For other uses, see Oshawa (disambiguation).
City (lower-tier)
City of Oshawa

Downtown Oshawa

Coat of arms

Nickname(s): "Canada's Motor City"[1][2]
Motto: Prepare To Be Amazed[3]

Location of Oshawa within Durham Region.

Location of Oshawa in southern Ontario

Coordinates: 43°54′N 78°51′W / 43.900°N 78.850°W / 43.900; -78.850Coordinates: 43°54′N 78°51′W / 43.900°N 78.850°W / 43.900; -78.850
Country Canada
Province Ontario
Region Durham Region
Incorporated 1850
  Mayor John Henry
  Governing Body Oshawa City Council
  MPs Colin Carrie (C)
Erin O'Toole (C)
  MPPs Lorne Coe (C)
Jennifer French (NDP)
  City (lower-tier) 145.68 km2 (56.25 sq mi)
Elevation 106 m (348 ft)
Population (2011)
  City (lower-tier) 149,607 (Ranked 31st)
  Density 1,027.0/km2 (2,660/sq mi)
  Metro 356,177
Demonym(s) Oshawian
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC−5)
  Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC−4)
Area code(s) 289 / 905
Website oshawa.ca

Oshawa (2011 population 149,607;[4] CMA 356,177)[5] is a city in Ontario, Canada, on the Lake Ontario shoreline. It lies in Southern Ontario, approximately 60 kilometres east of Downtown Toronto. It is commonly viewed as the eastern anchor of the Greater Toronto Area and of the Golden Horseshoe. It is the largest municipality in the Regional Municipality of Durham. The name Oshawa originates from the Ojibwa term aazhaway, meaning "the crossing place" or just "(a)cross".[6][7]

Oshawa’s roots are tied to the automobile industry, specifically the Canadian division of General Motors Company, known as General Motors Canada. Founded in 1876 as the McLaughlin Carriage Company, General Motors of Canada's headquarters are located in the city. The automotive industry was the inspiration for Oshawa's previous mottos: "The City that Motovates Canada", and "The City in Motion". The lavish home of the carriage company's founder, Parkwood Estate, is a National Historic Site of Canada, and a backdrop favoured by numerous film crews, featured in many movies including 54, Billy Madison, Chicago, and X-Men.[8]

Once recognized as the sole "Automotive Capital of Canada",[9] Oshawa today is an education and health sciences hub. The city is home to three post-secondary institutions (Durham College, Trent University Durham and University of Ontario Institute of Technology) and to Lakeridge Health Oshawa, Lakeridge Health and Education Research Network (LHEARN Centre) and the Oshawa Clinic, the largest, multi-specialty medical group practice in Canada.[10] Key labour force sectors include advanced manufacturing, health technology, logistics, energy and IT.[11]

Downtown Oshawa is identified as an Urban Growth Centre in the Government of Ontario's Places to Grow initiative.[12] More than 5,000 people work and more than 2,400 university students study in the downtown core. The downtown is a prominent centre for entertainment and sporting events (Regent Theatre and General Motors Centre), food (50+ restaurants and cafes [13]) and culture (The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and Canadian Automotive Museum). Oshawa is home to a Regional Innovation Centre[14] and offers start-up facilities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Co-working offices are also located in the downtown.


Historians believe that the area that would become Oshawa began as a transfer point for the fur trade. Beaver and other animals trapped for their pelts by local natives were traded with the Coureurs des bois (voyagers). Furs were loaded onto canoes by the Mississauga Indians at the Oshawa harbour and transported to the trading posts located to the west at the mouth of the Credit River. Around 1760, the French constructed a trading post near the harbour location; this was abandoned after a few years, but its ruins provided shelter for the first residents of what later became Oshawa. Most notably, one of the fur traders was Moody Farewell, an early resident of the community who was to some extent responsible for its name change.

