Vaughan Economic Monitor  
Issue #3 - January 2019  
Canada's Wonderland - Canada's first and largest theme park

The Vaughan Economic Monitor is a resource from the Vaughan Economic and Cultural Development Department that shares hard-hitting facts, figures and news related to economic, market and business activities here in Vaughan. New issues are delivered bi-monthly.

In This Issue
Tourism industry growing in Vaughan
According to the Conference Board of Canada, Vaughan's accommodation and food services industry accounted for $294 million of the city's overall gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, while arts, entertainment and recreation accounted for another $150 million. Vaughan currently has 12 hotels and four motels with a total of 1,845 rooms, according to a recent report from CBRE. The report also estimates a potential supply of an additional 1,200 rooms over the next five years.

Vaughan's major tourism operators include Canada's Wonderland, Vaughan Mills, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Kortright Centre for Conservation, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Reptilia, Dave & Buster's, and more! Upcoming tourism attractions include CREACTIVE, the first Cirque du Soleil family entertainment centre in Canada which is set to open at Vaughan Mills in 2019; the Yukon Striker, the longest, fastest and tallest dive roller coaster in the world at Canada's Wonderland is set to open in 2019; and Winterfest, also at Canada's Wonderland, boasts a new attraction with outdoor skating, daily tree lighting, live shows, access to select rides, and more, which will also open in Winter 2019. 
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Vaughan's talented workforce is primed to foster innovation and entrepreneurship
Talent and networks are the lifeblood of innovation and entrepreneurship. Not only do entrepreneurs need talent to succeed, but talented people also make the most successful innovator. The talent and networks needed to innovate are already located in Vaughan!
Vaughan's talented workforce is primed to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. The percentage of workers in Vaughan with a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) background is higher than the national average. Based off the 2016 Census data, Vaughan's talent location quotient surpasses the national concentration levels for workers in the STEM fields, with a reported 8.98% of the workforce employed in natural and applied sciences and related occupations, and a location quotient of 1.32 (meaning the occupations are 1.32 times more concentrated in Vaughan than the nation). 

Vaughan also outperforms in management occupations with a location quotient of 1.26 (13.64% of the workforce), self-employed workers with a location quotient of 1.25 (14.64% of the workforce), and business, finance and administration occupations with a location quotient of 1.23 (18.96% of the workforce).
The City of Vaughan has partnered with ventureLAB, York Region's Innovation Centre, to enable our talent. Between January and April 2019, ventureLAB and the City of Vaughan will be co-hosting seminars and workshops to help innovative entrepreneurs connect and grow.
Visit for more details.
Kick-start your year at the 2019 Vaughan Business Expo and Creative Industries Summit!

Exhibit and network with Vaughan businesses and learn what opportunities to watch for in 2019 and beyond.
Event Details:
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Terrace Banquet Centre
1680 Creditstone Rd., Vaughan

Sign up today for a trade show booth or admission ticket:
  • Buy a booth and share your business with those in attendance. Cost is $200 plus taxes and fees. Booths are limited.
  • Attend and network with Vaughan's business community. No cost; registration required.

