Life in Vaughan for Immigrants – Guide for Newcomers

This article paints a picture of life in Vaughan for immigrants, covering the basic things they should know.

When you think of life in Vaughan for immigrants, think of a city that has all that the stereotype city has. From numerous inhabitants to incredible nightlife, busy traffic, crowded areas, beautiful sights, skyscrapers, etc. Are you planning to come live in Vaughan? Or perhaps you’re merely planning a visit or a vacation. Either way, allow us to mentally walk you through the city and give you a picture of what to expect when you get into it.

In this article

Where is Vaughan?

Sometime ago, Vaughan was listed as one of the best places in the province to live. That is saying a lot, considering the said province is Ontario; one of the best places in the world, and the same province that contains Ottawa; the capital city of Canada.

Vaughan is located in the regional municipality of York; just north of Toronto. Furthermore, it shares its western borders with Caledon and Brampton, northern borders with King and Richmond Hill, and Markham and Richmond Hill to the east.

The city consists of 5 major communities; Maple, Kleinburg, Concord, Woodbridge, and (only a part of) Thornhill. It is one of the top 5 largest cities in Ontario, and top 20 in Canada.

The operations and well-being of Vaughan is overseen by a nine-person governing council. This council is made up of 5 local councillors, and three regional councilors. Finally, the last person in the council, who is the at the helm of affairs, is the mayor of the city. All 9 of these positions are attained by election. The 5 local councillors are elected, one from each ward, to represent the wards.

However, the 3 regional councillors, along with the mayor, represent the city at the York Regional Council. The City Hall where the councillors meet, is located in Maples. It was opened on September 25, 2011.

Population of Vaughan

The last census conducted in Canada places the population of Vaughan at just over 306,000 citizens; an 8.2% increase from the previously conducted census in 2011.

The city’s population is comprised mostly of Europeans (especially Italians), who make up about 60% of the population. The current mayor is of Italian-Canadian descent himself.

Furthermore, there is a growing number of Asian minorities in the region; Chinese, Indian, Iranian, etc.

The most prominent language in Vaughan is, like most other places in the country, English. Up to 45% of the inhabitants identify as native English speakers. The next most prominent is Italian, then Russian, Spanish, and a whole lot of other minorities; hence, making Vaughan a highly multilingual city.

The most populous religious group in the city is the Christians (most of whom are Catholics). Next to them are those who practise Judaism, the those with no religious affiliation. Others include Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.

Weather in Vaughan

Vaughan is one of the fair-weather parts of Canada. However, this is only by Canadian standards. The city experiences four distinct seasons every year from spring to winter. Furthermore, they experience fairly warm summers and cold winters. The average temperature during the summer ranges from 13.8 degrees Celsius to 26.9 degrees Celsius. During the winter however, temperatures drop as low as -10.7 degrees Celsius to 0.8 degrees Celsius.

If you’re relocating to Vaughan from warmer climes, especially during the winter, you might need to get prepared for the cold Canadian weather. A couple of head warmers, gloves, winter jackets and boots should do the trick.

Commerce in Vaughan

Vaughan is home to lots of big companies looking to establish themselves in the big city. They offer tons of employment opportunities to the citizens of both the city itself and other surrounding cities. As a matter of fact, Vaughan is the third largest provider of employment in the region. It is also the largest contributor to the region’s economy.

Manufacturing, retail trade, construction, accommodation services, food service, tourism, etc. all contribute to the city’s growth; hence, making them an incredibly diverse economy.

Cost of Living in Vaughan

The cost of living in Vaughan is quite high; at least when compared to national average. Housing is about 28% higher, income and sales tax are about 40% and 30% higher than national average as well. This is one of the downsides to living in Vaughan. However, it is the opportunities that mostly attracts people to this city; hence, it would be wise of you to weigh your options first, your income and potential earnings, before you move to Vaughan.

Vaughan Schools

Vaughan boasts of having quality educational institutions at every level. From elementary level to higher institution, they play host to some very impressive institutions. The most prominent of these is York University; located on the Vaughan-Toronto border. York University is 4th largest University in Canada and one of the most Popular Universities in Ontario Province.

Education in Vaughan is overseen by various bodies including; York Region District School Board, the York Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir and Conseil scolaire Viamonde.

Transit in Vaughan

The city if Vaughan is made up of a complex network of roads, rails, bridges, etc. to help the citizens easily access different parts of the city, or neighbouring cities by any means they can. Here are the transit options you need to be aware of as immigrant starting life in Vaughan.


