Towns' assets include beautiful waterfront, gorgeous gardens, plentiful parks and upscale boutiques
With its tree-lined residential streets, beautiful waterfront, formal gardens, wealth of shopping and dining options and abundance of green space, it’s little wonder that Oakville is one of the most desirable places to live in the GTA.
With 185,000 residents, it’s one of the most affluent communities in the country and Money Sense declared it the weather capital of Canada, as it gets an average of just 117 precipitation days a year and 808 millimeters of precipitation. British Columbia may be warmer, but Oakville is drier.
“It’s one of Canada’s most prestigious communities and it has easy access to public transit, the highest-rated public school system in Ontario, as well as excellent private schools,” says Vesna Sola, sales manager with In2ition Realty. “It has a beautiful clean downtown with great restaurants and boutique shops, it’s got art galleries and cafes and a wide range of parks.”
Leisure and fitness are important to residents and there are many recreational and sporting facilities, says Ms. Sola. The town boasts more than 1,400 hectares of parkland, 150 kilometres of trails and more than 200 parks, dog parks, playgrounds, skateboard parks, sports fields and tennis courts.
The famous Glen Abbey Golf Course, considered one of the pre-eminent courses in North America and home to the Canadian Open and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, is in Oakville. There are many private, semi-private and public courses too.
Culture thrives in Oakville, with museums, art galleries, arts organizations, theatres and performing arts centres and the Oakville Arts Council serving as a hub for much of this activity.The town hosts a wide variety of annual events and festivals, including summer events such as Oakville Family Ribfest, Kerr Village’s Summer Celebration, Canada Day Fireworks in Bronte Harbour, Oakville Waterfront Festival and the Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival.
It has many neighbourhoods with distinct character including its upscale downtown, eclectic Bronte Harbour and fun and funky Kerr St. The town has its own Gold Coast, a stretch along Lakeshore Road dotted with magnificent waterfront mansions owned by Bay St. movers and shakers, business owners and pro athletes.
The lands that comprise Oakville were originally owned by the Mississauga aboriginal people and were sold to the Legislative Assembly in 1805. The Crown bought the waterway lands in 1820 and sold them by auction to William Chishom in 1827.
The town’s earliest industries included wheat farming, timber shipment and shipbuilding. During a recession in the 1850s, the town’s foundry, a key industry, closed and basket-making became a major concern. Oakville later became industrialized with the opening of oil refineries (now closed) and the Ford Motor Company plant and Canadian headquarters, which remain today.
Home buyers have a wealth of choice in Oakville, from the waterfront estates to heritage homes to new homes and condominiums. One of newest projects is Biddington Homes’ Estates of River Oaks in the prestigious River Oaks community. Biddington has a history of constructing high-end custom homes in coveted neighbourhoods such as Forest Hill in Toronto.
This is the builder’s first venture into the Oakville market and it will offer 52 signature, semi-custom homes on pedestrian-friendly cul-de-sacs and crescents within an established neighbourhood.
Such projects are becoming rare in the GTA, says Ms. Sola, who is handling sales of the Biddington homes.
“A lot of these homes are backing onto woodlands and green space,” says Ms. Sola. “It’s very peaceful yet you are minutes from shopping and the restaurant district. This is one of the last parcels of land left south of Dundas St. The beauty here is it’s a bit of an enclave and you don’t find detached communities like this anymore that have no condo fees attached.”
The homes are in close proximity to Oak Park, Iroquois Ridge and Upper Oakville shopping centres, Sheridan College’s skilled trades centre, Oakville Park and Sheridan Hills Park, community centres and the White Oaks, Glen Abbey and Oakville golf courses.
And with the builder willing to work with purchasers to customize their homes to some degree, buyers can put their own stamp on their residence. With prices starting from $975,000 for a 2,900 square foot home, Ms. Sola says there has been considerable interest in Estates of River Oaks, mainly from local buyers wishing to move up from a smaller house or from an older home to a new abode with all the bells and whistles.
The homes’ features and finishes will reflect the level of luxury typically associated with an upscale Oakville lifestyle, including brick and Arriscraft stone facades, large eat-in kitchens with islands, granite countertops, tile backsplashes and under-valance halogen lighting, 9-foot main-floor ceilings, coffered dining room ceilings, direct vent fireplaces and sumptuous master bathrooms with Jacuzzi air jet tubs.
“The homes are completely turn-key,” says Ms. Sola.