With a population of over 200,000 permanent residents, Oakville is easily Ontario’s largest town and is actually one of the most densely populated communities in the country, let alone the Greater Toronto Area. It’s also consistently ranked as one of the top mid-sized cities to live in Canada!
While Oakville is known for many things — like its picturesque natural surroundings, charming downtown core, and lust-worthy collection of homes — it’s also highly valued for how conducive it is to family living.
Although it’s hard for families to go wrong choosing essentially any Oakville neighbourhood to live in, there definitely are some areas that are more family-friendly than others.
To get our take on the top six family-friendly neighbourhoods in Oakville, read our guide here!
If you’re not fully familiar with Oakville in general just yet, you can get up-to-speed by reading our Oakville Community Guide first.
1. West Oak Trails
First up on our list is the relatively new Oakville development of West Oak Trails. Set in the northwestern end of Oakville, this scenic development was mostly comprised of farm fields and open land up until the 1990s and early 2000s when local planning commissions turned the area into a planned residential neighbourhood.
As you may have deciphered from the name, West Oak Trails gets its name from the many nature trails, greenbelts, and ravines that run through this naturally beautiful area. Naturally hilly in its topography, West Oak Trails is a great place for hiking, running, biking, and many other outdoor activities.
The trails are supplemented by direct access to the Sixteen Mile Creek that runs directly through the neighbourhood, along with the many public parks, playgrounds, sports fields, and even a splash pad for younger kids!
West Oak Trails is the ideal neighbourhood for children with a sense of adventure and is also home to some of Oakville’s highest-ranking schools. For instance, Oakville’s best-ranked public school, Captain R. Wilson, is located right here in West Oak Trails, along with several other great local institutions.
As far as the homes go, it’s harder to find a more ideal home for a child to grow up in than the quintessential West Oak Trails home. Mostly made up of detached single-family dwellings set on generous lots with ample room for kids to grow and play in, this planned development really hits the mark for family living.
And, one of the best parts about West Oak Trails being a planned community is that residents’ daily essentials are always close by. Whether it’s groceries, household essentials, recreational facilities, or top-notch schools, you’ll find everything is nearby when living here.
There’s a reason why West Oak Trails is one of Oakville’s most celebrated family-friendly neighbourhoods. To find out more about this amazing community, read up on our West Oak Trails Neighbourhood Guide here!
2. Glen Abbey
Directly south of West Oak Trails is the next family-friendly neighbourhood on our list, Glen Abbey. Home to arguably Canada’s most famous and revered golf destinations, the Glen Abbey Golf Club, this Oakville neighbourhood was literally built around the spectacular club and course.
Since the start of Glen Abbey’s residential development back in the 1980s, this community has gone from Oakville suburbia to one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in the Oakville area — and you don’t need to love golf to see why. Clearly in touch with nature, there are a plethora of amazing outdoor amenities close by in Glen Abbey, which is perfect for active, outdoor-oriented children.
Alongside the collection of outdoor hiking trails and public parks is the Glen Abbey Community Centre, which is a newly constructed sports facility featuring an indoor ice skating arena, a double gym and fitness centre, multiple squash courts, and a recreational swimming pool featuring a waterslide.
It’s not all play all the time for the local kids of Glen Abbey, however, especially seeing as the neighbourhood boasts some of Oakville’s best schools as well. Top-ranking names like Mother Teresa Elementary, St. Bernadette Elementary, Abbey Park Secondary, and T.A. Blakelock Secondary, among many others, all welcome children from the Glen Abbey area.
In terms of the local real estate, the homes here are practically all tailor-made for family lifestyles. Whether you’re located nearer to the legendary Glen Abbey Golf Course or further away in more recently developed suburban areas, you’ll find detached single-family homes on lush green lots account for most of the residences here.
With the local shopping centre, Abbey Plaza, located just a few minutes drive away from anywhere in Glen Abbey, amenities like grocery stores, retail shops, essential services, and a fine selection of cafes and restaurants are all always close by.
Does Glen Abbey sound like the perfect neighbourhood for you and your family? Learn a little more about the area in our Glen Abbey Neighbourhood Guide here.
3. Eastlake (Ford)
Situated on the other side of town, Eastlake (also known as Ford) can be found in the southeast corner of Oakville set directly against the sparkling shores of Lake Ontario. Certainly one of Oakville’s prettiest neighbourhoods, Eastlake is also highly conducive to family life — especially for families whose parents regularly commute into nearby cities like Toronto.
With direct access to major highways and being one of Oakville’s easternmost neighbourhoods, many homeowners here enjoy the easy commute into Toronto for work. While this is a very common neighbourhood for daily commuting workers from in Oakville to live in, it lacks nothing when it comes to community togetherness and tight-knit neighbourly vibes.
Need some more Oakville neighbourhood inspiration? Find out which 5 Beautiful Oakville Neighbourhoods To Call Home you’re best suited to.
Bound by a set of parks, pathways, playgrounds, and trails, this tranquil heavily wooded neighbourhood offers a safe setting for parents and children to play and explore while simultaneously being close to home and the action of the breathtaking waterfront area.
Aside from Eastlake’s thriving waterfront area, access to all of the amazing amenities of downtown Oakville is just a five-minute drive away, meaning Eastlake residents regularly enjoy all of the perks of being close to Oakville’s celebrated shops, restaurants, cafes, and more.
