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Top Stories - News Archive

The City of Oshawa News Archive is a two-year snapshot of the media releases and major announcements that appeared as Top Stories on the City’s homepage. The archives are organized in reverse chronological order and by month. Please note that some of the links may no longer be active. For more information, contact

2014 | 2013

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News Archives for 2014

April 2014

Apr 22 - May 5: Crossing Guard Appreciation Day

Oshawa City Council has proclaimed Monday, May 5 as ‘Crossing Guard Appreciation Day’ – a day to recognize the invaluable service and dedication crossing guards offer to Oshawa’s children, seniors and other pedestrians.

“Our School Crossing Guards are an amazing group and I would ask drivers to pay attention to them while they do their very important job in seeing our children get to and from school safely,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of Community Services Committee. “They deserve our respect and appreciation not just on May 5th, but every day.”

Oshawa has over 100 school crossing guards who perform approximately 1.5 million crossings each school year through all types of weather conditions. This is the fifth year the City has acknowledged the hard work of our crossing guards who guide students (as well as other pedestrians) across streets and intersections to help them arrive safely to and from school.

The Municipality of Clarington has once again joined the City of Oshawa in dedicating May 5 to crossing guards.

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Apr 22 - A week in May dedicated to Oshawa’s youth - National Youth & Youth Arts Week May 1 to 7, 2014

After one of the longest winters, youth can enjoy the excitement of spring through a variety of unique free events and activities during National Youth & National Youth Arts Week, from May 1 to 7.

This initiative is supported by the Provincial Consortium of Youth in Recreation and is aimed at celebrating youth’s active participation in their community.

The Oshawa Youth Council (O.Y.C.) have planned a variety of innovative events geared to youth ages 10 to 17. Youth will have the opportunity to show off their dance moves and “feel the Latin vibes” in a drop-in Zumba class on May 1 from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the Civic Recreation Complex. After Zumba, join the O.Y.C. in the Rec Room for the kick-off party starting at 6 p.m. The O.Y.C. welcomes youth to join them for snacks, drinks, and to compete against each other in games including pool, X-box, Wii and ping pong.

Other free National Youth & National Youth Arts Week events include:

  • RMG Fridays- Youth inspired by the arts can come to The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Friday, May 2 at 7 p.m. to enjoy a series of live performances, interactive art experiences, open gallery spaces, and more. Special guests for the night include folk artists Melissa Payne, and Bowmanville’s very own Trish Robb.
  • Discover the Arts- On Sunday, May 4 starting at 1 p.m.; join the the Arts Resource Centre to create a masterpiece using different forms of art. Youth of all ages will challenge their imagination through a variety of activities including anime/cartooning, drawing/painting, pottery and more.
  • Wrap Up- Calling all gamers! Wednesday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m., youth are invited to join the OYC at the South Oshawa Community Centre, for an exciting night of X- box, arcade and billiards games, plus other fun activities to wrap up National Youth & National Youth Arts Week.

“Oshawa’s Youth Council has again planned a number of interesting activities for National Youth Week,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Community Services Committee Chair. “I encourage our young people to come out, meet new people and join in the fun.”

Youth are invited to also participate in a variety of FREE drop-in sports programs throughout the week, including floor hockey, basketball, soccer and batting practice. For drop-in locations and dates, visit

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Apr 19 - Earth Day community clean-up event on Sunday, April 27

The Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee (OEAC), an advisory committee of Council, is organizing an Earth Day Clean-up on Sunday, April 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The Earth Day event is part of the OEAC’s year-long Eco-Challenge that features monthly themes aimed at encouraging and engaging OEAC members, the community and local businesses to collectively take action to protect and promote a healthy environment. April’s theme is dedicated to “Earth Day Everyday: Community Clean-up”.

For more information, view the Community Calendar.

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Apr 17 - City of Oshawa indoor pools receive new pool lifts

The City of Oshawa recently installed new pool lifts in its aquatic facilities aiding in the goal for a more accessible Oshawa and ensuring swimmers who require assistance can have an easy and safe entry and exit from the City’s indoor pools.
New Portable Aquatic Lift (P.A.L.) lifts have been installed, replacing older lifts, in three City aquatic facilities: Civic Recreation Complex, Donevan Recreation Complex and South Oshawa Community Centre.

“The installation of these new pool lifts assists Oshawa with its important goal of removing barriers and making our facilities even more accessible,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of Community Services Committee.

The new P.A.L. lifts are portable, hydraulic and battery-operated. The lifts include a fixed seat with arm and footrest and have touchpad remote control. City employees have been trained in the safe operation of the new lifts and are ready to assist patrons in need of support.

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Apr 16 - City of Oshawa receives Ontario Employer Designation

The City recently received the 2013 Ontario Employer designation from the Provincial Partnership Council (P.P.C.).

The Ontario Employer designation recognizes extraordinary employers that support the futures of large numbers of Ontario students through opportunities such as cooperative education placements, school-work transition programs, youth apprenticeship programs and volunteer placements.

“Education is a large part of the changing face of our city. I am therefore very pleased that Oshawa has earned the recognition as an extraordinary employer for our role in encouraging students through opportunities to learn and experience. Congratulations to Human Resources staff who led the way on this achievement,” said Councillor Roger Bouma, Chair of the Corporate Services Committee.

In 2013, the City of Oshawa provided a number of learning experiences for students, including:

  • cooperative education opportunities through Durham College, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Trent University, Queen’s University and Centennial College; 
  • a school-work transition program in partnership with Career Edge;
  • volunteer opportunities available for hundreds of high school students from across the city;
  • cooperative education opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities or learning challenges through the City’s recently launched Community Integration through Cooperative Education (C.I.C.E.) program in partnership with Durham College; and, 
  • internships for recent graduates, graduates with disabilities and internationally qualified professionals requiring professional experience through a partnership with Career Edge Organization.

