Thousands more people to call Vaughan's emerging downtown home in future
March 9, 2022
During peak hours, school buses and cars at the intersection of Apple Mill Road and Millway Avenue -- the heart of Vaughan’s emerging downtown core -- patiently wait their turns. Pedestrians, too, walk in and out of the subway station nearby, creating some buzz.
“From 4 to 6 p.m., this is like the most heavy traffic,” said Anupam Dwijendra, a father of one child, who moved in with his family to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre nine months ago after bidding his previous home, at a more populous and busier Toronto area, goodbye.
Dwijendra is one of the relatively new occupants of the completed eight condos, which currently total 3,900 units and house about 7,722 residents.
“But usually when you come here (during non-peak hours), it's mostly deserted,” Dwijendra added. “I think that’s because it's still developing, and people are still coming in.”
The completed condos -- all occupied -- are Transit City’s three towers, Expo City’s two towers, North Condos’ two towers, and a condo called The Met.
However, more units are still under construction.
The developer Menkes & QuadReal is building Block 2 -- also called Mobilio, which has 751 apartment units and 397 townhouses -- and Block 3 -- called Festival that comes with 2,470 apartment units.
SmartCentres is developing Transit City -- towers 4 and 5 -- and a purpose-built rental building, bringing its total to 1,480 units. And, Cortel is developing CG Tower, which has 551 units.
“Realization of developments that are occupied, under construction and approved currently represent more than 29,100 residents in more than 14,700 units moving into the VMC,” the City of Vaughan said.
“This represents 123 per cent of the residential units and 116 per cent of the population target established for the 2031 planning horizon,” it added.
The city also gave these figures:
The city added there are 13,662 units or about 27,051 in potential future residents in formally-submitted development applications are in progress. Also, pre-application development proposals show 6,218 units or approximately 12,312 potential future residents.
As the new downtown inches closer to completion, it’s also adding the first Buca-branded restaurant and bar outside Toronto -- at the Transit condo tower.
The addition is another higher-end brand, joining Balzac’s coffee shop, already serving people there.
Dwijendra, who described Balzac’s as special, said he would like to see more common brands like Tim Hortons.
“Tim Hortons feels more like home, so they can have more of these familiar kind of stores,” he said.
Others also have pitched in with their input.
“It just needs to get more stores to add life here,” said Adam Williams, an Egyptian student, who is visiting his sister at the VMC.
Anastasia Gale, who lives in an area near the new downtown, suggested the square in vicinity of the VMC subway station could showcase artwork of various artists.
“The square over there would be perfect for public art,” Gale said, adding it would be “lovely” to showcase the work of multicultural artists given that the area is diverse.
Last September, food trucks, an art exhibition and drive-in movie theatres gave people a taste of culture.
“It definitely left an impression on me. I took a video I shared with my friends and everything,” said Dwijendra. “If more of that could happen, that would be amazing.”
So far, the Vaughan International Music Festival is planned to take place from June 10 to 12 after its soft launch last year.