Parents will be thrilled to know that Oakville’s top-rated high school, Oakville Trafalgar High, is also local to the Eastlake neighbourhood, along with several other well-acclaimed schools including St. Vincent Elementary, St. Joseph Elementary, St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary, and many others.
As for the homes in Eastlake, there’s a great mix of property sizes, types, and costs here. Down by the waterfront is where you’ll see some of the largest, most expensive estate homes anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area, while further north is where many smaller and single-storey family homes are located.
Those who live in Eastlake tend to genuinely love it. Learn more about what life is like there by reading our Eastlake Neighbourhood Guide now.
4. Joshua Creek
Like West Oak Trails, the neighbourhood of Joshua Creek is one of Oakville’s newest suburban planned communities and was largely constructed around the 1990s to early 2000s. Located not far away from neighbouring communities like Mississauga and Toronto to the east, Joshua Creek is another popular neighbourhood for regular commuters.
However, Joshua Creek is perhaps most known for its fantastic green spaces and outdoor amenities, with several parks, trails, and sporting facilities all located within the neighbourhood. Several soccer and lacrosse fields can be found dispersed around the area, along with the nearby White Oaks Golf Course.
For those families more into indoor sports and rec, the Joshua Creek Arena is a mecca for indoor winter sports like hockey and skating while the Iroquois Ridge Community Centre has a professional-grade, 25-metre, eight-lane swimming pool plus a family-friendly leisure pool complete with a water slide.
Joshua Creek doesn’t fall short in the education department either, with an almost overwhelming amount of choice between local public, Catholic, and private institutions. Among the most popular choices for families and students are St. Marguerite d’Youville Elementary, Joshua Creek Elementary, Holy Trinity Secondary, and Iroquois Ridge Secondary, just to name a few.
Families also love Joshua Creek for its wide variety of newly built homes. As the majority of families that live in Joshua Creek fall under the successful well-to-do category — with many families in dual-income households — the detached houses and townhomes are closer to the ‘luxury’ category than anything else.
There’s everything to love about living in Joshua Creek. See what else makes this Oakville neighbourhood so special by visiting our Joshua Creek Neighbourhood Guide here!
Not far away from Joshua Creek in Oakville’s east end is the neighbourhood of Clearview, also known as Sherwood Heights, and yet another highly desirable place to live for families — especially those who make regular commutes into Toronto and other surrounding areas east of Oakville.
You can think of Clearview as your classic suburban neighbourhood, comprised of safe, clean streets surrounded by lush green lawns and mature trees and populated by friendly homeowners and their growing families.
Here, space is the name of the game. Residents of Clearview thoroughly enjoy being encompassed in an abundance of parks and greenery, which makes sense seeing as the area we know as Clearview today was once a farming community. Now, this hilly Oakville neighbourhood is home to many parks and trails, as well as Kingsford Park, a large community-run garden.
It isn’t all about the outdoors in Clearview, however. Residents also love taking advantage of the many retail and shopping areas nearby too, with destinations like the Upper Oakville Shopping Centre and several other local shopping plazas dedicated to serving the Clearview public.
Families with school-aged children will have no problem finding a local institution for their kids, no matter which grade level they are at. From Kindergarten all the way through to Grade 12, there are great options for schools here. Lookout out for schools like St. Luke Elementary, St. Joseph Catholic Elementary, and St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary among others.
The local real estate scene in Clearview is also a great selling point for families, as this Oakville neighbourhood is full of spacious homes with generous yards. It’s not uncommon to find three or four-bedroom homes here well into the 3,000 square foot range, and perhaps even larger. While some homes are smaller in size, most of them are detached and have plenty of space for family fun.
Eager to learn more about what it’s like to live in Clearview? Read our Clearview Neighbourhood Guide for even more info.
6. The Preserve
While the Toronto Real Estate Board technically considers The Preserve ‘Rural Oakville,’ you won’t catch many Oakville locals referring to this popular new neighbourhood the same way.
Instead, The Preserve — Oakville’s newest neighbourhood — has been welcomed with open arms into the community because of its fantastic family-friendly characteristics and warm local residents.
The Preserve is located in Oakville’s northern end, just past the Uptown Core neighbourhood. If you know Oakville’s geography at all, the best way to explain where The Preserve is located is basically the stretch north of Dundas from Sixth Line to Neyagawa.
Strategically situated right next to some of Oakville’s most beautiful natural areas, The Preserve boasts instant access to multiple public parks and gardens across the community. In fact, enjoying nature and staying outside is extremely easy in The Preserve, as most of the neighbourhood’s local shops and amenities are well within walking distance for the local residents.
And when it comes to the local residents, this brand-new suburban neighbourhood is absolutely filled with families — and it’s easy to see why. With shopping close at hand (the Fortino’s plaza is just a stone’s throw away) and plenty of places for organized sports (check out the sports complex at Neyagawa), there’s nothing kids are left needing.
Plus, in the education department, the local schools near The Preserve are also well regarded. For starters, Oodenawi Public School is one of Oakville’s highest-ranking elementary schools in the north end! Then you also have St. Gregory The Great Catholic Elementary School, plus Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School as options too.
Are you still not sure which local Oakville schools you should be sending your children to? Find out which ones are our top picks here: