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Vaughan (2001 population 182,022) is a city in York Region north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Vaughan is the fastest growing municipality in Canada, having nearly doubled in size since 1991. Vaughan is part of the Greater Toronto Area.
The first European to make his way through Vaughan was the French explorer Étienne Brűlé, who traversed the Humber Trail in 1615. However, it was not until the townships were created in 1792 that Vaughan began to see any settlements, as it was considered to be extremely remote and the lack of roads through the region made travel difficult.
Despite the hardships of pioneer life, settlers came to Vaughan in considerable numbers. The population grew from 19 men, 5 women, and 30 children in 1800 to 4300 in 1840. The first people to arrive were mainly Pennsylvania Germans, with a smaller number of families of English descent and a group of French Royalists being represented. This migration from the United States was by 1814 superseded by an influx of immigrants from Britain. While many of their predecessors had been agriculturalists, the newer immigrants proved to be highly skilled tradespeople, which would prove useful for a growing community.
Around the facilities established by this group arose a number of hamlets, the oldest of which was Thornhill, which witnessed the construction of a saw-mill in 1801, a grist mill in 1815, and boasted a population of 300 by 1836. Other such enclaves included Kleinburg, Coleraine, Maple, Richmond Hill, Teston, Claireville, Pine Grove, Carrville, Patterson, Burlington, Concord, Edgeley, Fisherville, Elder's Mills, Elgin Mills, Jefferson, Nashville, Purpleville, Richvale, Sherwood, Langstaff, Vellore and Burwick (Woodbridge).
Vaughan Township changed relatively little, from the 1840s when the number of inhabitants stood at 4300 to 1935 when it had 4873 residents. However, World War II sparked an influx of immigration, and by 1960 the population stood at 15,957.
As well, the ethno-cultural composition of the area began to change with the arrival of different groups such as the Italians, Jews and Eastern Europeans to name but a few.
Vaughan's mayor since 2002 is Michael Di Biase. He became involved in the city's political sphere when elected local councillor in 1985. In the 2003 Municipal Election, Di Biase won his first official term since the passing of Mayor Lorna Jackson. Vaughan is facing heavy media scrutiny for the first time, which is revealing serious questions in the leadership of Di Biase as Mayor. The City of Vaughan's Council is made up of nine members; a mayor, three regional councillors and five local councillors. The mayor, elected at large by electorate, is the head of Vaughan council and a representative on York Region Council. Three regional councillors are elected to represent Vaughan at both local and regional levels of government. Five local councillors are elected, one from each of Vaughan's five wards, to represent those wards on Vaughan Council.
Vaughan is bounded by Caledon, Ontario and Brampton, Ontario to the west, King, Ontario and Richmond Hill, Ontario to the north, Markham, Ontario to the east, and Toronto, Ontario to the south. It is located at .
York University in North York, Ontario lies on the Toronto side of the Toronto-Vaughan border. It is a major comprehensive university, with more than 43,000 students enrolled through ten different faculties. Seneca College has four campuses in Vaughan.
|North: King, Richmond Hill|
|West: Caledon, Brampton||Vaughan||East: Markham|
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