Adam Vaughan, who served as City Councillor for Toronto from 2006 to 2014, and then as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Municipal Affairs and as the Parliamentary Secretary for Housing from 2014 to 2021, has come on board at the School of Cities as a Canadian Urban Leader.
A seasoned broadcaster and journalist prior to joining politics, Mr. Vaughan consistently lent his energy and efforts towards the creation of stronger and more resilient communities during his eight years at City Hall. As the councillor of Ward 20, he championed the Alexandra Park Community revitalization project that aimed to reinvigorate one of Toronto’s older social housing neighbourhoods. He was an integral member of the Planning and Growth Committee throughout his term and served on both the Heritage and Preservation Boards. He led the charge on rebuilding and revitalizing 24 parks in Toronto’s downtown, helped establish a network of Heritage Conservation Districts and supported a more accessible and diverse public realm through his roles on the Toronto Arts Council, The AGO Board of Trustees as well as the Boards of Harbourfront Centre and Artscape.
Elected thrice to Canada’s House of Commons, Mr. Vaughan’s dedication to equitable urban planning became only more evident during his term as a Member of Parliament. As the Parliamentary Secretary for Housing, he played a leading role in the creation of Canada’s first National Housing Strategy and led a task force to revisit and reorient the Federal Government’s approach to ending homelessness. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and before the completion of his term in 2021, Mr. Vaughan helped inform the national COVID response through his work on the Government’s Rapid Housing Initiative. He also steered a Parliamentary Committee that produced a special report on Urban, Rural, and Nothern Indigenous Housing.
During his time as a parliamentarian, Mr. Vaughan also represented the Government of Canada at the United Nations at Habitat III in Ecuador and at the UN General Assembly meeting on the Sustainable Development Goals in 2017.
Through his association with the School of Cities, Mr. Vaughan hopes to lend his insights to the development of research around housing design, affordability and supply. Owing to his expansive activism and public policy experience, Mr. Vaughan brings his keenly informed approach to help the students and researchers at the SofC get clear insights into government planning processes around housing and the effective design and delivery of city-building initiatives.
Though his practice has been centred around the City of Toronto, Mr. Vaughan has worked on fulfilling the infrastructure and housing objectives of other cities across Canada as well. He is currently engaged in the process of writing a book that explores how political leaders can support the building of community initiatives and the role of neighbourhoods in shaping urban form in an evolving city.
We welcome Adam Vaughan to the School of Cities team!
Canadian Urban Leaders are influential and prominent former-government (municipal, provincial, national and inter-governmental organizations) officials, senior city-staff, city planners, and senior staff on provincial and federal ministries focused on urban and city issues. Canadian Urban Leaders will bring knowledge expert practitioner insights to the School.