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Travelling to Oshawa. Wikipedia about Oshawa

Oshawa ( Français: Oshawa, Spanish: Oshawa, Deutsch: Oshawa, Русский: Ошава) - (The) city in Canada, situated in Ontario region. According to the latest census, the city population is 247989. Geographical coordinates of Oshawa (WGS84): latitude: 43° 54' 0" N ( 43.9001 ), longitude: 78° 50' 58" W ( -78.8496 ).

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City (lower-tier)
City of Oshawa
Downtown Oshawa.JPG
Oshawa ON.JPG
Purple Woods of Oshawa in January 2006.jpg
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.jpg
Oshawa War Memorial.jpg
From left to right: Oshawa skyline, Downtown Oshawa, Purple Woods, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Garden of the Unforgotten
Coat of arms of Oshawa
Coat of arms
Official logo of Oshawa
"Canada's Motor City"
Prepare To Be Amazed
Location of Oshawa within Durham Region.
Location of Oshawa within Durham Region.
Oshawa is located in Southern Ontario
Location of Oshawa in southern Ontario
Coordinates: 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 Dan Carter
 • Governing Body Oshawa City Council
 • MPs Colin Carrie (C)
Erin O'Toole (C)
 • MPPs Jennifer French (NDP)
Lindsey Park (PC)
 • City (lower-tier) 145.68 km (56.25 sq mi)
106 m (348 ft)
 • City (lower-tier) 166,000
 • Density 1,027.0/km (2,660/sq mi)
 • Metro
Demonym(s) Oshawian
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern (EDT))
Forward Sortation Area
L1G to L1L
Area code(s) 289 / 905
Website oshawa.ca

Oshawa (/ˈɒʃəwə/ OSH-ə-wə, also US: /-wɑː, -wɔː/ -⁠wah, -⁠waw; 2016 population 159,458;CMA 379,848) 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 aaz haway, meaning "the crossing place" or just "a cross".

Oshawa’s roots are tied to the automobile industry, specifically the Canadian division of General Motors, 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 films including It, Billy Madison, Chicago, and X-Men.

Once recognized as the sole "Automotive Capital of Canada", 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 as well as the Lakeridge Health Education and Research Network (LHEARN), in association with Lakeridge Health Oshawa, formerly the Oshawa General Hospital. Key labour force sectors include advanced manufacturing, health technology, logistics, energy and IT. In 2016, Oshawa was the sixth best place in Canada to find full-time employment based on data from StatsCan.

Downtown Oshawa is identified as an Urban Growth Centre in the Government of Ontario's Places to Grow initiative. 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 Tribute Communities Centre), food (50+ restaurants and cafes ) and culture (The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and Canadian Automotive Museum). Oshawa is home to a Regional Innovation Centre 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 Natives 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.

Oshawa Factories, 1910

The 1846 Gazeteer indicates a population of about 1,000 in a community surrounded by farms. There were three churches, a post office, tradesmen of various types and some industry a foundry, a grist mill and a fulling mill, a brewery two distilleries, a machine shop and four cabinet makers.

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 And 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. 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

Col. R. S. McLaughlin and "Billy" Durant signed a 15-year contract in 1907, under which the McLaughlin Motor Car Company began to manufacture automobiles under the McLaughlin name, using Buick engines and other mechanical parts. 1908 Buick was merged into General Motors Holding shortly after, and in 1915 the firm acquired the manufacturing rights to the Chevrolet brand. Within three years, the McLaughlin Motor Car Company and the Chevrolet Motor Car Company of Canada owned the General Motors Holding in 1916 he in 1918 merged his Chevrolet and Buick, creating General Motors of Canada in 1918 with McLaughlin as President. The factory expanded rapidly, eventually covering several blocks. The popularity of the automobile in the 1920's 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 McLaughlin built one of the most stately homes in Canada, "Parkwood". The 55-room residence was designed by Toronto architect John M. Lyle. McLaughlin lived in the house for 55 years with his wife and they raised five daughters. 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 April 8 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 Bitches" 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 April 23, two weeks after the strike started, the company gave in to most of the workers' demands, although pointedly it did not recognize the union.

A historic church in Oshawa: St. Gregory the Great


In 1950, the city annexed a portion of East Whitby Township west of Park Road. Some of this area had been developed during the 1920's 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. While the company’s once essential role in the local economy has diminished, it remains the largest local employer. In November 2018, General Motors announced the closing of the plant, with the layoff of both salaried and hourly workers.

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, Tribute Communities 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 UOIT. students and staff attend class and work in downtown Oshawa.

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, HungarianCroatian, 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). 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. 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.

The city has been attracting film and television producers who have made parts of a number of movies and TV series in Oshawa, most recently It (2017 film) (based on the Stephen King book), but also X-Men, Chicago, Queer as Folk, Billy Madison and Hannibal. The most popular location in the city for film makers is Parkwood Estate.


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 1980's led the NDP to its greatest electoral successes.

By the end of the 1990's, 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 has eleven members - one mayor, five regional and city councillors and five city councillors. The current term of council began on December 3, 2018 and will end on November 14, 2022.

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. There are five wards in the City of Oshawa. Each of the five wards are represented by one regional and city councillor and one city councillor.

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. 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 RS. 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).

Oshawa is also home to the Oshawa Clinic, the largest, multi-specialty medical group practice in Canada.

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.

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. CKDO has officially been licensed as a clear-channel station since 2006 and is the only full-power station in Canada on 1580 kHz it nonetheless operates at a fifth of the usual power of a clear-channel outlet with a directional signal that is pointed away from the United States.

Oshawa has a Global O&O 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 1950's 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.

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. Topics in the magazine range from foreign policy to film.



