15 Things to Do in Vaughan (Ontario, Canada)

Vaughan is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, located just north of Toronto, and although it is a suburb of a larger city, it is a city in itself. Vaughan’s history dates back to 1792, but it wasn’t until the massive expansion after 1991 that the city’s reputation became known.

Not only is Vaughan a cultural melting pot, but there’s a lot to do. It is home to Canada’s largest amusement park, one of Canada’s largest shopping malls and an open-air heritage museum. In short, this is a city well worth a visit.

Here are the best things to do in Vaughan:

1. Ride a roller coaster

Canada's Wonderland

Canada’s Wonderland is the city’s most visited attraction. The 133-hectare amusement park is divided into six different areas, one of which is the eight-hectare water park! If you’re visiting with kids, there’s an area dedicated to them with rides for different age groups.

Thrill seekers won’t get bored here. In fact, Canada’s Wonderland features 15 adrenaline-pumping roller coasters. Among them, the most terrifying is Leviathan, which is the fastest and highest roller coaster in the country, with a maximum drop of 93 meters!

All in all, there are more than 200 attractions in the amusement park, including games, shows, and of course, rides. Open daily from May to September and weekends in April and October.

2. go shopping

Vaughan Mills

Adjacent to Canada’s Wonderland is one of the largest shopping malls in Canada; Vaughan Mills. More than 13 million people visit this large shopping mall every year.

Vaughan Mills has more than 200 retail stores, 16 of which are anchor stores. There are also more than 35 places to eat in the 120,000-square-meter mall.

If you think this mall is a little overcrowded, Vaughan also has some smaller malls like Promenade Mall, Seven/400 Power Center and Colossus Centre.

3. Step into LEGO Land

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto

Although it’s called Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto, the world-renowned chain is actually in Vaughan. In fact, it’s right inside Vaughan Mills.

There are 14 attractions at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto, including a 3D cinema, a LEGO store and a play area. Kids can even visit a LEGO factory and learn how to become a ninja or become Merlin’s apprentice.

If you want to take a break from all the excitement, there is a café on site. There’s also a Miniland made of over a million LEGO bricks! Miniland depicts all the major landmarks of the city, complete with lights and moving parts.

4. Visit art galleries

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

If you are a fan of the famous Seven, then you must visit the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. This small art gallery has a large collection of paintings by Tom Thomson, as well as other works by other artists of this famous group.

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The gallery is small but situated in a 40 hectare forest. In addition to the art gallery itself, there is a sculpture garden, the historic Tom Thomson cottage and a cemetery where six of the Group of Seven are buried.

After strolling through the galleries and admiring the artwork, explore the grounds and stroll along one of the trails. The trail winds its way through picturesque forests of pine, maple and oak trees.

5. Interact with reptiles


At Reptilia, you can interact with reptiles from all over the world. The 1,400-square-meter indoor reptile zoo is the largest in the country, with more than 250 species of reptiles, spiders and amphibians.

One of the main attractions of the reptile zoo is Induna. Canada’s largest crocodile. The Induna is 3.4 meters long and weighs over 1,000 pounds. Other attractions at Reptilia include a 4.3-meter king cobra, a 6.1-meter python and a 300-pound alligator.

Be sure to stay and feed, one of the most exciting things about visiting a reptile zoo. Feeding four times a day, the reptiles eat birds, eggs, insects, rodents, and sometimes snakes.

6. Explore the Conversation Area

Court Wright Conservation Center

Nestled in the heart of Vaughan is the Cortright Conservation Centre. The 325-hectare suburban reserve is located in a grove of pine and maple trees between Rutherford Road and Major Mackenzie.

The main feature of the Cortright Conservation Center is the horses that can ride in the northern part of the area. More than 30 environmental programs are also available to the public.

More than 100,000 people visit the center each year to ride horses, bird watch or hike through the woodlands. There are also family activities, weekend children’s programming and sustainability tours. The Kortright Conservation Center even hosts private events such as weddings, company birthday parties, and more.

7. Go Back in Time

Black Creek Pioneer Village

Learn about life in Ontario during the pioneer era. Step back in time and visit Black Creek Pioneer Village; Open Air Heritage Museum.

The village recreates life in the 19th century, including historic buildings, furniture and clothing. In fact, the staff at Black Creek Pioneer Village are all dressed in costumes from the time, showing off their daily activities.