In the late 18th century a local resident, Roger Conant, started an export business shipping salmon to the United States. His success attracted further migration into the region. A large number of the founding immigrants were United Empire Loyalists, who left the United States to live under British rule. Later Irish and then French Canadian immigration increased as did industrialization. Oshawa and the surrounding Ontario County were also the settling grounds of a disproportionate number of 19th century Cornish immigrants during the Cornish emigration which emptied large tracts of that part of England. As well, the surveys ordered by Governor John Graves Simcoe, and the subsequent land grants, helped populate the area. When Col. Asa Danforth laid out his York-to-Kingston road, it passed through what would later become Oshawa.

In 1822, a "colonization road" (a north-south road to facilitate settlement) known as Simcoe Street was constructed. It more or less followed the path of an old native trail known as the Nonquon Road, and ran from the harbour to the area of Lake Scugog. This intersected the "Kingston Road" at what would become Oshawa's "Four Corners." In 1836, Edward Skae relocated his general store approximately 800 m east to the southeast corner of this intersection; as his store became a popular meeting place (probably because it also served as the Post Office), the corner and the growing settlement that surrounded it, were known as Skae's Corners. In 1842, Skae, the postmaster, applied for official post office status, but was informed the community needed a better name. Moody Farewell was requested to ask his native acquaintances what they called the area; their reply was "Oshawa," which translates to "where we must leave our canoes". Thus, the name of Oshawa, one of the primary "motor cities" of Canada, has the meaning "where we have to get out and walk". The name "Oshawa" was adopted and the post office named accordingly. In 1849, the requirements for incorporation were eased, and Oshawa was incorporated as a village in 1850.

The newly established village became an industrial centre, and implement works, tanneries, asheries and wagon factories opened (and often closed shortly after, as economic "panics" occurred regularly). In 1876, Robert Samuel McLaughlin, Sr. moved his carriage works to Oshawa from Enniskillen to take advantage of its harbour and of the availability of a rail link not too far away. He constructed a two-storey building, which was soon added to. This building was heavily remodelled in 1929, receiving a new facade and being extended to the north using land where the city's gaol (jail, firehall & townhall) had once stood. The village became a town in 1879, in what was then called East Whitby Township. Around 1890, the carriage works relocated from its Simcoe Street address to an unused furniture factory a couple of blocks to the northeast, and this remained its site until the building burnt in 1899. Offered assistance by the town, McLaughlin chose to stay in Oshawa, building a new factory across Mary Street from the old site. Rail service had been provided in 1890 by the Oshawa Railway; this was originally set up as a streetcar line, but c. 1910 a second "freight line" was built slightly to the east of Simcoe Street.[15] This electric line provided streetcar and freight service, connected central Oshawa with the Grand Trunk (now Canadian National) Railway, and with the Canadian Northern (which ran through the very north of Oshawa) and the Canadian Pacific, built in 1912-13. The Oshawa Railway was acquired by the Grand Trunk operation around 1910, and streetcar service was replaced by buses in 1940. After GM moved its main plants to south Oshawa in 1951, freight traffic fell and most of the tracks were removed in 1963, although a line to the older remaining "north" plant via Ritson Road remained until 2000.

Start of the car industry

In 1907 the McLaughlin Motor Car Company began to manufacture with Buick automobiles under the McLaughlin name. This resulted from talks between Col. R. S. McLaughlin and "Billy" Durant a 15-year contract in 1907. Durant had created General Motors in the U.S. in 1908. In 1915 the firm acquired the manufacturing rights to the Chevrolet brand. Within three years, his firm and the Chevrolet Motor Car Company of Canada merged, creating General Motors of Canada. Col. McLaughlin became the head of this new operation in 1918. McLaughlin was Director and Vice-President of General Motors Corporation (from GM archives), and his factory expanded rapidly, eventually covering several blocks. The popularity of the automobile in the 1920s generated rapid expansion of Oshawa, which grew in population from 4,000 to 16,000 during this decade, and of its land area. In 1924, Oshawa annexed the area to its south, including the harbour and the community of Cedardale. This growth allowed Oshawa to seek incorporation as a city, which took place 8 March 1924.

