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Vaughan Metropolitan Centre


The City of Vaughan's Urban Growth Centre is known as Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC). It is approximately 179 hectares in size and it comprises an area that was predominantly under-used, low density and big-box stores. In 2006, when the Provincial government announced the Spadina subway line would be extended to Vaughan, the area around it was identified as an Urban Growth Centre.

In order to deliver the kind of density a subway would require, the VMC needed to plan for a higher density than what had previously existed on the land. Vaughan's original Secondary Plan for the VMC The VMC Secondary Plan established a population target of 25,000 residents and 11,500 jobs by 2031, with a maximum population of approximately 50,000 residents at full build-out. They envisioned buildings at heights of 30-storeys (with additional height through bonusing).

Unfortunately, the VMC's subsequent development didn't proceed to plan.

  • Residential development activity was dramatically surpassing the population targets established in the VMC’s Secondary Plan.

  • The ratio of residential to non-residential uses continued to widen, raising concern for a lack of balance.

  • Development intensification was trending at a rate that averaged 1.6 times greater than the maximum permissions afforded. Building heights often are 60 storeys and more.

  • Density aspirations in the marketplace continued to set new precedents.

Hyper Density

The combined effect of issues brought even greater challenges.

  • Based on approved development applications, 98% of the housing supply represented apartment units, worsened by an additional trend toward smaller units and less unit mix diversity.

  • The vast majority of units were 1 and 2-bedroom configurations with only 2% of the units being 3-bedrooms.

  • Residential growth continued to outpace office, retail, and other non-residential uses, meaning that the provision of parkland, schools, community services and facilities, had not kept pace with the residential population generated by new developments.


Staff’s caution to Municipal leaders was and continued to be: “Should this trend continue, Council’s vision of a world class downtown, with a vibrant central business district and balanced community, may no longer be possible”

Just one year later, in February 2024, Vaughan’s working group on VMC reported that the outcome of developments occupied, under construction or approved now represented more than 69,000 residents, not only greatly exceeding the 2031 forecast, but as well, surpassing the original full build out figure of 50,000. In fact, applications submitted for future construction reflected a population of 82,000 residents and when projected, the new build out population would could equal over 130,000. 

Forecasts clearly revealed that substantial public investment (property taxes) would be required to balance service demands.

What Does Life Look Like In the VMC?
Judge for Yourself

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