Tag Archives: Local Focus

LOCAL FOCUS: Pickering & Ajax

Pickering and Ajax one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario

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Pickering and Ajax one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario

Part of the Durham Region, Pickering and Ajax comprise one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario.

HOUSING OPTIONS

Often considered suburbs of Toronto, most of the housing here is single-family homes. However, the condo craze has arrived and there is a great selection of home types, from historic homes to modern townhouses and condos. But single-family homes are still the norm.

Click here to see a list of homes for sale in Ajax.

Click here to see a list of homes for sale in Pickering.

LEISURE PURSUITS

The Nautical Village, located on Pickering’s waterfront, is a fabulous day away from the hectic grind of modern life. There are many quaint shops, cafés, bakeries and restaurants, as well as a splash pad and park for the kids and beach volleyball courts. A lovely waterfront trail runs along the Frenchman’s Bay and during the summer there are concerts at Millennium Square.

Pickering Museum Village is a unique experience brought to life by “live” pioneers in 18 heritage buildings, including a blacksmith’s shop, general store, schoolhouse, temperance hotel and chapel.

The Pickering Recreation Complex offers a host of activities, including fitness classes, racquetball, squash, swimming and tennis, plus loads of children’s programs.

Pickering and Ajax are home to a number of golf courses, including Glen Cedars, Hawthorne Valley, Seaton Golf, Pickering Golf Club and Watsons’ Glen.

Ajax is home to Ontario’s only quarter horse racetrack, Ajax Downs. The central library, the Ajax Community Centre and the McLean Community Centre offer lots of programs, including swimming, ice skating and arts and crafts workshop.

PARKS & REC

Pickering is home to over 550 acres of open space including over 85 parks, sports fields and trails, as well as three conservation areas. One of the city’s gems is its Lake Ontario waterfront, with about five kilometres of it publicly accessible, three of them beach areas. There are also public areas around Frenchman’s Bay and the Hydro Marsh. Canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, wind surfing and sailing make Pickering a perfect place for water sports enthusiasts.

Conservation areas including Petticoat Creek, Claremont Conservation Area and Greenwood Conservation Area, are operated by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

Ajax also has an expansive system of cycling and walking trails totally 74 kilometres. Veterans’ Point Garden commemorates the town’s history and is dedicated to the HMS Ajax, the DIL Plant and the employees who lived in Ajax during the World War II.

RETAIL THERAPY

Pickering has a number of shopping opportunities, including the shops, restaurants and cafés located in its quaint downtown. The Pickering Town Centre has over 200 shops and services and big box stores can be found at the Brock Power Centre and the Shops at Pickering Ridge. The Durham Centre, located on Highway 2 in Ajax, offers close to 1 million square feet of shopping in a large-scale power centre format.

Pickering Village — an old Quaker Village — is filled with numerous shops, specialty boutiques and gourmet restaurants.

EASY ACCESS

Transit is supplied by Durham Region Transit and GO Transit train and bus service. Highway 401 is the main arterial hub taking drivers west to the DVP or east to Highway 115.

BY THE NUMBERS

Pickering population: 91,770

Ajax population: 119,670

Pickering walk score: 50

Ajax walk score: 47

Pickering.ca

Ajax.ca


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LOCAL FOCUS: Vaughan

Vaughan now known as ‘The Place To Be’

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Vaughan now known as ‘The Place To Be’

by Gale Beeby

No longer is Vaughan just the city above Toronto, it’s now known as ‘The Place To Be.’

HOUSING OPTIONS

In Vaughan, over 80 per cent of the housing is single-family, detached dwellings, and about 94 per cent of residents own their own home. However, with the province’s Places to Grow policy, Vaughan is seeing a boom of condominium towers along the vibrant Highway 7. Maple, Concord, Kleinburg and Woodbridge are also seeing housing booms, with lots of master-planed communities on offer.

Click here for a full list of developments for sale in Vaughan.

