GROWING BEYOND ITS SHELL
The Town of Ajax was named after the Royal Navy Cruiser, HMS Ajax, which was used during the first significant British Naval victory. Ajax was just a simple agricultural area during the 1940s and through successful innovations, it is now dubbed as the bedroom community for those employed around Toronto.
HOW IT BEGAN
Ajax was established unlike other towns. The first establishment built was not a residential area but a shell plant. The plant was called Defence Industries Limited (D.I.L.) and around it, visitors and workers grew. This became the first settlement in Ajax. D.I.L. played a major role not only in the industrial life of the town. After World War II, the University of Toronto rented some areas of the plant to create more classrooms for discharged soldiers who wanted to study engineering. Unfortunately, in 1945, D.I.L. shut down and Ajax has no more industry to keep it alive. Four years after, Dowty Aerospace decided to build their station at Ajax. Years later, companies such as Volkswagen, DuPont, Paintplas, Ajax Textile and AEG Bayly Engineering followed.
Now, Ajax has more than these establishments. In 2015, Ajax will be hosting the shooting competition for the Toronto Pan American Games at the Ajax Community Center. The town is expecting around 1500 guests.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK OUT
╣Veterans' Point Garden, located at the southern end of Harwood Avenue. The Garden is where you will find the source of this town's name, the Royal Navy Ship HMS Ajax. The Garden also displays artifacts from the Defence Industries Limited (D.I.L.). Here you will learn how the shell plant became a historical figure in the formation of the Ajax settlement. The Garden is strategically placed near the Lake so you can enjoy the scenery while learning about the town's history.
╣Rotary Park. It is located at the west side of the waterfront, the place where festivities are held. It is the site for special occasions like the Canada Day Celebration. This free-admission and free-ride “birthday” celebration is a fun event for kids and adults alike; play with your whole family with interactive games, inflatable rides, cultural performances, display of arts and crafts and many others. The Rotary Park also holds Music in the Park during summer.
╣Winterfest. This free admission event takes advantage of the snow and ice by doing activities like rides on a horse-drawn wagon and dog sleds, outdoor ice skating, ice sculpture demos, snow golf, snow painting and more. You can keep warm by having free hot chocolate!
╣the Heritage Square at the Ajax Town Hall. The square holds a musical and entertainment event every Wednesday. Ajax’s All Summer in the Square is free. All you need to bring is a chair.
╣Pumpkinville. If you are to visit during the fall season, this is the best place for you to enjoy Ajax. This event is held at the Greenwood Conservation Area where you and your family can experience pumpkin carving contests, a Haunted House and a haunted trail walk! Leaving the park would be as scary because a free shuttle service is provided.
╣Ajax parks and trails. It is a very diverse community where you can enjoy the natural scenery. The Town of Ajax resides by the lake and it is not surprising to know that there are numerous reasons to stay outdoors. The park is about 600 hectares with 74 kilometers of walkway. The trails are readily accessible and will offer you great views including Lake Ontario and Millers Creek. The trail is about 80 kilometers but you do not need to worry about safety because it has an ongoing surveillance and sufficient lighting. They also have multiple entry points, which are near town facilities. You can practice cycling here and then join the trailfest! Have a fun cycling tour around Ajax in an event called “Ride Ajax with the Mayor”.
╣any of the five golf courses in the town. If golf is your sport, you will surely enjoy any of them. Carruthers Creek Golf and Country Club at Lakeridge Road, South Ajax can be played as nine- or eighteen-hole course. Annandale Golf and Curling Club at Church Street will challenge your skills with their eighteen holes. Deer Creek Golf and Banquet Facility is a huge 45-hole course at Audley Road, Riverside Golf Course at the Riverside Drive is perfect for families and small groups. Finally, Monday's Choice Golf Center at Kingston Road has a full driving range with practice courses.
╣Ajax Waterfront. It is one of the most visited parks in this town. After the historical and musical adventures, treat yourself and your family to an unforgettable outdoor experience. The waterfront stretches up to seven kilometers so you do not have to worry about the crowd. It is undeveloped so it exudes natural and pristine beauty. The waterfront is made accessible for the public through the installation of pathways and bridges that span existing creeks. Many visitors can indulge over family picnic and activities like walking, biking and even kite flying. It also has a trail that runs from Hamilton to Belleville. This place will definitely soothe your mind as the cool breeze from Lake Ontario blows softly.
╣any of the town's shopping centers. The first set of shopping centers was built during the 1970s including the Ajax Plaza, Harwood Place Mall and the Clover Ridge Plaza. In the following decade, additional recreation areas were built. These were the Discovery Bay Plaza, Westney Heights Plaza, Durham Center at Harwood Avenue and Kingston.
TOURISTS SHOULD KNOW
You can get to Ajax by train at the Ajax GO Station located at the Westney Road. You can also opt for bus with two choices: the Durham Transit or the GO Transit, which is located on Harwood Avenue. If you plan to bring your own car, you can enter Highway 401. Two interchanges will then lead you to town. The bus services are a good option because it can drive you around town.
There are about 11 hotels and accommodations within the 10-minute radius of Ajax. Super 8 located at Westney Road is accessible via Highway 401. The hotel offers numerous facilities including high-speed internet, continental breakfast and coffee, heated pools and spa. Pets are also allowed and the parking and local phone are free. The Hilton at Beck Crescent offers rooms from $129 per night. This includes use of several facilities within the hotel like swimming pool, fitness centers, business centers and on-site dining. Maple Shores Bed and Breakfast at Maple Avenue has an English style appearance, which offers rooms ranging from $100 to $110 a night. Before the Mast is also an English-styled hotel at Shoalpoint Road where the rooms are overlooking scenic gardens and wetlands. They charge around $105 to $145 per night on double occupancy.
With the festivities and celebrations held almost the whole year, visiting Ajax will not need detailed planning. Just determine when you can go, book for a ticket and reserve a room. And don’t forget your chairs and blankets for those movie nights!