Nestled between Toronto and Hamilton, on the shores of Lake Ontario, you’ll find the idyllic town of Oakville. From the original inhabitants, the Indigenous Mississaugas to European settlers to flourishing farming, timber, shipping and automotive industries, much of the town’s rich history is still evident today. Oakville’s harbour offers spectacular lake views, watersports and much more. Museums and traditional gardens pay homage to the past. You’ll find the arts have a welcoming home here, along with outdoor life and world-class golf.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Oakville, scroll down or visit the city's tourism website.
Where is Oakville?
Oakville is approximately half an hour southwest of downtown Toronto by car, and another 30 minutes drive from Hamilton. GO Transit also provides service to Oakville.
Things to Do in Oakville
From the waterfront and harbour to the quaint main street of Old Oakville, world-renowned golf courses to parks and hiking trails, there are endless things to do in Oakville.
Bronte Creek Provincial Park offers something for everyone in the family. This beautiful park features trails for hiking, cycling and cross-country skiing, as well as campsites and overnight facilities, a historic farmhouse and even an outdoor swimming pool — at 1.8 acres, one of the largest outdoor pools in Canada.
The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail connects Oakville with other lakefront communities, and is perfect for hiking, trail running or cycling.
Downtown Oakville offers a lovely balance of heritage architecture and stately homes along with trendy restaurants and bars, boutique shops, and gorgeous art galleries housed in historic buildings. Oakville Harbour is one of the most photo-worthy spots in town.
Bronte Harbour is a small village community in west Oakville, offering jewellery stores, antique shops, home decor shops, fashion boutiques and many splendid restaurants and pubs.
History buffs will enjoy a visit to the former home of the founding Chisholm Family at the Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate. The estate, now a museum and historic site, features stunning buildings and magnificent gardens, along with a collection of costumes, ethnological facts, and decorative arts and textiles.
Be sure to include the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts in your itinerary. Purchase tickets for ballet, symphony or theatrical performances of the highest calibre, or attend special events like performances by the award-winning Oakville Children’s Choir.
Head to Oakville Place Mall where more 100 stores welcome shoppers for some retail therapy. You’ll find well-known international and Canadian brands as well as local shops. For those seeking predominantly Canadian brands, the South Oakville Centre features more local labels.
Avid golfers will want to pay a visit to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, located on the Glen Abbey Golf Club grounds. Inductees in the Hall include coaches, players, golf course architects and others who’ve contributed to the game in some significant way. Some of the inductees include local greats like Mike Weir and Sandra Post, renowned golf course architect Stanley Thompson, and the legendary Jack Nicklaus who designed Glen Abbey.
Oakville Neighbourhoods & Districts
Oakville maintains its small town charm through its unique neighbourhoods, including:
The village of Bronte is home to gorgeous harbour views and parks, loads of restaurants, bars and boutique shops.
Many of the homes in Old Oakville carry heritage plaques, while the waterfront boast restaurants, theatres, exceptional dining, shopping, and a beautiful marina.
This neighbourhood is home to multiple trails and parks that visitors enjoy using as much as locals.
Things to Know About Visiting Oakville
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Oakville, you'll appreciate what the locals recommend around the city.
Where to see the holiday lights
Downtown Oakville’s Hometown Holiday Experience. You’ll find spectacular lighting and décor, perfect for an evening stroll with family and photo-ops.
Where to take a romantic stroll
Where to go skating
Favourite local gem
Oakville Galleries, one of Canada’s leading art museums, occupies two spaces — one inside the public library in downtown Oakville, and another in a lakeside mansion.
Last updated: May 4, 2023