Discover Keswick, Ontario: A Blend of History, Culture, and Natural Beauty

Keswick, Ontario, is a charming community nestled in Cook's Bay on Lake Simcoe, just 72 km north of Toronto. As part of the Town of Georgina, Keswick is the northernmost municipality in the Regional Municipality of York. According to the Canada 2016 Census, Keswick boasts a population of 26,757.

The Rich History of Keswick, Ontario

Originally known as Medina, Keswick was founded by Chris Armstrong and was part of the Township of North Gwillimbury before becoming part of the Township of Georgina. The community may have been renamed after Keswick, Cumbria in England. Keswick was once considered part of "cottage country" for Toronto residents until the late 1980s when major development expanded its population.

The Simcoe Landing community has resumed construction since the completion of the extension of Highway 404 into the region. In 2017, construction began on Phase 9 over existing farmers' fields. The completed community will span from Ravenshoe Rd to Glenwoods Ave, The Queensway South to Woodbine Ave. Future plans include an additional elementary and secondary school, parks, and green space.

Roches Point, a small residential community on the shore of Lake Simcoe in Keswick, was named after Irish settler James O'Dell Roch. After the War of 1812, Roches Point was considered as a possible alternative capital to replace York (now Toronto).

The Geography of Keswick, Ontario

Keswick's geographical coordinates are 44.22°N, 79.45°W, and it sits 221m above sea level. According to Statistics Canada, Keswick covers an area of 16.25 km². It is bound on the north by Roches Point, the east by Woodbine Avenue, the south by East Gwillimbury (Ravenshoe Road), and the west by Cook's Bay, part of Lake Simcoe. Keswick includes the Keswick Marsh, part of the Holland Marsh. The Maskinonge River weaves through Keswick, across both of its main streets, The Queensway South and Woodbine Avenue.

Demographics of Keswick, Ontario

The Canada 2016 Census reported a population of 26,757 in Keswick, a 2.9% increase from 2011. The community has 9,918 dwellings and a density of 1647.0 persons per km².

Arts and Culture in Keswick, Ontario

Keswick is home to the Stephen Leacock Theatre, which presents a range of performances from musicals and plays to orchestras and band performances. The Georgina Arts Centre and Gallery displays over 500 original paintings and photographs donated by various Canadian Artists. The Georgina Pioneer Village and Archives, opened in 1975, is a 10-acre site home to numerous buildings that represent the history of Georgina between 1850 and 1920. Music in the Streets, a music festival hosted by Connors Music, celebrates talent from around Georgina.

Attractions in Keswick, Ontario

The Georgina Military Museum is located at the north end of Keswick. The town is a popular destination for swimming, boating, ice fishing, and snowmobiling. Georgina offers a number of year-round activities including many public parks, beaches, forested areas, conservation areas such as the Morning Glory Provincial Nature Reserve, Sibbald Point Provincial Park, and the Keswick Marsh Fish and Bird Sanctuary. The ROC, an all-season outdoor adventure park, features activities such as tubing, snowboarding, and skiing in the winter and soccer, volleyball, and bike trails in the summer.

Infrastructure in Keswick, Ontario

In 2014, Highway 404 was extended to meet the Keswick / East Gwillimbury border at Woodbine Ave., south of Ravenshoe Rd. Woodbine Avenue, the town's longest street, runs from Steeles Avenue at the Toronto-Markham border and ends at Lake Drive in Georgina.

Points of Interest in Keswick, Ontario

Notable buildings in the area include Roche's Point Anglican Church, which dates to c. 1862.

Beechcroft and Lakehurst Gardens in Keswick, Ontario

Beechcroft and Lakehurst Gardens National Historic site consists of two properties along the shoreline of Lake Simcoe. The Beechcroft property was an estate on 97 acres that had been owned by Captain Issac May around the 1860s. The English-landscape-inspired grounds were laid out for the owner Anson Greene Phelps Dodge, an American-Canadian lumber baron and short-lived Member of Parliament, around 1870 and are believed to have been designed or influenced by Frederick Law Olmsted. Unlike Beechcroft, Lakehurst Gardens was a formal horticultural garden. Although designated historical, the grounds are privately owned, with no public access.