With the wealth he gained in his business venture, in 1916 Robert Samuel McLaughlin built one of the most stately homes in Canada, "Parkwood". The 55-room residence was built using inexpensive labour, and designed by Toronto architect John M. Lyle. McLaughlin lived in the house for 55 years with his wife and five children. The house replaced an older mansion, which was about 30 years old when it was demolished; the grounds of the earlier home had been operated as Prospect Park, and this land was acquired by the town and became its first municipal park, Alexandra Park. Parkwood today is open to the public as a National Historic Site. Tours are offered.

Strike: 1937

On 8 April 1937, disputes between 4000 assembly line workers and General Motors management led to the Oshawa Strike, a salient event in the history of Canadian trade unionism. As the weight of the Great Depression slowly began to lift, demand for automobiles again began to grow. The workers sought higher wages, an eight-hour workday, better working conditions and recognition of their union, the United Auto Workers (Local 222). The then-Liberal government of Mitchell Hepburn, which had been elected on a platform of being the working man's friend, sided with the corporation and brought in armed university students to break up any union agitation. These much-derided "Hepburn's Hussars" and "Sons of Mitches" were never needed as the union refused to be drawn into violent acts. The union and workers had the backing of the local population, other unions and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation party, and on 23 April, two weeks after the strike started, the company gave in to most of the workers' demands, although — pointedly — it did not recognize the union.[16]

A historic church in Oshawa


In 1950, the city annexed a portion of East Whitby Township west of Park Road. Some of this area had been developed during the 1920s boom period, although it was not within the boundaries of the city. The opening of the Oshawa Shopping Centre (now the Oshawa Centre) fewer than two kilometres west of the "four corners" in 1956 struck a blow to Oshawa's downtown from which it has never been able to recover. The shopping centre was built on land which had been an unproductive farm; when its owner gave up on agriculture, this released a very large area of land for the construction of a mall. The Oshawa Centre is the largest shopping mall in Ontario east of Toronto. The opening of what later became Highway 401, then known as Highway 2A, shortly after World War II sparked increased residential growth in Oshawa and the other lakeshore municipalities of Ontario County, which led to the creation of the Regional Municipality of Durham in 1974. Oshawa was amalgamated with the remaining portions of East Whitby Township and took on its present boundaries, which included the outlying villages of Columbus, Raglan and Kedron. Much of Oshawa's industry has closed over the years; however, it is still the headquarters of GM Canada and its major manufacturing site. Current industries of note include manufacturing of railway maintenance equipment, mining equipment, steel fabrication, and rubber products. Oshawa is also recognized as an official port of entry for immigration and customs services.


Oshawa is headquarters to General Motors Canada, which has large-scale manufacturing and administrative operations in the city and employs many thousands both directly and indirectly. Since Windsor, Ontario houses Chrysler Canada headquarters, the two cities have something of a friendly rivalry for the title of "Automotive Capital of Canada", which is now held by Oshawa.[9] While the company’s once essential role in the local economy has diminished, it remains the largest local employer.

The revenue collection divisions of the Ontario Ministry of Finance occupy one of the main office buildings in the city's downtown. Oshawa City Hall, General Motors Centre, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery are also in the downtown core. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology occupies five buildings in downtown. More than 1,900 U.O.I.T. students and staff attend class and work in downtown Oshawa.[17]

The city's older southern neighbourhoods tend to be considerably less affluent than its more suburban northern sections, which are rapidly expanding as Toronto commuters move in. The southern half of the city consists of industrial zones and compact housing designed for early 20th century industrial workers, while the northern half has a suburban feel more typical of later decades. High wages paid to unionized GM employees have meant that these workers could enjoy a relatively high standard of living, although such jobs are much scarcer today than they once were. During its heyday after World War II, General Motors offered some of the best manufacturing jobs available in Canada and attracted thousands of workers from economically depressed areas of the country, particularly the Maritimes, Newfoundland, rural Quebec and northern Ontario. The city was also a magnet for European immigrants in the skilled trades, and boasts substantial Polish, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Croatian, German, Slovak and Russian ethnic communities.

