About VMC Parks and Wayfinding Master Plan

The Study

The City of Vaughan is undertaking the VMC Parks and Wayfinding Master Plan to prepare a master plan and implementation strategy for the timely development of parks and open space in the VMC, together with the development of a wayfinding strategy to make it easy to navigate Vaughan’s new downtown.


The VMC Parks and Wayfinding Master Plan will build on existing groundwork to enable the implementation of a diverse, multi-functional, and seamlessly interconnected parks and open space network. The goals of the study are to:


  1. assess the parks and open spaces proposed for the VMC
  2. define the character and design of the parks and open spaces proposed for the VMC
  3. create a phasing and implementation plan for the delivery of the parks and open spaces proposed for the VMC alongside development
  4. develop a wayfinding strategy and design, produce prototypes and install the first signage elements for the VMC area as part of a pilot project


The VMC Program

The VMC Program is a collection of publicly funded projects and strategic initiatives that shape Vaughan’s emerging downtown. The intent is to continue to build a world-class city based on good urban design practices that includes public spaces that foster community well-being and sustainability.


A key objective of the VMC Program, aligned with the 2018-2022 Term of Council Service Excellence Strategic Plan priority of City Building, is to “develop the VMC as a complete community, with emphasis on cultural development” as well as to align with the VMC Secondary Plan objective to "develop a generous and remarkable open space system and make natural features and functions a prominent part of development.”


As outlined in the VMC Secondary Plan, a goal of the VMC Program is to develop 20 hectares of parkland in the VMC.


The VMC and its Surroundings

The VMC is bounded by Highway 407 to the south, Highway 400 to the west, Portage Parkway to the north, and Creditstone and Maplecrete Roads to the east. The VMC boundary is defined by the VMC Secondary Plan. This master plan study will examine how the VMC parks will relate to other existing and proposed parks and open spaces found within a five-kilometre radius.


VMC: Growing Vaughan's Downtown

The VMC, the largest and most significant development project in Vaughan’s history, is transforming quickly. Based on York Region's people-per-unit assumptions, realization of potential residential development currently represents more than 63,300 residents in 32,000 units moving into the VMC, achieving 266 per cent of residential units and 253 per cent of population targets identified for the 2031 planning horizon. The volume of recent development applications points to a continuation of strong residential and non-residential growth in the years ahead.


The City recognizes that with more people moving to the downtown core, there needs to be a focus on social infrastructure to ensure a complete community is created. Delivery of the new flagship YMCA and community hub in 2021 will further transform the VMC. Public open spaces, such as TTC Plaza and Transit Square, offer future programming opportunities for food vendors, farmers markets, small concerts and other seasonal events to draw visitors from across Vaughan and beyond.


As the downtown continues to be built out, a focus on the need to advance the planning and implementation of parks, schools, emergency services, places of worship and other social infrastructure is required to ensure the community is well supported by these necessary amenities and facilities. The development of social infrastructure is as important as the development of buildings to contribute to the placemaking that will enhance the character and identity of the VMC.


A Public Space Framework for the VMC

Cities that strive to be world class are now understanding that the creation of a network of high-quality parks and open spaces is an essential part of a successful city. As residential development applications exceed targets in the VMC, its workforce expands and it receives increasing numbers of visitors and commuters, there is an urgent need to build its public space.


The VMC Parks and Wayfinding Master Plan will address these challenges and guide the development of a connected system of parks and open spaces as well as reinforce physical and visual connections and wayfinding. The plan must embrace opportunities to make great places, enhance natural features, locate public art, improve multi-modal mobility and increase the vibrancy of the emerging downtown. It will identify gaps in service levels and provide a pathway to implementation that guides strategic investment and supports the City of Vaughan Service Excellence Strategic Plan city-building objectives for the VMC. It will also develop and implement a coherent signage system that extends throughout the downtown’s parks and open spaces and across transportation modes.


Making it Easier to Get Around

A Comprehensive public realm signage and wayfinding system is a core service of the city for its residents, businesses and visitors. It will help to clearly define the VMC’s character, assist visitors in navigating downtown and promote a vibrant city life. New and existing commuters will be better able to combine walking and cycling with public transit. Customers will more easily find local businesses, key destinations and institutions. The study will make detailed recommendations but will only implement a small component in the form of a pilot project. Future, downtown-wide implementation will follow as the VMC continues to develop.