Essa lies north of Highway 89 and west of County Road 27. It is mostly a rural township made up of Angus, Baxter, Thornton, Colwell and Rural Essa. Other smaller local communities are Cedargrove, Egbert, Elmgrove, Hoe Doe Valley, Ivy, Utopia and West Essa.
The largest neighbourhood is Angus, well-known as the home of the Canadian Forces Base Borden, and lies at the intersection of County Road 10 and County Road 90. The homes of Angus are mostly in the affordable price range, and feature townhouses, semi-detached and linked homes and a great variety of detached homes consisting of bungalows as well as 2-storey models.
Colwell is the smallest Essa neighbourhood on the Toronto Real Estate Board with detached homes near the 9th Line and 30th Sideroad just south of County Road 90.
Baxter is larger than Colwell but still a small rural neighbourhood of detached homes on larger lots at the intersection of County Road 21 (Murphy Road) and Line 5 (Denney Drive).
Thornton at County Road 21 and County Road 27 was named in 1854 after local businessman Henry Thornton. All the homes are detached and on septic systems, with many of the homes in 2 subdivisions built in recent years.
Rural Essa makes up most of the township. Many of the homes are on larger properties and are usually in the higher price range and fronting on county roads. The Nottawasaga River, a well-known landmark, passes Nicolston, Elmgrove, Baxter and Angus on its'way north through the community to Georgian Bay.
Essa is now attracting many new property buyers from Toronto, York Region and Peel as the home prices are still more enticing than those of homes farther south. In return, Essa is also proving that a more leisurely, rural lifestyle is well worth the drive to get home. The five neighbourhoods are described in video below .