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 email@example.com.
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News Archives for 2015
Apr 21 - City of Oshawa and Durham Region Labour Council Observe National Day of Mourning on April 28
On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, the Durham Region Labour Council and Oshawa City Council will observe the National Day of Mourning at Oshawa City Hall from noon to 1:00 p.m.
Flags on the City’s municipal buildings will fly at half-mast in honour and remembrance of workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to workplace related hazards and incidents.
Oshawa City Council proclaimed Tuesday, April 28, 2015 as “Day of Mourning.” Additionally, during the month of April, the Day of Mourning flag has flown on the flagpole at the Day of Mourning Monument at Oshawa City Hall.
“This annual remembrance is a harsh reminder to employers and employees that we must continue our commitment to learn and establish safe conditions so we can protect living,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry. “And to the many families and friends who lost loved ones due to workplace accidents and illnesses, as well as the employees who have had their lives forever changed due to workplace injuries or illnesses, I extend my deepest condolences.”
The Day of Mourning was officially recognized by the Ontario Provincial Legislature in 1988. In 1991, An Act Respecting a Day of mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace passed through all stages of the House of Commons and the Senate. The Bill, which now proclaims April 28th of each year as National Day of Mourning, received Royal Assent on February 1, 1991 and is now law. The Day of Mourning is also officially recognized in many countries throughout the world.
For more information on the National Day of Mourning, visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety website at www.ccohs.ca/events/mourning.Return to top
Apr 20 - Oshawa rated top Canadian municipality in Cities of the Future
Oshawa has been rated as the number one Canadian city in the Top 10 Small American Cities of the Future as ranked by fDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times (UK). Oshawa placed fifth in the category when compared with Canadian and U.S. small cities.
“Oshawa offers the right people, the right connections and the right opportunities for business. Located in the Greater Toronto Area, Oshawa is one of Canada's fastest growing regions”, said Mayor John Henry. “Companies that locate in Oshawa enjoy competitive costs, access to state-of-the-art research facilities and access to the brightest young minds of the future”.
“The City of Oshawa is thrilled to be recognized as a city of the future by fDi Magazine. Oshawa has seen incredible investment as we continue to grow this amazing community”, said Councillor John Aker, Chair of the Development Services Committee. “Our leading-edge academic institutions are helping to drive this growth with cutting-edge research and unique mandates to collaborate with private sector industry partners to develop innovative business solutions for the future”.
American Cities of the Future 2015/2016 developed the shortlist of cities using online tools fDi Markets and fDi Benchmark. Data was then collected under six categories: Economic Potential, Business Friendliness, Human Capital and Lifestyle, Cost Effectiveness, Connectivity and FDI Strategy. In total, there were 208 cities that were categorized as small who have populations between 100,000 and 350,000. For more information on the fDi Intelligence, visit www.fdiintelligence.com.
The fDi Intelligence ranking is the fourth acknowledgment that Oshawa has received for their Economic Development accomplishments this year. Others include:
- MoneySense magazine has included Oshawa as one of the best places for real estate deals in Canada. MoneySense compared the top 35 cities in Canada based on housing value, price momentum, economic strength and rental income potential. Durham/Oshawa ranked 10th overall.
- Oshawa was recognized by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario for their Emerging Foodies guide, a unique guide to the food scene in downtown Oshawa.
- Oshawa’s Director of Economic Development was chosen as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers.
The change that Oshawa as a community is experiencing is undeniable, with major commercial and industrial development projects, growth in post-secondary academia, record-breaking residential construction and growth in health care services. Up-to-date information on development, statistics, news and more is available at www.oshawa.ca/business.Return to top
Purchase a Pan Am street banner
This summer, Oshawa will showcase its community pride to the world. Tens of thousands of spectators will visit our city to cheer on their favourite weightlifters and boxers, and bright and beautiful banners lining the downtown core will greet them.