LEISURE PURSUITS

The largest theme park in Canada – Canada’s Wonderland – is in Maple and measures 330 acres and boasts 16 roller coasters. It also has a 20-acre water park and its fall season includes Halloween Hunt. Historically, the areas of Woodbridge, Concord, Nashville and Maple have been agricultural and a number of farmers’ markets are open during the summer.

The City of Vaughan is also home to some of the best public and private golf courses in the GTA, including The National, The Board of Trade, Bayview, Thornhill, Cardinal, Eagles Nest, Maple Downs and Copper Creek.

PARKS & REC

People are drawn to Vaughan because of its high quality of life, abundant green spaces and exciting attractions.

Toronto & Region Conservation Authority Photo
Toronto & Region Conservation Authority Photo

In Woodbine, the Kortright Centre for Conservation is a natural oasis and environmental educational centre on 800 acres of pristine woodland. Located at the headwaters of the Don and Humber Rivers, the 990-acre Boyd Conservation Area offers a number of outdoor activities, including a trail system, lots of picnic areas and bocce courts.

Bindertwine Park in Kleinburg features a trail systems that links it to the grounds of McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the Kortright Centre.

RETAIL THERAPY

Vaughan Mills, located at Highway 400 and Rutherford Road, is one of the GTA’s popular shopping attractions, with over 200 outlets shops and services. It also includes entertainment attractions like Hollywood’s Lucky Strike Lanes, Pro Hockey Life, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. At Highway 7 and Weston Road is another large shopping district, the Colossus Centre, which also features a slew of outlet and big box stores, plus a 19-screen Cineplex.

EASY ACCESS

Vaughan mass transit is served by the York Regional Transit/Viva system, which links the entire region with Toronto and the Region of Peel. Currently, YRT is building a bus rapidway along Highway 7, between the Richmond Hill Centre (where the subway extension ends) to Warden Avenue. The City of Vaughan is surrounded by several major highways, including Highways 400, 401, 404, 407 and 427, making it an easy place to commute anywhere in the GTA.

BY THE NUMBERS

Population: 306,300

Walk score: 49

From Vaughan: Elizabeth Arden

Vaughan.ca


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LOCAL FOCUS: Waterloo Region

Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge thrive in Waterloo Region

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Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge thrive in Waterloo Region

by Gale Beeby

HOUSING OPTIONS

Kitchener and Waterloo are mostly made up of single-family homes and there is a great selection of home types, from historic homes to modern townhouses and condos. But single-family homes are still the norm.

Click here to see a list of new homes for sale.

LEISURE PURSUITS

The region has a lot of cultural venues and events, including the Contemporary Art Forum, The Open Ears Festival, IMPACT theatre festival, the Multicultural Festival, the Kitchener Blues Festival, Mill Race Festival and the Rock the Mill music festival.

It is also home to the Homer Watson House & Gallery, McDougall Cottage Historic Site, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Centre in the Square, The Cambridge Centre for the Arts and the Doon Heritage Museum.

Cambridge has some of the most historic bridges in Waterloo Region and the Black Bridge Road Bridge — built in 1916 — is Cambridge’s only truss bridge.

And, of course, Kitchener-Waterloo is home to Oktoberfest, an annual nine-day event that is billed as Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival and is the largest Bavarian festival in the world outside Germany.

Grand River Conservation Authority/S. Rhodes Photo LF
Grand River Conservation Authority/S. Rhodes Photo LF

PARKS & REC

Kitchener’s oldest outdoor park is Victoria Park in the heart of downtown. A cast-bronze statue of Queen Victoria, which was unveiled on Victoria Day in 1911, is the centrepiece. Another significant park is Rockway Gardens, which occupies a long narrow strip of land alongside King Street. Here there are many fountains, ponds, waterfalls and rock grottoes.

The region has an extensive community trail system and the Grand River draws nature-seeking tourists to the region. The Grand River Conservation Authority operates 11 conservation areas.

RETAIL THERAPY

The downtowns of each of the region’s cities and townships offer some very stylish and forward-thinking retailers, as well as restaurants, cafés, salons and spas. Fairview Park is Kitchener’s largest shopping mall, while Conestoga Mall in Waterloo is also home to the Galaxy Cinemas. In Cambridge, the Cambridge Centre also has an NHL-sized ice rink.

