New families and long-time homeowners are working to establish a vibrant community feel that Oakwood-Vaughan enjoyed in past decades by transforming the area into a family and arts-based hub. Oakwood-Vaughan is named for the neighbourhood’s central intersection and is bordered by Eglinton to the north, Winnett and Arlington to the east, St. Clair to the south and Dufferin to the west.
Oakwood-Vaughan is largely residential with commercial strips on its bordering streets and namesake roads. Plenty of schools and parks offer recreational and educational options for families. The area was historically an Italian and Portuguese community and the legacy of these cultures remains here through bakeries, restaurants and sports bars. The annual Oakwood Village Arts Festival and the Oakwood Village Library and Arts Centre promote a burgeoning artist community.
Upon first glance, outsiders may view Oakwood-Vaughan’s rundown shop fronts as a negative sign. While renovations and new store openings are improving this community’s reputation, it’s still a work in progress. The community is extremely diverse, with Portuguese churrasquerias next to Jamaican jerk chicken joints and Italian espresso bars. Formerly part of the municipality of York prior to amalgamation with Toronto, Oakwood-Vaughan’s streets feel more suburban than city.
This neighbourhood is nicknamed “Five Points” for the streets that meet at its central intersection — Oakwood, Vaughan and Belvedere. Much like this moniker, Oakwood-Vaughan is a community where several different cultures coexist. Along with long-time Italian and Portuguese residents, Caribbean and Jamaican communities are prominent here. More families are returning to and establishing themselves in the neighbourhood.
Oakwood-Vaughan encompasses a large area with schools catering to the Catholic, French Catholic and non-denominational communities. The Oakwood Village Library and Arts Centre offers a place for local artists to showcase community-based works. The Fairbank Memorial Park is Oakwood-Vaughan’s largest with basketball and bocce courts and an outdoor pool.
Drivers heading out of the city find easy access via Allen Road just north of Oakwood-Vaughan. TTC buses service Dufferin, Oakwood and Vaughan, with Dufferin and Oakwood/Ossington lines running 24 hours. Many Oakwood-Vaughan residents rely on the quick and reliable bus service and believe its efficiency is helping to turn around the community. Construction on the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit is causing traffic chaos, although its completion around 2020 will undoubtedly help the community prosper.
Residents are staunch supporters of the community’s rise, but derelict shop fronts and poorly maintained roads are hard to ignore. While the community has cleaned up significantly, there are still pockets of crime and poverty. Improvements in Oakwood-Vaughan are still in their infancy and some homebuyers and renters may be deterred by this.
Downtown gentrification has yet to reach Oakwood-Vaughan. There are plenty of cheap and cheerful places to eat, shop and drink here, making the cost of living extremely affordable. A No Frills on St. Clair just east of Oakwood offers affordable groceries for the neighbourhood. Properties closer to St. Clair are still pricey but become more affordable as the neighbourhood progresses north to Eglinton. Basement suites and high rise apartments cater to lower budget renters.
A hand-picked selection of new home and condos for sale in Oakwood-Vaughan. For those who love the thrill of anticipation of getting into a brand new home or condo.
This new Italian espresso joint opened by an Oakwood-Vaughan resident is the perfect spot to stop in for a caffeine boost on your way to work. Pastries stocked from a local St. Clair bakery are hard to resist.
The Piper’s Pub is where Oakwood Villagers and neighbouring Hillcrest Villagers stop in to catch a game and get their fill of tasty homemade pub food. Burgers are made in-house and come highly recommended.more info
These twin vintage stores on St. Clair offer eclectic fashions for men and women along with home furnishings and giftware. It’s easy to get lost exploring the shelves and racks at either locationmore info
This small park and playground off of Arlington Avenue feels more like a secluded backyard. A wooden pillar at the entrance to the park is engraved with the words ‘City of York’ — a remnant of the park’s former municipality.more info
Puzzled on what to make for dinner? Look to the natural and organic meats and gourmet take-home meals of Roast Fine Foods. Their dry rubs and marinades are perfect for barbecue season.more info
While this Toronto Public Library has the typical book lending and reference offerings, the Oakwood Village Library is one of a handful with a dedicated exhibition space for showcasing community art.more info