Woodbridge, Ontario is a large suburban community located in the city of Vaughan, just north of Toronto. The Neighborhood is considered by many to be one of the most affluent areas on the greater Toronto area, and offers residents a dynamic population and historic community. Woodbridge is nestled in the hills of the Humber River Valley, with a terrain of rolling hills and valleys. While this once made the community an ideal place for agricultural development, it now offers a picturesque background for the Neighborhood of historical 19th century houses and modern development.
While British immigrants originally settled Woodbridge, the city is now a dynamic community of ethnicities and backgrounds, and is known for its large Italian population. Woodbridge boasts some of the best Italian restaurants in the region, offering authentic fine dining options in the community’s historical downtown area.
Location: Woodbridge lies between Highway 50 or Highway 27 to the west, Steeles Avenue to the south, Highway 400 to the east, and Major MacKenzie Drive to the north, however as the population of Woodbridge continues to grow, housing subdivisions are being built north of Major MacKenzie in areas including “Woodbridge Retreat”, and others named by real estate developers. Woodbridge was an independent town until being amalgamated with nearby communities in the 1970’s, and has no politically defined borders. As the area grows the boundaries are redefined to take into consideration the population growth and housing boom.
Like the City of Vaughan as a whole, Woodbridge has a diverse mix of people and cultures bound together by history and community. Historic 19th century buildings such as a Masonic Lodge and tinsmith shop mingle with new development, and Woodbridge’s proximity to Toronto means that the population is as dynamic and diverse as the area’s history.
Woodbridge has origins dating back to the early 1800’s, when the British Crown granted lots to the Vaughan Township. Like many villages in this area, its proximity to a major waterway assured its success as an agricultural and business hub. Throughout the 19th century, development began including a school, a flourmill, and a store in the center of the city. Houses and residences were slowly developed until Woodbridge was recognized as a village in the mid 1830’s. The name “Woodbridge” is said to come from the wooden bridge that stood at the entry point to the small town. A replica bridge dating back to 1930 still stands close to the location of the original bridge, marking Woodbridge’s history.
With the arrival of the Toronto Grey and Brudge railway from Weston in 1870, Woodbridge became accessible to the rest of Ontario. In 1908 the railway was linked to the transcontinental route, and in 1920 construction of Highway 7 linked Woodbridge to the rest of Ontario by vehicle. It wasn’t until the mid 1950’s that Woodbridge began experiencing population growth as residents moved from nearby Toronto to settle in the quiet town. As the population increased, housing development began to spread from the center of town, and by the mid-1990’s, many condominiums and luxury houses were being built. It is estimated that over 15,000 homes were built in less than 12 years, and the area continues to grow today.