OSHAWA: THE MOTOR CITY
Located in the southern part of Ontario, Oshawa is the largest municipality of the entire Regional Municipality of Durham. The city name is derived from the Ojibwa word aazhaway which means “a crossing place.” Oshawa is viewed as the eastern anchor of the Golden Horseshoe and the Great Toronto Area. The main forefront of this city is their automobile industry – General Motors Canada – which was founded in 1876. The city is also known to have the best Windfields Farm, a thorough horse breeding operation. The most popular racehorse in Canada, Northern Dancer, is actually from this farm. Oshawa, with a population of 152,000 in the last 2011, contributes to the expanding population of the Greater Toronto Area.
Oshawa offers its visitors various tourist attractions to make their stay truly fun and unforgettable. Museums, shopping centers, restaurants, bike trails, and festivals are only some of the best places and events the whole group should not miss. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of mountains, gardens, and lakes surrounding Oshawa.
HOW IT BEGAN
In the early 1700s, the area was already an important trading point between the Mississauga Indians and the French. Trading posts were built there but was later abandoned. However, these posts became a sort of foundation for the English people who settled there in the late 18th century and gave the name Oshawa to the area.
The 18th and 19th centuries saw the influx of immigrants from England as well as American Loyalists to the British Empire to the city. Oshawa became a significant part of the automobile production in the country starting the early 20th century. In the 1920s, Oshawa officially became a city with its annexation of a part of Whitby Township. The Oshawa Harbor was expanded yin the 1960s and has since become a significant part of Canadian trade. Oshawa City continues to grow in the 21st century as part of the Greater Toronto metropolitan area.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK OUT...
╣various hiking trails in Oshawa. There is a total of 27 kilometers of hiking trails in the city. They provide visitors and citizens of the city easier accessibility to certain places. Environmentally friendly, these trails are used by people in getting to and from school, work, nearby park, or shopping center. No vehicles are allowed in these trails making it safe for fun outdoor activities with friends or family. You can enjoy bird watching, cycling, rollerblading, picture-taking, running, and walking everyday for as much as you like.
╣downtown Oshawa. There’s always a fun activity to do in Downtown Oshawa. Whether you are out for a coffee break, for a souvenir shopping, for a fine dining or for anything else, this place, with over 150 businesses, will surely cater for all your desires. For those who would like to know more about Oshawa’s history, culture, and artworks, check out their fascinating museums or participate in their festivals. The surrounding streams and lakes make a good spot to test your fishing skills.
╣Santa’s Parade of Lights. It is the most awaited festival by kids and those young at heart. The festival is celebrated during the end of fall and beginning of winter, bright, colorful lights parade the street together with a local Santa Claus. Welcome the holiday season in a one-of-a-kind celebration during the months of November and December here in Oshawa.
╣Peony Festival. It is originally from China and is celebrated at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens. With over 300 varieties, peony flowers are the main attraction of the event. The festival also holds different activities for children. Peony stems and flowers are available for souvenirs after the festival.
╣Bike Week. It is one of the best-known events in Oshawa. The city encourages its citizens to use bike as a healthy way to commute and to help minimize pollution. So if you want to get involved in the fun biking experience, be in Oshawa from May 30 up to the first week of June. Those who participate in the event’s activities will get the chance to win prizes such as a brand-new bike, repair kits, and t-shirts.
╣Festival of Murals. It is celebrated to commemorate history, culture and the famous and historical people of Oshawa. Even their most popular racehorse, Northern Star, is given honor through paintings and artworks of local artists. There are about 19 murals located in downtown Oshawa for the group to visit.
╣the Original Downtown Sidewalk Sale. This event is held every month of July. Aside from bargain sales and discounts, the sidewalk sale is also holding fun activities for children, delicious food selections, and live bands.
╣the Oshawa Community Museum and Archives. It is one of the oldest buildings of Oshawa. The museum depicts the city’s history through its three restored buildings. You will get to know the city’s early settlers’ lifestyle through the Henry House, Robinson House, and Guy House. They have drawing workshops and other entertaining activities prepared and assisted by their fully-costumed staffs.
╣Canadian Automotive Museum. Because the city is known to be great creators of automobiles, a museum for this industry is also available to the public. The museum was founded in 1961 and was created to tell the story of the Canadian automobile industry. The presentation of 65 preserved automobiles dating from 1898-1981, parts, and designs of the oldest vehicles are their main attraction. Cars from other countries such as Amphicar, Rolls Royce, and Morris are also on display. So if you are captivated with cars, this place is surely your best pick.
╣Ontario Regimen Museum. The entire group will definitely love this intriguing museum. Located at the Oshawa Municipal Airport, this museum was once an air training base of the British force during the World War II. Canada’s operational military equipments are kept in this place.
╣Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens. Experience the real beauty of nature when you visit the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens. This is the perfect spot for people who want to relax and escape from the busy life. The wonderful structures in this garden, such as the gazebo, footbridge, and ponds are a perfect stress-reliever to any tourist. As North America’s largest contemporary peony collection, the garden has over 300 varieties of peonies and other botanical plants. At present, putting up trails is an ongoing project to make the place easier to access.
╣Oshawa Center. It is the biggest shopping center in eastern Toronto. This two-story mall has many large anchor shops like The Bay, Old Navy, Sears, and H&M. After hours of walking and shopping, enjoy dining at the mall’s 1950s themed food court. KFC, Subway, and Taco Bell are one of the popular outlets available to fill empty stomachs.
TOURISTS SHOULD KNOW
You should stay at the Best Western Plus Durham Hotel & Conference Center is a great choice to get a reservation. With lots of amenities, like basketball/hockey court, game room, and universal gym, this hotel serves breakfast with Belgian Waffles on the side.
Bordered with the popular Windfield Farms, you can also stay at the Residence and Conference Center - Oshawa. Alternatively, if you want the comfort of a cozy home, get a reservation at the Anderson House Bed and Breakfast which serves continental, full, and vegetarian breakfasts.