The Oshawa Harbour has a long history going back to use of the present harbour area by First Nations. The first European pioneers settled in the Oshawa Harbour area and the harbour played an important role in these settlements.
The Oshawa Harbour was officially opened by Transport Canada in 1930 and was operated by Transport Canada until the creation of the Oshawa Harbour Commission (OHC) in 1960. The OHC managed the Federal lands in the Oshawa Harbour area and operated the Port of Oshawa from then until early 2012 when the current Oshawa Port Authority was created.
In April 1966, the City of Oshawa transferred approximately 61 acres of lands to the Government of Canada (“Crown”) for harbour purposes and the growth of the local economy, under the administration of the OHC.
In April 2006, the OHC and CN proposed a rail spur on a part of the 61 acres. This was opposed by the City which initiated a lawsuit against the OHC, CN and the Crown to get the 61 acres back. In September 2007, the Canadian Transportation Agency approved the construction of the rail spur but the City’s lawsuit continued with respect to the 61 acres.
In July 2010, the City, Crown and OHC negotiated a Settlement Agreement for the Harbour area and signed legal agreements implementing the settlement.
Under the provisions of the Oshawa Harbour Settlement Agreement, the City has recently acquired approximately 27 acres of land located near the Oshawa Harbour. This includes approximately 23 acres of land located on the east side of Simcoe Street South, south of Harbour Road to about 140 metres south of the Oshawa Creek, and approximately 4 acres of land located on the north side of Harbour Road. The City has undertaken measures to enable portions of these lands to be used for special events at Lakeview Park and plans to open up all of these lands for public uses after further environmental work.
The City has also acquired approximately 2 acres of land at 1609 Simcoe Street South from a private owner in December 2012. This site is to be integrated with adjacent City owned lands and opened up for public uses after further environmental work.
The Settlement Agreement further provides that the former marina lands are to be offered to the City after the federal government completes certain environmental remediation. This remediation work is nearing completion and the former marina lands are expected to be offered to the City by the end of September 2013. The City will then need to undertake its due diligence and advise the federal government within 60 days whether it wants to accept ownership of the marina lands. If the City determines that it wants to accept ownership of the former marina lands, the actual transfer of the lands to the City would likely occur in late 2013 or early 2014.
An ethanol plant has been proposed to be developed on the former Gifford Farm portion of the Port Crown lands. The City opposes the ethanol plant. Refer to the "No Ethanol at our Harbour" campaign webpage for more information about the City’s opposition to the ethanol plant.
In 2012, CN commenced construction of a rail spur line to the Oshawa Harbour. This rail spur line is currently under construction with completion expected in late 2013.
In February 2012, the federal government announced the creation of a Canada Port Authority and issued Letters Patent under the Canada Marine Act to continue the Oshawa Harbour Commission as a port authority under the name of the Oshawa Port Authority.
The Canada Marine Act requires that a new port authority create a land use plan within one year. Accordingly, the Oshawa Port Authority has prepared the Oshawa Port Authority Land Use Plan dated January 23, 2013 that is available at www.oshawaportauthority.ca.
The City is preparing the Oshawa Waterfront Master Plan that is expected to be completed in late 2013 or early 2014. This Master Plan will include updated future plans for Oshawa’s waterfront, including City lands at the Oshawa Harbour.
In June 2010, the City, the Crown and OHC negotiated a settlement and two legal agreements implementing the settlement were signed by all three parties. For details about the Oshawa Harbour agreement announced in July 2010, please click on the links below.
- PowerPoint Presentation
- Map - Land Ownership
- Map - Potential Urban Design Option
- Information Pamphlet (graphic design layout)
- Information Pamphlet (text only layout)
- Federal Government Media Release
- Settlement Agreement
- Land Use, Development & Municipal Services Agreement
- In addition, City staff presentation delivered on October 13, 2010 during a public meeting