Downtown Oakville’s Businesses: A Journey Through Time
Oakville House, Hotel and Tavern

The completion of the Oakville House took place in 1828 at the corner of Navy and Lakeshore Road (formerly known as Colborne Street). Built by William Chisholm, this was Oakville’s first hotel. However, in 1834 the property was sold to William Sumner who proceeded to do many renovations on the hotel. Sumner was quite a unique character and this could be seen through his good humored advertisements. The following is an excerpt of one of Sumner’s advertisements in the local paper:

“…Two stages arrive daily to dine. His beds are clean and comfortable – Larder as well stored as the market will admit – Good Liquors, purified by an addition of Ontario’s beautiful waters – good fires to cheer the minds of his guests and warm their cold fingers – good Stables – good Hay and Oats – attentive Ostlers to comfort the noble steed – and his charges are NOT ‘locked’ up in the ‘chase’ of oppression. Call and see an old Tavernkeeper, W.J. Sumner.”

When William Sumner passed away, the Oakville House was taken over by John Williams in 1852, and later by Murray Williams. Before the passing of W.J. Sumner, the Oakville House hosted many important individuals, including Sir Francis Bond Heads, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. He stopped to dine at the Oakville Hotel on his journey to Toronto. It has been noted that the Lieutenant-Governor of the time even stated that it was ‘the best tavern he had been in since he left Albany’.

Unfortunately, the town could not stop the Oakville House from being demolished several years ago. However, a very close replication has been built in its place, still featuring the "Oakville House" name on the current awning. This building manages to fit in well with the Downtown Oakville landscape, despite its large size, and now houses Paradiso, a fine dining restaurant, and clothing boutiques including Want.

Information credited to: Guillet, Edwin C. Pioneer Inns and Taverns, Volume I. Toronto, Ont.: Edwin C. Guillet, 1954. Press. and to: Hart, Diane. "New 'Oakville House' has Details of Original Tavern." Oakville Beaver 11 Dec. 1985: 1. Print.

The Oakville House
The Oakville House Details
New 'Oakville House' has details of original tavern
New 'Oakville House' has details of original tavern Details
The Oakville House Hotel, 2011
The Oakville House Hotel, 2011 Details
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