“We, as a leading corporation, have a responsibility to invest in our students and create and maintain partnerships with our local educational facilities,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry. “The City of Oshawa creates opportunities for students to gain valuable experience while working in a municipal environment. Students gain practical experience as they apply and expand their knowledge, skills and attitudes. This in turn helps them make wise decisions for their future education, training and employment. They are the great minds of our future.”

The P.P.C. is comprised of leaders from the private, public and voluntary sectors and is a volunteer advisory committee of the Government of Ontario. The P.P.C.’s mission is to ensure that Ontario employers appreciate the value of engaging students in meaningful experiences that foster workplace skills development and guide students in making educational career-related decisions. Created in 2010, P.P.C.’s Ontario Employer Designation distinguishes employers that are supporting the futures of significant numbers of young people across the province through experiential learning programs. Visit for more information.

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Apr 10 - Condolence book available for signing at City Hall for the Honourable Jim Flaherty, P.C., M.P.

A condolence book is available at Oshawa City Hall for residents who wish to express their sympathy in memory of the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Member of the Queen’s Privy Council (P.C.) for Canada, Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Whitby-Oshawa and former Minister of Finance.

“Mr. Flaherty’s sudden passing has had a profound and overwhelming effect on our community. This book will provide our residents the opportunity to convey their sympathies, thoughts and prayers to the Flaherty family. Mr. Flaherty will be sorely missed by everyone fortunate enough to have known, lived and worked along with him,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry.

Those wishing to sign the condolence book can visit Service Oshawa located at City Hall (50 Centre Street South). The condolence book will be available to residents for signing until Saturday, April 19 and then will be presented to the Flaherty family on behalf of the City of Oshawa and its community members. Service Oshawa is open April 15-17 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., closed Friday, April 18 for Good Friday, and open on Saturday, April 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Flags at City of Oshawa facilities have been lowered and will remain at half-mast until sunset of the day of the funeral or memorial service of the late Honourable Jim Flaherty.

First elected as an M.P. in 2006, Jim Flaherty was a third term Member of Parliament for Whitby-Oshawa. Until March 2014, he served as Canada’s Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the Greater Toronto Area. Additionally, he served as a Governor of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He was one of the longest serving Ministers of Finance for Canada.

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Apr 10 - Spring fish stocking is underway at Oshawa Harbour

Across Ontario, millions of fish from Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources fish culture stations are being stocked into public waters, including a stocking site in Oshawa.

Earlier this week, approximately 10,000 Brown Trout were introduced into Lake Ontario waters at the Oshawa Harbour via Oshawa Port Authority lands.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources operates nine provincial fish culture stations that produce approximately 8.5 million fish annually for stocking into more than 1,200 lakes and rivers. Each year, over 2 million fish, both native and non-native species, are stocked into the Canadian waters of Lake Ontario.

“Oshawa is thrilled to be identified as an important fish stocking site,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “Fish stocking promotes native species restoration and helps restore biodiversity.”

Brown Trout are generally stocked as spring yearlings (~16 months old) and are 40-50 grams. Each year, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources stocks Lake Ontario with approximately 160,000 Brown Trout through various sites from Wellington in the east to St. Catharines in the west, and including Oshawa.

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Apr 10 - Port of Oshawa Welcomes Start of New Shipping Season

One of the first signs of spring is at the port, where the Oshawa Port Authority kicked off this year’s shipping season by officially welcoming the first international vessel, M/V Heloise at a special Top Hat ceremony. M/V Heloise arrived from Istanbul, Turkey to offload more than 19-thousand metric tonnes of steel. Her next port of call will be Thunder Bay.

Port Supports Canada’s Steel Industry 
In 2013, the Port of Oshawa handled 43 vessels, carrying over 291 thousand metric tonnes of bulk cargo, making it one of the busiest years. The largest cargo was steel, with over 94,000 metric tonnes of steel imported through the port. Steel rebar is used in condo and office tower construction in Durham Region, the GTA and throughout Canada. Other heavy cargo arriving at the port last year included stamping presses imported from Germany for General Motors, a generator for General Electric of Peterborough, and a wind turbine. The Port of Oshawa generates close to $6 million annually in federal and provincial taxes. It’s revenue that goes back into the local and regional economy.

Top Hat Ceremony Dates Back to 1829
The first international ship to enter the Port of Oshawa through the St. Lawrence Seaway is honoured each year, during a special ceremony and presentation of the lucky Top Hat. This tradition began back in 1829, when the first ship entered the newly created Welland Canal, and the prestigious Top Hat was presented to the captain as a symbol of good luck.

About M/V Heloise
The time charter owner of M/V Heloise is Brochart KB. The general ship agent is Colley Motorships Ltd., attended by sub-agent Currie Maritime Corporation. Oshawa Stevedoring and Local 1997 of the International Longshoremen’s Association are discharging the cargo.

About the Oshawa Port Authority
The Oshawa Port Authority was established by Letters Patent issued on January 25th, 2012 pursuant to the Canada Marine Act. The Oshawa Port Authority operates the Port of Oshawa and manages the associated harbour lands that are owned by the Crown.

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Apr 7 - Come on Oshawa, Let's Be the Heart of the Games!

Are you eager to represent your country and community and play a role in hosting the largest international multi-sport event ever held in Canada? Are you a sports fan or culture maven? How about a community booster or a student looking to gain invaluable experience?

Well, the wait is over! The official online volunteer portal for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games is now live at

Presented by Chevrolet, the volunteer recruitment drive is searching for more than 20,000 amazing, passionate and skilled people, aged 16 and up, to make these Games truly great – including right here in Oshawa which will host boxing and weightlifting in the summer of 2015.

