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Oakville is a suburban town in southern Ontario, located in Halton Region on Lake Ontario halfway between Toronto and Hamilton, and is part of the Greater Toronto Area, one of the most densely populated areas of Canada. The 2016 census reported a population of 193,832.
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 Chisholm in 1827. He left the development of the area to his son, Robert Kerr Chisholm, and his brother-in-law, Merrick Thomas. Chisholm also formed shipbuilding business in Oakville Navy Street and Sixteen Mile Creek (Halton Region) and lasted until 1842, but shipbuilding in Oakville lasted into the late 20th century.
The population in 1846 was 1,500. The community shipped large quantities of wheat and lumber via schooners and the railway. There were three churches, a grist mill and saw mill, and various small companies making threshing machines, wagons, watches, saddles, and metal goods. There were also tradesmen of various types.
Oakville's industries also included shipbuilding. 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. In 1869, the population was 2,000. The community was served by the Great Western Railway and it was a port on Lake Ontario.
The town eventually became industrialized with the opening of Cities Service Canada (later BP Canada, and now Petro Canada) and Shell Canada oil 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.
|Old Oakville||Old Oakville (downtown) is located in South-Central Oakville along the shore of Lake Ontario, and is centred on Oakville Harbour.|
|Kerr Village||Kerr Village is a section of downtown located just west of the Old Village around Kerr Street between Speers Rd and Lakeshore Road.|
|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. It is bordered on the west by Morrison Creek, to the north by Cornwall Road, and to the east by Mississauga.|
|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 the Canadian 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.|
According to the 2006 census, Oakville had a younger population than Canada as a whole. Minors (youth under 19 years of age) totalled 28.1 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 11.7 percent. This compares with the Canadian average of 24.4 percent (minors) and 13.7 percent (pensioners).
According to the 2011 Census, 69.6% of Oakville residents have English as their mother tongue (the corresponding figure for French is 1.8%). Polish is the native language for 1.5% of the population, followed by Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish (at 1.4% each).
79.4% of residents stated their religion as Christian, almost evenly split between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Non-Christian religions include Islam: 2.0%, Hinduism: 1.3%, Sikhism: 1.1%, and Judaism: 0.7%. 14% indicated no religion.
The median household income is $118, 671, with an average house value of $1,118,572.
The Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival is an annual summer jazz festival, since 1992. The event includes performances at a number of stages along Lakeshore Road in downtown Oakville. 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, David Usher, and Hedley.
For the Love of the Arts Festival
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 (originally known as Music and Art Shared Space who initiated the festival), 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.
The Glen Abbey Golf Course is the home to the Golf Canada and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. It has hosted 31 Canadian Open Championships since 1977, most recently in July 2018. Glen Abbey is owned by Clublink, which was planning to demolish the golf course in order to build residential and commercial units, if it is successful in overturning the city's decision to prevent the development.  In 2018, the company achieved some success in its efforts against the town, after a Superior Court ruled against the town's attempts to block the redevelopment. The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) will hold two hearing in 2019 on ClubLink’s appeal of the town's decision. 
The 2019 and 2023 events were scheduled to be held at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club but the Canadian Open may again be held at Glen Abbey in some future years if the redevelopment is not allowed to proceed.
The town is home to Appleby College, a private school for grades seven to twelve, established in 1911 as well as St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School, an independent all-girls school. Oakville is also home to Sheridan College, an animation and business studies institute, and Oakville's only higher education facility.
See List of schools in Oakville, Ontario.
At the municipal level, the governing body is the Oakville Town Council consisting of a mayor (currently Rob Burton) and fourteen councillors. The town is divided into seven wards, with two councillors elected by residents of each ward.
In each ward one councillor represents the ward solely on Oakville Town Council, and the other is a member of the 21-member governing council of the Regional Municipality of Halton, in addition to being a member of the 13-member Town Council.
Oakville is situated in two provincial ridings which use the same boundaries as the federal ridings and are currently represented provincially by:
- Oakville: Stephen Crawford (Conservative)
- Oakville North-Burlington: Effie Triantafilopoulos (Conservative)
Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts
The Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts houses several performances by local and international artists. It is also the performing venue for the Oakville Symphony Orchestra, the Oakville Children's Choir and the Oakville Ballet Company. The Oakville Arts Council provides further artistic talents in the town showcasing films, literary figures and visual arts.
The Oakville Children's Choir
The Oakville Children's Choir has been in business since 1994.
The town also has two specialty radio stations: AM 1250 CJYE, a Christian music station and AM 1320 CJMR, a Multicultural station.
The following national cable television station also broadcast from Oakville:
- The Weather Network has broadcast nationally from Oakville since 2005
- The Hamilton-based television station CHCH-DT serves Hamilton, Halton and Niagara, thus including Oakville. CHCH recently closed its Halton Bureau (due to budget considerations) which was located in downtown Oakville.
- TVCogeco from the studio in the Cogeco Cable Headquarters at Harvester Road & Burloak Drive, just inside of Burlington.
The Queen Elizabeth Way, Ontario Highway 403, and the 407 ETR highways run through Oakville.
Fire service is provided by the town through the Oakville Fire Department with eight fire stations.
The Town of Oakville's Waters Air Rescue Force (TOWARF) is a volunteer organization that provides marine search and rescue service in Western Lake Ontario. It was founded in 1954 and was a charter member of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Tim Hortons headquarters
Tim Hortons (moving to Toronto) and Mattamy Homes are based in Oakville while Siemens and The Ford Motor Company have their head Canadian offices in the city. Many Oakville residents work in advanced manufacturing at large facilities operated by UTC Aerospace Systems and General Electric.
Many Oakville companies fall under the life science umbrella, with an emphasis on pharmaceuticals and elder care. There are also a number of retirement homes in the city.
As Oakville is considered part of the Greater Toronto Area it is common for residents to commute to jobs in Toronto.
The Oakville Place Shopping Centre is an indoor shopping mall in Oakville that opened in 1981. The mall is approximately 42,000 square metres (452,000 sq ft).
Smart Centre Oakville
Smart Centre Oakville is a retail mall located in the northeast end of Oakville.