EASY ACCESS

The Conestoga Parkway is the area’s main highway, connecting with Highway 401. Public Transit throughout the Region of Waterloo is provided by Grand River Transit, which was created by a merger of Cambridge Transit and Kitchener Transit. GRT operates a number of bus routes in Kitchener, with many running into Waterloo and two connecting to Cambridge.

GO Transit provides bus service from Kitchener to Mississauga Square One and train service to Union Station during rush hours. Passenger train service is provided by Via Rail.

The Region of Waterloo International Airport is in Breslau.

BY THE NUMBERS

Population: 583,500

Known best for: Oktoberfest

Walk scores:

Kitchener: Average of 47

Waterloo: Average of 44

Cambridge: Average of 44

RegionOfWaterloo.ca


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LOCAL FOCUS: Barrie

LOCAL FOCUS: Barrie

Latest News


LOCAL FOCUS: Barrie

by Gale Beeby
Photos Courtesy The City of Barrie

Known as the ‘Gateway to Cottage Country’

HOUSING OPTIONS

Barrie has often been considered as a recreational playground and bedroom community of Toronto, which has given rise to the development of numerous subdivisions on the southern end of the city. With the city’s long history, there are numerous pockets of historic housing, and the city – as with most large urban centres in Southern Ontario – has also seen a condo boom. But single-family homes are still the norm.

Click here to see a list of homes for sale.

LEISURE PURSUITS

The Centre for the Performing Arts is a modern facility home to many cultural productions, film screenings, plays, concerts, dance recitals and other performances. The Georgian Theatre features a proscenium stage used for theatrical performances as well as conferences and seminars.

The MacLaren Art Centre has a growing collection of work, as well as film nights, a speaker series and children’s programs. Lakeshore Mews is home to a number of galleries, studios and boutiques, and hosts Arts ce Soir, an all-night celebration of visual, musical theatrical and literary art. Kempenfest is one of the largest arts and crafts celebrations in Ontario.

The Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League play home games in the Molson Centre, a 4,195-seat multi-purpose arena.

Barrie is also home to a number of festivals, including the Barrie Waterfront Festival, Winterfest, Ecofest, Jazz & Blues Festival, Rhythmfest, the Barrie Film Festival and the New Music Festival.

PARKS & REC

Barrie is a four-season delight for any outdoor enthusiast. In the summer, there are beaches to visit, including Minet’s Point, Johnsons Beach, The Gables, Tyndale Beach and Centennial Beach. Sailing and boating are popular in Kempenfelt Bay and Lake Simcoe, which connects with the Trent Severn Waterway. In the winter there are many activities and facilities and the city also has a number of recreational and sports complexes and over 740 acres of parks.

The Ardagh Bluffs Area boasts over 17 kilometres of hiding and walking trails over 518 acres. The Nine Mile Portage Heritage Trail follows the ancient overland route created by the Indigenous people, connecting Memorial Park to the Fort Willow Heritage Site in Springwater Township. The North Shore Trail is a multi-use, wheelchair-accessible, three-kilometre trail running the entire length of Barrie’s north shore of Kempenfelt Bay along a former rail corridor.

RETAIL THERAPY

Downtown Barrie is full of lovely boutiques, one-of-a-kind arts and crafts shops, cafés, restaurants and bistros. Georgian Mall is the largest mall in Barrie with over 190 shops and services, and was recently renovated and expanded. Bayfield Mall has 70 stores and is surrounded by smaller stores and a bowling alley and movie theatre.

EASY ACCESS

Public transit is provided by Barrie Transit and there is a GO Transit station with various bus and train routes. Greyhound Canada also has bus routes between Barrie and Yorkdale Bus Terminal. Highway 400 is the main provincial route, with Highway 26 (Bayfield Street), Simcoe County Roads 27, 90, 93, 30 and Highway 11 allowing commuters to move around quickly.

BY THE NUMBERS

Population: 187,000

Walk Score: 40

Twin Cities: Zweibrücken, Germany; Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England

Motto: The People Are The City

Barrie.ca


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LOCAL FOCUS: Collingwood & Wasaga Beach

LOCAL FOCUS: Collingwood & Wasaga Beach

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LOCAL FOCUS: Collingwood & Wasaga Beach

by Gale Beeby

Four-season playground

HOUSING OPTIONS

With Collingwood’s industrial past and the Wasaga Beach area known as a summer playground, housing stock is generally single-family homes and cottages, although there are now many condo developments catering to seasonal visitors.

Click here to see a list of homes for sale in Collingwood.

Click here to see a list of homes for sale in Wasaga Beach.

LEISURE PURSUITS

Collingwood is home to many events and festivals. One of its most famous is certainly the Elvis Presley Festival, which attracts Elvis impersonators from all over the world.

Other events include the Jazz & Blues Festival, Art on the Street, Culture Days and Art in Town Hall, while Theatre Collingwood produces live performances of plays and musicals. The town is also home to many art galleries and studios, a fabulous farmers’ market and the Collingwood Museum.

If you don’t feel up to strolling the galleries, however, you can simply enjoy lying on the beach, throwing a line into the water at one of the area’s many great fishing spots, or paddle the area in a canoe or kayak. If you’re feeling more adventurous, Wasaga Beach — the world’s longest freshwater beach — awaits.

PARKS & REC

Collingwood and Wasaga Beach are located on the southern shore of Georgian Bay, next to Blue Mountain, a promontory of the Niagara Escarpment. The region is a major recreational area, noted for skiing, water sports and incredible beaches. There is large network of trails for walking, hiking, cycling, horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

The Collingwood Arboretum has both paved and natural trails and is a vital botanical park. Collingwood’s Scenic Caves offer a variety of activities, including cave tours, a treetop canopy walk, nature trails, a suspension bridge, a zip line, gemstone mining, a trout pond and mini golf.

And speaking of golf, the area is home to many great championship golf courses, including Cobble Beach, Lora Bay, Monterra at Blue Mountain Resort, Cranberry Golf Resort, Georgian Bay Club, Batteaux Creek, OslerBrook, and Horseshoe Resort’s Valley and Highlands courses.

Wasaga Beach Provincial Park offers a myriad of activities, including canoeing, swimming, boating, fishing, biking, birding, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

RETAIL THERAPY

There are many lovely shopping areas in both Collingwood and Wasaga Beach, offering a fine assortment of boutiques, arts and crafts stores, independent retailers, cafés, restaurants and pubs. The nearest shopping mall is Georgian Mall in Barrie, where you can find many chain stors and big box outlets.

EASY ACCESS

Wasaga Beach and Collingwood are served by Highway 26, which runs along the shore of the Nottawasaga Bay, and County Road 124. The towns are also served by a rail link connecting them to the towns of Owen Sound and Barrie. There is a spur heading north through Collingwood to the large grain elevators at the downtown wharf, where trains would formerly load and unload into lake ships. Collingwood has its own transit service, as does Wasaga Beach. Collingwood also boasts an airport, a medium-sized facility about seven kilometres south of the town.

BY THE NUMBERS

Collingwood Population: 21,800
Wasaga Beach Population: 20,675

Collingwood Walk Score: 46
Wasaga Beach Walk Score: 25

Motto: The Beach is just the beginning

Collingwood.ca

WasagaBeach.com


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LOCAL FOCUS: Clarington

LOCAL FOCUS: Clarington

Latest News


LOCAL FOCUS: Clarington

by Gale Beeby

Bowmanville, Courtice & Newcastle

LIVING HISTORY

Clarington is the most easterly municipality in the GTA, located along the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is the amalgamation of the former townships of Darlington, Clarke, Bowmanville, the Village of Newcastle and the Village of Orono, as well as a number of rural villages, some of which are Bond Head, Enniskillen, Hampton, Kendal, Maple Grove, Mitchell Corners, New Park, Newtonville, Port Darlington, Port Granby, Salem, Starkville, Taunton and Wilmot Creek.

