Are you looking at a move to Ontario, but perhaps you don’t like the idea of living in the heart of Toronto? One option for you may be living in Whitby Ontario, one of Toronto’s sister cities.
Whitby is often chosen over Toronto for its peace and quiet, outdoor space, and relaxed pace of life. It is especially popular with families raising young children. Whitby has an attractive location on Lake Ontario, low crime rates, and easy access to Toronto.
Some basic facts about Whitby are given below, and then we discuss the various aspects of living there.
Living In Whitby – The Facts
|Population Growth 2016/2021||7.90%|
|Population Born in the UK||Unknown|
|Time Zones||EST (UTC -5)|
|Ave Cost Real Estate Mar ’22||$1.3 mill|
|Sales Tax||13% HST|
|Prov Income Tax Low Band*||5.05%|
|Prov Income Tax High Band*||13.16%|
|Crime Severity Index 2020**||40.65|
|Violent Crime Severity Index 2020**||49.18|
*Note: Provincial Income Tax is Paid in Addition to Federal Income Tax
** Canadian Ave 73.4 & 87.0 (Lower is Better)
Where Is Whitby, Ontario?
Whitby is located in southern Ontario on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. It is one of many commuter suburbs within the Greater Toronto Area. It sits around 55km east of downtown Toronto, sandwiched between the cities of Ajax and Oshawa.
Whitby grew around its natural harbour on Lake Ontario and has developed northwards. As a result, the southern part of the city is urban, while the northern areas are more rural.
What Is The Population Of Whitby, Ontario
Whitby is significantly less diverse than the neighbouring Toronto. Its population is predominantly white, with less than 20% visible minorities.
It is considered to be a friendly place with a laid-back, small-town feel to it. Despite the lack of diversity, people living in Whitby find it open and welcoming to all ethnicities.
What Is The Weather Like In Whitby, Ontario?
The climate in Whitby is typical of southern Ontario. It has four distinct seasons, with significant temperature differences between summer and winter.
Summers are warm/hot and can be quite humid. Winters are cold but not extreme by Canadian standards. This is partly due to Whitby’s location in southern Canada and the moderating effect of Lake Ontario on its climate.
|Annual Rainfall (mm)||773|
|Annual Snowfall (mm)||93|
|Ave Hrs Sun/Day||5.7|
|Ave Jan Temp (DegC)||-6|
|Ave July Temp (DegC)||20|
What Is The Cost Of Living In Whitby, Ontario?
In past years Whitby was considered a low-cost option to Toronto, and people moved there for the space and the lower housing prices.
However, in recent years the population and the cost of housing in Whitby have increased dramatically. As a result, the average property price in Whitby is now on a par with Toronto.
The good news is that the average price is misleading. A high proportion of properties sold in Toronto are condos, and the reality is that you will get a significantly bigger property for your money in Whitby.
What is Whitby’s Economy Based On?
Whitby is a commuter suburb of Toronto and many of its population work in either Toronto or neighbouring suburbs in the Greater Toronto Area.
Whitby isn’t dominated by any particular industry but is home to a number of large manufacturers, including in the areas of steel, pharmaceuticals and automotive. The area north of the city is predominantly agricultural.
The city of Whitby is actively working on a revitalization plan for its downtown area and is offering a number of grants and incentives for businesses looking to move there.
Does Whitby Have Good Transport Connections?
You may struggle when living in Whitby, Ontario if you don’t have a car. Whitby residents complain that transit within the city is pretty limited. Bus services are operated by Durham Region Transport, which also covers the neighbouring regions of Ajax and Osawa.
On the positive side, the city lies on major highways 2, 401, and 407, all of which lead to Toronto. As a result, traffic within Whitby’s traffic is generally quite light, but the commuter routes to Toronto suffer from heavy traffic during rush hour.
The Go network also covers the city and operates bus and train services between cities within the Greater Toronto Area. This is, therefore, another option for commuters.
If you want to travel further afield, Whitby lies on the Via Rail line between Windsor and Montreal. Unfortunately, the service doesn’t stop in Whitby, but it stops in Oshawa, just a 10-minute drive from downtown Whitby.
The closest international airport is Toronto Pearson International Airport, located around 70km from Whitby, based in Mississauga.
What Outdoor Activities Can I Enjoy in Whitby?
One of the biggest benefits of living in Whitby, Ontario, is the range of outdoor activities on offer. With more than 100 maintained parks, the city isn’t short of green space. It also has more than 60km of trails, including the waterfront trail.