“I am proud that the City of Oshawa will be part of the largest multi-sport event ever held in Canada. Oshawa will host boxing and weightlifting events at the Oshawa Sports Centre (General Motors Centre) and you can be a part of this worldwide legacy by volunteering, ” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry. “Volunteering for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games would be an exceptional opportunity for our Oshawa area students, as well as our cultural, sporting, youth organizations and service clubs. I encourage everyone to get involved by volunteering and show the world everything we have to offer!”

Exciting volunteer positions are available in 16 Ontario municipalities — from Welland to Minden Hills, Hamilton to Oshawa — in all areas of the Games, from anti-doping and medical services, protocol and the Games-time news service, to ticketing, venue management and ushers in venues.

“Behind every amazing moment at the TORONTO 2015 Games will be our volunteers,” said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015). “They will be the backbone, the ambassadors and the heart of the Games — they will represent the best of us.”

The online volunteer application takes about 20 minutes to fill out and captures information about skills and experience, preferences and availability. Selected candidates will be asked to undergo interviews, starting in June 2014. Positions will be offered beginning September 2014 and continuing up to Games time.

“Through the volunteer program, individuals and communities across this country will be united by the shared goal of delivering Games that will make Canadians proud,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “That is just one of the many reasons our Government is pleased to support the TORONTO 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games.”

In addition to an unforgettable experience, all volunteers will receive a keepsake uniform and training, as well as earn a volunteer certificate from the Province of Ontario, recognizing their Games training to help them stand out in today’s job market.

“The Government of Ontario is proud to provide education, experience and expertise for our 20,000 volunteers who will help host the largest international multi-sport Games held on Canadian soil,” said Michael Chan, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. “The first of its kind in the province, the new volunteer certificate program and online gateway will foster a vibrant volunteer base that will help strengthen skill sets and leave a lasting legacy of volunteerism in Ontario long after the Games.”

For more information on volunteering for the Games, visit For more information on the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Oshawa, visit

Oshawa Pan Am websection:/panam/default.asp
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Apr 4 - Oshawa in the News - March 2014

The City of Oshawa's March 2014 Media Summary Report is now available! This monthly report highlights media coverage of major City initiatives, programs and events, as well as media items that reference Oshawa’s economic growth, job creation, global reach, innovation and distinctions. 

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March 2014

Mar 31 - Oshawa realizes a 3.9 per cent electricity drop during Earth Hour

The Oshawa community responded to the Earth Hour challenge by reducing the demand for electricity this past Saturday evening by 5.8 megawatts or approximately 3.91 per cent. The percentage is up slightly compared to last year’s percentage of 3.87 per cent (drop of approximately 5.68 megawatts).

The reduction in electricity demand is equivalent to approximately 58,000 homes shutting off one 100-watt light bulb for the hour.

Oshawa’s demand for electricity compared favourably with provincial results. The Independent Electricity System Operator reported that Ontario reduced demand by 2.6 per cent, or 436 megawatts.

The Earth Hour initiative began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million residents pledged to turn off their lights for one hour to focus attention climate change. The annual symbolic event has grown to engage more than 7,000 cities and towns worldwide.

For more information about the City of Oshawa's environmental initiatives, including Earth Hour, visit

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Mar 27 - City of Oshawa launches live online chat service

 The City of Oshawa has launched a new way for residents and online users to connect to Service Oshawa for information on City services and programs and to report problems.

The live online chat functionality is a one-year pilot project that was requested by the Oshawa Accessibility Advisory Committee. While anyone can use and find the system helpful, it can be especially beneficial for people with disabilities such as hearing loss, speech and cognitive impairments.

To access online chat, customers simply click on the online chat icon at and a dialogue window appears. The customer is not required to download any software.

The new service is available Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

“The online chat service enables the City of Oshawa to provide an additional channel through which residents and businesses can connect with Service Oshawa to request information on many City services and programs,” said Councillor Roger Bouma, Chair of the Corporate Services Committee.

In addition, Customer Service Representatives are available in-person and on the phone Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (with the exception of holidays). Phone and counter services can be provided in many languages.

Service Oshawa can be reached in-person at City Hall (50 Centre Street South), by phone at 905-436-3311 (TTY customers only: 905-436-5627) or by e-mail at

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Mar 24 - Oshawa celebrates Earth Hour on Saturday, March 29

Oshawa community members can celebrate their commitment to the planet during Earth Hour festivities this weekend.

On Saturday, March 29 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Oshawa households and businesses are asked to join millions of people across the world by turning off any lights and other non-essential power sources for the one hour to symbolize our collective commitment to the planet.

The City of Oshawa will be participating in Earth Hour by reducing energy use and turning out all non-essential lights at City Hall and other City facilities.

“The Oshawa Strategic Plan identifies reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions as key strategies to achieving our goal of sustainability and environmental responsibility,” said Councillor Bruce Wood, Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee Council representative. “Participating in Earth Hour raises awareness about the connection between our changing climate and energy consumption.”

People looking for a social Earth Hour event can take part in a free film and speaker event on March 29 at Trent University’s Oshawa Campus (55 Thornton Road South).

Hosted by the Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee (an advisory committee of Oshawa City Council), the Region of Durham and Trent University, the event will kick-off at 7:00 p.m. with the opportunity to hear from and engage in discussion with an expert panel on climate change. Following the discussion, the lights will go out to observe Earth Hour, during which time, the award-winning documentary “Chasing Ice” will be shown. The 60-minute film chronicles one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Light refreshments will be provided afterward.

