The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) is the City’s new downtown. The bold vision is to create a dynamic community that will become the heart of the City – economically, culturally and physically. The pieces are in place for the VMC to become a successful, contemporary city centre. It will be an exciting and bustling downtown core that will house office and condo towers, hotels, shops, and cafes, and be the centre of attraction for entertainment and nightlife. Vaughan’s new downtown will redefine the model of 21st-century downtowns and be a destination that cities around the world strive to emulate.
“This is the future of our City,” says Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. “Every day the VMC continues to take shape with buildings like KPMG and Expo City rising from the ground. Cranes are on-site giving life to our leading-edge plans for a vibrant, dynamic, urban core that will move us all. With the arrival of the subway in two years, the VMC will create a new connection for people within the GTA.”
The New Downtown At Highway 7 and Jane Street
As the largest and most ambitious project in the City’s history, the VMC is in its preliminary development stages and it is already setting records and attracting world-class organizations. The new downtown will be home to one of KPMG’s headquarters, as well as Expo City, the tallest building in the City at 37 storeys. By 2031, the VMC will be home to 25,000 residents and create more than 11,500 jobs.
The VMC will also be an important transit hub for York Region, giving passengers the ability to connect at the VIVA station, subway station and the inter-regional bus terminal. The Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, will link Vaughan to downtown Toronto and York University, opening up transportation routes for residents, employees and visitors to the City. “From the VMC to Union Station, residents will be seamlessly connected with the new TTC Subway Extension,” states Mayor Bevilacqua.
Construction also continues on the first phase of the vivaNext rapidway on Highway 7 West, from Interchange Way/Edgeley Boulevard to just east of Keele Street at Bowes Road. This project includes dedicated bus transit lanes and three new vivastations, including one at the VMC. The first phase will open in December 2016 and phase two in December 2019.
Like all great downtown cores, the VMC will showcase Vaughan’s leadership in incubating culture, design and sustainable building practices. It will encourage a sense of community and will adhere to the overall vision that the City has imagined for its new downtown. This includes offering diverse opportunities for working, living, learning, shopping, recreation and culture.
Cultural programs and facilities can help shape a community’s identity and also drive economic development, place-making and city-building. The VMC Cultural Framework Plan, which is currently being developed, will explore the potential development of creative industries, cultural hubs, arts and programming in the City’s new downtown. The plan will foster creativity and innovation in shaping an authentic downtown for Vaughan that builds a sense of pride for the City and its people.
The VMC will offer amenities at every turn as well as a variety of retail opportunities. Vaughan is already known for its culture and cuisine, and the VMC will further enhance the City’s identity as a place to go for a great meal and an exciting night out. The new downtown will offer the kind of urban lifestyle that is normally associated with much larger pedestrian-friendly cities. High-density employment and residential uses, and new retail and entertainment establishments will be encouraged in the area within a five-minute walk of the VMC subway station.
The downtown vision includes a commitment to environmental sustainability and creating a greener future by establishing an environmental ethic and the goals of an eco-friendly urban lifestyle. The VMC has a clear focus on sustainability initiatives such as district energy systems, green roofs, and bike share and auto share programs. All civic buildings will demonstrate the highest green building standards and private development will be encouraged to implement innovative building design technologies. There will also be a focus on enhancing and protecting the natural environment by preserving green space and natural heritage features. It is envisioned that the VMC will include parks, schools, cultural facilities and a performing arts centre – all vital to attracting a diverse population and employment to the VMC, and making it a civic and tourist destination.
“The VMC will become a people’s place, a city centre to live work and play, all within the heart of this dynamic area,” says Mayor Bevilacqua. “Our new downtown represents a unique opportunity to shape a new city core and offer limitless potential for our community. The ultimate goal is to create a vibrant and exciting downtown that will become the heart of a world-class city.”
To learn more, please visit vaughan.ca/VMC.
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