About the VMC

Emerging downtown

Vaughan’s dream of having a downtown core is nearly as old as the City itself.

The Town of Vaughan officially became a City in 1991. It was made up of five municipalities–all with their own historic village or town centre–so Vaughan committed to building a new business and commercial core at the intersection of Highways 400 and 407. Approved in 1998, Official Plan Amendment 500 called for the Vaughan Corporate Centre, as it was then branded, to become a focal point for business activity and major commercial development.

The plan truly found its legs in 2006 when the Province announced that the Spadina subway line would be extended to Vaughan and designated the area around it as an Urban Growth Centre. More designations and plans followed, defining the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre and preparing it for development.

In 2010, when Maurizio Bevilacqua became Mayor of the City of Vaughan, he made the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre one of his key priorities. He formed the VMC Sub Committee and began organizing the key infrastructure.

Announcements for the VMC’s first residential (Expo City) and office (KPMG Tower) developments in 2011 and 2012, respectively, proved that the blueprint had market potential. Development and interest have accelerated ever since.

The opening of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension in December 2017, with a new terminus at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station, has been a game-changer for the VMC and Vaughan.

Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca and York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson along with others, unveil the TTC Line 1 Extension.

Vision

The vision for the VMC is for distinct districts with residential neighbourhoods, office and employment areas, and mixed-use areas, all linked by a robust system of parks, squares and open spaces and a fine grain grid pattern of streets.

The City of Vaughan has established targets of 12,000 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of commercial office space, and 750,000 square feet of new retail space by 2031.

We are planning for a downtown that is:

  • Transit-oriented: highest density around subway, Viva, and bus stations.
  • Walkable: fine grain street network, mix of uses, pedestrian streetscape, parks.
  • Accessible: easy access by transit, car, bicycle and other modes of active transportation.
  • Diverse: variety of housing (including affordable) and architectural forms, jobs, open spaces.
  • Vibrant: active ground floor uses, civic, cultural, community and institutional destinations.
  • Green: high green building standards, efficient energy use, natural features.
  • Beautiful: high architectural standards, signature open spaces, public art, tree cover.

For more on the policy context and future direction of the VMC, visit the Studies and Plans page.

Early history

The VMC is rising in an area that is now largely industrial, but was previously the Village of Edgeley.

The village was established by Pennsylvania German migrants in the early 1800s near the intersection of Jane Street and Highway 7. The landscape was covered in fruit trees, mainly apples.

At one time, this village on Black Creek had a hotel, a church, a slaughterhouse, and some shops but it was perhaps best known for its cider mill, which made use of the local apple trees. The original mill only produced cider but later expanded the product line to apple butter and apple jelly. Through the late 1800s, the mill had a steady stream of customers in the fall months, and some buyers even stayed overnight.

Today, Edgeley’s legacy is embedded in some of the VMC’s street names: Edgeley Boulevard, Millway Avenue, Apple Mill Road, and Applewood Crescent. Fruit trees are to be planted in the forthcoming Edgeley Pond and Park.

Jane Street south of Hwy 7 in the early 1900s
Edgeley Pond and Park site, 1947-2017