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December 12th, 2017 
Diane Holland
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Oak Ridges Richmond Hill

Oak Ridges is an unincorporated community in Ontario, Canada, and has been part of Richmond Hill's administrative area since its annexation in 1971. Although physically separate and distinct from Richmond Hill, it forms the northern portion of the municipality's boundary. Located about 16.5 km north of Toronto, it has a population of approximately 24,900 people(est. 2010). The town developed around Lake Wilcox, the largest lake in the area and a community within Oak Ridges, and has continued to expand slowly since its annexation by the Town of Richmond Hill. In the 1990s, Oak Ridges experienced moderate growth, which spurred environmental action by numerous organizations.

GEOGRAPHY

Wholly situated on the Oak Ridges Moraine, much of its terrain is hilly, with pine forests and small creeks still prospering in the southwest. A number of small kettle lakes are located in Oak Ridges; the largest of these is Lake Wilcox, and the smaller Bond Lake is nearby. Lake Wilcox has a small beach area, and is used for recreational purposes and camp activities in the summer. The lakes drain into origin tributaries for the East Humber River.

Until the 1990s, farmlands used to dominate the northern part of Oak Ridges, except in the east. The western edge of Oak Ridges is now entirely residential or commercial; the McLeod's Landing development in the southwest consumed the last undeveloped land in the western part of Oak Ridges. This development was part of a contentious political battle that ultimately became an issue in the 2003 Ontario provincial election. In their campaign, the Liberal party promised to halt development on the Oak Ridges Moraine, specifically in Richmond Hill (see; Politics of the Oak Ridges Moraine for a more extensive discussion and; Development in Oak Ridges for ongoing development in Oak Ridges).

DEVELOPMENT
 
Oak Ridges was annexed from King and Whitchurch by the Town of Richmond Hill in 1971.Oak Ridges struggled economically during the 1990s. However, in the last decade a rapid business boom has hit Oak Ridges with a number of businesses opening throughout the community, mostly concentrated around Yonge Street, However strong environmental activism continues to spur growth in some areas. Opposition to development of any kind remains strong.

Housing developments began to boom around Lake Wilcox in the 1950s and the west-central part. The suburban housing developments did not continue until the mid to late 1980s in the northwestern part. In the 1990s, it reached the northwestern part. In the late-1990s housing reached the southwestern and the northwestern parts.

The developments affected the forests of the Oak Ridges Moraine which supplies water to the GTA which it was believed would cause environmental damage to Toronto and local communities. It continued for about two years. There were protests against the clear-cutting of forests of the Oak Ridges Moraine. In about 2001, Bayview began to expand to connect with the rest of Bayview.. Urban developments are presently developing southwest of Oak Ridges. 

Oak Ridges Richmond Hill

Most development occured during the last 10 years.  Prices are lower than south Richmond Hill for the same size home. The majority of the properties are single family detached homes. Most have a frontage of 30 or 40 feet and depth depends on the neighbourhood. You are still able to find townhomes and semi detached homes among the Oak Ridges neighbourhoods. Some properties are backing onto the Oak Ridges Moraine which makes the backyards very private and scenic.

The Oak Ridges Real Estate market has tended to attract younger families and first time buyers do to the price compared to farther south. Oak Ridges is a very green commuity where the developers have concentrated on greenspace, whether parkettes or paths throughout the morraine.

detached $1,000,000 -$3,000,000 
semi's $900,000 - $1,100,000
townhouses $700,000 - $1,000,000
Link $900,000 - $1,000,000

 For listings in Oak Ridges and surrounding areas click here

 

 

Schools

Oak Ridges now boasts 9 publicly funded elementary schools; 5 public, 4 catholic; 8 English, 1 French. Father Frederick McGinn, Our Lady of Hope Catholic School, Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic Elementary School, Oak Ridges Public School, Lake Wilcox Public School, Windham Ridge Public School, Kettle Lakes Public School and Académie de la Moraine (Conseil scolaire de district Centre-Sud-Ouest, up to grade 8). These schools fall under the York Region District School Board or the York Catholic District School Board.

There are no high schools within Oak Ridges. Cardinal Carter Catholic High School is located near the northern border with Aurora on the north side of Bloomington Road, within walking distance for most Catholic Oak Ridges students. École secondaire catholique Renaissance, a French Catholic school operated by Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud, is at the corner of Bloomington Road and Bathurst Street in Aurora, near Oak Ridges. 

 

Type Name Website Ranking
Elementary (P)   Lake Wilcox  site  Rank
Elementary (P)  Oak Ridges  site  rank
Elementary (P)  Windham Ridge  site  rank
Elementary (P)  Kettle Lakes  site  rank
Elementary (P)  Academie de la Moraine  site  rank
Elementary (C)  Father Frederick McGinn  site  rank
Elementary (C)  Our Lady of Hope  site  rank
Elementary (C)  Our Lady of the Annunciation  site  rank

RELIGON

Oak Ridges is home to the Our Lady of the Annunciation Roman Catholic Church, and the Chabad Jewish Centre. The historic Temperanceville United Church is located in nearby Temperanceville. Masses for the French Roman Catholic Community are held at the Chapel in the École secondaire catholique Renaissance. The nearby Mary Lake Augustinian Monastery also serves the Roman Catholic Community, friars and brothers from the order have been known to visit occasionally with the children in the local Catholic schools, to celebrate mass and teach religion.

 Medical Facilities

The Oak Ridges Medical Centre opened its doors in 2007 and now boasts Dentist(s), optometrists, and a walk in clinic (limited hours), among other services.

 Transportation

Yonge Street is the main transportation artery through the town, running north to Aurora and south to Richmond Hill. To the east is Highway 404, which is accessed via Stouffville Road in the south and Bloomington Road in the north. To the west is Highway 400, accessed via King Road through King City .
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