Oshawa Real Estate
The City of Oshawa is located within the Regional Municipality of Durham and is considered to be a part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Oshawa is located approximately 60 kilometres east of Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario and is bordered by the Town of Whitby to the west and the Municipality of Clarington to the east.
The total population of Oshawa is approximately 153,000, with hundreds of new homes being built every year. According to the Region of Durham, the population of Oshawa is expected to reach 197,000 by 2031. Within north Oshawa, a small rural hamlet named Columbus is slated to become the center for significant residential development in the next decade.
Highway 401, Canada's busiest expressway travels through the middle of Oshawa and provides easy access to Toronto. Oshawa is also serviced by Via and GO trains which run along the shores of Lake Ontario and by Durham Region Transit buses. Oshawa also has a regional airport, which is located on Taunton Road.
Oshawa was once a large and distinct community, physically, economically and culturally. However, during the past twenty years, the increasing urbanization of Toronto has slowly melted many municipal borders and Oshawa is now considered a City with the GTA.
Oshawa has more than 6,000 businesses and a labour force of almost 80,000. Oshawa economy has a diverse industrial base that covers a wide range of industries such as plastics, packaging, automotive, pharmaceuticals, steel, a new provincial courthouse, Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute for Technology (UOIT). Oshawa has a large regional hospital which includes a regional cancer care facility. For shoppers, the Oshawa Center is a large enclosed modern mall with over 200 stores. Oshawa also has two large retail power centers.
The City of Oshawa currently is undergoing a renewal. For decades two large General Motors assembly plants fuelled its economy. In the past few years, its growth has been built around the post secondary education faculties at Durham College & UOIT.
The name Oshawa originates from the Seneca native term for "crossing of a stream". The area that became Oshawa began as a transfer point for the fur trade. Beaver and other animal pelts where trapped by local natives and traded with the Coureur des bois (voyagers). Furs were loaded onto canoes by the Mississauga Indians 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 which later provided shelter for the first residents of what became Oshawa.
In the late 1700s 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 French Canadian immigration increased in step with industrialization. When Col. Asa Danforth laid out his York-to-Kingston road, it passed through what would later become the city of 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 about a half-mile east to the southeast corner of this intersection. After he became the postmaster, the corner and the growing settlement that surrounded it became known as Skae's Corners. In 1842, Skae applied for official post office status, but was informed the community needed a better name. The name "Oshawa" was adopted which is derived from a native term meaning "where we leave our canoes and walk". In 1850 Oshawa was incorporated as a village.
The Start of the Car Industry
In 1876, Colonel Robert Samuel McLaughlin moved his carriage works in Oshawa to take advantage of its harbour and the availability of a nearby rail link. The industrial based attracted more growth and the village of Oshawa became a town in 1879. In 1907 the McLaughlin Carriage Company began to manufacture Buick automobiles under the McLaughlin-Buick name and in 1915 the firm acquired the manufacturing rights to the Chevrolet brand. Three years later, McLaughlin’s firm and the Chevrolet Motor Car Company of Canada merged, creating General Motors of Canada. Col. R. S. McLaughlin became the head of this new operation and his factory expanded rapidly, eventually covering several blocks. During the 1920’s, the automobile industry and created rapid settlement to the area. Oshawa’s population rose from 4,000 to 16,000 and allowed Oshawa be incorporated as a city in 1924.
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) is located in north Oshawa and shares its campus with Durham College. The university accepted its first students in 2003, making it one of Canada's newest universities. The university offers the traditional range of studies. Its enrolment is about 6,500 in undergraduate and graduate studies and it is growing its student population rapidly. Durham College has more than 20,000 students studying at its main Oshawa campus and its satellite facilities in Whitby, Port Hope, Beaverton and Port Perry. Currently there are approximately more than 7,000 students enrolled in full-time programs. Trent University also has a new campus in Oshawa. Educational programs and partnerships have helped to diversify the economy and the City is promoting the synergies and actively promotes the research and development opportunities.
Recreational facilities in Oshawa include over 2,200 acres of parkland including a massive waterfront park, 13 ice pads, dozens of baseball diamonds and soccer pitches, an indoor soccer facility, 4 golf courses and 4 libraries.
Life in Oshawa can be described as small city with its own economy. Oshawa is a middle-class community. Large conservation areas and farmland and the growing influence of post secondary education facilities all add to the quality of life for its population. There is a wide range of housing choices, from high-rise condominium buildings and small starter houses to multi-million dollar rural estates. Housing in Oshawa is affordable, with starter townhouses available for about $160,000 and four bedroom detached houses selling for about $300,000 and up.
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