Oshawa has become one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, although statements to this effect are often in reference to the Census Metropolitan Area, which includes neighbouring Whitby and Clarington. Oshawa achieved a record-setting year of growth in 2015 with over a half a billion dollars in construction value (breaking its previous record in 2014).[18] Many commuters have been enticed to Oshawa by comparatively low housing prices and the regular rail service into downtown Toronto provided by GO Transit and Via Rail.

The growth of subdivisions to house Toronto commuters will likely accelerate with the Highway 407 East extension. Highway 407 East (407E) opened to Harmony Road in Oshawa on June 20, 2016, including a tolled north–south link to Highway 401 known as Highway 412. A further extension will push the highway east to Highway 35 / Highway 115 in Clarington by 2020, with a second link to Highway 401 known as Highway 418.

In spring 2016, Oshawa was ranked No. 1 city for jobs in Canada when compared to 33 cities across the country.[19] The trend suggests major social and demographic changes for Oshawa, which has long had a vigorous labour union presence, a mostly white demographic, and a largely blue collar identity.


Similar to all of southern Ontario, Oshawa has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with vast, but not extreme, seasonal temperature differences.


The dominant presence of General Motors (and its autoworkers) meant that Oshawa was well known as a bastion of unionist, left-wing support during the decades following the Second World War. The city played an important role in Canada's labour history, including the 1937 "Oshawa Strike" against General Motors and the considerable financial support provided by the city's autoworkers to the New Democratic Party (NDP) and its predecessors.

However, Oshawa was part of the Ontario (County) riding when Michael Starr served; Starr was a high ranking Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) and Cabinet Member during the Diefenbaker era. Starr served the new Oshawa—Whitby riding for one term, before being narrowly defeated by future federal NDP leader Ed Broadbent in 1968. Broadbent then represented the city in the House of Commons until 1989, and in the 1980s led the NDP to its greatest electoral successes.

By the end of the 1990s, the city's changing economy and demographics led many voters to the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and the Canadian Alliance, a conservative party at the federal level. Conservative candidates have won recent provincial and federal elections, whereas from 1968-93 the city was a safe NDP seat in both the federal and provincial legislatures.

The city's shifting social and political dynamics were seen in the 2004 federal election - the riding of Oshawa (not coterminous with the City of Oshawa, but containing most of it) was the country's most competitive. The candidate of the new Conservative Party of Canada, Colin Carrie, edged out his NDP rival Sid Ryan by several hundred votes; it was an atypical and ideologically stark race that left Louise Parkes of the Liberals in third place.

In 2006, Whitby—Oshawa also became a Conservative seat; Jim Flaherty followed Starr (after over 40 years) into the Cabinet of Canada as Minister of Finance.

In 2014, Jennifer French of the Ontario New Democratic Party was elected as Member of Provincial Parliament in the provincial riding of Oshawa with over 40% of the vote.

Local government

The council of the City of Oshawa is made up of eleven members - one mayor, seven regional councillors and three city councillors.

The mayor is elected at large by electors throughout the city, heads the council of the City of Oshawa and is also a representative of the city on the council of the Regional Municipality of Durham. Seven regional councillors are elected at large by electors throughout the city to represent the city on both the council of the City of Oshawa and the council of the Regional Municipality of Durham. Three city councillors are elected at large by electors throughout the city to represent the city on the council of the City of Oshawa.

There are four standing committees of council: Finance Committee, Development Services Committee, Community Services Committee, and the Corporate Services Committee.


Public education in Oshawa is provided by the Durham District School Board. As of June 2015, there were 28 elementary schools and six secondary schools.[21] The Durham Catholic District School Board, which has its headquarters in Oshawa, oversees public Catholic education in Durham Region. There are 10 Catholic elementary schools and two secondary schools. The Conseil scolaire Viamonde operates one French public elementary school, while the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud runs one publicly funded French-language Catholic elementary school. Private schools include Durham Elementary School, Immanuel Christian School, Kingsway College and College Park Elementary School.

