Creating a new Vaughan Tourism map

I love creating tourist maps to help attract visitors to communities of all sizes.

Last summer I worked with Ashley Travassos and Ashley Angeloni as they launched a new tourist map for the City of Vaughan. Ashley Travassos and I had previously worked together updating tourist maps for Mississauga.

Project Overview

They wanted a map similar in layout to the Mississauga one – a large map on one side with an index grid, and numbered points of interest categorized in a legend. It would highlight businesses and attractions in Vaughan, and show each of the villages. At the initial stage they considered including detail maps of Kleinburg and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre on the back.

The Process

Ashley sent a spreadsheet with the categorized list of points to be added to the map, along with their brand guide. I plotted these points in Google My Maps and verified with OpenStreetMap, then loaded the kml file into my Illustrator file.

For the initial layout draft (which is a barebones draft only to establish coverage area), I included the detail maps, and this helped Ashley decide to leave them out as the spacing didn’t work with other content that was to be added by their Communications team. 

preliminary draft of Vaughan tourism map
preliminary layout draft of Kleinburg map

The roads, boundaries, parks, rivers, and trail layers were compiled from a variety of sources, including OpenStreetMap, Vaughan and York Region datasets, and a Toronto roads dataset for the area on the south edge of the map. I had a total of 35 layers for the map, for all the point, line, and polygon features, labels, etc.

design draft of Vaughan Tourism map

Custom Icons

Ashley and her team wanted custom icons for some attractions – like Canada’s Wonderland, McMichael Gallery, VMC, airport, Niagara Falls, and CN Tower – so I turned to Lisa Lawless of Lawless Creative, a graphic designer in Guelph. I’ve worked with her on a couple of projects, and will continue to do so, as she creates wonderful icons and symbols in a variety of styles that complement my map projects.

Lisa sent a couple of sketched options for each icon, and then provided full designs of the option selected by Ashley’s team, using the colours from the brand guide.

detail of custom icons on Vaughan Tourism map

The Result

After a couple of revisions the map was ready to go. It’s not launched yet, but keep an eye on the Vaughan Tourism site!

final draft of Vaughan tourist map

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