made it a mission to educate and provide accessible and affordable educational resources as well as foster digital literacy in Vaughan. The newly developed creation spaces can be found inside three of VPL’s resource libraries: the Civic Centre Resource Library, the Pierre Berton Resource Library and the Bathurst Clark Resource Library.

Libraries are recognized as public information storehouses — a space intended for reading and borrowing books. However, Vaughan’s nine libraries are going one step further, challenging conventional thinking on how they are used. Today, as more people use digital technologies to access and even create content, VPL


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“[We are] among the first group of libraries embracing the movement … of facilitating creation in public libraries,” says VPL CEO Margie Singleton. “We encourage innovation. We have a forward-thinking team of staff who are willing to take risks and try new things.”

First up and exclusive to the newly opened Civic Centre Resource Library is the Create It studio. It almost looks like something from a science fiction movie. With one visit, you begin to see why Chatelaine magazine dubbed it as one of “the 15 coolest libraries in Canada.” Across from the outside reading garden, the digital media lab features the music studio that customers like Lazar use,


a design space equipped with 3D printers and a green room where visitors can produce videos. Like the music studio, the green room features semi-professional equipment, digital camcorders, production lighting equipment and a Mac computer with Final Cut Pro X editing software. A valid library card is all it takes to gain access to this amazing technology, making it truly accessible for all. Regular client Brian Ferreira, the president of InfoTV Inc. — a digital signage and technology company — says he and his staff often use the green room to produce videos. “Access to a green room in the past was not feasible because of cost and convenience,” says Ferreira. “With the green room at VPL’s Civic Centre Resource Library, however, we save time, money and have creative flexibility.” The Make It space, located on the first floor at Pierre Berton Resource Library, also features state-of-the-art technology, including 3D printers, button makers, Carvey® machines, vinyl cutting machines, Dash and Dot robotics and a portable green-screen kit that customers can use to create a virtual reality. Also featured is a small display showcasing examples of the creations you can make, including 3D objects and sculptures. The final creation space is the Learn It area, located inside the Bathurst Clark Resource Library. Still being renovated, this space currently offers virtual reality programming and a Steam Club — dedicated to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Eventually, this space will include other features similar to its counterparts. The best part about each creation space

is that it also offers workshops and tutorials promoting digital literacy and helping customers learn from experts about how to use this new technology available to customers at little or no charge. It’s estimated Vaughan residents save $75 million annually just by using their local library — an average savings of $1,112 per household!

So, whether you’re looking to pluck a guitar string, record your own track, make a movie or just about anything in between, VPL ensures there’s no need to travel far or invest tons of money. Like Lazar and Ferreira, you too can take advantage of the three accessible creation spaces and the limitless resources available at any of VPL’s nine magnificent public libraries.

While VPL has evolved, it still offers the programs and traditional resources the Vaughan community has grown to love. “We have not abandoned other things that we do exceptionally well,” Singleton says. “While our knowledgeable VPL team is committed to investing in the City of Vaughan and in new technologies, we will always offer a variety of programs and services that the community enjoys.”

For more information, visit vaughanpl.info.

Along with the three resource libraries, VPL has six other locations: Ansley Grove, Dufferin Clark, Kleinburg, Maple, Pleasant Ridge and Woodbridge. All locations offer bestsellers, new releases, multilingual materials, digital materials and databases (on VPL’s website), newspapers, magazines, CDs, movies and TV series on DVD/Bluray, eBooks, audiobooks and various technology resources. Each library also features study areas, reading lounges, multi-purpose rooms and more. Pierre Berton offers a FitDesk and its teen zone has a new PlayStation and foosball table. The Civic Centre features a reading garden and second-floor patio. VPL also provides a wide range of popular programs and services such as family story time, teen programs, free Wi-Fi at all locations, portable GPS navigators, GoPro Hero 4 cameras and even laptop and iPad dispensers. 2 0 1 7 · C E L E B R AT E VAU G H A N


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Alex Janvier, Untitled, 1986, acrylic on canvas, 165.1 x 266.7 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (42867) © Alex Janvier. Photo: NGC

