Whitby Township (now the Town of Whitby) was named after the seaport town of Whitby, Yorkshire, England. In addition to Whitby, Yorkshire, the Town of Whitby is also officially twinned with Longueuil, Quebec and Feldkirch, Austria. When the township was originally surveyed in 1792, the surveyor, from the northern part of England, named the townships east of Toronto after towns in northeastern England: York, Scarborough, Pickering, Whitby and Darlington.
Whitby's chief asset was its fine natural harbour on Lake Ontario, from which grain from the farmland to the north was first shipped in 1833. In the 1840s a road was built from Whitby Harbour to Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay, to bring trade and settlement through the harbour to and from the rich hinterland to the north. The Town of Whitby was chosen as the seat of government for the newly formed County of Ontario in 1852, and incorporated in 1855.
In the 1870s a railway, the "Port Whitby and Port Perry Railway", was constructed from Whitby harbour to Port Perry, and later extended to Lindsay as the "Whitby, Port Perry and Lindsay Railway." Whitby is also the site of Trafalgar Castle School, a private girls' school founded in 1874. The building, constructed as an Elizabethan-style castle in 1859–62 as a private residence for the Sheriff of Ontario County, is a significant architectural landmark and Whitby's only provincial historic site marked with a plaque.
The school celebrated its 125th anniversary in 1999. During the Second World War, Whitby was the location of Camp X, a secret spy training facility established by Sir William Stephenson, the "Man Called Intrepid". Although the buildings have since been demolished, a monument was unveiled on the site of Camp X in 1984 by Ontario's Lieutenant Governor John Black Aird.
In 1968, the Town of Whitby and Township of Whitby amalgamated to form the current municipality. Municipal boundaries were not changed during the 1974 formation of Durham Region and remain to this day. Today, Whitby is the seat of government in Durham Region. It is commonly considered part of the Greater Toronto Area, although statistically it belongs to the greater Oshawa Metropolitan Area. They are both in the eastern part of the Golden Horseshoe region.
The City of Oshawa offers plenty of recreation programs and activities, and our neighbourhoods provide numerous outdoor recreation opportunities. Each year, over 3 million residents and visitors experience the city’s sport fields and state-of-the-art facilities. We have nearly 1,500 hectares of parkland and open spaces, including approximately 140 parks, more than 100 playgrounds and over 26 kilometres of trails. For more information, visit the Recreation web section.
The General Motors Centre -- Durham Region’s premier sports and entertainment centre -- is home of the Oshawa Generals, one of Junior Hockey’s most successful franchises. The General Motors Centre hosts numerous concerts and events. To see a schedule of upcoming concerts and events, visit www.generalmotorscentre.com. Oshawa hosts over 45 annual community events. Five museums, three live theatres, a national art gallery and a world-class symphony enrich the city. To see what is happening throughout the community, take a look at our Community Calendar.
According to the Conference Board of Canada, Oshawa continues to be a leader in economic growth. Furthermore, the City has a plan in place to diversify our local economy. The Community Adjustment and Sustainability Strategy – ReThink. ReTool. ReNew. – identifies opportunities for growth in five sectors: sustainable energy; transportation and automotive; information technologies; bioscience and agriculture; and health and wellness. For more information on the City’s economic development progress and opportunities, visit the Business web section.
Oshawa is home to General Motors of Canada and an academic centre offering two universities, one college and numerous training colleges. For more information on Durham College, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Trent University, visit the Students web section. Lakeridge Health Oshawa will soon be home to a new Queen’s University Family Medicine residency program. Lakeridge Health is one of the largest integrated health networks in the province. The city also has another five medical centres and a regional cancer centre. Oshawa offers a hub of public transit options, including a deep-water port, full-service airport, direct access to Highway 401 and integrated regional transit. GO Transit services Oshawa with numerous daily GO bus and GO train trips to Toronto and to a multitude of destinations. Oshawa’s VIA Rail station provides leisure travel for connections across the country, and also serves business travel with daily commuter service. In addition, the province is moving forward with its plans to extend Highway 407 easterly from Pickering through to Oshawa.