Newton is a suburban city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of downtown Boston and is bordered by Boston’s Brighton and West Roxbury neighborhoods to the east and south, respectively, and by the suburb of Brookline to the east, the suburbs of Watertown and Waltham to the north, and Wellesley and Needham to the west. Rather than having a single city center, Newton resembles a patchwork of thirteen villages. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Newton was 85,146, making it the eleventh largest city in the state.
Newton’s proximity to Boston along with its historic homes, good public schools, and safe and quiet neighborhoods make it a desirable community for those who commute to Boston. Newton is served by three modes of mass transit run by the MBTA: light rail, commuter rail, and bus service.
Newton has been consistently ranked as one of the best cities in the country in which to live. In August 2012, Money magazine named Newton fourth best small city among places to live in America and has been named the safest city in the country according to Aneki.
Newton was settled in 1630 as part of “the newetowne”, which became Cambridge in 1638; it became its own town in 1688. There are several historical sites of interest in the Newton area. These include Crystal Lake (which is fronted by several historical homes), the East Parish and West Parish Burying Grounds, and the Jackson Homestead, which now houses the Newton History Museum. Historian and local resident Diana Muir has written about the history surrounding Bullough’s Pond; a scene from the 2008 production of The Women was also filmed there. Portions of the 2016 drama film Patriots Day, about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and starring Boston native Mark Wahlberg, were filmed at Lasell College in the city.
Rather than having a single city center, Newton is a patchwork of thirteen villages, many boasting small downtown areas of their own. The 13 villages are: Auburndale, Chestnut Hill, Newton Centre, Newton Corner, Newton Highlands, Newton Lower Falls, Newton Upper Falls (both on the Charles River, and both former small industrial sites), Newtonville, Nonantum (also called “The Lake”), Oak Hill, Thompsonville, Waban and West Newton. Oak Hill Park is a place within the village of Oak Hill that itself is shown as a separate and distinct village on some city maps (including a map dated 2010 on the official City of Newton website), and Four Corners is also shown as a village on some city maps. Although most of the villages have a post office, they have no legal definition and no firmly defined borders. This village-based system often causes some confusion with addresses and for first time visitors.[