Woodstock is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. The city has a population of 40,902 according to the 2016 Canadian census. Woodstock is the seat of Oxford County, at the head of the non-navigable Thames River, approximately 128 km from Toronto, and 43 km from London, Ontario. The city is known as the Dairy Capital of Canada and promotes itself as “The Friendly City”.
Woodstock was first settled by European-colonists and United Empire Loyalists in 1800, starting with Zacharias Burtch and Levi Luddington,[ and was incorporated as a town in 1851. Since then, Woodstock has maintained steady growth, and is now one of the largest cities in Southwestern Ontario. As a small historic city, Woodstock is one of the few cities in Ontario to still have all of its original administration buildings. The city has developed a strong economic focus towards manufacturing and tourism. It is also a market city for the surrounding agricultural industry.
Woodstock is home to a campus of Fanshawe College. The city plays host to a number of cultural and artistic exhibits, including the Woodstock Museum, a national historic site. Woodstock’s summer festivals contribute to its tourism industry; however, its economic activity is centred on the manufacturing centre, the city being home to a large number of auto-manufacturing factories. The city’s west end has exceptionally well-preserved Victorian streetscapes; most notable of these streets is Vansittart Avenue, named after Admiral Henry Vansittart, one of the city’s first settlers. Woodstock has a large community centre with a rink capable of accommodating 2,500 spectators for hockey games. The centre also has a large banquet hall and atrium which play host to a large number of social gatherings for the community.
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