Downtown Oshawa, Pickering Town Centre top ranked for best dining and shopping in Durham


Published February 28, 2023 at 1:33 pm

Bollywood Tacos - Mexican-inspired Indian street food - opened in downtown Oshawa in 2019

Central Oshawa and Pickering Town Centre are the places to be for food and shopping in Durham Region, according to the results of a first-of-its-kind interactive ranking of the best neighbourhoods in the GTA by region.

Toronto Digital real estate company Wahi released its findings Tuesday in the Wahi’s Where to Live 2023 report, which stacks neighbourhood vs neighbourhood in 11 lifestyle categories.

And when it comes to foodie lovers and the cravings of shopaholics, Wahi believes downtown Oshawa and Durham’s biggest mall have people covered.

Avanti Trattoria – Oshawa

Central Oshawa boasts a plethora of fine dining, casual restaurants, cool coffee houses and unique fast-food options, such as Avanti Trattoria, Mathilda’s, White Apron, Spicy Affairs, Berry Hill, Ciao Amici, Thai Cuisine, Street Momo, Legends of Fazio and the iconic Rainbow Restaurant, as well Bollywood Tacos, Viva Burrito, Cork & Bean and Pizzamunno, just to name a few.

Central Oshawa is at the core of Oshawa’s foodie scene. It’s long hosted Fiesta festival – an annual showcase of multicultural cuisine and traditions – and new gastro pubs and cafes continue opening their doors amid the local tech industry boom.

Street Momo – Oshawa

Pickering Town Centre, the city’s buzzing commuter hub and shopping destination, came in second in the survey with scores of take-out and dine-in options for diners to choose from.

Downtown Whitby and its diverse selection – from stone-fire pizzas to Mexican-Indian fusion cuisine – make it a bona fide culinary contender and earned a #3 ranking in the survey.

As for shopping, Durham Region has the retail therapy you need, from high-end boutiques to novelty bookstores to vintage clothing shops and more.

Pickering Town Centre, or PTC, as the locals call it, is at the heart of the Pickering shopping experience. Stocked with popular stores like Winners, Saks Fifth Avenue, Peoples Jewellers and HomeSense, visitors can find most of what they need all in one climate-controlled place.

Pickering Town Centre

Central Oshawa, with no shortage of shopping options (many within walking distance) in this bustling neighbourhood came in second in the rankings, followed by the diverse mix of shops – from antiques to art collectibles to the latest fashions – in the historic hamlet of Pickering Village in Ajax.

Along with the rankings, Wahi also conducted a province-wide survey (in partnership with polling company Angus Reid) that determined nearly 40 per cent of potential homebuyers were unable to purchase homes in their top-desired neighbourhoods. The rankings, says Wahi CEO Benjy Katchen, will help to inform people that there are other communities out there that might have what they want.

“Potential homebuyers who can’t find a home in their top choice of neighbourhood don’t need to give up hope on buying in the GTA altogether,” Katchen said. “We designed Wahi’s Where to Live 2023 as an essential resource that showcases the wealth and diversity of options available to us in the GTA; whatever your priorities or lifestyle, this new feature will find you the best neighbourhoods to suit your needs.”

The neighbourhood rankings analyzed demographic data points to rank all 396 neighbourhoods across all five GTA regions: Toronto, Markham-York, Mississauga-Peel, Oshawa-Durham, and Oakville-Halton across eleven categories, including families with young children, families with teenagers, pet lovers, retirees, car-free living, active lifestyles, nature lovers, shopping and foodies.

The ranking score was determined based on Wahi’s proprietary weighting of the variables such as proximity to primary schools, parks, restaurants, green spaces, and other locations that commonly influence home-purchasing decisions for each major region.

The survey, conducted in partnership with Angus Reid between February 8-10, surveyed 500 homeowners from across Ontario.


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