Whitby’s location on the lake also means easy access to beaches and watersports. The Whitby Yacht Club offers racing, cruising, and “learn to sail” programs from its Marina at the historic Whitby harbour. The club also has a social calendar that includes dancing, dining and several clubs.
For those who like to ski, there are several options from Whitby. The two most popular are Lakeridge Ski Resort and Dagmar Ski Resort, both are around a 30-minute drive from Whitby.
Lakeridge Ski Resort is the bigger of the 2 resorts offering:
- 23 runs over 70 acres
- Skiing and snowboarding for all ages
- Mogul parks
- Terrain parks
- Banked slalom run
- Mountain biking in July and August
Dagmar Ski Resort is smaller but is considered a good option for beginners and intermediates.
Does Whitby Have Good Entertainment And Nightlife?
Whitby is unique in that it has two downtown areas, Downtown Whitby and Downtown Brooklin. Brooklin is based in the north of Whitby. Both areas offer restaurants, boutique stores, and arts and culture.
One of the main criticisms of Whitby is the lack of lively nightlife. However, this often comes from people who have moved out of Toronto, so the comparison may be a little unfair.
The entertainment options are probably typical for a city of its size and include:
- Plays, music and other acts at the Whitby Courthouse Theatre
- An annual schedule of more than 200 festivals and events
- Weekend and mid-week farmers markets from May to October
- The Whitby Arts Trail
- Good cinema
What Sports Teams Does Whitby Have?
If you’re a sports fan living in Whitby, Ontario, you will struggle to find much to watch in Whitby itself. However, if you are prepared to travel a little, then there are endless options within the Greater Toronto Area.
Toronto itself has teams in the following professional leagues:
- National Hockey League (NHL)
- Canadian Football League (CFL)
- National Lacrosse League (NLL)
- Major League Soccer (MLS)
- Major Baseball League (MLB)
- National Basketball Association (NBA)
- Major League Rugby (MLR)
What Are The Best Neighbourhoods In Whitby, Ontario?
The answer to this depends on what you are looking for.
The areas in the north of Whitby are more rural, with a good balance of city and country. Then as you move south towards Whitby’s downtown, the population density increases.
Areas on the city’s west side and close to the main highway may work well for you if you plan to commute to Toronto.
A few neighbourhoods you may want to consider are:
- Brooklin is located in the northern more rural part of Whitby; Brooklin has its own distinct downtown area.
- Port Whitby neighbourhood has views and great amenities and is close to the lake.
- Williamsburg is desirable due to its location on the west side of town and close to the main highways.
- Blue Grass Meadows is popular with families; it has good schools, lots of parks and good amenities.
- Rolling Acres lies between the 401 and 407 highways, so is good for road connections. It has lots of parks for walking/jogging and good schools.
Whitby Crime Rates
People living in Whitby, Ontario, seem to feel their town is safe, and statistics back this up. For example, crime rates for the city are significantly lower than national averages and some of the lowest I have seen anywhere in Canada.
These low crime rates also apply to Ajax and Oshawa, neighbouring cities.
Iroquois Park Sports Centre
The Iroquois Park Sports Centre is one of Canada’s largest multi-use sports complexes. It is set within 70 acres of parkland, located right on the lakeside. It is perfect for sports enthusiasts and families. It offers:
- 6 ice pads
- 25-metre swimming pool
- 6 lit tennis courts
- 4 baseball diamonds (3 of which are lit with spectator seating
- Lit soccer pitch
In addition to the sports facilities, the centre also has a licensed restaurant, a food court, and banqueting and meeting facilities.
What are the Pros and Cons of Living in Whitby
Pros of Living in Whitby
- Can Commute to Toronto
- Attractive lakefront location
- Low crime rates
- Friendly and laid-back feel
- Good outdoor activities
- Great sports facilities
Cons of Living in Whitby
- Poor transit within the city
- High cost of housing
- Lack of nightlife
Sources of Data Statistics Canada & Canadian Real Estate Association
Is Whitby, Ontario, on a lake?
Yes, Whitby is located in Southern Ontario, east of Ajax and west of Oshawa, on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is one of the major benefits of living in Whitby, Ontario.
What type of people live in Whitby?
According to the 2006 census, approximately 17.0% of Whitby’s population is a visible minority, with Black (6.1%), South Asian (3.3%) and Chinese (1.9) being the most prevalent individual groups.
Was Whitby, Ontario, named after Whitby, England?
Yes, it was. It was originally known as Perry’s Corners after Peter Perry, an original settler. It then became known as Windsor, but, in 1848, was renamed Whitby after a coastal town in Yorkshire, England