Oakville’s Bronte Harbour: The Village by the Lake

Bronte Harbour, Oakville, Ontario’s village-by-the lake, is a daily destination for dog walkers, runners, boaters and window shoppers alike. Commuters will love the proximity to the Bronte GO station and VIA Rail line, making downtown Toronto a 50-minute traffic-free breeze.

Founded in 1834, the small fishing village was established where Twelve Mile Creek feeds into Lake Ontario. The first harbour was built on the lands of the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation. This trading route was vital to Halton farmers who shipped their wheat to storage warehouses at Twelve Mile Creek. By 1856, the Lake Ontario port evolved into a commercial fishing and shipbuilding hotbed. Now the historic marina and Bronte Bluffs attract a number of people who have found the ultimate balance of lakeside sunsets, green space and a small town vibe in a big city.

Did you know?

  • The Donovan Bailey Park was named in honour of the Canadian sprinter who grabbed gold for Canada in both the 100 meter and 4×100 meter relay race at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, U.S.. Bailey was born in Jamaica but moved to Oakville in 1981.
  • The Shell Skateboard Park is 14,000 square feet of concrete, rails, quarter pipes, hubbas, rollers with an open ended bowl. Classes are offered in the spring and fall for wannabe professional skaters.
  • At the prestigious Appleby College, 765 students from Grade 7 to 12 are privy to smaller class sizes (16:1 average) and an innovative curriculum catering to individual passions, global and cultural understanding and leadership.

Where to live

In the 1950s, Bronte Village was a popular beach vacation area for families from Toronto. Many residents moved out of their homes to take advantage of the quick rental income. Apartment rentals by Oakville property owners now net $1,700-$1,900 (one-bedroom average).

In November 2019, Oakville indicated an average house price of $1,191,094, a 2.41% increase from the year before. There were 127 new listings in 56 days with houses staying on the market a median 30 days.

A one-bedroom condo average $554,000 average while two-bedroom townhomes are averaging $915,000. 

Things to do

  • Hop on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail that skirts Lake Ontario’s western shore. The 3,000 km long trail celebrates and connects the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes.
  • Bronte Creek Provincial Park, located at the outskirts of the community offers loads of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Ice cream aficionados herald the re-opening of Duckie’s Dairy Bar each spring. In fact, every craving can be satisfied in Bronte with its multicultural offerings—there’s a whole world tucked into the village. Choose from the local creperie, Latin cuisine, Mediterranean, Thai, several Italian eateries and a bar + grill displaying firefighting memorabilia.
  • Shop local! Bronte is well known for its indie shop scene with merchants selling handmade soaps, organic and eco-friendly products for children, home décor consignment shops, fair trade coffee and haute couture!

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