These banners are now available for purchase as a rare souvenir of the Games. The series will feature five different banner designs:
- one prominently featuring the TORONTO 2015 logo and 'United We Play', the essence of the Games, depicting a visual representation of those engaged in sport or play coming together and uniting for one purpose; and,
- four 'Viva' banners highlighting the vibrant TORONTO 2015 colour scheme and City of Oshawa logo, which will breathe vivacity and ignite the Pan Am spirit in our city.
Approximately 120 banners will be installed in the days leading up to Friday, June 5, when Oshawa hosts the TORONTO 2015 Torch Relay. They will proudly fly until the completion of the boxing and weightlifting competitions in late July, when they will be uninstalled, cleaned and available to their new owners.
“History will be made this summer when we host the Pan Am boxing and weightlifting competitions in Oshawa and banners will be put up throughout our community to mark the occasion”, said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “These banners will be terrific souvenirs of this historic event. I'm sure having a set will be something to talk about for years to come”.
Banners are available for purchase in a package of three until Sunday, May 17. Each package will include one ‘United We Play’ banner and two ‘Viva’ banners. The package will cost $183.00 + H.S.T.Return to top
Apr 15 - City of Oshawa receives Ontario Employer Designation
The City recently received the 2014 Ontario Employer designation from the Provincial Partnership Council (P.P.C.), for the second year in a row.
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.
In 2014, the City of Oshawa provided a number of learning experiences for students, including:
- cooperative education opportunities through Durham College and Trent University; and,
- volunteer opportunities available for over 2,600 high school students from across the city to help with important events such as the Community Clean-up, the Peony Festival and Canada Day celebrations.
“It is important that as a corporation we can retain and attract strong talented employees, having this designation helps us do just that,” said Councillor Amy England, Chair of the Corporate Services Committee.
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 www.ontarioemployer.ca for more information. For updates on the City of Oshawa, visit www.oshawa.ca or follow “OshawaCity” on: Twitter and Facebook.Return to top
The Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres Executive Committee and Board of Directors are pleased to announce that effective immediately Sandra Black is the new Executive Director of the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres.
Ms. Black has been with the City of Oshawa since 1984 and has held positions of progressively greater responsibility throughout her career. She has been fulfilling the responsibilities of the Executive Director position in an interim capacity since the beginning of November 2014. Her strong leadership, dedication to staff and passion for serving the community has allowed for a seamless and extremely positive transition for everyone at the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres.
“We thank Sandra for her contributions to date and look forward to continuing to work with Sandra and her team to promote the health, welfare and happiness of the seniors in Oshawa”, said Sylvia Rhodes, President, Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres.
Visit www.oscc.ca for more information on the OSCC.Return to top
National Youth Week and National Youth Arts Week is back! Oshawa youth aged between 10-17 years are invited to get involved with an exciting range of free events, activities and drop-in programs happening throughout Oshawa from May 1 to 7, 2015. In support of National Youth Week & National Youth Arts Week, all City of Oshawa recreation facilities will be accepting non-perishable food donations for The Refuge, a non-profit organization who assists homeless youth.
The Oshawa Youth Council has planned a week of free events for local youth starting with the RMG Friday event series - where art, music, creativity and community collide on Friday, May 1 from 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.
Other free events include:
- Camp X Community Tree Planting Event on Saturday, May 2 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at Lakefront West Park, 1221 Phillip Murray Avenue. Grab your shovel and plant trees with the Scouts to help our environment!
- Saturday Night at the Movies on Saturday, May 2 from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. at the Legends Centre, Leisure Room, 1661 Harmony Road North. Bring your friends and join the Oshawa Youth Council for a great movie, snacks, drinks and prizes.
- Gamer Day! on Sunday, May 3 from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Civic Recreation Complex, Rec Room, 99 Thornton Road South. Join the Oshawa Youth Council for snacks, drinks and prizes, while we run tournaments for Magic (bring your own cards), Ping Pong and Wii Smash Bros.