There are heritage buildings and structures scattered throughout the rural countryside and in clusters of heritage homes within the towns and hamlets. But Clarington is full of new housing tracts and condominium buildings in the denser areas.

Click here for a list of homes for sale.

LEISURE PURSUITS

The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly Mosport International Raceway) in Bowmanville hosts both minor grand prix races and major racing events. Clarington is home to five Christmas parades, more than any other municipality in Canada. The parades are held in Bowmanville, Newcastle, Courtice, Orono, and Enniskillen/Tyrone. Docville Wild West Park is a mock Wild West town that offers tours and is also used as a film set. Bowmanville is also home to Camp 30, a POW camp for German troops during the Second World War and the last surviving POW camp in Canada.

PARKS & REC

The largest park in the area is the Darlington Provincial Park, located south of Highway 401 near Courtice. The park borders the shore of Lake Ontario and McLaughlin Bay, which is shallow and was closed off from the lake sometime in the 1990s by natural wave action. It offers lots of recreational activities, including camping, picnic facilities, nature trails and a long strip of sandy beach.

The Samuel Wilmot Nature Area in Newcastle is a 77-hectare park that contains trails, viewing platforms and interpretive signs. The Port of Newcastle Park offers spectacular view of the lake from its kilometre of paved trail located on the top of a bluff.

Clarington also offers a large range of recreational facilities at its many parks. There are a host of country-style fairs in many of the rural communities that make up Clarington including AppleFest in Bowmanville, the annual Orono Fair — one of the oldest fairs in Ontario — every September, the BluesBERRY Festival in Bowmanville, which celebrates the best of blues music and fresh berries, and the Wooden Boat Festival at the Port of Newcastle Marina.

RETAIL THERAPY

The small towns and hamlets that make up Clarington are full of lovely boutiques, cafés, bistros, gift and craft shops and, of course, there are plenty of farmers’ markets. Although the area doesn’t have a large indoor shopping mall, you don’t have to go far to fulfill your need to shop until you drop; there are great indoor malls and big box stores in Oshawa and, a little further afield, Peterborough.

EASY ACCESS

Highway 401 runs throughout the region, with Highway 35 and Highway 115 bisecting Newcastle and taking commuters north into cottage country. Durham Region Transit offers some bus routes throughout Clarington, taking commuters west, and GO Transit offers train and bus service in and out of the region.

BY THE NUMBERS

Population: 92,100

Walk Score: 9

Motto: Wisdom Knowledge and Trust

Clarington.net


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Local Focus: Aurora & Newmarket

Local Focus: Aurora & Newmarket

Latest News


Local Focus: Aurora & Newmarket

by Gale Beeby

The two historic towns are sustaining gradual growth

HOUSING OPTIONS

Often considered a bedroom community of Toronto, Aurora and Newmarket have a wide selection of homes for any taste or budget, from historic century homes to custom estate homes. The towns have also seen the influx of the condo boom and a number of developers are currently building there. To see a list of new homes for sale in these two communities please click on the links above.

LEISURE PURSUITS

Aurora has its own community theatre group, Theatre Aurora, which was founded in 1958, and now is located in the Factory Theatre on Henderson Drive. The Aurora Cultural Centre is an 1886 heritage building that has been transformed into a centre for the arts, culture and heritage. Built in 1862, Hillary House is recognized by the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board as one of Canada’s best examples of Gothic Revival architecture. It contains a significant collection of medical instruments, books, papers, household furnishings and equipment dating from the early 19th to the late 20th century.

The Newmarket Theatre is the largest in town, with a capacity of 400, and boasts a selection of world-class artists each year. The Resurgence Theatre Company is a small professional company that is focused on resurrecting the classics and has an annual Shakespearean production in the Fairly Lake Conservation Area.

Newmarket is home to the Newmarket Hurricanes, who compete in the Ontario Junior A Hockey League. Their main rivals are the Aurora Tigers.

There are several golf courses in the area, including Silver Lake Golf Course, St. Andrew’s Valley, Highland Gate Golf Club, Westview Golf Club, Magna Golf Club, Beacon Hill Golf Club.

