Oakville is a suburban town in Southern Ontario, Canada. Located in Halton Region, on Lake Ontario, it is part of the Greater Toronto Area. As of the 2011 census the population was 182,520.
In 1793, Dundas Street was surveyed for a military road. In 1805, the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada bought the lands between Etobicoke and Hamilton from the Mississaugasaboriginal people, except for the land at the mouths of Twelve Mile Creek (Bronte Creek), Sixteen Mile Creek, and along the Credit River. In 1807, British immigrants settled the area surrounding Dundas Street as well as on the shore of Lake Ontario.
In 1820, the Crown bought the area surrounding the waterways. The area around the creeks, 960 acres (3.9 km2), ceded to the Crown by the Mississaugas, was auctioned off to William Chisholmin 1827. He left the development of the area to his son, Robert Kerr Chisholm and his brother-in-law, Merrick Thomas.
Oakville's first industries included shipbuilding, timber shipment, and wheat farming. In the 1850s, there was an economic recession and the foundry, the most important industry in town, was closed. Basket-making became a major industry in the town, and the Grand Trunk Railway was built through it.
The town eventually became industrialized with the opening of Cities Service Canada (later BP Canada, and now Petro Canada) and Shell Canadaoil refineries (both now closed), the Procor factory (no longer manufacturing), and, most importantly, the Ford Motor Company's Canadian headquarters and plant, all close to the Canadian National Railway and the Queen Elizabeth Way highway between Toronto and Fort Erie (Buffalo).
In 1962 the town of Oakville merged with its neighbouring villages (Bronte, Palermo, Sheridan, and the remainder of Trafalgar Township) to become the new Town of Oakville, reaching northwards to Steeles Avenue in Milton. In 1973, the restructuring of Halton County into Halton Region brought the northern border southwards to just north of the future Highway 407.
Oakville's Planning Department divides the town into communities. These divisions have little to do with politics and are based on traditional neighbourhoods.
|Old Oakville||Old Oakville is located in South-Central Oakville along the shore of Lake Ontario. It is the original Oakville Settlement and is centred on Oakville Harbour.|
|Kerr Village||Kerr Village is located just West of Old Village around Kerr Street between Speers Rd and Lakeshore Rd. The city has developed a plan for the neighbourhood.|
|Bronte||Bronte is located in Southwest Oakville along the shore of Lake Ontario. It is a community centred on Bronte Harbour and includes the Coronation Park district to its east.|
|Eastlake||Eastlake is located in Southeast Oakville along the shore of Lake Ontario, also referred to as Joshua Creek. It is bordered on the west by Morrison Creek, to the north by Cornwall Road, and to the east by the Mississauga border.|
|Clearview||Clearview is located in Centre East Oakville.|
|College Park||College Park is located between Sixteen Mile Creek and just east of Trafalgar Road, from the Queen Elizabeth Way north to Upper Middle Road. It surrounds Sheridan College.|
|Iroquois Ridge North||Iroquois Ridge North is located in North East Oakville between Upper Middle Road and Dundas Street.|
|Iroquois Ridge South||Iroquois Ridge South is located in North East Oakville. The Falgarwood area is located in the southern end of the Iroquois Ridge South community.|
|Glen Abbey||Glen Abbey is located in West Oakville, with Third Line being the major artery of the community. It is a large area west of the Glen Abbey Golf Course, home of theCanadian Open,|
|Palermo||Palermo is located in Northwest Oakville. It is a small community centred on the intersection of Dundas Street and Bronte Road (Highway 25).|
|River Oaks||River Oaks is located in North-Central Oakville. It includes the Oak Park development.|
|Uptown Core||Uptown Core is located in North Centre Oakville. It includes the area on either side of Trafalgar Road between Dundas Street and Glenashton Drive.|
|West Oak Trails||West Oak Trails is located in North Centre West Oakville on the north side of Upper Middle Road. It is a newer development than the other communities.
The Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival is an annual summer jazz festival that has taken place every year since 1992. The event includes performances at a number of stages along Lakeshore Road East in downtown Oakville. As the festival is fully funded by the Downtown Oakville Business Improvement Area (BIA), the event is free to the public.
Beginning in 1982, Oakville's Coronation Park played host to the annual Oakville Waterfront Festival. Among a range of events, the festival included small amusement park rides, arts and crafts, food and drinks, free concerts headlined by Canadian bands, and nightly fireworks displays. The Waterfront Festival took place in late June of each year until 2010, when it was cancelled due to financial difficulties, despite having annual attendance of up to 100,000 visitors. It returned in August 2013, which was the final festival to date.
Past headliners at the Waterfront Festival included Jann Arden, Oakville resident Tom Cochrane, Great Big Sea, Alannah Myles, Blue Rodeo,Susan Aglukark, Michelle Wright, Jacksoul, Colin James, The Philosopher Kings, Jesse Cook, Finger Eleven, Justin Hines, Bedouin Soundclash, Ill Scarlett, Jully Black, and Hedley.
The For the Love of the Arts Festival is an annual event taking place in the late spring in Oakville. Inaugurated in 2002, the event is hosted by CommUnity Arts Space, a local umbrella group advocating for shared physical space for Oakville's arts and cultural groups. Currently the only such multi-disciplinary community festival of its kind in Oakville, the event serves to showcase local talent, skills, crafts, literary art, dance performances, theatre groups and music performances. The event is intended as a symbolic presentation of a "shared space" and is entirely sponsored by local corporate and private donations.
Downtown Oakville also hosts an annual street festival known as Midnight Madness. The event typically takes place during the month of July and provides an opportunity for local stores and vendors to showcase new products and sales, as well as a venue for local artists to perform at a number of street-level stages.
Oakville Family Ribfest is an annual event hosted at Sheridan College, and organized by the Rotary Club of Oakville Trafalgar. The festival has professional ribbers, food vendors, live music and children's activities. Inaugurated in 2012, it is held each year on the third weekend in June.