“At the local level, there is a lot we can do collectively as a community to reduce our contribution to climate change,” said Kristy Kilbourne, Chair of the Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee. “We hope that residents will turn off their lights at home, and join us to learn more about the impacts of climate change in places like Canada’s north – the strong message of the film will inspire residents to action beyond just powering down for an hour one night each year.”

The Earth Hour initiative began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million residents pledged to turn off their lights for one hour to focus attention on climate change. The annual symbolic event has grown to engage more than 7,000 cities and towns worldwide.

For more information about the City of Oshawa’s environmental initiatives, visit

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Mar 17 - Volunteers wanted to help clean up Oshawa, April 20-26

With spring in the air, homeowners, families, businesses, students and community leaders are encouraged to volunteer and take part in the City’s annual Community Clean-up Week.

This year marks Oshawa’s 18th Community Clean-up initiative. The week-long event will take place April 20 to 26. Groups of all sizes are invited to volunteer in cleaning up parks, green spaces, trails and schoolyards.

“Finally spring is here and after the winter we’ve had, our boulevards, parks, trails and schoolyards are in real need of cleaning up and Community Clean-up Week is a great time for everyone to join in and help make our city look better,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair, Community Services Committee. “Helping clean up your neighbourhood is a great way to shake off the winter blues by getting some fresh air and meeting your neighbours while helping to bring the green back to our green spaces.”

Volunteers and groups can learn more and obtain the registration form online at Registered participants will be provided with free bags and gloves and will also receive a Certificate of Appreciation.

As part of the annual initiative, a collaboration of organizations within Oshawa is coordinating a downtown event, Communities with Brooms, on Friday, April 25 beginning at 11:30 a.m. The event will bring community volunteers together, as well as representatives from Downtown Oshawa Board of Management, Safe City Oshawa Partnership, M.P. Colin Carrie, Durham Regional Police Service, John Howard Society and City of Oshawa. Residents can register by emailing

“Community with Brooms is an annual event to clean up the downtown area,” said Councillor Doug Sanders, Council Representative on the Downtown Oshawa Board of Management. “There are many community volunteers, City staff and Councillors who come together to perform the downtown clean up.”

Communities with Brooms aims to spruce up downtown Oshawa, foster community pride, build partnerships and raise awareness regarding the impact and cost of graffiti and other vandalism. Following the event, participants are invited to attend a barbecue lunch sponsored by Oshawa M.P. Colin Carrie.

For more information and for assistance in choosing a community clean-up area or finding a group, contact the City at 905-436-3311 ext. 3146 or visit To register for Communities with Brooms, email

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Mar 14 - Earth Hour, Saturday, March 29, 2014

Community members are invited to a free event in celebration of Earth Hour on Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm at the Trent University, Oshawa Campus located at 55 Thornton Road South.
The evening will include an expert panel on climate change with public discussion and also feature the award- winning documentary “Chasing Ice”. This 60 minute film chronicles one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet.
If you are not able to attend the event, you are asked to observe Earth Hour between 8:30 and 9:30 pm by turning off all your non-essential lights.

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Mar 10 - Oshawa in the News - February 2014 media summary

Read the latest Oshawa in the News report highlighting media articles that reference Oshawa’s economic growth, job creation, global reach, innovation and distinctions. The report also includes media coverage of major City initiatives, programs and events.

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Mar 3 - City of Oshawa turns 90 on March 8

The City of Oshawa is celebrating its 90th anniversary as a “City” on March 8. Visit the City website,, to learn more about the history of Oshawa and to view weekly historical facts and accompanying archival photos.

On March 8, 1924, with a population of 15,545, Oshawa was elevated from a town to city status:

“By order of the Ontario Railway and Municipal Board, the Town of Oshawa was erected into a City at twelve o'clock noon today, Saturday, Mar. 8th, 1924, becoming the twenty-fifth city of the Province of Ontario with a population of 15,545. It is one of the few cities to attain that status by reason of its requisite population and not by Special Act of Parliament. The event was celebrated by a salute of twenty-five guns fired from the turret of the Armoury. A meeting was held in the Armoury being addressed by the Mayor, members of the Council and the Clergy. Through the afternoon and evening parades were held, followed by a community dance: the real celebration of the event being left until the Old Home Week, August 3rd to 9th, 1924. The Ontario Reformer and the Oshawa Telegram issued historic numbers on this occasion.”

~ Oshawa City Council Dated 8 March 1924

“From the movement of goods, manufacturing, medicine and education, the City of Oshawa has played an integral role in the development of Canada as we know it today,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry. “Oshawa is one of the fastest growing regions in Canada and this City is quickly being recognized by people from around the world as their choice location to live and work. We can be proud of the many successes Oshawa has achieved and we can be confident we will achieve many more.”

Oshawa’s beginnings date back to the early 1700s at the Oshawa Harbour, which was a transfer point for the fur trade. Around the year 1750, the French established a trading post near the mouth of the Oshawa Creek.

In the 1800s, immigration to the area continued as did the need for services; hotel and inn accommodations, stores, churches and mills were built. In 1842, the inhabitants of the area received government permission to establish a post office in the settlement. When choosing a post office name, two visiting Indians suggested the Indian name “Oshawa,” meaning “the point at the crossing of the stream where the canoe was exchanged for the trail.”

In 1850, Oshawa was incorporated as a village with a population of approximately 2,000. In 1879, with a population of just under 4,000, Oshawa’s status was changed from a village to a town.

A key milestone in the growth of Oshawa was the establishment of the Pedlar Metal Roofing Company in 1861. In 1911, the Company reorganized into a joint stock company under the name of the Pedlar People Limited that grew to become the largest of its kind in the British Empire.

