Oshawa-Durham Neighbourhoods, Ontario Real Estate & Community Overview
Oshawa has a population of over 140,000 and lies 60 km east of downtown Toronto, and is part of Durham Region which has 560,000 residents living along Toronto's eastern edge. Oshawa sits on Highway 401 connecting Toronto to Quebec and the Maritimes, and is the doorway to Ontario's Kawartha Lakes cottage country.
This area has recently become urbanized and has a number of communities in close succession, travelling east from Toronto are Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Uxbridge. These communities are both "bedroom communities" for Toronto and manufacturing centers in their own right.
East of Oshawa are Bowmanville, Port Hope, Cobourg, Trenton and Belleville. Just south of Trenton and Belleville is the Prince Edward County, a tourist mecca also becoming famous for its vineyards.
To the north, in the Kawartha Lakes region, which forms the backbone of the Trent-Severn waterway are the communities of Scugog-Lindsay and Peterborough. These communities are both manufacturing centres, regional shopping clusters and doorways to nearby recreational cottage country. In between these communities is farmland prized for its access to Toronto markets and area highways.
The area began to be settled by European immigrants after the American Revolution, when many British loyalists were granted land in Upper Canada along the shores of Lake Ontario. Later immigration of Irish followed by relocated French Canadians was supported by early industrialization.
By 1853, the Port of Oshawa was established, followed shortly by the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway connecting Toronto and Montreal. In 1858, the Oshawa Manufacturing Company grew into the largest producer of agricultural implements in Canada, followed in 1876 by McLaughlin's carriage works, which grew into todays' General Motors of Canada. The area developed into a significant industrial region during World War II, and has never looked back.
When the 401 and the St Lawrence Seaway were built in the 1950s and 1960s, market access let to further economic growth. More recently the addition of GO Train enabled these communities to be affordable bedroom communities for those working in downtown Toronto.
Away from Lake Ontario, along the recreational Trent-Severn Canal, lies a large "cottage country" region, which encompasses Lake Scugog, Rice Lake, and the Kawartha Lakes. Homes along or close to waterways and lakes have high recreational value to nearby city dwellers.
Today the Oshawa-Durham region has lots of variety in employment, with both blue collar and white collar options, and has excellent access to public and post-secondary education in the community.