PARKS & REC

Aurora has over 65 parks encompassing more than 700 acres. Connecting many of the parks is a trail system of about 25 kilometres for joggers, hikers and cross-country skiers. There is also an emerging community bicycle path network. The Holland River Valley Trail, designed in 2000 as part of the regional Nokiidaa Trail, passes through a natural valley of mixed forests, meadows and wetland habitats. The McKenzie Marsh, Salamander Pond and Willow Farm Pond are some of the natural areas in Aurora. Mature forest trails can also be accessed in Case Woodlot and Sheppard’s Bush as well as the urban and rural sections of the Oak Ridges Trail.

Newmarket has over 45 parks with over 800 acres of parkland, including picnic areas, walking trails, playgrounds, soccer pitches, tennis courts, basketball courts and baseball diamonds. Fairy Lake was created when a dam was built on the East Holland River in 1801. The Mabel Davis Conservation Area has 1,400 metres of trails along the east and west sides of the East Holland River.

RETAIL THERAPY

Aurora and Newmarket both have fabulous historic downtowns that offer many unique boutiques, antique shops, restaurants and cafés. Aurora’s downtown is known for its home decor stores. In nearby Newmarket, the Upper Canada Mall is a high-end centre with over 300 stores and services.

EASY ACCESS

Aurora and Newmarket are connected to Toronto by Highway 404, which then connects with Highways 407 and 401. Public transit is provided by York Region Transit, which operates the Viva Blue bus rapid transit route from Newmarket to the Finch Bus Terminal. Commuter train and bus service is operated by GO Transit.

BY THE NUMBERS

Aurora population: 53,210

Newmarket population: 80,400

Aurora walk scores: 47

Newmarket walk scores: 50

Aurora.ca

Newmarket.ca


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Local Focus: Vaughan

Local Focus: Vaughan

Latest News


Local Focus: Vaughan

by Gale Beeby

No longer just the city above Toronto, it’s now known as ‘The Place To Be’

HOUSING OPTIONS

In Vaughan, over 80 per cent of the housing is single-family, detached dwellings, and about 94 per cent of residents own their own home. However, with the province’s Places to Grown policy, Vaughan is seeing a boom of condominium towers along the vibrant Highway 7. Maple, Concord, Kleinburg and Woodbridge are also seeing housing booms, with lots of master-planed communities on offer. Click here for a full list of developments for sale.

LEISURE PURSUITS

The largest theme park in Canada – Canada’s Wonderland – is in Maple and measures 330 acres and boasts 16 roller coasters. It also has a 20-acre water park and its fall season includes Halloween Hunt. Historically, the areas of Woodbridge, Concord, Nashville and Maple have been agricultural and a number of farmers’ markets are open during the summer.

The City of Vaughan is also home to some of the best public and private golf courses in the GTA, including The National, The Board of Trade, Bayview, Thornhill, Cardinal, Eagles Nest, Maple Downs and Copper Creek.

PARKS & REC

People are drawn to Vaughan because of its high quality of life, abundant green spaces and exciting attractions.

In Woodbine, the Kortright Centre for Conservation is a natural oasis and environmental educational centre on 800 acres of pristine woodland. Located at the headwaters of the Don and Humber Rivers, the 990-acre Boyd Conservation Area offers a number of outdoor activities, including a trail system, lots of picnic areas and bocce courts.

Bindertwine Park in Kleinburg features a trail systems that links it to the grounds of McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the Kortright Centre.

RETAIL THERAPY

Vaughan Mills, located at Highway 400 and Rutherford Road, is one of the GTA’s popular shopping attractions, with over 200 outlets shops and services. It also includes entertainment attractions like Hollywood’s Lucky Strike Lanes, Pro Hockey Life, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. At Highway 7 and Jane Street is another large shopping district, the Colossus Centre, which also features a slew of outlet and big box stores, plus a 19-screen Cineplex.

EASY ACCESS

Vaughan mass transit is served by the York Regional Transit/Viva system, which links the entire region with Toronto and the Region of Peel. Currently, YRT is building a bus rapidway along Highway 7, between the Richmond Hill Centre (where the subway extension will end) to Warden Ave. The City of Vaughan is surrounded several major highways, including Highways 400, 401, 404, 407 and 427, making it an easy place to commute anywhere in the GTA.

