When you first look at Vaughan, you may wonder why this is on our worst cities to live in Canada list. After all, this is the home of Canada’s Wonderland – Canada’s largest and most popular amusement park. This not only provides work for some residents of Vaughan, but it also brings in thousands of tourists each and every year. And, Vaughan is also considered to be a very affluent area, with high household incomes of about $92,000 a year. So why is Vaughan on this list at all?
In Part 1 of this series, we pointed out that it was the fact that very few residents walked or biked to work as the reason for Vaughan being one of the worst cities to live in Canada. But this doesn’t mean that they’re one of the communities burning up the most fossil fuels and leaving the biggest carbon footprint (although all of these things certainly come into play, too.) Instead though, this reason is in regard to the fact that very few Vaughan residents actually work in Vaughan.
Most of Vaughan workers actually, make the daily trek into the City of Toronto for work. For those who take the series of 400-highways in order to get there, that means sitting in traffic – sometimes for hours on end – and battling traffic. Being in a bad mood as soon as you get to work, and as soon as you get home? That ties into it, but it’s actually much more than that.
Some Vaughan residents choose to forego the highway and instead, use other methods of public transportation in order to make their way. With the number of GO trains, subways, and buses, there are a number of options – but they’re costly. Whether you’re driving or taking transit, the average Vaughan family spends about $10,000 each year in transportation alone.
And that’s not the only area in which Vaughan pays too much – food costs a lot here too! Staples such as bread, milk, and cereal are much more expensive in Vaughan. In fact, the average Vaughan family spends about $8,000 a year on groceries. And for families that eat out often, it’s about three to five times that amount.
There’s no doubt that Vaughan has some of the most beautiful real estate in Ontario, if not in the country. But it’s also the most expensive. Last year residents spent approximately $25,000 a year in rent and mortgage payments; and an additional $23,000 per year on things such as insurance, taxes, and pension contributions.
It’s definitely not hard to see how that average income of $92,000 could go very quickly.