Learn More

A Year 'On the Move'
VMC Mobility Hub marks 1st anniversary
This past December, the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Mobility Hub marked its first anniversary. The hub includes the TTC's Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Subway Station, YRT's Vivastation on Highway 7, and the soon-to-open SmartCentres Bus Terminal. In celebration of the anniversary, VMC evening commuters were surprised with music, an ice sculpture, and free lattes and hot chocolate. Almost 1,000 beverages were served.
The VMC Subway Station now has 14,800 daily boardings/disembarkings. This is in line with year 1 targets and will likely increase as the VMC continues to develop.
Vaughan Metropolitan Centre TTC Station
Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Vivastation
Vaughan-based clean tech company receives $3.8 million in federal funding for scale-up and expansion
Pliteq Inc., a manufacturer of acoustic vibration and sound control products made with recycled rubber from used vehicle tires, received $3.8 million dollars from FedDev Ontario. The clean technology company has expanded their 150,000-square-foot facility to allow for products to be manufactured in house, to acquire advanced production equipment and to adopt new manufacturing activities that boost productivity. This investment also supported the creation of 62 skilled jobs. T his project helps strengthen the supply chain in southern Ontario, as Pliteq Inc. expects to use $11 million in supplies and services annually from local suppliers to operate the upgraded facility.
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Infrastructure improvements coming to Rutherford GO Station
Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx announced that EllisonDon has won a $239 million contract to design, build, and finance a reimagined Rutherford GO Station, which is on the Barrie GO Train line and one of two stops in Vaughan. The project includes new rail platforms, a second heavy rail track, road/rail grade separation on Rutherford Road, a new multi-level parking structure with integrated station building, and a re-design of surface parking, bus loop, pedestrian access and kiss and ride. This project is intended to reduce traffic congestion, greenhouse gases and fuel consumption and reduce daily travel time for commuters. Construction is expected to start in spring 2019, with completion expected in 2023.
Graybar Canada opens new branch in Vaughan
Halifax based Graybar Canada, a leader in the distribution of electrical, comm/data and automation products, announced their new branch this December, which is located near Highway 427 and Highway 407 in Vaughan. Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Thomas quoted the convenient location as allowing the company to better serve both new and existing customers, and to allow for all operations to be moved under one roof. This branch will be a consolidation of other Greater Toronto Area locations, and the 90,000 square foot facility is Graybar Canada's largest branch. 
Purpose driven leadership at 2019 Vaughan Chamber of Commerce Mayor's Luncheon
Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua's annual address at the 2019 Vaughan Chamber of Commerce Mayor's Luncheon will include a keynote address on the importance of purpose-driven leadership to an audience of nearly 1,000 accomplished business leaders, and on the growing strength of Vaughan's competitive economy. The speech will include a series of announcements on important city-building initiatives that are shaping our promising future. This city-wide event takes place on Wednesday, February 13th from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Paramount Eventspace located at 222 Rowntree Dairy Rd. 
Business refrigeration incentives
Join the thousands of local businesses that have received up to $2,500 in FREE upgrades to their refrigeration system with the Business Refrigeration Incentives program. This program provides a free assessment and benchmarking report of your facility, and up to $2,500 in FREE upgrades such as LED lighting, motor replacement, anti-sweat controls, and coil cleaning.  Start saving today! For more information or to sign up, call 1-855-215-8063 or visit
OCE SmartStart Seed funding applications open
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) has re-opened applications for the SmartStart Seed Fund, a  program supports new ventures to help transition their start-ups from product development, to market entry and company building. The program provides seed funding up to $30,000, which may be used toward entrepreneurship skills training and professional advisory services. Eligible businesses must be for-profit incorporated start-ups that are fewer than four years old and located in Southern Ontario. The deadline for eligibility questionnaires is February 1st, at 11:59 PM. 
Funding to assist high-growth firms to scale up and expand
FedDev Ontario is accepting applications for funding to assist high-growth firms to scale up and expand; support technology demonstration and the commercialization of new technologies; encourage the early adoption or adaptation of leading-edge technologies and processes to improve productivity; and to increase businesses' capacity to grow through market diversification and entry into global markets. The no-interest, repayable contributions range from $500,000 up to $10 million per project.
Small business seminars
The Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre offers complimentary seminars and workshops targeted for entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the year. Upcoming seminars include topics such as a review of Bill 47, Ontario Open for Business Act and the employment standards landscape, business model, introduction to entrepreneurship, and more. Make sure to check back regularly as new seminars are added.
Learn More
LandPro 2019 Conference coming to Vaughan
The City of Vaughan's Economic and Cultural Development Department will be attending  LandPro, Ontario's premier "How-to" conference for land, condo, and development professionals. The one day event is happening at Paramount EventSpace in Woodbridge on March 5th, 2019, where the department will be promoting the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre and the City as a whole. 

If you plan to attend, register with the City of Vaughan coupon code VAUGHAN15 to get 15% off the ticket price. The coupon is valid until March 4th, 2019.

The City of Vaughan's Economic and Cultural Development department focuses on facilitating entrepreneurship, employment and investment opportunities, developing and promoting art and cultural experiences, as well as engaging thought leaders to generate insightful ideas, strategies and actions that drive economic, cultural and partnership investment. We work to make Vaughan a place where entrepreneurship, business, art and culture prosper and grow.

For more information, contact the City of Vaughan's Economic and Cultural Development team at 
905-832-8526 or visit our website at