The civic holiday in Ontario falls on the first Monday in August. Many municipalities have renamed the day to honour a historical figure relevant to their community. In December 2013, Vaughan Council decided to rename the civic holiday to honour the significant impact Benjamin Vaughan had on this community.
The naming of Vaughan
The City of Vaughan was given its name by Lt.-Gov. John Simcoe in honour of the British diplomat Benjamin Vaughan.
In 1783, Vaughan represented British interests as co-negotiator of the Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolutionary War, and was instrumental in keeping Upper Canada under British rule.
During the peace negotiations, American representatives suggested that Canada be made part of the newly formed United States. Vaughan and Richard Oswald, representing British interests, rejected this idea and kept Canada part of the British American territory.
In 1788 the British purchased a large piece of land (including what is now the City of Vaughan) from the First Nations and divided it into four administrative districts. When Lt.-Gov. Simcoe arrived in 1792 to govern the new province of Upper Canada, the districts were divided into counties and then into townships. During this time, Lt.-Gov. Simcoe named Vaughan Township, now the City of Vaughan, in honour of Benjamin Vaughan.
Show your civic pride on Aug. 4 and wish your family and friends a Happy Benjamin Vaughan Day.
Learn more about Vaughan’s history: