Whatever your reason for considering a move to Pickering, Ontario, it will be one you won’t soon regret.
A picturesque town nestled along the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Pickering offers residents scenery, amenities and a strong sense of community.
Its close proximity to Toronto, has many people considering a move to this idyllic area as it offers the features of a larger city while maintaining a small town feel.
Originally an Aboriginal Territory for thousands of years, the area was migrated to by British colonial settlers from eastern Canada. Named after Pickering, North Yorkshire, the town had approximately 180 residents in the 1813 census.
Pickering was made up of a number of hamlets that formed a portion of Pickering Township. The area remained mainly agricultural with little growth until after World War II. During the 1950’s and 60’s there was a large increase in housing developments and there was a surge of people moving to the area.
In 1974 the township was divided into a number of different areas and Ajax was also formed.
Pickering was officially incorporated in 2000 and according to the 2016 census, there are 91,771 residents who call the town home.
Due to its convenient location in proximity to Toronto, Pickering offers commuters easy access to the city while ensuring a slower paced lifestyle when they return home.
With the influx of new residents, there is an increased amount of cultural diversity. Though mainly still English speaking, languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic can also be heard around town.
The area is popular with those wanting to provide their families with a suburban lifestyle, despite where they may be working. Parks, recreation centres and community events are all major attractions for those who wish to escape the concrete jungle.
When considering a move to the GTA, affordability is typically a hot topic.
Out of the 23 regions of the Greater Toronto Area, Pickering remains one of the most affordable, ranking at #18 for most expensive. The average housing price is falling around $679,763, which when compared to other cities is quite affordable.
Due to the limits the city has placed on development in the northern parts of town, there has been a large decrease in the number of new residents. That being said, the Province of Ontario has designated Pickering as one of two municipalities in the Durham Region that are urban growth centres and are planned to receive more development allowances and population.
The city has estimated by the year 2031 that the population will have hit close to 190,000 residents.
Despite a large number of residents commuting to Toronto for employment, there are still numerous employment opportunities right within the city limits.
Pickering is home to the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, which is the cities largest single employer. Though scheduled to start decommissioning in 2024, there are still plenty of options and opportunities.
According to the 2017 Durham Region Business Counts report, there are 2007 businesses that reported employment. The cities website states there are approximately 35,000 jobs.
Large companies such as Yorkville Sound, the Canadian Headquarters for Purdue Pharma, Hubbell Canada, PSB Speakers-Lenbrook, and Search Engine People, Canada’s largest internet marketing company all are station in Pickering.
There is even a Profit 500 company located in town, Wholesale Innovations.
Due to its advantageous location, access to global markets, and skilled and educated workforce, there is no doubt that the business sector in Pickering will continue to grow and flourish.
Education In Pickering
Regardless of your choice of school board, the education offered in Pickering will set your children up for success.
The Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board, along with the Conseil scolaire Viamonde and the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud, have 20 schools operating in all corners of the city.
Alternative options for education can be found at institutes such as Blaisdale Montessori School, a private chain with locations throughout Pickering.
As of September 2012, Durham College/Centennial College Joint Learning Site opened its doors to welcome students into primarily graduate certificate programs, with a number of complementary courses and classes.
Art & Culture
One of the many draws for people when considering Pickering is its strong sense of community, and nothing brings people together quite like an appreciation for the arts.
Pickering has a wide variety of cultural and art events throughout the year that allow patrons to view and participate in exhibits, shows and theatre.
The Pickering Museum Village is a connection to the past that deepens the sense of pride in the community while offering a glimpse back at those who came before.
The city plays host to community theatres and ensures the love of arts and culture stays alive with places such as Arts Unleashed, a kid inspired arts program.
Every year, Esplanade Park comes alive with art enthusiasts of all ages, coming together to appreciate art in all its forms. This free event brings together over 90 artists from around the province for a chance to showcase their pieces. The park comes alive with music from local talent, while children enjoy a number of activities and demonstrations.
It's All Here
Finding what you need in Pickering will be no problem. The city offers superior shopping, a local farmers market and programs for families and singles alike.
Pickering Town Centre opened its doors in 1972 and has been providing easy access to over 200 stores since. The large mall has a wide variety of retail options as well as a theatre.
For those looking to take advantage of programs offered, the Pickering Recreation Complex will be sure to provide. The complex is a one-stop shop for activities such as skating, swimming and playing tennis or squash. There is also a large, state of the art fitness room.
Getting out and enjoying the great outdoors comes naturally for those living in Pickering. The City boasts 220 hectares of open space with 85 beautiful parks, 4 conservation areas, and 7.6 kms of waterfront, 2.7 kms being beach area.
Time spent in Pickering is not complete until you’ve experienced Frenchman’s Bay. The waterfront area will have you basking in the beauty of Lake Ontario, strolling along the boardwalk or enjoying live music through the warmer months. Children can cool off at the lakeside splash pad while adults enjoy the unique boutiques, restaurants and entertainment that is provided.
One of the many advantages of lakeside living is the breathtaking scenery, and there is no better way to experience it than with a quiet stroll through nature. Pickering is home to a 12km section of the Waterfront Trail. Enjoy a scenic retreat and connecting with nature, all without leaving the comfort of your own town.
There is something beautifully unique about taking in a sunset over a lake, combine that with a concert and you will quickly see why so many people flock to lakeside towns. Sunset concerts are held during the summer months at Millennium Square. What better backdrop for musical acts than the colours of a setting sun in Ontario.
The residents of Pickering don’t need much of a reason to come together and celebrate. The town is eager and engaged when it comes to putting on events throughout the year.
The importance of community is evident in the number of festivals and celebrations that are happening at all times.
Larger events such as Canada Day are popular, yearly traditions that bring together the community. Held at Esplanade Park, the event provides a chance to celebrate Canada’s birthday with fireworks, live entertainment, and activities for all ages.
Food & Drink
There is no shortage of dining experiences to be had in Pickering. Meeting with friends and family over food and drink is a past time most of us enjoy.
Whether you are in the mood for fine dining, budget-friendly eats or fast food, all are available throughout Pickering to accommodate your taste and needs.
If you are a foodie, then you will want to make special note of the Pickering Food Truck Festival that happens in the summer at the Pickering Civic Complex. There are approximately 40 food trucks that will be at the event and will be enticing attendees with tantalizing flavours and delicious treats. The festival is completed with cold drinks and live music.
Neighbourhoods In Pickering
With any city, there are a number of areas in which you can choose to live, all with their distinct advantages and perks. Pickering is no different.
If you are interested in a more rural setting, Claremont is an unincorporated village in the mainly agricultural north end. A step back from city life offers residents of the area a truly rural feel.
On the contrary, if you are interested in being in the heart of the city, then you may want to consider accommodations in the Frenchman’s Bay area. Smack dab in the middle of the action, housing in this neighbourhood is a stone's throw from transportation, dining, shopping and activities.
If you are looking for a more traditional, suburban setting, neighbourhoods such as The Amberlea, Duffin Heights, or Rosebank offer a great place to settle down and raise a family. Close proximity to major highways, schools and amenities are all great qualities of these areas. Dotted with parks and trails throughout, any one of these locations would be ideal places to call home.
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