Oshawa is home to 22,000 full-time students studying at three post-secondary institutions – Durham College, Trent University Durham and University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Oshawa is a Community Teaching Site for Queen’s University School of Medicine at Lakeridge Health.

The main campus of Durham College is located in the city. The college has grown and expanded since it opened in 1967 and now offers more than 140 full-time programs.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) opened in 2003. Given the city's industrial heritage, the university's courses emphasize technology, manufacturing and engineering themes. UOIT has ten buildings at two stand-alone campus locations (north Oshawa and Downtown Oshawa) and houses more than 70 specialized research laboratories and research facilities. It is the only university in Canada to offer degree programs in Automotive Engineering and Nuclear Engineering.

Trent University Durham has a long history in Oshawa. In 2010, the university opened a stand-alone campus in Oshawa (beside the Oshawa Civic Recreation Complex).

Health care

Oshawa is the site of Lakeridge Health Oshawa, formerly Oshawa General Hospital. Lakeridge Health is one of Ontario's largest community hospitals. The facility also houses the R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre.

Lakeridge Health Oshawa is also home to Lakeridge Health Education and Research Network (LHEARN) that opened in 2013. LHEARN is the academic home for Queen’s University family physician residency program and for pediatric residency and training. LHEARN Centre provides training and testing medical professionals, including doctors, nurses and first responders (including Ornge critical care air ambulance paramedics).[22]

Emergency services

Policing in Oshawa is provided by the Durham Regional Police Service. There are two police stations in Oshawa — one at 77 Centre Street North in the downtown area, and a South Oshawa Community Policing Centre on Cedar Street. EMS/Ambulance services are also operated by the Region of Durham. Oshawa Fire Services - operated by the city - operates from five fire stations located throughout the city. A sixth fire station is under construction at the northeast corner of Simcoe Street North and Britannia Avenue East.[23]

Oshawa was the first city in Ontario to provide paramedic services. In 1979, 16 ambulance attendants were given specialized training to treat cardiac related problems in the pre-hospital setting. The program was called the Pre-hospital Cardiac Care (PHCC) program. From this single service, paramedic training was expanded to Toronto, Hamilton and the Provincial air ambulance service. The program has been the source of all paramedic programs in Ontario.


Oshawa has few media outlets of its own due to its proximity to Toronto. The city has one AM station, CKDO (1580), which is rebroadcast on 107.7 FM, and one FM station, 94.9 CKGE. Both stations are owned by Durham Radio, which also owns CJKX, which is licensed to the nearby community of Ajax, although all three stations are operated from the same studios at the Oshawa Executive Airport.

Oshawa has a CTV affiliate station, CHEX-TV-2 (Channel 12), which is a sister station of Peterborough's CHEX-DT. It airs a daily supper hour news and current affairs program targeted to Durham Region viewers. Although a larger city than Peterborough then and now, Oshawa was not granted a television station in the original 1950s assignments as it was geographically too close to Toronto, since the original spacings were set at 145 km (90 mi). Rogers Cable, the local cable television service provider, operates Rogers TV: a community channel with local television programming for cable subscribers.

Oshawa is served by several community newspapers, including the Oshawa Express, an independent which is published every Wednesday, and Oshawa This Week, published two times per week by Metroland. The long-standing daily newspaper, the Oshawa Times (also known at various times as the Oshawa Daily Times and Times-Gazette), was closed by its owner Thomson Newspapers, after a lengthy strike in 1994.

John Short Larke was the proprietor of the Oshawa Vindicator, a strongly pro-Conservative newspaper, in the late 19th century.[24]

Oshawa is home to Artsforum Magazine, a not-for-profit magazine of arts and ideas launched in Fall 2000 by John Arkelian, its publisher and editor-in-chief. With a wide-ranging writ that runs the gamut from foreign policy to film, Artsforum's readership extends far beyond its home in the Greater Toronto Area, with readers and contributors across Canada, the United States, and Western Europe.[25]



Oshawa is home to the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League, the top level for players aged 15–20. In 2015, the Oshawa Generals won the Ontario Hockey League Championship, and ended their season winning the Memorial Cup Championship.