Oshawa is historically recognized as a centre for automotive manufacturing excellence and the home of General Motors Canada. In 1876, Robert McLaughlin who had already established a carriage works business, relocated to Oshawa because of the area’s rail and harbour facilities. The McLaughlin’s began producing automobiles in 1907 and formed General Motors of Canada in 1918.

Today, with a population of 157,000, Oshawa is the largest municipality in the Regional Municipality of Durham. Oshawa is a growing and evolving city that is fostering the development of diverse economic sectors and knowledge-based industries. Although still a sector of strength, especially in the field of engineering, automotive is no longer the sole focus in Oshawa. Oshawa’s diversified business platform focuses on five key sectors: advanced manufacturing, health and bioscience, energy generation, multi-modal transportation, and logistics and information technology.

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Mar 3 - Oshawa’s Peony Festival named Top Festivals and Events in Ontario

Once again, Oshawa’s Peony Festival has been named one of the 2014 Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario (FEO). FEO’s annual Top 100 list recognizes festivals and events that excel within the industry.

“It is no surprise our Peony Festival has once again received recognition as a top event in Ontario, as it is truly amazing,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “I encourage everyone to come to our fabulous gardens on June 14th and 15th and see for themselves, I'm sure they won't be disappointed.”

The 10th annual Peony Festival takes place June 14-15, 2014 in the heart of the beautiful Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens (OVBG) at 155 Arena Street. Hosted by the City, this free event displays 300 types of peonies in the gardens. In addition, hundreds of peony blooms are displayed in Children’s Arena for the annual Canadian Peony Society - Ontario Region’s judged Peony Show. Artisans, live music, gardening advice and photo contest are all part of this remarkable flower festival. For more details about the Peony Festival, visit

FEO was established in 1987 as the provincial, not-for-profit tourism association devoted to the growth of the festivals and events industry in Ontario. For more information, including the complete listing of 2014 Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario, visit

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February 2014

Feb 20 - Oshawa Mayor presents State of the City Address to local business community

 Oshawa Mayor John Henry delivered on February 20, 2014, the annual “State of the City Address” to the local business community at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre. The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce event – the 22nd Annual Mayor’s Lunch – was presented in conjunction with BMO Bank of Montreal.

The Mayor began his address by highlighting that Oshawa will celebrate on March 8, 2014, its 90th Anniversary as a “City” and by thanking local businesses and business leaders for their valuable contributions to the local economy.

“Oshawa’s strong business community has been integral to the growth and expansion of Oshawa,” said Mayor Henry. “Thanks to the many years of support and investment of our local businesses, Oshawa has matured from its humble automotive beginnings to an emerging leader in key economic sectors and to a world-class city poised for continued growth.”

Mayor Henry highlighted economic development opportunities in each of Oshawa’s existing and emerging economic sectors: Advanced Manufacturing; Health and Bioscience; Energy Generation; Multi-Modal Transportation and Logistics; and Information Technology.

The address focused on Oshawa’s promising prosperous future made possible through the support of local businesses, community partnerships and new investment opportunities.

“I am extremely proud of the progress we have made together this year,” said Mayor Henry. “I look forward to another amazing year and collectively, to our continued success and growth.”

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Feb 19 - City of Oshawa approves Oshawa’s First Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan

On February 18, 2014, Oshawa Council approved its first “Culture Counts: Oshawa’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan”. This plan serves as a framework, and identifies key opportunities that the City, and the arts, culture and heritage sector can implement over the next five to ten years to help Oshawa maintain and build upon its cultural vitality.

“Culture Counts: Oshawa’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan”, which began in February 2013, was developed by a community steering committee, an interdepartmental staff team and the consulting firms of AuthentiCity (a division of Millier Dickinson Blais) and Public Interest.

The City of Oshawa received partial funding from the Government of Ontario for the development of the plan.

"As the council member of the steering committee it has been very exciting to see this living document become a reality and how it will be a key role in the future of economic development in the City of Oshawa,” said Councillor England, Council representative on the Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan Steering Committee. “Furthermore, the grassroots efforts of the arts, culture and heritage communities made this plan a reality and deserve a lot of thanks and gratitude from our city.”

Essential to the success of the project was consultation with the community and stakeholder groups. Without this valuable and critical feedback, the Plan would not have been possible. The consultation process included a survey, community launch event and visioning session, three focus groups, workshops, two community soundings and a community forum. In all, over 300 people were involved in the community engagement activities.

“This plan has been a year in the making, but well worth the wait,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “The work done by the community steering committee and interdepartmental team along with the excellent input from residents has allowed the production of an amazing plan that will serve Oshawa for years to come.”

The Plan is organized into six strategic directions as follows.

• Broaden and Evolve the City’s Role in Arts, Culture and Heritage
• Grow Culture-Led Economic Development
• Strengthen Communication within and about the Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector
• Build a Strong, Vital and Connected Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector
• Create Vibrant Places and Spaces
• Provide Access and Promote Inclusion in Oshawa’s Cultural Life

The strategic directions, strategies and actions within the Plan will help to increase the organizational capacity of cultural organizations, connect arts and culture stakeholders, strengthen the cultural infrastructure, support the City’s existing work on a public art policy, leverage investment in arts and culture, and connect the creative economy.

Ongoing generation of strategies and actions will be encouraged in support of achieving the individual strategic directions and ultimately the future state vision of arts, culture and heritage in Oshawa.

“Culture Counts” is the brand for Oshawa’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan. The colour of the brand represents vibrancy, creativity and energy. The dots in the logo represent both the need to better connect different components of the arts, culture and heritage sector in the city. The words themselves express the importance of culture to Oshawa’s economic development and quality of life.

For updates on Culture Counts, visit or follow “OshawaCity” on: Twitter and Facebook.

