Enhancing the Virtual Experience

As communities respond to the second wave of COVID-19 and we adapt to changing restrictions, the City of Vaughan continues to prioritize virtual offerings to provide a new, efficient and streamlined experience for residents and businesses. Essential services continue uninterrupted, traditional services have been reinvigorated, digital platforms have been enhanced and in-person programs and services have been modified or are now offered virtually – either through online, teleconference or over the phone. These ways – and more – are how the City continues to deliver service excellence throughout the global pandemic.

Essential Services

Despite these uncertain times, essential services remain intact. These include fire and emergency response, waste collection, water/wastewater services, by-law and enforcement services, and building inspections. Access Vaughan contact centre remains open to serve citizens at 905-832-2281 or accessvaughan@vaughan.ca. The Service Vaughan reporting tool at vaughan.ca/ServiceVaughan for non-emergency service requests about waste, roads, parks, animal concerns, traffic lights and more.

Waste Collection

The Recycle Coach Mobile app is a new and innovate program that allows residents to receive customized notifications about their collections. Residences can continue to purchase garbage tags by calling Access Vaughan, and once purchased, the tags will be mailed out. Additionally, a new temporary bin exchange program is being offered, which allows residents to replace broken City blue boxes and green bins through home delivery!

The Public Works department has also launched a pilot project using Quick Response (QR) Codes to alert staff about full garbage cans in City parks. Residents can scan the code found on the garbage can using their smartphone to notify City staff when it is full and needs to be emptied. Regular waste collection of these bins will continue, but the codes allow residents to alert the City when additional cleaning is required. These bins – which are being piloted in select parks –have smaller openings that help deter animals from getting inside as well as illegal household dumping.

Enforcement Services

By-law officers continue to operate, patrol and respond to calls on a priority basis.

  • Online payments of administrative monetary penalties, such as parking tickets, can be made online via payvaughanticket.com
  • Event, filming and lottery permits continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. These permit inquiries should be directed to Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281 or accessvaughan@vaughan.ca.
  • On-street, visitor and overnight parking permits can be attained online at vaughan.ca/parking.
  • Applications for establishing or expanding a dining patio can be completed online

Building Standards and Development Planning

Safety remains an essential element in Vaughan. The City’s Building Standards and Development Engineering Departments continues to provide essential city-building services such as building code enforcement, building permit processing, inspections and issuing occupancy & grading permits.

Additionally, the City’s Development Planning team have been busy innovating new processes to ensure planning approvals and shovel-ready projects can move forward throughout the pandemic.

  • New digital permitting portal enabling citizens and building industry professionals to apply, track and pay for permits online available at vaughan.ca/PermitPortal.
  • New digital development applications, electronic-participation Pre-Application Consultation and virtual Heritage Vaughan and Design Review Panel meetings.
  • Online permitting options for pools, grading for sheds, home additions and more can now be submitted and approved through the platform at vaughan.ca/DEPermits.
  • The City of Vaughan’s Economic and Cultural Development (ECD) department has launched the new digital and interactive Vacant Employment Land Directory

Council Meetings and Events

I still want to hear from you! Residents can continue to participate and have their say through the telephone, email, live disputations, and more. Electronic-participation Committee of the Whole and Council meetings are beheld online and upcoming agendas can be viewed at vaughan.ca/CouncilMeetings.

Exciting Upcoming Virtual Events include:

Recreational Services

Learning and fitness has been expanded through virtual classes! Recently reopened facilities have limited scheduling as the City continues to monitor the restriction being implemented in York Region. However, City instructors are livestreaming popular recreational programs remotely via Zoom, including STEM, French, chess, dance, sports and leadership courses. A series of educational and music programs are also available for individuals with special needs.

Available online programming includes:

  • Vaughan Playschool educational reading, writing, math and science worksheets for children aged three to five years old.
  • City instructors will livestream popular recreational programs for preschoolers, children and youth remotely via Zoom, including performing arts, special needs, language, sports, and enrichment
  • Easy-to-follow at-home workouts from Vaughan Fitness instructors are featured on Recreation Services’ Instagram TV. Full-length classes are also posted to the Recreation Vaughan YouTube channel
  • Live streamed ZOOM fitness classes are available to continue healthy exercise in your own home.

Vaughan Public Libaries

Vaughan Public Libraries’ (VPL) fully digital library service continues to be enhanced to engage and educate residents of all ages. The web hub features a variety of free online resources, including eBooks and audiobooks, films and television programs, music streaming services, e-learning courses, bilingual materials and more. Further content, such as virtual story time, is available daily on VPL’s Instagram.

In addition, VPL has also launched its Brainfuse HelpNow database to provide online tutoring, homework and curriculum help for students from kindergarten to Grade 12 in French and English. This service includes after-hours homework help, Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) content, standardized practice tests and college entrance prep tests. Adults will also have access to a Canadian citizenship skills builder focusing on core academic skills, resume building, virtual resume help and job search and career guidance.

Wi-Fi has been extended to reach the parking lot of VPL’s reopened resource libraries – Bathurst Clark Resource Library, Civic Centre Resource Library and Pierre Berton Resource Library. The Curbside Pickup program will continue to operate out of the remaining closed branches to provide customers with quick and convenient access.

Business Support

Virtual programs and new services are being offered to further support local businesses, including: 

  • Support Local restaurants by permitting local eating establishments to temporarily expand or establish additional patios
  • Virtual business advisory services to support with registering a business, business planning, accessing government assistance programs and more.
  • Activate!Vaughan Health Innovation Challenge, in partnership with the Province of Ontario, Mackenzie Health, the Mackenzie Innovation Institute, SE Health, Sterling Industries, The HUB and ventureLAB. The HUB and ventureLAB, is calling on entrepreneurs to present innovative business solutions that will advance a technology-enabled healthcare system in delivering high-quality, effective and patient-focused care.
  • The Vaughan Rising Podcast, which examines the resilience of Vaughan’s businesses community and talks to leaders who are pivoting, innovating and doing what it takes to make it through to the other side of the pandemic.
  • Support the Open for Business online directory.
  • Access to all virtual business webinars and events across York Region via vaughanbusiness.ca/events.
  • The new vaughanbusiness.ca website with a dedicated COVID-19 information page.
  • Support the #ShopVaughanLocal campaign.
  • Grow With Vaughan is the City’s newest partnership program offering budget-friendly, highly visible sponsorship opportunities for businesses.
  • The City invites local groups and community organizations to submit their requests to have their upcoming virtual events posted on Vaughan’s online events calendar
  • The Digital Boost Vaughan Small Business Resiliency Program provides free training and mentorship to help local businesses adapt to the changing environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The visitvaughan.ca website helps local attractions and accommodations maintain visibility.

These are some of the innovative and adaptive programs that the City of Vaughan created to provide ease for their residents and businesses . Although this has been an uncertain time, the City of Vaughan is here to support you all, as we continue to work from home and adapt to the changes brought on by Covid-19.