Famous alumni of this team include Bobby Orr, Alex Delvecchio, Wayne Cashman, Tony Tanti, Dave Andreychuk, Marc Savard, Eric Lindros, and John Tavares. The team moved from the Oshawa Civic Auditorium into the new General Motors Centre in November 2006.

The Oshawa Generals' home arena has been destroyed by fire twice in the franchise history. In June 1928, the Bradley Arena was destroyed by fire. Then, 25 years later, the Hambly Arena was also destroyed by fire.

Oshawa hosted Ron MacLean and the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour on December 26–27, 2015.[26]


The Oshawa Power of the National Basketball League of Canada began playing in October 2011. In the Spring of 2013, the Power announced a move from Oshawa to Mississauga, a western suburb of Toronto. The Power played home games at the General Motors Centre.


Oshawa was for many years one of the main centres for the sport of lacrosse and home of the Oshawa Green Gaels, one of the most storied teams in the sport. A player of note in the 1920s was Nels Stewart, who became a Hall of Famer in the National Hockey League. During the 1980s, when lacrosse seemed on the edge of oblivion in Canada, (the Green Gaels themselves having folded in the early part of the decade), lacrosse continued to be played in the neighbouring towns of Whitby and Brooklin, and many of the players were from Oshawa. However, since then, Clarington has taken over the Green Gaels association. With the rise of the National Lacrosse League the sport's survival seems assured and again, many players and others involved in the professional league are from the Oshawa area. Former Oshawa Green Gaels captain and Oshawa native, Derek Keenan, is the current coach and general manager of the Edmonton Rush. He was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2012.


Oshawa has been the home of Oshawa Vikings Rugby Football Club since 1959. Notable players from the club since its inception include Dave Thompson (Ontario Rugby Hall of Fame), Dean Van Camp (Rugby Canada Men XV squad, OUA All-Star), Jonathan Cregg (Canada Rugby League Men's Squad, OUA All-Star), Jeffrey McDiarmid (Rugby Canada Under 19, OUA All-Star) and Andrew Tyler (Western University Men's Varsity Rugby MVP, OUA All-Star). The clubhouse (Thompson Rugby Park)[27] is located in the Oshawa Hamlet of Raglan.


With over 3000 members the Oshawa Kicks Soccer Club[28] is the largest soccer club in the City. The club offers recreational programs for 2000 children, and adult men's and women's leagues. In 2011 the Kicks were the first soccer club to operate children's and adult's winter soccer leagues in the new Civic Fieldhouse. The club has a competitive program for youth and adults, and has won several Ontario Cup Championship titles. In 2014 the Oshawa Kicks Soccer Club and Sheffield Wednesday Football Club [29] signed an affiliation agreement that opened a pathway to professional soccer for boys and girls.


Oshawa was home to Windfields Farm, a thoroughbred horse breeding operation and birthplace of one of Canada's most famous racehorses, Northern Dancer.

Oshawa hosted boxing and weightlifting events for the 2015 Pan American Games which were held in the Greater Toronto Area.


Highway 401 in Oshawa.
Oshawa Train Station

GO Transit trains connect the city with Toronto, Hamilton and points between. GO Transit buses provide service from Oshawa along the Highway 401 and Highway 2 corridors in Durham Region and to Toronto and York Region. GO Transit bus service is also provided from Oshawa Train station to Clarington and Peterborough via the downtown bus terminal. The Oshawa Station is owned by the national rail carrier Via Rail, which operates a service along the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor. Other services from the station include GO Buses, and the regional transit system Durham Region Transit provides local bus service. It replaced Oshawa Transit on 1 January 2006.

The province announced in June 2016 an extension of the GO train service from Oshawa to Bowmanville, including extending the train network by nearly 20 kilometres and building four new stations.[30] The new GO rail service is expected to begin by 2023-24. The four new stations will be at Thornton Road in Oshawa, Ritson Road in Oshawa, Courtice Road in Courtice and Martin Road in Bowmanville.

