As the Holland River passes out of the Oak Ridges Moraine into Lake Simcoe, it forms an area called the Holland Marsh. The town of Bradford West Gwillimbury is located on the northern edge of the marsh.
Bradford prides itself as a town that offers small town charm and sense of community. It is a perfect town for people who miss these qualities in larger cities.
Though it is not the biggest community in the GTA, Bradford is not isolated. It enjoys direct rail and road connections to the larger communities to the south.
To learn more about real estate in Bradford, contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives. Frank Leo & Associates has more than 30 years of experience in GTA real estate, which we will use to help you get the real estate deal you want.
The History of Bradford West Gwillimbury
Europeans settlers first began to enter the area in the late 1700s. In 1819, the first sizeable community of settlers was established. The settlers came to the area after Lord Selkrik’s Red River settlement in Manitoba collapsed. The settlers were Scottish, and they founded the hamlet of Scotch Settlement. This was the largest settlement in Simcoe County at the time.
Settlers continued to enter the area throughout the 1800s. In 1857, they incorporated the village of Bradford. The citizens named the village after Bradford in England.
The Ontario, Simcoe, and Huron railroad expanded to Bradford in 1853. This railroad provided a rail link between Toronto and Bradford.
By 1869, the population of the village was 1000 people. The were many professionals, business people, and tradespeople working in the town. Disaster struck in 1871 when almost the entire town burned in a fire.
The economy of the town was based around agriculture. Farmers grew grain and hay in the surrounding land.
The Turn of the Century in Bradford West Gwillimbury
At the turn of the century Bradford was the seat of West Gwilllimbury County. There were high and public schools, a public library, and a weekly newspaper in the town.
Professor William H. Day devised a plan to transform the Holland Marsh into prime agricultural land in 1923. His plan involved burying cars to form dykes and planting willow trees on top to anchor them. Day’s system of dykes and canals allowed for the floods on the mash to be controlled by humans. Its success unleashed the agricultural potential of the marsh.
18 families from the Netherlands came to Bradford in the early 1930s. Their aim was to start farms on the 2,900 hectares of organic muck soil that make up the Holland Marsh. These immigrants built the first year-round settlement on the marsh.
Today the marsh is known as “The Salad Bowl of Ontario”. It is a market garden that produces a large variety of vegetables for both the domestic and foreign market.
If you want to learn more about real estate in Bradford, check our listings or reach out to us. Our expert advice will help you reach your real estate goals. So reach out to us, we will be happy to help!
Suburban Development in Bradford West Gwillimbury
In the latter half of the 20th century, Bradford transformed from a small agrarian town into a GTA commuter suburb. There were a couple of infrastructure developments that facilitated the change.
In 1960, Bradford incorporated from a village to a town. The same year the town installed its first sewer system. This infrastructure improvement caused Bradford to become an attractive place for people to live. The population of the town increased quickly and developers built many houses.
Bradford and the Township of West Gwillimbury amalgamated into the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury in 1991. With its direct rail connection to Toronto provided by GO Transit, Bradford was perfect for suburban development.
Bradford West Gwillimbury is a town with a lot to offer its residents. It has the peaceful, friendly atmosphere of a small town. At the same time, its prime location prevents any feelings of isolation.
The town enjoys easy access to the GTA. There is both a rail connection and a major highway.
The historic centre of Bradford is just north of the Holland Marsh. In recent years the town has expanded to the north and to the west. The new developments consist of large houses on quiet, curving streets.
The population of Bradford is just over 35,000. People from all over the world call the town home. There are communities of people from South Asia, South America, and Southeast Asia.
Real Estate in Bradford West Gwillimbury
As a bona fide small town, there’s not a lot of high density real estate available in the town. This makes Bradford an ideal place for people who want spacious, private homes.
Fully detached homes are the most common type of house in Bradford. The majority of these houses have more than three bedrooms. While they are less common, there are some semidetached houses and row houses in the town.
The town has seen a boom in housing construction since the turn of the last century. Since the year 2000, developers have built nearly 5,000 houses.
Check our listings in Bradford or contact one of our representatives if you are interested in learning more about buying or selling real estate in Bradford.
There’s no reason to fear that because of its small size that there is no shopping available. Residents of Bradford have everything they need right in town. Like most suburban communities, Bradford mainly features big box shopping venues. But there are other kinds of places to shop in the town.
The biggest shopping centre in the town is SmartCentres Bradford. This outdoor shopping centre is home to many big box stores.
If you are looking for local businesses, Bradford’s historic town centre is the place for you. It is located at the intersection of Barrie Street and Holland Street.
There are also outdoor shopping centres and strip malls located throughout the town. Particularly, the intersection of Dissette Street and Holland Street, as well as the intersection of Barrie Street and 8th Line, feature shopping options.
Outside of Bradford, there are some well known places to shop. The Tanger Outlets in Innisfil are only minutes away. Similarly, the Upper Canada Mall is located at Davis Drive and Yonge Street in Newmarket. It’s only a short drive from Bradford.
Bradford offers its residents many options for recreation. The town maintains many facilities, parks, and trails for its residents to enjoy.
There are over 100 parks and open spaces in Bradford, which are a great way to relax and have fun. These parks feature many amenities like sports pitches, courts, and play areas.
In the summer months, families can have fun in one of the 6 splash pads that the town maintains.
Bradford also features a series of well-developed urban trails.
The nearby Scanlon Creek Conservation Area has tonnes of opportunities for hiking and picnicking.
The main rec centre in Bradford is the BWG Leisure Centre. The centre offers a lot of programming, plus provides access to exercise equipment and facilities.
Another place you can have fun is at the Bradford Curling Club. The club organizes several leagues that compete for fun.
Beyond the boundaries of Bradford, there are recreation options in nearby communities. One of the biggest, which is only a short drive from Bradford, is the Magna Centre in Newmarket.
There are 12 schools in the town. Two different school boards administer the schools.
The Simcoe Country District School Board runs the secular schools in Bradford.
Meanwhile, the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board is in charge of Catholic schools.
French immersion schools are available in the nearby city of Newmarket.
Getting around Bradford is easy thanks to its proximity to major highways and excellent public transit.
TRAVELLING BY CAR
Because of its excellent access to major roadways, travelling by car is a popular choice in Bradford.
The most important roadway in the area is Highway 400. It is the main road connection between Bradford and Toronto. It is also the main road to Barrie. For commuters who are travelling into the GTA, the 400 is the most important highway.
Yonge Street passes through the centre of Bradford. It makes a sharp turn to the north in the middle of Bradford. Because of this the street is known by two different local names, Holland Road and Barrie Street. Both of these streets are major roadways in the town.
Holland Road travels east to west and is an important road in the south of Bradford.
Barrie Street travels north to south and runs through the heart of the town.
Getting around Bradford is easy without your own car as well.
Even if you are commuting out of Bradford, you don’t need to drive your own car. Bradford has its own GO station. At this station riders can catch trains travelling on GO’s Barrie Line. By riding the GO train, commuters can get to the hearts of Barrie, Toronto, and throughout the GTA without worrying about driving or parking.
Have Questions About Real Estate in Bradford West Gwillimbury?
Our expertise in GTA real estate will certainly be helpful for you in achieving your real estate goals.
Reach out to us through our website. Otherwise, call 416-917-5466, or browse GTA home listings with our property listing search tool.
*featured image adapted under creative commons.