BY THE NUMBERS

Population: 306,300

Walk Scores: 49

From Vaughan: Elizabeth Arden

Vaughan.ca



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Local Focus: GTA East

Latest News


Local Focus: GTA East

Housing Options:

Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa all have historic downtowns with the requisite collection of century homes, but new subdivisions are quickly changing the landscape. Developers have also responded to the need for more affordable housing and the condo boom has arrived.

Leisure Pursuits

In Pickering, The Nautical Village is a fabulous day away from the hectic grind of modern life. There are many quaint shops, cafés, bakeries and restaurants, as well as a splash pad and park for the kids and beach volleyball courts. Pickering Museum Village is a unique experience brought to life by “live” pioneers in 18 heritage buildings.

The Whitby Public Library is a state-ofthe- art building that offers an extensive array of collections and programs as well as the Whitby archives. One of Whitby’s bestknown historic sites is the infamous Camp X, which was a secret spy training facility during World War II. Established by Sir William Stephenson, the “Man Called Intrepid,” British and allied forces also used the camp as a communications link between Britain and the United States with overseas information passing secretly between allied nations.

In Oshawa, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is the largest in Durham Region and features a collection of more than 4,000 works of art. The Military Museum has Canada’s largest collection of operational military vehicles, and the Canadian Automotive museum is housed in a 1920s car dealership and has 60 vehicles on display.

Parks & Rec

There are great recreational areas along the Lake Ontario waterfront in all four of the municipalities. In Pickering, Frenchman’s Bay offers canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, wind surfing and sailing. Conservation areas include Petticoat Creek, the Claremont Conservation Area and the Greenwood Conservation Area.

In Ajax, you can enjoy nature at the Greenwood Conservation Area and the town’s expansive system of cycling and walking trails, which totals 74 kilometres.

There are over 100 parks maintained by Whitby and over 60 kilometres of trails, including the Bio-Diversity Trail, the Cullen Central Park Trails, Otter Creek Trail and the Whitby Shores Waterfront Trail. The 670-acre Lynde Shores Conservation area, together with the adjacent Cranberry West Tract, is known for its wildlife and provides habitat for nesting birds.

Oshawa also boasts beautiful and pristine wildlife preserves, including the Pumphouse Marsh, Second Marsh and the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve. On Oshawa’s Lake Ontario shoreline you will find Lakeview Park with many picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, a waterfront pier and sandy beaches.

Retail Therapy

The Oshawa Centre is the largest shopping complex in Durham Region and is home to over 230 establishments that include retail, food outlets and a variety of services. In each of the municipalities’ downtowns you’ll find a variety of unique shops and restaurants.

In Whitby, Pearson Lane is a historical development that houses boutiques, cafés and services. Pickering Village — an old Quaker Village — is filled with numerous shops, specialty boutiques and gourmet restaurants provide a wide selection of goods and services.

Easy Access

Public transit is provided by Durham Region Transit, which connects with the other cities in Durham Region, including Clarington, Brock and Uxbridge. Highway 401 runs through the south of the region and Highway 7 runs across its northern edge. Highway 407 ETR is being extended to Highways 35 and 115 and will cross the top of Durham Region.

BY THE NUMBERS
Pickering population: .96,000
Ajax population: . . . .120,000
Whitby population: …134,900
Oshawa population: .168,000
WALK SCORES
Pickering: . . . . . .50 average
Ajax: . . . . . . . . . .47 average
Whitby: . . . . . . . .43 average
Oshawa: . . . . . . .51 average

Pickering.ca
Ajax.ca
Whitby.ca
Oshawa.ca

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Local Focus: Waterloo Region

Local Focus: Waterloo Region

Latest News


Local Focus: Waterloo Region

by Gale Beeby

Including Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo

HOUSING OPTIONS

Kitchener and Waterloo are mostly made up of single-family homes and there is a great selection of home types, from historic homes to modern townhouses and condos. But single-family homes are still the norm. Click here to see a list of new homes for sale.