General Motors Centre

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. In 2016 the city of Oshawa partnered with Tribute Communities for naming rights and the General Motors Centre was renamed the Tribute Communities Centre.

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.

In September 2018, the city hosted its first National Hockey League preseason game, when the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders played an exhibition contest at the Centre.


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 1920's was Nels Stewart, who became a Hall of Famer in the National Hockey League. During the 1980's, 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 Saskatchewan 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) is located in the Oshawa Hamlet of Raglan.


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. 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 1930's and 1940's.

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. On May 21 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.

Oshawa Executive Airport is a municipal airport owned by the city that operates all private general aviation and charter services for eastern Toronto, with customs and immigration officers on-site. Oshawa Executive does not offer any scheduled airline services. The closest international airports with scheduled service is Toronto Pearson International Airport, located 75 kilometres west by road in Mississauga or Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport in downtown Toronto.


Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1841 1,000 —    
1871 3,185 +218.5%
1881 3,992 +25.3%
1891 4,063 +1.8%
1901 4,394 +8.1%
1911 7,436 +69.2%
1921 11,940 +60.6%
1931 23,439 +96.3%
1941 26,610 +13.5%
1951 41,545 +56.1%
1961 62,415 +50.2%
1971 91,587 +46.7%
1981 117,519 +28.3%
1991 129,344 +10.1%
1996 134,364 +3.9%
2001 139,051 +3.5%
2006 141,590 +1.8%
2011 149,607 +5.7%
2016 159,458 +6.6%
Visible minorities and Aboriginal population
Canada 2016 Census Population % of Total Population
Visible minority group South Asian 6,035 3.8
Chinese 2,185 1.4
Black 8,715 5.5
Filipino 2,105 1.3
Latin American 1,260 0.8
Southeast Asian 495 0.3
Arab 975 0.6
West Asian 600 0.4
Korean 150 0.1
Japanese 260 0.2
Mixed visible minority 1,210 0.8
Other visible minority 1,250 0.8
Total visible minority population 25,245 16.0
Aboriginal group First Nations 2,695 1.7
Métis 1,665 1.1
Inuit 100 0.1
Total Aboriginal population 4,645 2.9
Caucasian 127,838 81.1
Total population 157,630 100.0
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.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.

Religious profile

  • Protestant: 44.7%
  • Roman Catholic: 30.8%
  • Other Christian: 3.3%
  • Muslim: 0.9%
  • Hindu: 0.4%
  • Sikh: 0.4%

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 CensusEnglish 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

  • Philip Akin, actor

    Robert McLaughlin

  • Sean Avery, NHL hockey player
  • Sherwood Bassin, general manager in the Ontario Hockey League
  • Wren Blair, hockey player, and NHL coach and General Manager
  • Arnie Brown, NHL player
  • Sean Brown, NHL player
  • Antonio Carvalho, UFC fighter
  • Daniel Caesar, singer-songwriter
  • Lloyd Chadburn, Canadian World War II fighter pilot
  • Stefan Charles, NFL player
  • A. J. Cook, actress
  • Cuff the Duke, indie-rock band
  • Dennis Edmonton, songwriter Born to be Wild
  • Jerry Edmonton, member of Steppenwolf
  • Michael Elgin, professional wrestler
  • Shirley Eikhard, songwriter Something to Talk About
  • Evangeline Lydia Emsley, nurse in World War I
  • John H. Foote, film critic
  • Shalom Harlow, Canadian supermodel and actress
  • Dale Hawerchuk, NHL hockey player
  • Sandy Hawley, horse jockey
  • Harry Hess, singer in rock group Harem Scarem.
  • Matthew Hughes, Olympian in the 3000m steeplechase at the 2016 Summer Olympics
  • Kathryn Humphreys, sports anchor
  • Donald Jackson, figure skater who won the bronze at the 1960 Olympics
  • Greg Kean, actor
  • Derek Keenan, former lacrosse player, and current head coach and General Manager of the Edmonton Rush of the National Lacrosse League
  • Lennon & Maisy, country music duo, songwriters and actresses. Star as Maddie & Daphne Conrad on the ABC musical drama series Nashville
  • Matt Leyden, manager of Oshawa Generals and Ontario Hockey Association president
  • Alexandra Luke, artist
  • John MacLean, NHL player
  • Kevin McClelland, NHL player
  • John J. McLaughlin, son of Robert McLaughlin and inventor of Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale
  • Robert McLaughlin, founder of the McLaughlin Motor Car Company, which became a major part of General Motors Canada.
  • James Neal, NHL hockey player for the Calgary Flames
  • Andrew Nicholls, musician, writer, and producer
  • John O'Regan, musician
  • John Part, three time World Darts Champion
  • Wayne Petti and Paul Lowman, members of Cuff the Duke
  • The Stellas, country music duo and songwriters
  • Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada
  • Janice Tanton, contemporary Canadian artist, and cousin to jockey Sandy Hawley (above)
  • Shawn Thornton, NHL player
  • Albert W. Tucker, mathematician
  • Barbara Underhill, figure skater
  • Darrell Vickers, musician, writer, and producer
  • Wednesday (band), recording artists Paul Andrew Smith, Mike O'Neil, Randy Begg, John Dufek
  • Tonya Lee Williams, actress
  • Jonathan Wilson, actor, comedian and playwright
  • Nigel Wilson, major league baseball player
  • Lori Yates, country singer and songwriter
  • Dizzy (band), Juno Award winning Indie pop band.

Cultural assets

  • Canadian Automotive Museum
  • Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum
  • The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
  • Tribute Communities Centre
  • Oshawa Museum
  • Parkwood Estate
  • All or Nothing Brewhouse


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, and is the location of the Oshawa Museum. 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

  • Camp X
  • Oshawa Car Assembly
  • Oshawa Truck Assembly
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