1. Woodbridge, by the numbers
- Population: based on the 2016 Canadian Census, the population of Woodbridge is 105,228
- Location: situated within the Humber River Valley, Woodbridge sits at an average elevation of 200 metres between Highway 27 and Pine Valley Drive, and is formed of a series of rolling hills and valleys, with multiple intersections that define the geography of the area, specifically Highway 7 and Islington and Highway 27 and Rutherford
2. A community rich in history
Not unlike many other early communities in the province, Woodbridge was developed around a waterway system, specifically the Humber River. This allowed for a power source and transportation system that would be vital for the community’s economic development, and also helped to establish the area as excellent farming grounds.
It was the arrival of Rowland Burr in 1837 (known as the founder of Woodbridge), whose flour mill, sawmill and textile mill formed a settlement called Burwick, which would be renamed to Woodbridge in 1855.
The 1950’s brought with it a surge in population growth in Woodbridge, as many people of Italian descent, who had originally settled into Toronto neighborhoods such as Little Italy, opted to leave the city for more suburban terrain; in particular, Woodbridge. This growth triggered an expansion in the area that began east of the Humber and East Humber to the northeast, and continued on its expansion from there over the years to come.
Housing developments were a natural part of the expansion, as development in the west expanded north to Langstaff and continued in the central area of Woodbridge, where the community saw many older village shops being converted into smaller housing units in the early 1980’s, and then west to Highway 28 in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. This development would continue to push and extend, with the industrial sites beginning in the west and then later to the southwest and east.
Housing developments would become more prominent than ever as these expansions continued, with early developments like Woodbridge Highlands forming east of Highway 27 in the 1990’s, and many others in the community soon after. These developments have worked to form many of the community’s most popular and well-known areas, including Sonoma Heights and the Vellore area.
Once a site of historical structures from the late 19th century, Woodbridge Avenue between Islington and Kipling has seen major and ongoing reconstruction, with Market Lane now the center point of the area, as well as many surrounding shops along Woodbridge Avenue.
3. Woodbridge is a great place to grow your business
As one of several communities within the thriving City of Vaughan, Woodbridge benefits from its proximity and access to the many services, support resources and amenities offered by the Vaughan area and its internal network of communities.
When it comes to job supply, Vaughan ranks as the third-largest employment centre in the Greater Toronto Area, and is the largest contributor to York Region’s economy, with an economy strongly dominated by the manufacturing industry.
Economic and cultural development are vital in Vaughan – and it shows. Per the Vaughan Business website, satisfaction surveys report that an impressive “91% of businesses are satisfied with Vaughan’s services” and “97% of citizens are happy with quality of life”.
TIP: The Vaughan Chamber of Commerce is an excellent resource for sourcing local businesses.
4. Easy access to top-tier healthcare
In early 2021, the City of Vaughan opened the Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital. Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital is Canada’s first “smart hospital”, using a fully-integrated system of “smart tech” to align and integrate communication across internal systems and devices, resulting in innovation and state-of-the-art medical care for patients.
The community of Woodbridge offers several urgent care clinics, medical centres, pharmacies and specialized medical clinics throughout the community, with fire emergency services being operated by Vaughan Fire and Rescue, and police services being operated by York Regional Police Vaughan districts.
Woodbridge was also chosen as the site for the OCD and Anxiety Clinic of Ontario, a private research based mental health facility with a focus on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Exposure Response Prevention Therapy (ERP), Mindfulness, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) via a holistic treatment approach.
5. Access to the best in education
A major community within Vaughan, Woodbridge continues to benefit from its location when it comes to education. Within an hour’s drive from Toronto, there are 7 universities and 8 colleges in the surrounding area, and an output of 334,000 students per year. Woodbridge schools are operated primarily by the York Region District School Board and the York Catholic District School Board.
Just a few of the many public and private elementary and secondary schools serving students in the Woodbridge area are:
- Emily Carr Secondary School
- Elder Mills Public School
- North Hill Private School
- St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Elementary School
- St. Padre Pio Catholic Elementary School
- Tommy Douglas Secondary School
- Vellore Woods Public School
- Woodbridge Montessori School (Private Elementary)
- Glenn Gould Public School
Some of the top private school options in the area are:
- King Heights Academy – with 2 campuses available, one in Vaughan and one in Thornhill, this facility offers programs from pre-kindergarten to grade 12, promoting a unique educational program designed around academics and athletics
- Vaughan College Private School – offering programs from grade 9 to grade 12, this high-ranking school boasts a high university acceptance rate for their students
- Toronto District Christian High School – co-ed programming from grade 9 to grade 12, this schooling network aims to have students “enfolded, engaged and empowered”
It’s important to note that the City of Vaughan in general is home to some truly excellent private school options, ranging in program levels and curriculum styles, offering parents a range of top-tier choices for children and young adults.
6. Hills and valleys with ample greenspace for residents to enjoy
The community of Woodbridge is home to two natural preserves along the Humber River:
- Boyd Conservation Area – a conservation area with accessibility options and a variety of activities for visitors, this destination offers activities and experiences such as camping, cycling, heritage museum, skiing, equipment and facility rentals and more
- Kortright Centre for Conservation – hosting 100,000 visitors annually, the Kortright Centre of Conservation is situated on 325 hectares of pristine woodlands and offers visitors a chance to enjoy the natural oasis and get educated on their leading sustainability research and practices
There are also many sites of interest in this community, including:
- Market Lane – over 80,000 sq.ft of retail, service, food, and office space in the heart of Woodbridge, with outdoor patios and year-round events, making the busy area feel more like a mini metropolis than a suburban shopping centre
- Pierre Berton Library – 36,000 square feet spread out over 2 floors, 5 quiet study rooms and a collection of over 94,000 items are just the start at this modern and award-winning library, named in recognition of Canadian author Pierre Berton
The surrounding City of Vaughan ensures that recreation options for its residents are limitless, with 10 community centres featuring swimming pools, a community theatre and an award-winning golf course and ski hill as just a few of the options available.