THE WORKPLACE

The area’s economic heritage is rooted in manufacturing. While the local economy’s reliance on manufacturing has decreased in recent years, more than 20 per cent of the labour force remains employed in the manufacturing sector.

In recent years, Kitchener and Waterloo’s economy has diversified to include high-value economic clusters. In addition to internationally recognized finance and insurance and manufacturing clusters, digital media and health science clusters are emerging within the city.

SCHOOL DAYS

Public schools are administered by the Waterloo Region District School Board and Catholic schools by the Waterloo Catholic District Schoool Board.

The University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College offer post-secondary education, while McMaster University has opened a satellite campus for its Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in Kitchener.

LEISURE PURSUITS

The region has a lot of cultural venues and events, including the Contemporary Art Forum, The Open Ears Festival, IMPACT theatre festival, the Multicultural Festival, the Kitchener Blues Festival, Mill Race Festival and the Rock the Mill music festival.

Canoeing on the Grand River. Photo: Grand River Conservation Authority/C. Auchinleck
Canoeing on the Grand River. Photo: Grand River Conservation Authority/C. Auchinleck

It is also home to the Homer Watson House & Gallery, McDougall Cottage Historic Site, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, THEMUSEUM, JM Drama, Centre in the Square, The Cambridge Centre for the Arts and the Doon Heritage Museum.

Cambridge has some of the most historic bridges in Waterloo Region and the Black Bridge Road Bridge — built in 1916 — is Cambridge’s only truss bridge.

Oktoberfest Timeteller
Oktoberfest Timeteller

And, of course, Kitchener-Waterloo is home to Oktoberfest, an annual nine-day event that is billed as Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival and is the largest Bavarian festival in the world outside Germany. While its best-known draws are the beer, other family and cultural events also fill the week. The best-known is the Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade.

PARKS & REC

Victoria Park
Victoria Park

Kitchener’s oldest outdoor park is Victoria Park in the heart of downtown. A cast-bronze statue of Queen Victoria, which was unveiled on Victoria Day in 1911, is the centrepiece of the park. Another significant park is Rockway Gardens, occupies a long narrow strip of land alongside King Street. Here there are many fountains, ponds, waterfalls and rock grottoes.

Birdwatching on the Grand River. Photo: Grand River Conservation Authority/S. Rhodes
Birdwatching on the Grand River. Photo: Grand River Conservation Authority/S. Rhodes

The region has an extensive and safe community trail system and the Grand River draws nature-seeding tourists to the region. The Grand River Conservation Authority operates 11 conservation areas. Many of the parks include places to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Swimming, windsurfing, camping, hiking and bird watching are just some of the activities available.

Old Post Office in Cambridge
Old Post Office in Cambridge

RETAIL THERAPY

The downtowns of each of the region’s cities and townships offer some very stylish and forward-thinking retailers, as well as restaurants, cafés, salons and spas. Fairview Park is Kitchener’s largest shopping mall, while Conestoga Mall in Waterloo is also home to the Galaxy Cinemas. In Cambridge, the Cambridge Centre also has an NHL-sized ice rink.

Waterloo County Jail and Courthouse
Waterloo County Jail and Courthouse

EASY ACCESS

The Conestoga Parkway is the area’s main highway, connecting with Highway 401. Public Transit throughout the Region of Waterloo is provided by Grand River Transit, which was created by a merger of Cambridge Transit and Kitchener Transit. GRT operates a number of bus routes in Kitchener, with many running into Waterloo and two connecting to Cambridge.

GO Transit provides bus service from Kitchener to Mississauga Square One and train service to Union Station during rush hours. Passenger train service is provided by Via Rail.

The Region of Waterloo International Airport is in Breslau.

BY THE NUMBERS

Population: 524,000

Amalgamated: 1973

Known best for: Oktoberfest

Walk Scores:

  • Kitchener: Average of 47
  • Waterloo: Average of 44
  • Cambridge: Average of 44

RegionOfWaterloo.ca



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