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Feb 19 - Oshawa Council approves the 2014 Operating and Capital Budgets

Oshawa Council approved on Friday, February 14, the 2014 operating and capital budgets. The 2014 operating budget provides the funding necessary to deliver efficient and affordable services to the Oshawa community. The 2014 capital budget and 9-year forecast focus on investing in and renewing the City’s core infrastructure and providing the key infrastructure necessary to meet the future needs of the community.

“The 2014 budget addresses both current and future needs of our community by incorporating a nine-year plan of infrastructural requirements within our community,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry. “It provides this Council and future Councils the ability to achieve and maintain fiscal responsibility.”

“Oshawa City Council has transformed the budget process,” said Councillor Nancy Diamond, Chair, Finance Committee. “By developing more realistic criteria, including the most important ‘affordability’, in considering potential projects; by ensuring increasing savings in Reserve Funds; by paying down pre-existing debt; and by including the opportunity for public participation through innovative measures, Council continues to respond to the community’s many financial challenges, while holding to minimal tax increases.”

The 2014 operating budget maintains all base 2013 levels of programs and services, as well as:
• addresses volume growth;
• provides for inflationary increases;
• reflects the approved park, recreation, planning and engineering fee increases;
• contains a provision for contractual labour increases that are subject to negotiation and possible arbitration in 2014; and,
• includes increased contributions to reserves to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the City.

This was the first year that City staff presented a 10-year capital plan. The plan reflects sound asset management planning and focuses on infrastructure renewal and priority capital projects. Highlights from the 2014 capital budget include:
• Design work for Fire Hall #6
• Workforce Management Software – phase 1
• Master Plan for Windfields Community Park
• Oshawa Harbour improvements
• Highway 407 related local road works
• Major road and sidewalk reconstruction

The 2014 City Budget includes a tax levy increase of 1.44 per cent for residential properties, which translates to a property tax increase of $9.94 per $100,000 of assessment. This means that a residential property owner with a property assessed at $290,000 would pay an additional $28.83 per year in property taxes on the City of Oshawa portion of their tax bill.

Property taxes are collected by the City, on behalf of the City of Oshawa, the Region of Durham and the Durham school boards. Together, the total residential property tax bill for Oshawa residents (including the City of Oshawa, Region of Durham and Durham school boards) will increase by approximately 1.19 per cent. This translates to a property tax increase of approximately $59.98 for 2014 on a residential property assessed at $290,000.

As part of the 2014 budget process, the City provided new ways for community members to submit comments and ask questions, including a Facebook Town Hall, Open House events, online feedback form and printed feedback forms/boxes at City Hall, City facilities and Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres branches.

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Feb 11 - Visit the Heritage Oshawa display at the Oshawa Centre on Friday, February 21

In celebration of Ontario Heritage Week, Heritage Oshawa will host an event at the Oshawa Centre on Friday, February 21, 2014 from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Centre Court area.

As part of Oshawa’s celebration, members of Heritage Oshawa will be on hand to answer questions and display some of Oshawa’s cultural treasures. The theme for 2014 is “Remembering the First World War: Ontario in Transition.” This period was one of rapid transformation and the results resonate through our society to this day. The display will include informative heritage related material, as well as exhibits from community partners.

Additionally, the newly updated Inventory of City of Oshawa Heritage Properties will be available for viewing and purchase.

Ontario Heritage Week takes place each February and is led by the Ontario Heritage Trust. In 2014, Heritage Week will occur from Monday, February 17 to Sunday, February 23.

For more information about Ontario Heritage Week, visit

Heritage Oshawa is the Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee for the City of Oshawa. The Committee advises and assists Council on matters related to heritage conservation and promotes heritage conservation within Oshawa. For more information on Heritage Oshawa, visit or

Heritage Oshawa Advisory Committee:/tourism/history2.asp
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Feb 7 - Oshawa recognized with provincial economic development award

The City of Oshawa was recognized by The Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) at its Annual Marketing Awards Dinner on Thursday, February 6, 2014 in Toronto.

David Tuley, Oshawa’s Downtown Development Officer, together with Denis O’Connell, Vice-President of CORE21, accepted the award for the development of CORE21 – a project that after many years in the making has materialized into Oshawa’s first entrepreneurial co-working facility located in the heart of Oshawa’s downtown. The project was awarded in the Planning and Building Initiatives – Physical Infrastructure and Redevelopment Initiatives category that recognizes creative forms of improving community competitiveness.

CORE21 was developed through a concept initiated through Oshawa’s Economic Development Services and was realized after working with a private sector investor, Denis O’Connell, to revitalize a vacant commercial space to bring the downtown co-working and entrepreneurial hub concept to life. CORE21 is now fully operating as a versatile and dynamic work environment that is customized for small businesses, entrepreneurs, community groups and the arts community to engage, collaborate and create in Downtown Oshawa.

For many years, Oshawa has been recognized as a supportive community for new businesses and entrepreneurial minds,” said Councillor John Aker, Chair of the Development Services Committee. “CORE21 is a great asset to Downtown Oshawa and opens the door to future growth and development.”

EDCO’s annual marketing awards feature and showcase the best in economic development marketing initiatives within Ontario and applaud the outstanding marketing achievements of community and economic development organizations across the province.

For more information on Economic Development Services, visit or follow @InvestOshawa on Twitter. For updates on the City of Oshawa, visit or follow “OshawaCity” on: Twitter and Facebook.

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Feb 5 - Oshawa in the News - January 2014 media summary

The monthly Oshawa in the News report contains short summaries and web links to media articles that reference Oshawa’s economic growth, job creation, global reach, innovation and distinctions. The report also includes media coverage of major City initiatives, programs and events.

