Woodstock is a small Southwestern Ontario city with a population of 40,902 and a reputation for being a quiet, comfortable place to live not far from the Greater Toronto Area, London, and Hamilton. The town is the seat of Oxford County and lies at the head of the non-navigable Thames River.
Although Woodstock is saturated with names from Great Britain, the population has carved out their own unique cultural identity and heritage over its 200 year history.
The history of Woodstock, Ontario can be traced back to 1800, when the city was first settled by American Immigrants from New York State. Following an observation from Upper Canada’s Governor, Sir John Graves Simcoe, that the area would make a promising venue for a townsite.
Following the initial arrival of American Immigrants, following waves of settlers came from Great Britain in the 1820’s and 1830’s.
The town’s first two churches were built by two of these British immigrants, first working together to build Old St. Paul’s church. However, following a quarrel between the men, one undertook the construction of a second church known as New St. Paul’s.
By mid century, the town had ballooned past 1,000 inhabitants when it was incorporated as a town in 1851. Along with the population came staples of civilization including a court house, bank agency, a school, and two weekly newspapers. The town also hosted several government offices as well as agricultural industries.
1900’s in Woodstock
At the turn of the century the town got an electric streetcar and shortly after the main street was paved with bricks. The bricks were removed in the 1940’s as Woodstock settled into its reputation for a small town not far from the GTA where residents live a quiet life.
Today, Woodstock is exemplary of the style of small town Canada. The city centre is historic with a grid like pattern, while modern developments like suburbs and shopping plazas make up the extremities.
Today, Woodstock is a vibrant and thriving community. The city’s economy is diversified, with a mix of manufacturing, retail, and service businesses.
Owing to the city’s distance from the GTA, nearly 130 kilometers, many residents both work and live in Woodstock or commute to closer towns for work. The dominant industries include manufacturing with companies like Toyota and Tigercat Industries, and agriculture, with companies like Agropur, Bright Cheese House.
Other major employers include public services and retail sectors which serve the population.
Woodstock itself may not have the bustling economy of nearby London, Kitchener, or Hamilton, yet those cities are within commuting distance. People looking for small town life while working elsewhere will enjoy the location and local colour for that type of lifestyle.
Woodstock is home to a number of parks, including Southside Park, College Heights Park, and Museum Square. There are also a number of sports facilities in the city, such as the Woodstock Memorial Complex and the South Side Sports Complex.
The Woodstock Art Gallery is located in the downtown area and features both temporary and permanent exhibits. The Woodstock Museum is also located downtown and offers a look at the city’s history.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, there are a number of trails located throughout the city, including the Thames Valley Trail, which runs along the Thames River. There are also a number of golf courses in and around the city.
Woodstock is home to a number of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Some of the more popular events include the Woodstock Winter Carnival, the Woodstock Fair, and the Oxford County Exhibition.
The Woodstock Winter Carnival is held every February and features a number of events, including a parade, ice sculpting, and a snowman-building contest. The Woodstock Fair is held every September and features a midway, agricultural displays, and live entertainment.
The Oxford County Exhibition is held every October and features a number of events, including a parade, a rodeo, and live music.
Real estate in Woodstock is relatively affordable when compared to prices in the GTA. However, real estate prices in Woodstock took a steep rise around 2020. Most of the real estate in the town is classified as single-family detached. With a population of under 50,000, there’s no need for high-rise or high-density housing in the town.
There are a number of different neighborhoods located throughout the city, each with its own unique character. Downtown Woodstock is home to a number of shops and restaurants, as well as residential homes.
Most of the properties in this part of the city are built on the grid street pattern of the old part of the city. The homes themselves are often historic, or built during the postwar era.
The Old East End is home to a number of Victorian-style homes, while the Woodstock North neighborhood is home to a mix of older and newer homes.
Newer subdivisions on the periphery of Woodstock are built on suburban developments. These newer homes are close to suburban amenities like big box stores and open shopping plazas.
Interested in buying real estate in Woodstock? Now that you’ve learned a bit about what life is like in this charming Ontario town, let us know if you have any questions about real estate in the area.
Most residents depend on private transportation to get around the town. Owing to its secluded nature, getting around town or out of town is easiest if you have a car.
Woodstock does have a transportation system, although routes are limited and schedules can’t compare with the frequency offered in nearby London or Hamilton.
Woodstock is located along Highway 401, which provides easy access to the GTA. Highway 403 conveniently takes motorists to London in the west or Hamilton in the East.
Although Woodstock doesn’t have a GO Station, VIA Rail train service is available to connect passengers to other parts of the province.
Woodstock is a small city with a lot to offer residents. The town has a rich history, a diversified economy, and a variety of recreational and cultural activities, so if you’re looking to make a home here, Frank Leo & Associates can help you find the ideal property for you.