Private intercity buses are provided by Greyhound Canada (to Toronto, Port Hope, Cobourg and Belleville, and to Peterborough and Ottawa, and Can-Ar daily to/from Lindsay and Toronto.

Rail freight is carried on the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways which traverse the city.

Other than Highway 2, which reverted to local jurisdiction (King Street and Bond Street) in 1998, the city had no provincially maintained highways until the original section of Highway 401 opened in 1947 (as Highway 2A). The highway originally terminated at Ritson Road, and was extended east through the remainder of the city to Newcastle in 1952. Oshawa was the only city that Highway 401 was built directly through, rather than bypassing. This resulted in the demolition of several streets and hundreds of homes in the 1930s and 1940s.

Highway 407, a tolled 400-series highway, opened to Harmony Road in Oshawa on June 20, 2016, including a tolled north–south link to Highway 401 known as Highway 412. A further extension will push the highway further east to Highway 35 / Highway 115 in Clarington by 2020, with a second link to Highway 401 known as Highway 418.

The Port of Oshawa is a major stop for the auto and steel industries as well as winter road salt handling and agricultural fertilizer. A marine rescue unit (COMRA) is also stationed at the port. A regional airport with on-site customs and immigration authorities also services the City (see above). On 21 May 2009, Canadian Transportation Minister John Baird announced that the status of Oshawa's port would be changed from a harbour commission to a full-fledged Port Authority. The creation of a federal port authority has caused some controversy as there are others who wish to see the port transferred to municipal ownership and recreational use.

The closest international airport is Toronto Pearson International Airport, located 75 kilometres west by road in Mississauga.


Historical populations
Population by ethnicity
Canada 2006 Census Population % of Total Population
Ethnicity group
White 126,355 90.1
Black 4,260 3.0
South Asian 1,905 1.4
First Nations 1,525 1.1
Chinese 1,330 0.9
Métis 775 0.6
Filipino 755 0.5
Latin American 710 0.5
Mixed visible minority 520 0.4
West Asian 505 0.4
Other visible minority 425 0.3
Southeast Asian 280 0.2
Arab 255 0.2
Korean 215 0.2
Japanese 205 0.1
Total population 140,240 100
Ethnic origin
(multiple responses included)
Population Percent
Canadian 117,010 39.86%
English 97,125 33.09%
Scottish 63,380 21.59%
Irish 59,740 20.35%
French 32,085 10.93%
German 22,380 7.62%
Dutch (Netherlands) 15,085 5.14%
Italian 13,985 4.76%
Polish 11,490 3.91%
Ukrainian 11,035 3.76%

According to the 2011 census, the population of Oshawa is 149,607, up from 141,590 (5.7%) in the 2006 census. In 2001, 49.3% of the population was male and 50.7% female. Children under five accounted for approximately 6.5% of the resident population of Oshawa. This compares with 5.8% in Ontario, and almost 5.6% for Canada overall.

In mid-2001, 10.4% of the resident population in Oshawa were of retirement age (65 and over for males and females) compared with 13.2% in Canada, therefore, the average age is 35.8 years of age comparing to 37.6 years of age for all of Canada.

In the five years between 1996 and 2001, the population of Oshawa grew by 10.2%, compared with an increase of 6.1% for Ontario as a whole. Population density of Oshawa averaged 328.0 people per square kilometre, compared with an average of 12.6, for Ontario altogether.

According to the 2006 census, the Oshawa Census Metropolitan Area, which includes neighbouring Whitby and Clarington, has a population of 330,594.

The information regarding ethnicities at the left is from the Canadian Census.[32] The percentages add to more than 100% because of dual responses (e.g. "French-Canadian" generates an entry in both the category "French" and the category "Canadian".) Groups with greater than 10,000 responses are included.

In 2006, 8.1% of the residents were visible minorities, 37.4% of whom were Black Canadians.[33]

Religious profile

Oshawa is home to the Canadian headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist church, which for many years maintained a college here, and now operate a high school and elementary school.