Due to its closeness to Toronto, citizens of Vaughan majorly make us of the Toronto Pearson International Airport for local and international flights. The other flight option nearby is the Buttonville municipal airport in Markham.


There are two passenger train stations in Vaughan; the Rutherford GO station and the Maple GO station. Both of these stations fall on the Barrie line and are operated by GO transit services. These trains terminate at Barrie in the North and Toronto in the South.


Road transit in Vaughan could be by either public or private transport. Public transport, taxi services are provided for the good people of Vaughan by various establishments. These include; York Region Transit, Viva, Toronto Transit Commission, and GO.

Perhaps the major con of road transit in Vaughan is the heavy traffic the citizens often experience there. This is largely due to the city’s proximity to Toronto. However, if you can look past this, you shouldn’t have too much problems settling in with the Vaughan commute.

Vaughan Media

If you move to Vaughan, of course you’d want to stay up to date with the happenings in the city/country. Hence, the city has made provision for such needs. “The Vaughan Citizen” is a weekly newspaper that attends to such needs. Other such newspapers include “City Life”, a bi-monthly lifestyle magazine, “Lo Specchio”, an Italian magazine in Vaughan, and “Thornhill Liberal”, Thornhill community’s weekly magazine.

The city is mostly served by TV stations in Toronto or the York Regional district. However, the following radio stations are local to them; Krosswave Radio, Jeepney Pinoy radio, MCBN Pinoy radio, etc.

Life in St Albert for Immigrants

Fun Things to do in Vaughan

If you’re going to be spending time in Vaughan, of course there are some incredible spots, sights, experiences, etc. you shouldn’t leave without trying out. Here below, we give you some of the best sights to look out for in your time in Vaughan.

Nightlife/Dining out in Vaughan – Popular Spots

Here are the 5 best places to hanging at night in Vaughan;

  • Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill
  • Whiskey A Go-Go Strip Club
  • Handstonesoirée Night Club
  • SiN on 7 Night Club
  • Bar 6ix Sports and Wings

If you’re here on a romantic or work vacation, you may also want some recommendations on the best places to dine out in Vaughan. Here are some of the top 5;

  • Artigianale Ristorante & Enoteca
  • The Vista by Chef Denis
  • Motorino
  • Paps Kitchen and Bar
  • Chop Steakhouse & Bar

Vaughan Tourist Attractions

Vaughan, like most of Canada, is home to plenty of tourist attractions. As a matter of fact, it is one of the contributors to the city’s economy. Therefore, it is only right you treat yourself to at least one of these before leaving. Some of the best sights to see in Vaughan include;

  • Canada’s wonderland; a 134-hectare theme park
  • The McMichael Canadian Art Collection; an art museum
  • Vaughan Mills; one of the largest malls in Canada.
  • LEGOLand Discovery Centre; an indoor family-centric entertainment centre in Vaughan Mills mall.
  • Reptilia; the largest indoor reptile zoo in Canada

Immigrating to Vaughan

Immigrating to New Westminster is made easy via the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The government body, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada), works with the Ontario provincial governing body to oversee the OINP. It covers a wide range of immigration categories, from employer to human capital, business, student, etc.

Through this program therefore, people who meet certain qualifications can easily process their Canada visa with as little hassle as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Vaughan a good place to live?

Yes, it is. Vaughan has a lot of opportunities for those who come into the city. It also has a family-friendly neighbourhood, good school, and incredible attractions. Furthermore, the city is very close to Toronto; giving its citizens easy access there.

Is Vaughan a safe place to live?

Despite the government’s efforts to curb the criminal underground in the city, organised crime has still lingered in the shadows. However, it is not as bad as it once was, and the city keeps improving. Besides that, the city as safe as any to live in.

Is Vaughan expensive?

Not exactly. The overall cost of living in Vaughan is about 15% higher than the national average. Hence, a proper financial plan will help you get through the city’s expenses.

Is Vaughan Multicultural?

Yes. Vaughan’s mix of different races in its population, and the many different languages spoken there prove that it is definitely a multicultural city; a safe haven for immigrants.


Vaughan’s location in Ontario should naturally be enough to convince one that it’s a place to be. However, we hope we’ve been able to show you a picture of what to expect in the city. Vaughan’s place as one of the best cities to live in Canada in 2018 was definitely well-deserved.

If you have any further questions, be sure to use the comments