Situated just North of Toronto, Woodbridge is a large-sized suburb of the city of Vaughn. Originally named "Burrwick" after Rowland Burr, the community was renamed Woodbridge (after a wooden bridge) in 1855 because the name Burrwick was already being used by another settlement. The 1950's brought a suburban expansion from Toronto, which began East of the Humber to the Northeast and increased the population from 3,000 to 10,000 in the 1960's. More housing developments from the 1960's to today have increased the population to just over 100,000.
Hurricane Hazel, which was one of the worst hurricanes of the 20th century and killed as many as 1,000 people in Haiti before hitting North America, ruined a bridge over Highway 7 and damaged a large part of the community.
Some interesting trivia about Woodbridge; the community has been featured in documentaries about street racing, for instance, A&E (Inside Story: Street Racing: The Need For Speed). Local law enforcement considers Woodbridge to be the main location for street racing in the GTA. Also, singer Sean Paul's 2003 hit single "Get Busy" was filmed in Woodbridge. Famous cosmetics company founder Elizabeth Arden was also a resident.
Woodbridge is also home to the Pierre Berton Resource Library (opened on Oct. 17th 2004 costing $12.6 million), as he had lived in nearby Kleinburg, Ontario for nearly 50 years. Every year brings the very popular Annual Woodbridge Fair over Thanksgiving Weekend; 2007 marks the 160th anniversary of the Fair. This event is a throwback to more traditional times, with agricultural exhibits, school competitions and a midway.
Woodbridge is known for its large Italian-Canadian population, and has also seen an increase in Indo, Arab, Romanian, Hispanic and Persian Canadians. Although part of the city of Vaughan, few residents identify with this and see Woodbridge as a city unto itself in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
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