The European pioneers that migrated here in the early 1820s used the locals creeks to power their saw and grist mills which led to prosperity and the emergence of a number of hamlets including Brougham, Claremont and Whitevale which survive to this day. The former Pickering Township Hall a simple but elegant white frame building is still standing at 3545 Brock Road in the hamlet of Brougham.
Rural Pickering is comprised of historic hamlets, agricultural farms, conservation areas and forests, The railway line and hydro corridor as well as the 407 highway are but a small intrusion into this pastoral landscape. The Greenbelt Route and Seaton Trail provide recreational opportunities as well as opportunities to explore this vast countryside. The Pickering Go Bus carpool at Highway 407 and Brock Road provides residents with easy access to urban Pickering and points across the Greater Toronto Area.
The hamlets of Claremont and Brougham both contain local shops and essential services as well as a few restaurants. Rural Pickering provides alot of the locally sourced produce for the popular Pickering Farmers’ Market.
The historic hamlets of Brougham, Claremont and Whitevale feature beautiful Victorian homes. Claremont in particular has the widest variety and selection of homes.
Dr. Nelson F. Tomlinson Community Centre located at 4941 Old Brock Road features a large gymnasium and community hall. Adjacent to this centre is a large public park with sports fields and tennis courts. Bicyclists can enjoy the bucolic surroundings along the Greenbelt Route. The Seaton Trail is a popular hiking trail. Rural Pickering also boasts a handful of excellent golf courses.
Herongate Barn Dinner Theatre located at 2885 Altona Rd is a converted former dairy farm that now showcases a unique dinner and live theatre experience. Patrons will revel in the novelty of dining in a former manger, and sitting on a theatre seat that originally came from the historic old Victory Burlesque Theatre in Toronto.
The Whitevale Arts and Cultural Centre located at 475 Whitevale Road showcases local artists as well as hosting a variety of arts and cultural workshops.