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January 2014

Jan 30 - City takes back ownership of former marina lands at the Oshawa Harbour

The City of Oshawa has officially taken ownership of the former marina lands at the Oshawa Harbour through an “instrument of grant” recently signed by both the City and the federal government. The former marina lands are 8.4 hectares (20.5 acres) in size.

The transfer of the former marina lands to the City was outlined in the July 2010 Oshawa Harbour Settlement Agreement between the City, Crown and the Oshawa Harbour Commission (now transitioned to the Oshawa Port Authority). The federal government completed environmental remediation work on the lands in fall 2013 and offered the lands back to the City; Council recently approved the transfer.

Under the Settlement Agreement, the City has now acquired a total of approximately 19.4 hectares (48 acres) of land located near the Oshawa Harbour. The former marina lands are the last remaining parcel of land to be transferred to the City.

The City earlier acquired approximately 1.8 hectares (4.5 acres) of land located on the north side of Harbour Road in 2010 and 9.3 hectares (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, in 2012 from the federal government. 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.

In addition, the City acquired approximately 0.8 hectares (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 City’s objective is to continue the redevelopment of our waterfront as a mixed use, vibrant, people friendly place,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry.

For more information, visit For updates on the City of Oshawa, visit or follow “OshawaCity” on: Twitter and Facebook.

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Jan 29 - Read our latest e-newsletter on the City Budget

The City of Oshawa has published a special edition e-newsletter on the 2014 City Budget. Learn more about the draft budget that was presented to Council, as well as upcoming opportunities to provide your input.

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Jan 29 - Proposed Budget and 10-year Capital Forecast presented

Posted January 29, 2014

City of Oshawa staff presented the draft 2014 City Budget on January 29 to Council for review. The budget is founded on the goals in the Oshawa Strategic Plan and Council’s guiding principles of financial stewardship.

The draft operating budget provides the funding necessary to deliver efficient and affordable services to the Oshawa community. The draft 2014 capital budget and 9-year forecast focuses on investing in and renewing the City’s core infrastructure and providing the infrastructure necessary to respond to our growing city.

The draft budget submission requires an additional $2.4 million over the 2013 approved budget. The budget submission:

  • maintains the base 2013 levels of services;
  • addresses volume growth; 
  • provides for inflationary increases; 
  • reflects the approved park, recreation, planning and engineering fee increases; 
  • contains a provision for contractual labour increases that are subject to negotiation and possible arbitration in 2014; and, 
  • includes increased contributions to reserves to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the City.

Funding for park/trail development and road/sidewalk reconstruction were also highlighted in the budget submission, as well as funding for external agencies (including Oshawa Historical Society, Oshawa Public Libraries, Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres, Parkwood Foundation and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery) and financial support for 21 local community groups through the Partnership and Anchor Grant Program.

This is the first year that a 10-year capital plan has been presented to Council for review. This plan reflects sound asset management planning. Highlights from the 2014 capital budget include:

  • Design work for Fire Hall #6 
  • Workforce Management Software – phase 1
  • Master Plan for Windfields Community Park
  • Oshawa Harbour improvements
  • Highway 407 related local road works
  • Major road and sidewalk reconstruction

The 2014 City Budget proposes a tax levy increase of 2.11 per cent. The proposed increase would see residential property taxes increase by $14.57 per $100,000 of assessment, meaning that a residential property owner with a property assessed at $290,000 would pay an additional $42.24 per year in property taxes on the City of Oshawa portion of their tax bill.

Upcoming Council Budget Meeting dates are:

  • January 31: Grants, External Agencies and Advisory Committees
  • February 7: Operating Budgets
  • February 10: To Receive Comments from the Public (requests must be submitted in writing to the City Clerk no later than 1:00 p.m. on February 6)
  • February 11: Capital Budget and 9-year Forecast
  • February 14: Budget Review and Approval

“I look forward to the budget discussions and delivering residents a budget that makes Oshawa a more liveable city,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry.

“Council’s budgetary process has been significantly updated to be more realistic in determining projects based on clear criteria, including the critical factor of ‘affordability’,” said Councillor Nancy Diamond, Chair, Finance Committee. “We welcome full public participation, with many opportunities for input, including even a Facebook Town Hall meeting with the City Treasurer.”

The City welcomes comments and questions on the draft City Budget and invites Oshawa residents and businesses to:

  • Complete a feedback form online (or a printed form available at City recreation facilities and Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres)
  • Join the City Budget Facebook Town Hall on February 5, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Drop-in to an Open House –
    • February 6, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.: Civic Recreation Complex, Main Lobby
    • February 8, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.: South Oshawa Community Centre, Main Lobby
    • February 9, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.: Legends Centre, Main Lobby

For more information on upcoming meetings and opportunities for feedback, and to view the draft 2014 City Budget, visit

For updates on the City of Oshawa, visit  or follow “OshawaCity” on: Twitter and Facebook.

2014 Draft Budget:/cit_hall/budget.asp
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Jan 16 - A Downtown Oshawa Soup Festival -- Hot Roots Soups

From February 7 to 13, Hot Roots Soups -- a downtown Oshawa soup festival sponsored by Durham Veg, the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and the City of Oshawa, will be celebrating Black History Month within a context of healthy living and sustainability. Local restaurants in the downtown area will be incorporating locally grown root vegetables, plus squash and pumpkin, to create Afro-Caribbean inspired soups throughout the duration of the festival. To learn more, visit:

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Jan 16 - Oshawa's new guide to dining downtown

Today, downtown Oshawa is currently home to the greatest number of restaurants the area has ever had. From 38 establishments in 2009 to 58 today, downtown is continuing to grow into a distinct and noticeable foodie district. In the last year alone, new restaurant/café openings included Felicio’s Cake Boutique, Berry Hill Food Co., Spicy Affairs, Maharaja Indian Cuisine, Smoke’s Poutinerie and Tutto Market Café.

