Vaughan commits to Province's Housing Pledge
City is well underway with plans of action to build homes and complete communities
Mayor Steven Del Duca issued this statement following Council's approval of a staff report that commits the City of Vaughan to achieving the province's Housing Pledge and the City's provincially-mandated housing targets:
"Vaughan has always been a destination of choice, a place people dream of calling home and where future generations wish to raise their own families, start businesses and enjoy an unrivalled quality of life. We know people want to live here. Between 2011 and 2021, Vaughan experienced a population increase of almost 30 per cent, with more expected in the coming decade.
"To help people realize and pursue their aspirations here in our community, we are committing to achieving the Ontario government's Housing Pledge and the City's provincially-mandated housing targets to facilitate the construction of 42,000 new homes in the city by 2031.
"Even before Vaughan received the mandate to approve 42,000 new homes, Council, staff, critical stakeholders and engaged citizens worked together to plan for a promising future for those who live, work and visit Vaughan. The goal isn't simply to build homes but complete communities. We are aligning the needs of existing and new neighbourhoods with access to community infrastructure like roads, public transit, parks, community centres and green spaces. We are leveraging innovative solutions to expedite permit approvals to get shovels in the ground and work underway faster and more efficiently.
"We have secondary plans to develop new residential units in prominent areas throughout the city, like the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC), Weston Road and Highway 7, Yonge Street and Steeles Avenue, Vaughan Mills and the Promenade Centre. These new developments will be enhanced with access to critical transit opportunities such as the current TTC Subway service into the VMC downtown core, existing and expanded Bus Rapid Transit service across Highway 7 and the proposed Yonge North Subway Extension. Building homes in neighbourhoods with access to transit is a key part of the solution to tackling gridlock in Vaughan.
"We also have blueprints in place and work underway to improve our critical road networks, which are fundamental to implementing the Housing Pledge. One of our biggest challenges with transportation in Vaughan is our limited number of east-west connections. Nowhere is that more clear than on Kirby Road between Dufferin Street and Bathurst Street, particularly during rush hour. A new link from east Vaughan to west Richmond Hill will reduce travel times and relieve pressure on King-Vaughan Road and Teston Road. Construction of the new four-lane roadway connecting Kirby Road is expected to begin later this year, with completion anticipated for the end of 2025. Like the Kirby Extension, the Teston Road Environmental Assessment is vital to mitigating some challenges people face travelling from east to west. The Teston Road improvements will provide new route options in north Vaughan, alleviate traffic on Major Mackenzie Drive and enable connections to employment areas in Maple.
"Today, Council approved the City's new 2022-2026 Term of Council Service Excellence Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan is a critical document that will help us advance our Housing Pledge mandate with other city-building goals to build complete communities, ensuring funding, accountability and oversight in the progress of completing objectives.
"We have made clear that Vaughan is committed to the province's Housing Pledge, but we cannot do it alone. I am committed to working with partners at all levels of government to secure investments for the services necessary to build homes and complete communities, such as water, wastewater, roads and regional roads and transit – as many of these services require other governments to lead and fund.
"As Head of Council, I have written on behalf of my Council colleagues to Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark to reiterate that plans of action are underway at the City to work with the Ontario government and to ensure we remain a promising, thriving and welcoming community that people can proudly call home."