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is a national treasure celebrated for exclusively collecting Canadian art. Its permanent collection consists of over 6,400 artworks by Canadian artists, including paintings by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists, and historic and contemporary artists who have contributed to The Art of Canada.* More than 50 years ago, gallery founders Robert and Signe McMichael donated their home, grounds and collection of paintings to the Province of Ontario. They created a legacy FAMILY DAYS AND FESTIVALS: Take part in a variety of drop-in art workshops, family tours and performances. Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 Happy Holidays from the McMichael Family Sunday Sunday, Feb. 18 and Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 Family Day Weekend Festival Sunday, March 11, 2018 March Break Madness Family Sunday

SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS: Alex Janvier — On until Jan. 21, 2018 View a major retrospective organized by the National Gallery of Canada


built on the appreciation, support and longevity of Canadian art and artists — a legacy that the McMichael continues to uphold. These works of art are a snapshot of Canadian history and culture that continue to remain relevant and important throughout the years. The McMichael provides a unique arts and cultural experience for visitors, from the art that hangs on the walls to the spectacular grounds, Sculpture Garden and hiking trails. The McMichael, beautiful in all seasons, is truly an extraordinary place to visit, where connections between art and nature can be explored.

(NGC) honouring one of the most oriMarial and innovative contemporary Indigenous artists in Canada.

Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice — On until Feb. 11, 2018

Experience an intimate view of the life and legacy of this celebrated Inuk artist. Featuring over 50 drawings alongside works by her contemporaries, visitors can discover this award-winning artist’s candid and contemporary depictions of life in Cape Dorset.

The Group of Seven Guitar Project — On until March 18, 2018 Explore seven one-of-a-kind guitars, crafted by seven renowned guitar

makers, inspired by seven iconic artists. An eighth guitar, dedicated to Tom Thomson and the role he played in the evolution of the Group, was built collaboratively by all seven luthiers.


Host your next occasion at the McMichael—staff retreats, weddings, meetings and more—in one of the many beautiful and unique spaces surrounded by art in a natural setting, including the newly renovated Meeting House.

Visit mcmichael.com to learn more about the gallery’s exhibitions, adult and children’s art classes, ArtVenture camps and special programming.

*THE ART OF CANADA is an official mark of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

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LOVING THE CITY, LIVING WITH PURPOSE. Perhaps the most important part of receiving a blessing is knowing, deep down, that returning the favour to someone else is the only way for it to truly take hold in your own life. For Julia Sukharyeva, it’s a life built around education and seeking new opportunities in a land far from home. Her life’s blessings have been a help to many others — both in Ukraine and here in her adopted home of Vaughan. Julia Sukharyeva represents “the new face of Vaughan.” People of all nationalities are contributing to this City’s success and Julia is part of the wave of people who are making an impact. Arriving from Ukraine 11 years ago, she set out on a journey to succeed. “Since my early teenage years, I visualized a path of academic, professional and personal growth. I was motivated by service, contribution and positive change. A career in real estate has enabled me to do just that — to grow, to learn and to give back to my community in many different ways. I’m truly blessed to do what I love doing,” she says.

What’s so inspiring about Julia is that her drive to succeed in business is matched by her spirit of generosity. An enlightened business attitude requires both the heart and mind. “There are no shortcuts to the road to success; it requires discipline, focus and determination." Julia was able to accomplish all that she set out to achieve by focusing on becoming a better realtor every day. Every transaction closed and every client served provided her with the opportunity to master her skills. “I realized that seeing clients’ needs, concerns and preferences through their eyes is the path to success. Customer satisfaction is the key.” As an up-and-coming real estate agent, Julia understands the importance of keeping a work-life balance. “I’m so lucky to have the support I have. Without my friends and family, I wouldn’t be able to help so many others,” said Sukharyeva. As a Property.ca Realty Inc. Brokerage Representative, Julia has had the

opportunity to develop valuable partnerships with her clients and launch initiatives that are close to her heart. These initiatives have helped her build relationships with clients and aligned her business brand with social values that are important to her. Whether she is teaching students in Nairobi, Kenya or supporting York Regional Police with an anti-bullying campaign, these activities are consistent with her core values. “My journey in this industry has been very rewarding and meaningful. It has provided me with many new experiences, which have enhanced my personal growth. My greatest satisfaction comes from helping my clients to achieve their goals. What I have determined so far in my journey is that it is in the giving that we receive." It’s a philosophy that turns blessings and hard work into even more blessings, and it’s part of what makes the changing face of Vaughan so great.

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