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    In this post, we will outline some of the reasons that make real estate in Orillia an enticing opportunity to live in a historic and beautiful community.

    Situated at the meeting place of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe, Orillia’s large waterfront makes the city a paradise for anyone that loves the outdoors.

    Though Orillia is located at the northern end of Lake Simcoe, it is highly connected to the larger cities in the south. It’s easy to get from Orillia to Barrie and the GTA. This makes the city a great place for commuters.

    Feel free to reach out to one of our friendly representatives to learn more about real estate in Orillia. Frank Leo & Associates has more than three decades of experience dealing in GTA real estate. We will put this experience to work for you to help you reach your real estate goals.

    The History of Orillia

    The first people to live in the Orillia area came there because of the Mnjikaning Fishing Weirs. Aboriginal people built these fish fences long before Europeans settled there.

    First, Huron-Wendat people lived in a village near The Narrows. Later, Ojibwe people occupied the area. In the 1830s, the British purchased the land from the Ojibwe. The natives moved to the Rama First Nation, while Europeans settled in the Orillia area.

    The name of the town originates from the Spanish word orilla, meaning shore. Sir Peregrine Maitland came up with the name. Maitland was a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars. During the war, Maitland served in Spain and learned Spanish. He named several towns in the area with Spanish words, including Mono, Mariposa, and Oro.

    Orillia’s population grew to 200 by 1846. There were many stores and tradespeople doing business in the town. Additionally, there were many manufactures and mills operating.

    The Turn of the Century in Orillia

    In 1902, Orillia became the first municipality to own its hydroelectric plant in Canada. The Orillia Corporation began to operate on the Severn River in that year. 

    During the 1910s, Orillia continued to grow. In 1911, the city had many industrial facilities like mills, tanneries, foundries, and factories.

    Additionally, the town’s population grew to 6,000 at this time. This population supported many businesses, newspapers, and banks. Further, the Ontario Asylum for Idiots, with more than 600 inmates, operated in Orillia.

    At this time, Orillia became home to one of its most famous residents. Stephan Leacock lived in Orillia at the turn of the century. He used a fictionalized version of the town in his humorous collection Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.

    If you’re thinking about buying or selling property in Orillia, contact Frank Leo & Associates. One of our representatives will be happy to help you reach your real estate goals.

    Suburban Development in Orillia

    Orillia has retained the peaceful atmosphere of a small town. However, developers built many houses in the town after the Second World War.

    In these years, many new subdivisions cropped up in the town. That is to say, developers built more than 7,000 houses in Orillia between 1960 and 2000.

    Beyond the ample residential real estate that Orillia offers, there is also plentiful Industrial real estate available. Industrial areas are concentrated in the north and the south of the town.

    On top of this, Orillia’s gorgeous waterfront, on both the shores of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe, offers a lot of nice places for recreation. Outside Orillia, there are many provincial parks that are easy to access. Provincial parks include McRae Point, Mara, and Bass Lake.


    Known as the “Sunshine City,” Orillia’s beauty attracts scores of tourists every year. The lakefront, downtown, festivals, and cultural attractions that attract visitors are available for residents year-round.

    Despite being a bona fide small-town, Orillia offers its residents easy access to larger communities to the south. It’s easy to commute to Barrie and the GTA from Orillia.

    At the same time, it’s only a short drive from cottage country to the north. Residents are only an hour’s drive away from the Georgian Bay, the Kawartha Lakes, and Muskoka.

    These features, among others, have attracted more than 30,000 people to Orillia. Orillia’s population is diverse. There are big populations of Chinese, Filipino, and South Asian people in Orillia.

    Real Estate in Orillia

    Real estate in Orillia is perfect for families, commuters, and anyone looking for more space. Orillia doesn’t offer a lot by way of high-density real estate. But this is one reason why people choose to live in Orillia.

    The most popular type of real estate in Orillia is the single-detached home. These homes provide their residents with large and private homes.

    At the same time, the homes themselves are very spacious. Most of these homes have more than 3 bedrooms. This makes them perfect for families.

    To learn more about real estate in Orillia, contact one of our representatives. Whether you are buying or selling, we will work hard to make sure that you reach your real estate goals.


    Orillia is rich with a lot of shopping options. Shoppers can visit indoor shopping centres, outdoor shopping centres, and a vibrant downtown core.

    The biggest indoor shopping centre in the town is the Orillia Square Mall. It features many well-known brands and local shops.

    There are many outdoor shopping centres at Fittons Road and West Street. There are also a lot of shops on Memorial Street, between Highway 12 and Colbourne Street.

    Additionally, there are a lot of big-box shopping centres at the intersection of Highway 11 and Highway 12. The biggest outdoor shopping centre in the area is the West Ridge Place.

    Further, shoppers looking for a boutique shopping experience in a charming setting will love Downtown Orillia. There are many shops, restaurants, and services in the area.


    Orillia’s location affords it with a lot of outdoor recreation options.

    The residents of the town can enjoy both outdoor recreation facilities and indoor facilities.


    Orillia maintains more than 445 acres of park space. This land is spread out throughout the town.

    There are a variety of types of parks including community parks, neighbourhood parks, and parkettes. These parks feature amenities like splash pads, ball diamonds, and picnic areas.

    Additionally, there are more than 30 kilometres of trails in the town. In other words, Orillia is a paradise for recreational walking, running, and cycling.

    Similarly, there are lots of beaches in the town.


    Further, Orillia features lots of chances for indoor recreation. There are several recreation centres in Orillia.

    The most important recreation centres are Rotary Place, Orillia Recreation Centre, Barnfield Point Centre, and the Orillia Waterfront Centre.

    These centres offer residents the opportunity to exercise, play sports, take classes, and rent spaces for events.


    Families will be happy to know that there are a lot of education options offered in the town.

    The Simcoe County District School Board offers elementary and secondary schools.

    At the same time, the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board runs Catholic schools in the town.

    Meanwhile, there are post-secondary options available as well. Both Georgian College and Lakehead University operate campuses in the town.


    Residents find it easy to get around town.

    There are plenty of transportation options available. Residents can choose to drive their own cars or take public transportation.


    The most popular way to travel around the town is by using your own car. The town benefits from great road links with neighbouring communities.

    One of the most important roadways in the town is Highway 11. Highway 11 travels north to south. It is the main road link to Barrie. To the north, Highway 11 connects the town to Gravenhurst via Washago.

    Travelling east to west, Highway 12 is also an important road. It connects the town to the communities on the east side of Lake Simcoe, like Beaverton. In the west, the road provides a connection to Highway 400, Midland, and Penetanguishene.

    In town, Mississauga Street is one of the most important streets. It’s the main street in the downtown area.


    The town also provides its residents with great public transit.

    Orillia Transit provides bus services in the town. Meanwhile, Simcoe County LINX connects Orillia to Barrie with a bus route. In Barrie, commuters can catch a GO train into Toronto.

    These public transit options make the town a great place for commuters to call home.

    Have Questions About Real Estate in Orillia?

    Frank Leo & Associates has more than 30 years of experience dealing in GTA real estate. We will put this experience to work for you, no matter what your needs are.

    To learn more, get started by browsing GTA home listings with our property listing search tool. Alternatively, get in touch with us through our website, or call 416-917-5466.

    *Featured Image licensed under CC 2.0. (Jcart1534), edited.