Keswick, Ontario is a small lakeside community located to the north of Toronto near Barrie. It’s on Cook’s Bay which stretches southwards into Lake Simcoe where it borders orderly farming communities like Mount Albert or Credit River.
Keswick is one of the communities that makes up the Town of Georgina. Georgina is the northernmost community of York Region. It consists of the communities of Keswick, Belhaven, Sutton West, Jackson’s Point, Baldwin, Virginia, Pefferlaw, Port Bolster, Udora, and Willow Beach. Keswick is the largest of these communities.
The area is ideal for commuters who are looking for the chance to live close to a big lake with a simple commute into Toronto.
The History of Keswick
The modern community of Keswick has the most people of the population centres in Georgina. However, historically Keswick was not the primary community in the area.
The history of European involvement in the area dates back to the 1790s. Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe named the area that Georgina now occupies. At that time the region was divided between two townships. Simcoe named one Georgina after King George III. He named the other North Gwillimbury after his wife’s maiden name, Gwillim. Keswick was located in North Gwillimbury.
Duncan McDonald surveyed the area in 1817. This opened up the area to European settlement and the population began to grow. In contrast to most of the other communities in York Region, Georgina and the Keswick area was settled by aristocratic families. Most of Ontario was settled by hard-working people of limited means.
However, the area in Georgina was granted to the families of successful merchants, English landowners, and military officers. The government granted the land to retired military officers, who were veterans of the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. These rich settlers came to the area and built large estates. These families lent their names to many of the communities in the area, including Jackson, Roche, Sibbald, and Mossington.
In 1842, the municipality of North Gwillimbury was mostly empty, with only 3,000 of its 13,000 acres under cultivation. The population of the township was only 697.
In 1877, the Toronto and Nipissing Railway arrived in the Keswick area.
At that time Keswick was a very tiny hamlet. It was known as Medina. Keswick was much less significant than the communities to the north in Georgina. This changed in 1879 when Keswick stole the only post office in the area from Roche’s Point. This is also when officials chose to name the community Keswick rather than Medina.
The Turn of the Century in Keswick
At the turn of the century, Keswick’s population was 200. This made it the largest settlement in North Gwillimbury.
The Toronto and York Radial Railway expanded to Keswick and provided a rail link between the town and Toronto. It also linked Keswick to Sutton and other communities in Georgina. A steam ferry connected the town to other communities on Lake Simcoe.
The town continued to enjoy a reputation as a getaway destination for Torontonians. At the turn of the century, many people from Toronto built cottages in the area.
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Suburban Development in Keswick
In 1986, the townships of North Gwillimbury and Georgina amalgamated and formed the Town of Georgina.
Throughout the second half of the 20th century, the government of Ontario continuously expanded Highway 404 northward. By 2014, the 404 reached Ravenshoe Road on the southern edge of Keswick.
The arrival of the highway in the area made the commute to Toronto and the GTA that much easier. This made Keswick ideal for suburban development.
Keswick’s residents live in a special place that offers a lifestyle like no other in Ontario.
Keswick is located on the shores of Lake Simcoe, one of the largest lakes in Ontario. It is only a short drive into Toronto, making it ideal for commuters.
At the same time, Keswick’s proximity to both Lake Simcoe and the Oak Ridges Morraine makes it a desirable location for anyone who enjoys year-round outdoor activities.
Keswick has something for everyone. Along the lakeshore, there are plenty of shopping areas and attractions that will keep you busy all day long! And if nature isn’t enough to entertain your senses—Keswicks also offers agricultural tours as well as several natural ones within driving distance from town.
Real Estate in Keswick
Keswick is a small town that is home to more than 26,000 people.
The most popular style of real estate in Keswick is the single-detached home. There are more than 7,000 of these homes in Keswick. On top of this, there are many types of attached dwellings spread out in the town.
Houses in Keswick are suited to families, as the majority of them have more than 3 bedrooms.
There are many newly constructed houses available in the town as well. Since the year 2000, developer’s have built more than 2,000 new homes.
Check our listings, or contact one of our sales representatives to learn more about real estate in Keswick. Our expert advice and 30 years of experience are assets that will help you in your real estate journey.
There are a wide variety of shopping options in Keswick. Residents enjoy access to the essentials as well as unique local shopping and dining experiences.
Shoppers can enjoy both outdoor shopping centres that feature big box stores, or they can enjoy local businesses in the downtown area.
Keswick’s downtown is centred on the intersection of the Queensway and Church Street. There are many local shops, services, and restaurants in the area.
The town is surrounded by rich farmland. This makes purchasing local agricultural products easy. The town promotes local producers through various agri-tourism programs.
There are many outdoor shopping centres spread throughout the town. Intersections that feature major shopping centres include Pollock Road and Woodbine Avenue, Riverglen Drive and Woodbine Avenue, Glenwoods Avenue and Woodbine Avenue, and the Queensway and Glenwoods Avenue.
Thanks to its location, Keswick is very rich in outdoor recreation options. On top of this, the municipality offers a lot of facilities for its residents to enjoy.
These facilities include arenas, skateboard parks, senior’s centres, libraries, a pioneer village, pools, a community theatre, and beaches.
These amenities include sports facilities, splash pads, and playgrounds.
The municipality maintains a special outdoor facility called the ROC, or Recreational Outdoor Campus. This facility offers a tobogganing hill, a bike park, and a high ropes challenge course.
As a lakeside community, Keswick offers ample chances for boating, swimming, and fishing.
Keswick offers its residents lots of way of getting active.
The municipality of Georgina maintains facilities both in Keswick and neighbouring communities. The Georgina Leisure Pool in the nearby town of Sutton is one of these facilities.
Families don’t have to worry about their kids commuting for long periods to school in Keswick. There are two school boards that run schools in the town.
Public schools are administered by York Region District School Board. The board runs 8 elementary schools and 1 high school in Keswick.
The York Catholic District School Board manages Catholic schools in the town. This board runs 3 schools in Keswick, 1 high school and 2 elementary schools.
Keswick is a great place to live for people who want to commute into the GTA.
The town has excellent access to Highway 404. As a result, residents can either drive their own car or take public transit into larger communities to the south.
Travelling By Car
Driving your own car is one of the most convenient ways of getting around Keswick.
The most important roadway in Keswick is Highway 404. The town sits at the northern terminus of the highway, which allows its residents to easily drive into the GTA.
Within the town, Woodbine Avenue (York Regional Road 8) is one of the most important roads. It connects Keswick with all the other important population centres in the Town of Georgina.
Another important road is Metro Road (York Regional Road 78), which follows the coast of Cook’s Bay. The road is a scenic route to Sibbald Point and Sutton.
Have Questions About Real Estate in Keswick?
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(featured image licensed under CC)