According to the 2011 Census[34] English is the mother tongue of 86.7% of the residents of Oshawa. 2.2% of the population have French as their mother tongue, which is one of the highest proportions within the GTA. Polish is the mother tongue of 1.3% of the population, with Italian trailing at 1.0%.

Notable people

Cultural assets


Oshawa has parks, walking trails, conservation areas, indoors and outdoor public swimming pools, community centres, and sports facilities. Lakeview Park stretches along the coast of Lake Ontario, complete with a sandy beach. Also, the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve and Second Marsh Wildlife Area offer protected marshland areas with interpretive trails and viewing platforms. Oshawa's parks and trail system encompasses almost 410 hectares of parkland and more than 27 kilometres of paved trails. Oshawa has more than 130 parks, more than 110 playgrounds, nine splash pads, eight ice pads and three skateboard parks.

See also


  1. Michele Mandel (14 December 2008). "Even in motor city, there's little loyalty: Half of the folks in Oshawa buy foreign cars". cnews. Canoe Media. Retrieved 2012-09-20.
  2. Don Peat (17 August 2010). "The Shwa Tiger-Cats? Oshawa municipal candidate eyes tackling team if it leaves Hamilton". Toronto Sun. Canoe Sun Media. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  3. "Oshawa: Prepare To Be Amazed". Oshawa homepage. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  4. "Community highlights for Oshawa". 2006 Census of Canada. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  5. "2006 Census of Population". 15 October 2008.
  6. Rayburn, Alan, Place Names of Ontario, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997, p. 258.
  7. Beaumont. "Free English Ojibwe dictionary and translator - Android or PC".
  8. Orr, Barbara Ramsay (2011). Day trips from Toronto: Getaway ideas for the local traveler. Kearney, NE: Morris Book Publishing LLC. pp. 82, 83. ISBN 978-0-7627-6462-4.
  9. 1 2 Macaluso, Grace (7 February 2012). "Oshawa automotive capital of Canada". Windsor Star online. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
  10. "Oshawa Clinics".
  11. City of Oshawa. "Key labour sectors in Oshawa". oshawa.ca.
  12. Province of Ontario. "Urban Growth Centres". Places to Grow Website. Province of Ontario.
  13. "Emerging Foodies Guide" (PDF). City of Oshawa. City of Oshawa.
  14. "Ontario's Innovation System".
  15. "Remembering the Oshawa Railway," by Clayton M. Morgan with Charles D. Taws (ISBN 0968049702).
  16. Abella, Irving (1974). On Strike: Six Key Labour Struggles in Canada 1919-1949. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: James Lorimar and Company. pp. 93–128. ISBN 0-88862-057-8.
  17. http://uoit.ca/footer/campus_buildings/downtown_oshawa/
  18. City of Oshawa news release: http://www.oshawa.ca/Modules/News/index.aspx?feedId=0e765813-d33e-4ba5-b464-3e0fff61eab4&page=5&newsId=87235bfa-d73f-434f-8a22-bdec382b669f
  19. "BMO Labour Report Card" (PDF). May 6, 2016.
  20. "Oshawa WPCP". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  21. http://ddsb.ca/Schools/Documents/oshawa_school_locations.pdf
  22. "Advanced Medical Training".
  23. "News and Alerts - City of Oshawa". City of Oshawa.
  24. "Biography of John S. Larke". Access Genealogy.
  25. "artsforum.ca".
  26. "Hometown Hockey spirit alive and well in Oshawa". www.durhamregion.com. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  27. "Google Maps". Google Maps.
  28. "Oshawa Kicks Soccer Club - Oshawa Kicks Soccer Club".
  29. Home Page. "Official Website of the Owls - Sheffield Wednesday FC latest news, photos and videos".
  30. Government of Ontario (June 20, 2016). "Ontario Expanding GO Rail Service in Durham Region". Government of Ontario Newsroom.
  31. "Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision". 13 March 2007.
  32. http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/demo27j.htm 2001
  33. "Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision". 13 March 2007.
  34. "Census Profile". 6 May 2015.

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