Written by Ontario Construction News staff
The first episode of Vaughan Rising, the city’s first podcast series, dropped August 15, features a discussion with mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua on Vaughan’s transformation from suburb to a leader in city building.
Entitled Vaughan Transformed, the episode highlights how both businesses and citizens report satisfaction in their experiences—92 and 97 per cent, respectively—and discusses the city’s success in enticing big opportunities, like the city’s smart hospital, now under construction.
Vaughan’s approach in past years has been unique – and it’s been working. The city is seeing fast growth and big investment from business. The podcast series is another way to draw attention, and to present Vaughan as a “magnet for investment and economic activity,” according to a news release from city staff.
“The purpose of this podcast is to show the world why Vaughan is the commercial real estate market to watch and the place to be for businesses and residents,” said podcast host and Vaughan’s economic development officer Michelle Samson during the first episode.
In addition to an going over an extensive list of investments the city has already seen, Bevilacqua talks about what brought about the change from a mere subdivision to a city in its own right.
He credits the subway’s extension to Vaughan, which he says took a lot of support from federal, provincial, and regional governments to achieve. “The subway was an important catalyst,” he says in the podcast. “It has become a real point of reference.”
Bevilacqua saysiIt was necessary for Vaughan to believe in itself as a destination for economic growth and development. His first year as mayor, beginning in 2010, was spent establishing the discipline and focus that’s required to do great things. “That required getting rid of the static and noise, mostly caused by the political system,” he says. After that, people began to believe in Vaughan again.
“A disciplined city achieves great things,” he says.
The rest of Vaughan Rising’s 10 episodes will be released on a bi-weekly basis, and interview developers, brokers, and business leaders about the ambition and upward momentum that drives the city forward.
Of particular interest are episode three, set to drop September 3, that features CP Rail’s Rob Nichols, and episode five, scheduled for September 17, that talks about the features of the VMC, “a new breed of community centre.” Episode eight talks about Canada’s first smart hospital under construction in Vaughan with Mackenzie Health’s president and CEO Altaf Stationwala.
“The Vaughan Rising Podcast explores the initiatives, projects and people that have helped transform Vaughan into a leader in city building. Together, we will bring this city to unprecedented heights,” Bevilacqua says.
Vaughan Rising is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and SoundCloud. A video of the first episode is available on YouTube.