The Emerging Foodies – a new downtown dining guide features local business owners, a categorized directory and map. View the guide online or visit request a printed copy, please send an e-mail to

Business Web Section:/business
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Jan 16 - Oshawa to develop a City-wide Transportation Plan

The City of Oshawa has initiated an Integrated Transportation Master Plan (ITMP) study to define a city-wide transportation vision and address future growth and transportation challenges.

This inaugural study will integrate elements of land use planning, policy and stakeholder participation to prepare a master plan for transportation across the city, in both urban and rural areas. Once complete, the ITMP will identify and evaluate alternative multi-modal transportation network solutions and recommend a preferred transportation network and a long-term implementation strategy.

Two Public Information Centres are planned in 2014 to gather feedback on key transportation issues and concerns. The first PIC will be held on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the Leisure room of Legends Centre at 1661 Harmony Road North in Oshawa. A Presentation will be made at 7:00 pm providing an overview of existing conditions and an initial analysis.

Upon completion of the study later this year, the ITMP Report will be made available for public review and input. For more information visit the website attached. 

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Jan 14 - City of Oshawa asks for financial assistance to help offset the costs of the ice storm

The total cost of the recent ice storm for the City of Oshawa is expected to reach over $2 million. Half of the total cost was incurred during the immediate response to the ice storm, representing more than 20 per cent of the City’s annual budget for winter maintenance and forestry services.

“Costs to the City of Oshawa are expected to double to more than $2 million as we complete the cleanup and replace much of our tree canopy that was lost in the ice storm,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry.

Furthermore, Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation (OPUC) estimate its storm related costs at approximately $500,000. Approximately 25,000 homes and businesses were without power at the height of the storm, and the City and OPUC worked quickly and efficiently to restore power.

The City was one of the first Ontario municipalities to activate its Emergency Operations Centre on Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 7:30 a.m. and quickly began to address the City’s immediate issues, including returning power to residents, clearing main arterial roads, and establishing warming centres for residents and their pets who would be without power for an extended time.

“The City incurred significant overtime costs for staff directly involved in attending to the storm’s impact, opening warming centres and operating our call centre,” said Mayor Henry. “We also incurred additional contractual service costs for snow clearing and forestry related work and increased refuse collection costs, as well as lost revenue from facilities that had to be closed the first day of the storm.”

The City sent letters on January 7, 2014 to the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, and the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, requesting financial assistance from the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada to help offset the extraordinary costs the City incurred in responding to and cleaning up from the storm.

“Significant work is still required to prune trees and clean up fallen trees and limbs on rights of ways, at City facilities, parks, trails, public cemeteries, open spaces, creek beds and valley lands,” added Mayor Henry. “The damage to the City’s tree canopy is significant and work will go on for years to replace all that was lost.”

For updates on the City of Oshawa, visit or follow “OshawaCity” on Twitter and Facebook.

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Jan 10 - City of Oshawa achieves eight new building records

It was an amazing 2013 for the City of Oshawa with eight new building records set in one year, including highest year on record for Residential Construction value at $287 million.

1. January – Highest January Residential on record ($27 million)
2. January – Highest January Total Permits on record (141 permits)
3. February – Highest February Residential on record ($18 million)
4. June – Highest Residential in any one month on record ($57.6 million)
5. June – Highest June Total Construction value on record ($60 million)
6. September – Highest September Commercial on record ($17 million)
7. December – Highest December Residential on record ($19.5 million)
8. 2013 – Highest Year for Residential on record ($287 million)

In 2013, the City of Oshawa issued 1,304 building permits with a total value of $369,158,000 (comprising of $286,945,000 in Residential, $41,433,000 in Commercial, $32,201,000 in Governmental/Institutional and $8,579,000 in Industrial value).

There were 1,020 new residential units created consisting of 391 single dwellings, 570 apartment units, 26 townhouses, 21 duplexes, 10 semis and 2 converted dwellings.

Some of the major projects issued in 2013 included:

  • Benson St. Group Limited – two 4-storey retirement apartment buildings at 1335 Benson St. ($38 million)
  • Student Housing Canada – 118-unit student apartment building at 1569 Simcoe St. N. ($24 million) 
  • Durham District School Board – new school at 610 Taylor Ave. ($11 million)
  • Ritson Division Retail Group Ltd. – commercial plaza at 200 Ritson Rd. N.
    ($8 million)
  • Trustees of Congregation of King St. – place of worship addition at 611 King St. W. ($5 million)

“The strong building activity shows confidence in the City by the investment/ development industry,” says Councillor John Aker, Chair of the Development Services Committee. “The 2013 activity provided the community with new educational facilities, new opportunities for local jobs, wider housing choices and new local shopping and services.”

“2014 also promises to be strong for Oshawa’s growth and development,” says Mike Leonard, Oshawa’s Chief Building Official. “We received applications in the first two days of January for the Oshawa Centre expansion valued at $230 million and a 16-storey apartment building valued at $30 million.”

In 2013, Oshawa’s Building staff received the ‘Yaman Uzumeri – International Award of Excellence’ from the Ontario Building Officials Association for providing the public with the highest level of service and promoting the importance of the Building Official’s role. This award was presented at the December 16 Council Meeting.

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Jan 8 - Oshawa in the News - December 2013 report

The monthly Oshawa in the News report for December 2013 is a high-level media scan comprised of short summaries and web links to media articles that reference Oshawa’s economic growth, job creation, global reach, innovation and distinctions. The report also includes media coverage of major City initiatives, programs and events.

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