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Downtown Ajax Neighbourhood Guide: A Waterfront Haven

home in Downtown Ajax neighbourhood

Image of Downtown Ajax

Neighbourhood At a Glance:

Average Commute Time to Toronto

It’s easy to reach the city from Downtown Ajax. Commute times are under 30 minutes.

Lifestyle

Downtown Ajax has a thriving art and cultural scene. The town also hosts visual art shows.

The Housing Market

Most residential homes are newly built. High-rise buildings offer a more modern appeal.

What You’ll Love

You’ll love the community’s many nature trails and parks and shopping and dining options.

What Not To Expect

Don’t expect a typical downtown vibe of skyscrapers and busy traffic.

Located just east of Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario, Downtown Ajax is a vibrant community in the Durham region. Beginning south of the 401 and along Harwood Avenue, the neighbourhood makes up Ajax’s main business area, a charming collection of shops, restaurants, and tree-lined streets.

 

Downtown Ajax is home to Ajax Town Hall, a public library, community centre, Percking Hospital, and the Ajax GO Station. The housing in this area is high-density, consisting mostly of apartments, condos, and townhomes.

Neighbourhood Review

Architecture

Most residential homes in Downtown Ajax are newly built, with brick or vinyl exteriors. High-rise buildings offer a more modern appeal, with glass and concrete finishes, and often waterfront views.

home in Downtown Ajax neighbourhood

Things to Do in Downtown Ajax

Arts & Culture

Downtown Ajax has a thriving art and cultural scene, with regular events and festivals. The St. Francis Centre on Church Street hosts a variety of community-based events each year, including film screenings, theatre productions, and concerts. The annual Ajax Film Circuit (sponsored by Toronto International Film Festival) brings the best Canadian and International films to a local audience.

 

The town also hosts visual art shows, with pop-up galleries at both the Ajax Town Hall and McLean Community Centre. Local artists can apply to have their work featured in either gallery.

 

Those with a historical bent will enjoy Downtown Ajax’s many monuments, including a Scottish stone memorial and the waterfront Veterans’ Point Gardens. Located at the foot of Harwood Avenue, this unique public space is designed in the shape of a ship’s prow, paying homage to the HMS Ajax.

St. Andrews Community Centre

Shopping

If you’re an avid shopper, you’ll love the RioCan Durham Centre, located just off Harwood Avenue and Kingston Road. This massive retail centre features over one million square feet of shopping space.

shops in Downtown Ajax neighbourhood

Restaurants & Dining

With one of the fastest-growing populations in the GTA and over 65 languages spoken, Ajax’s diversity makes for a great cultural experience. Dining options range from Middle Eastern to Caribbean, Mexican, and Chinese.

 

Locals and tourists alike both flock to Japanese restaurant Makimono for all-you-can-eat sushi and teriyaki. The restaurant mixes up its authentic cuisine with unique dishes like sushi pizza and a wide range of vegetarian options.

 

If you’re after a more traditional pub experience, the Portly Piper serves the best wings in town. This sports bar has up something for everyone, from classic pub fare to seafood linguine and pad thai.

inground pool

Parks

Ajax residents pride themselves on the community’s many nature trails, parks, and green spaces. Many of these parks have splash pads and playgrounds for children.

 

Ajax Waterfront Park makes a great picnic spot, with gorgeous views of Lake Ontario, while hikers will enjoy the town’s many trails. Popular multi-use trails include the Millers Creek trail and Achilles Greenbelt, named for another British warship.

park in Downtown Ajax neighbourhood

Recreation

There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Ajax, from nature trails to shopping and casinos. Family-friendly facilities include an indoor skating rink and several community pools. Fitness enthusiasts can choose from Community Health Centres or private gyms such as Lifetime or GoodLife. 

 

Meanwhile, the nearby Ajax Downs is the only horse racing track in Ontario to host weekly Quarter Horse Races. It’s also the location of Casino Ajax, which offers all-night entertainment.

Ajax Downs Racetrack

Transit & Commute Times

Part of Downtown Ajax’s appeal is its excellent walkability and public transit. The town is serviced by both Durham Regional Transit and GO Transit, and PRESTO smartcards can be used on both systems.

 

With a conveniently located GO station and the 401 Highway just a few minutes away, it’s easy to reach the city from Downtown Ajax. Commute times are under 30 minutes, and the town encourages carpooling among residents.

Go station in Downtown Ajax neighbourhood

You Can Always Go Downtown

If you’re looking for an affordable and family-friendly neighbourhood, Downtown Ajax has plenty to offer. Arts and culture abound, and there are amenities to suit every interest. With a tight-knit community, great transit links, and a proud military history, it’s the perfect place to settle down or raise a family.

homes in Downtown Ajax neighbourhood

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a downtown Ajax?

While many think of Ajax as one large city, Downtown Ajax is a distinct neighbourhood and a key commercial area of the Durham region. They even have their own Twitter account

What is Ajax known for?

Ajax is known for its beachside community and proud military history. Locals are proud of their connection to Canada’s service during World War II, and there are several military monuments throughout the town.

Why is it called Ajax?

The town itself is named for a British warship, the HMS Ajax. You can still spot reminders of this history today, with each new street named in honour of officers who served on the Ajax.

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