There are blacksmith shops, school buildings, mills, grocery stores, churches and other buildings. Take a tour of the village and see the historical drama produced by the staff.

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8. Learn about Canadian football

In Canada it’s called football and you can learn all about it at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established in 1997 to celebrate the achievements of some of the top players in the country.

There are both male and female players in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, with new names added each year. There are also selected teams, and new teams are added every year.

You don’t have to be a Hall of Famer. There are other important members involved in the history of the sport in the country, such as managers, coaches and journalists.

9. Enjoy bird watching

Boyd Conservation Area

While bird watching isn’t the only activity at Boyd Reserve, it is one of its main attractions. If bird watching is your thing, take a nature hike in the area to discover some unique bird life.

The trails in the area aren’t just for bird watchers. Anyone can enjoy them. They are truly spectacular and a great way to immerse yourself in Vaughan’s nature.

Boyd Reserve also has areas suitable for picnics. It also features a playground, football and basketball courts.

10. Visit nearby towns

King City

There are a few around the city, but the King is a must, especially if you’re a history buff. Kings sits just north of Vaughan and the Kings settlement is a place not to be missed.

King City is a picturesque community with many designated heritage sites, including the King City Cemetery, King Emmanuel Baptist Church and King Station, built in 1852.

Other historic neighborhoods not far from Vaughan for day trips include Markham Village, Unionville and Old Thornhill.

11. Visit Canada’s largest reflecting telescope

David Dunlap Observatory

Drive to nearby Richmond Hill to visit the David Dunlap Observatory (DDO). This large observatory is home to Canada’s largest reflecting telescope, with an aperture of 188 cm.

The observatory sits on 76 hectares of land and houses several other smaller telescopes in addition to the large telescope. Still, one of the observatory’s main attractions is the stars themselves, which can be seen at night through large telescopes.

The David Dunlap Observatory also hosts lecture nights on topics including science fiction, space science and astronomy. You can also visit the observatory to learn about its history and its achievements in the astronomical world.

12. Cool off at the water park

Wet'n'Wild Toronto

Canada’s Wonderland’s Splash Works is the largest, but there is also a smaller, less busy water park in Brampton; Wet’n’Wild Toronto. This is in neighboring Brampton and worth the drive.

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Wet’n’Wild Toronto is a water park and entertainment complex. It has 15 water slides, a wave pool, a cascading waterfall and a lazy river. There’s also an area for kids, as well as an adventure area for seniors.

If you don’t want to get your feet wet, you can also play mini golf, laze by the pool under the cabana, or go ziplining. There are also places to eat on-site, so you don’t have to worry about packing your lunch.

13. Go swimming

Thornhill Outdoor Pool

No matter what time of year you visit Vaughan, go for a swim. There are many indoor pools throughout the city, some with whirlpools and even waterslides.

If you’re with younger kids, head to a pool with a dedicated area for them, such as Garnet A. Williams Pool or North Thornhill Pool. If you like running a few laps, head to Vellore Village Pool, Al Palladini Pool or Woodbridge Pool.

Some pools in Vaughan have diving boards, while others have fountains. One thing they all have are locker rooms, and many of them offer home locker rooms.

14. Play a round of golf

Thornhill Golf and Country Club

Any avid golfer will tell you that Vaughan has enough golf courses to keep any golfer busy. All the courses are great, some of them are private and others are public.

One of the most prestigious golf clubs in the city is the Eagle’s Nest Golf Club, which has been voted the GTA’s Best Public Golf Course! If you know someone who is a member of Thornhill Golf and Country Club, you should definitely play a round on a course designed by Stanley Thompson.

In addition to these, there are many others, such as the private Maple Downs Golf Course and the public Copper Creek Golf Club. Then there is the National Golf Club of Canada, which is entirely in its own league​​.

15. Walk around campus

Keele Campus

At the southernmost tip of Vaughan is Canada’s largest university campus. York University. This is the primary school campus of the school and covers an area of ​​about 185 hectares.

The campus was once farmland and the original building was designated heritage. Walk around the campus and admire its architecture and greenery.

Some notable places are the Scott Library, Telephone Building and Petrie Science Building. After wandering around campus, you can shop at the campus’s two-story shopping center or grab a snack at one of the fast food restaurants.

Where to Stay: The Best Hotels in Vaughan, Canada
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