Uxbridge, Ontario; the scenic town, settled in the valley of the Oak Ridges Moraine,1 has a rich and fascinating history. Named after Uxbridge, England, by its own Joseph Gould,2 it’s name stems from the tale of “Wixan’s Bridge.” The bridge was said to have been built and used by The Wixan3; a Saxon tribe that inhabited England in the 5th century.4 The first settlers of Uxbridge were 12 Quaker families who traveled upwards from Pennsylvania in 1806. Catawissa, Pennsylvania is still known as Uxbridge’s “twin” town for sharing cultural ties.1
Needless to say, much has changed in the last 200 years. However, much of Uxbridge’s historical buildings have not. Relentless upkeep on the town’s original Library, Music Hall, and various century homes and structures within the township have helped to maintain the town’s charm and authenticity. The community's oldest building, the Uxbridge Friends Meeting House, was built in 1820 and still stands today,1 just down the road from the Heritage Museum.
Another one of the town’s early gems is the Uxbridge Railway Station. The Toronto and Nipissing Railway arrived in Uxbridge in June of 1871 and for over a decade, Uxbridge was the headquarters of the railway.1
The station is located near the centre of Downtown, on Albert Street, and along with being a Go Bus pickup station, is also the venue of “Day Out with Thomas”, an event that brings the York Durham Railway to life by turning the train in to a life sized Thomas the Tank Engine. The event brings hoards of families to Uxbridge each year, livening up the downtown streets. Other notable events that the town hosts on an annual basis are 105.5 HitsFest Craft Beer Festival, The Springtide Music Festival and The Uxbridge Scottish Festival, just to name a few.
As exciting as these events are, Uxbridge is also known to draw people in who are seeking to escape the crowds and excitement for a little R&R. Officially named The Trail Capital of Canada in 2008,5 the township boasts over 330 km of trails6; all providing the type of calmness and beauty only nature can provide. And after hitting the trails, the skate park, the dog park, or the splash pad, many find themselves heading over to one of the town’s many restaurants or tasting houses for local foods and craft beverages.
With it’s charming mix of classic and modern architecture and homes, a thriving network of small local businesses, endless trails and nature, and a warm and social atmosphere, it’s safe to say that today’s Uxbridge is an enchanting place to settle down for a weekend, or for many years to come.