Woodfield is a Victorian neighbourhood located in the heart of London, Ontario. This historic community is bordered by Richmond, Dundas, Adelaide, and the CPR tracks to the north. Woodfield's roughly 1,400 households fall mostly within two Heritage Districts (East and West Woodfield). Homes in Woodfield date from the 1840s, with most homes built between the late 1800s and early 1900s. Woodfield is one of the largest and finest examples of intact Victorian streetscapes in Canada.
The extensive size of the two combined Heritage Districts in Woodfield encompass everything from enormous Queen Anne style mansions to tiny Ontario Cottages. The level of preservation is impressive to say the least. No “gentrified” district, this well-preserved community includes homes of all sizes, and residents from all walks of life. Victoria Park is found within the boundaries of Woodfield, alive with festivals in the summer and sparkling with beautiful lights in the winter. Tall trees line her wide historic streets.
Woodfield is not a museum, but a bustling community. Porches are ubiquitous and neighbours know each other well. The Woodfield Community Association is strong and vibrant. Each year it organizes many events, including a Plant Exchange, a Harvest Festival (a potluck attended by over 150 neighbours) and old-fashioned Christmas caroling in the streets. The “Historic Woodfield Street Fair” is the newest addition, showcasing music, plays, exhibits, and games all dating to the turn of the century (1900). The Association has published two books; one is a history of the area, and a second called Woodfield Cooks, containing the favorite recipes of this diverse community.
Planners have been essential to the preservation of this amazing place. The formation of the Heritage Districts, and their protection has been key to the success of Woodfield. Woodfield's motto is “Residential to the Core”, and although the community loves the businesses peppered throughout, careful planning has ensured that it will remain a living, vibrant residential neighbourhood.
Woodfield is important to London, and indeed to Canada. Woodfield shows us what Canada once looked like, across many architectural styles and social classes. Importantly, Woodfield also shows us what Canada can look like today, a community with close neighbourhood bonds, a “front yard” focus and an active artistic, musical, and cultural life. Woodfield is a wonderful place.