History of Vaughan

During this time of burgeoning growth, it is difficult to imagine the City of Vaughan as a pastoral rural-agrarian community. But it was not so long ago that this was exactly the case. The history of this area, marking its transition from agriculturally-oriented hinterland to industrial-commercial epicentre, is as rich as it is diverse.

History of Vaughan's Municipal Government

Prior to the 1849 Robert Baldwin Act, townships had no corporate existence. In 1850 the present municipal system came into operation in Vaughan. The township would elect 5 councillors, and have the power to levy local taxes, appoint officers, supervise statute labour, and borrow certain moneys. The councillors elected a reeve and one or more deputy reeves. Votes were cast by open ballot, which meant that a voter stood before the returning officer and publicly proclaimed his preference. The first Township Hall was located on Concession 6 at Vellore on Weston Rd. It still stands today.

The Baldwin Act also stipulated that hamlets of 900 or more residents were to be incorporated as villages. Thus in 1882 Woodbridge was raised to this level, and a municipal government independent of Vaughan Township’s was established. This structure continued until 1971 when the Township of Vaughan became the Town of Vaughan with the Village of Woodbridge being incorporated into the latter. Exactly twenty years to the day after this event, Vaughan was designated a city on January 1, 1991.

List of Vaughan Mayors
1850-1857 John W. Gamble
1858 David Bridgeford
1859-1860 Henry S. Howland
1861-1863 Robert J. Arnold
1864-1867 Henry S. Howland
1868-1871 Peter Patterson
1872-1873 David Boyle
1874-1880 William C. Patterson
1881-1886 Thompson Porter
1887-1888 Alexander Malloy
1889 James McNeil
1890-1893 Andrew Russell
1894-1896 George High
1897 Samuel Arnold
1898-1900 Alexander Bryson
1901-1902 James H. Kirby
1903-1904 William Watson
1905-1906 John Boyle
1907-1908 Isaac Devins
1909-1910 Daniel Longhouse
1911-1914 James A. Cameron
1915-1916 Scott McNair
1917-1921 John Whitmore
1922-1924 John T. Saigeon
1925-1926 Thomas B. Weldrick
1927-1928 George Kellam
1929-1930 James Henry Robson
1931-1935 George Kellam
1936-1943 Robert W. Scott
1944-1948 Boynton Weldrick
1949-1951 John Hostrawser
1952-1956 Marshall McMurchy
1957-1960 John W. Perry
1961-1966 Albert H. Rutherford
1967-1968 Brian Bailey
1969-1982 Garnet Williams
1983-2002 Lorna Jackson
2002-2003 Michael Di Biase
2003-2006 Michael Di Biase
2006-2010 Linda Jackson
2010-Present Maurizio Bevilacqua
List of Woodbridge Mayors
1882-1885 John Abell
1886-1901 Thomas F. Wallace
1902-1903 Henry Peters
1904 David Norton
1905 Elisha W. Lawrence
1906-1907 David Norton
1908-1912 John E. Harris
1913-1921 C.L. Wallace
1922-1923 Garnet D. McLean
1924-1926 William J. Mitchell
1927-1935 Addison Alexander Mackenzie
1936-1940 N. George Wallace
1941-1942 Alfred B. Cousins
1943-1945 John Watson
1946-1949 Wlfred Ray Scott
1950-1951 Richard Grant Henderson
1952-1960 Fred D. Armstrong
1961-1966 Norn R. Garriock
1967-1968 M.E. Longhouse
1969-1970 John A. McLean
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