Whatever drives your consideration for moving to Oshawa, Ontario, this lakeside town will be sure to meet and exceed your expectations. Nestled approximately 60 kms east of Toronto, this scenic town lies on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Here are a number of reasons so many people have come to love living in Oshawa and why they’ve decided to call it home.
Oshawa Real Estate
Compared to its counterparts in the area, Oshawa is an affordable option for those who work in Toronto. Real estate is roughly 60% less than that of the city.
Regardless of your desire, to be in the country or city, Oshawa can accommodate both. Having a rural northern area, you are able to remain close to amenities while living in the country.
If you are wanting to be where the action is, Oshawa has many neighborhoods in and around the downtown and lakeside areas.
Originally a fur trading hub by natives of the area, the French set up a trading post in the mid 1700’s. Later abandoned, the ruins of the post provided shelter to the first residents of the area.
In the late 18th century, local resident Robert Conant, started exporting salmon to the United States. Due to his successful business, migrants came to what would be known as Oshawa.
A “colonized road” was constructed in 1822, and intersected with Kingston Road at what now is Oshawa’s “Four Corners”.
In 1850, Oshawa was officially incorporated as a Village. This newly established village quickly became an industrial centre with industry pioneer Robert Samuel McLaughlin moving his carriage work to the area.
In 1907, R. S. McLaughlin and Billy Durant signed a 15-year contract with the company, McLaughlin Motor Car Company, and began manufacturing their cars using Buick engines and other car parts.
Over the years and mergers of companies, GM was created in 1918. Due to the increased popularity of motor vehicles in the 1920’s Oshawa’s population greatly increased growing from 4,000 to 16,000 residents in a decade.
Due to its large increase in size, Oshawa was able to incorporate as a city in 1924. In 1974 when the Regional Municipality of Durham was created, Oshawa amalgamated with a portion of East Whitby Township and took on the borders that are there today.
Post-WWII and the building of Hwy 401 aided in the further growth of Oshawa as well as the neighbouring cities.
As of 2017, the population was 170,071 residents and ever growing as more and more people are seeing the benefits and appeal of living in Oshawa.
The headquarters of General Motors remains in Oshawa which has lead to the city being called the “Automotive Capital of Canada”.
Although GM has recently opted to end production at the Oshawa plant, they have also announced a 170M investment into the plant and plan on keeping some jobs as well as using the space for innovation.
There are other major employers in Oshawa, such as the revenue collection divisions of the Ontario Ministry of Finance, Lakeridge Health Oshawa, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College.
With the shift in the economic landscape, the city is eager to promote the benefits for businesses, new and current, to continue to invest in Oshawa.
Dubbed the heartbeat of the city, downtown Oshawa offers unique dining, shopping, and entertainment for all.
With the addition of a large number of students in the area, Oshawa’s downtown provides events and activities at every turn.
The city has a sidewalk cafe program that allows local cafes and restaurants to occupy outdoor space in order to promote community and meeting places.
The Business Improvement Area hosts a large number of events through the year such as festivals, parades, and gatherings in an attempt to have residents and visitors come and discover all the downtown core has to offer.
Emphasis On Art & Culture
Oshawa is home to the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, which is the largest art gallery in the Durham Region. It occupies a 36,000 square foot building that was designed by world-renowned architect, Arthur Erikson.
The first Friday of every month, hundreds of art enthusiasts gather to celebrate and admire works from local artists.
Ensuring access to education and resources is as easy as ever; the city of Oshawa has 4 public library branches dispersed throughout. The library plays host to a wide variety of programs and events that heavily focus on community, culture, and inclusivity.
The Tribute Community Centre is located in the downtown area of Oshawa and hosts hockey games, concerts and community events. With the capacity of 7,300 people, everyone will be able to get in on the action.
Regardless of your interests and hobbies, there is something for everyone when it comes to the downtown experience of Oshawa.
Due to its location, Oshawa is able to provide neighbourhood options for all lifestyles. From the northern rural end to lakeside living, the City has a number of areas that will be sure to suit.
For those interested in lakeview, the shorelines and beach side living, Oshawa’s coastal area provides it all. The area has a number of neighbourhoods all ranging in price.
Named for the former president of GM, the McLaughlin neighbourhood is increasingly popular to those moving to the area. Safe, quiet streets and close proximity to amenities, schools and parks, makes this an ideal location for many.
If you are looking for luxury, Taunton is the neighbourhood to be in. The large houses, treed lots and access to all the city has to offer has makes this area a desirable one. The prices are above the city's average; however, well worth it to those who live there.
Enjoy The Outdoors
For those who work in and around the GTA, parks and green space play a key role in providing a balanced lifestyle. Escaping the city without having to leave the city is a benefit of living in Oshawa.
The city has approximately 130 parks dotted throughout that allows everyone to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
Taking in the scenery of Lake Ontario is as easy as walking along the 11km stretch of waterfront trail that is within the Oshawa limits.
Along that trail line you will have access to a number of parks and greenspace that will provide the perfect setting for picnic’s, games and family time.
Throughout the city, four sets of trail intertwine parks, neighbourhoods and shoreline which is the perfect backdrop for a walk, jog or bike ride.
Public education in the City of Oshawa is provided by the Durham District School Board.
The school board has 28 Elementary Schools and 6 different High Schools in the town for students to attend.
Catholic education is provided by the Durham Catholic School Board. There is also 10 Elementary School and 2 Catholic High Schools.
French Immersion is offered by Conseil Scolaire Viamonde Operatis. There is one public french language school and one Catholic french language school which is offered by Conseil Scolaire de district Catholique Centre-sud.
Private schools are also an option in Oshawa as well, namely, Durham Elementary School, Immanuel Christian School, Kingsway College and College Park Elementary School.
Oshawa has a wide variety of post-secondary schooling choices. Durham College, Trent University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology are all located in Oshawa. Also, the Lakeridge Health Education and Research Network (LHERN) in association with Lakeridge Health Oshawa have their campus in the city.
A City That Celebrates
Who doesn’t love a celebration? Residents of Oshawa are always up for a party and do so on numerous occasions.
The city comes together to wish Canada a happy birthday every July 1st at Lakeview Park. Attendees enjoy music, food, and activities, capping off the night with a beautiful display of fireworks.
Celebrating beauty is seen at the Peony Festival which proudly displays one of Canada’s largest Peony collections. Sip wine, smell the flowers and bask in nature's beauty. This award-winning festival has been listed as a Top 100 Festival and Event in Ontario for 7 years consecutively.
Taste preferences may differ, however, we can all agree that a wide variety of options and welcoming atmosphere appeal to everyone.
Oshawa’s restaurant scene is the perfect blend of traditional, familiar and authentically unique. From Italian to Chinese and everywhere in between, the options are endless.
Whether you are watching a game over beer and wings, enjoying happy hour or looking for a truly different dining experience, Oshawa’s eateries are sure to have you covered.
What better way to enjoy the tastes in Oshawa then at the 1st annual Summer Fest. Food trucks, craft beer, live music, and kids zones, are all sure fire reasons this is going to be a yearly tradition.
If you love BBQ and ribs, then you will want to be sure to attend the Oshawa Ribfest which features the top 10 “ribbers” from the U.S. and Canada. Top it off with cold beer and live music and there aren’t many better ways to spend a summer afternoon.
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