- WRAP UP - Outdoor Sports & Youth Hang Out on Thursday, May 7 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the South Oshawa Community Centre, Youth Room, 1455 Cedar St. Finish up National Youth Week & National Youth Arts Week with the Oshawa Youth Council. Play some outdoor sports (weather permitting), watch a slideshow of the week’s activities, prizes and snacks! This free event is open to all youth!
“The Oshawa Youth Council has planned a number of free events to recognize National Youth Week and National Youth Arts Week and I hope our young people will join in the activities, learn something and have some fun,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee.
Also during the week, youth can take part in drop-in sporting activities such as basketball and soccer. For locations and dates, and for more information on National Youth Week and National Youth Arts Week, visit www.oshawa.ca/nyw.
National Youth Week and National Youth Arts Week are initiatives supported by the Provincial Consortium of Youth in Recreation, aimed at celebrating youth involvement in the community.Return to top
Oshawa Fire Services is teaming up with fire departments across Durham Region to Get Real about fires in our communities. The new fire education campaign, Get Real Durham, launches Monday, April 20 and simultaneously engages 1,000 homes in all eight municipalities throughout the Region during the three-week blitz.
First, residents will receive a phone call from Oshawa Fire Chief Steve Meringer identifying Oshawa’s real fire statistics. A few days later, the same residents will receive a Get Real Durham information card in the mail outlining regional fire statistics. Finally, Oshawa firefighters will be going door-to-door to educate residents on the reality of fires in our community.
“Oshawa’s Fire Services knows all too well that the destruction caused by fires is real and although our staff are well-trained and well-equipped they still have fires to respond to,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “This program reaches out to residents to provide information on both fire statistics in our community and fire safety issues that need to be kept in mind, so let’s get behind them and ‘Get Real’ about Fire Education.”
The City of Oshawa supports the Get Real Durham initiative and will be posting daily fire statistics and tips on Facebook and Twitter. For information about Oshawa Fire Services and how you can protect your family from fire, visit www.oshawa.ca/fire and follow “OshawaCity” on Facebook. On Twitter, follow @OshawaCity and #OshawaFire.
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The TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President’s Choice® and OLG is coming to Oshawa Tuesday, August 4.
As a first in torch relay history, two separate flames will be lit in special ceremonies on August 3 — one in Ottawa (east flame) and the other in Niagara Falls (west flame). The Parapan Am flames will then travel simultaneously towards Toronto and unite on August 6 before completing the final segment of the journey as one flame.
Residents of Oshawa are invited to enter to be a torchbearer today at TORONTO2015.org/torch-relay.
“We’re excited that Oshawa will host the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games Torch Relay here on Tuesday, August 4 and we look forward to welcoming the Parapan Am flame as we showcase our unique heritage and sporting traditions,” said Mayor John Henry.
“We encourage all of our residents who will be aged 13 and older by August 3, 2015 to sign up to be torchbearers today at TORONTO2015.org/torch-relay. We’ll also be selecting our own special community torchbearer to run on our behalf when the flame comes to town.”
The flame is a symbol of unity, hope and promise that will light the way to the Opening Ceremony of the Parapan Am Games on August 7.
A detailed map is now available online highlighting each of the 12 communities, including the date and location for the community celebrations.
“The Parapan Am Games Torch Relay is a unique opportunity for Canadians to be a part of something that has never been done before,” said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015). “This is an invitation to participate in the largest Parapan Am Games Torch Relay ever held, leading into the largest-ever Parapan Am Games.”
“Anyone aged 13 and up by August 3, 2015, can enter to be a torchbearer. All they need is a sense of pride, an abundance of community spirit and an ability to inspire us with their joy.”
Enter to be a torchbearer today at TORONTO2015.org/torch-relay.
Along with the public application process, which opened today and closes April 19, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. (ET), torchbearers will also be chosen by torch relay route communities and other Games stakeholders.
TO2015 is proud to bring the relay to Ontario communities with the help of presenting partners President’s Choice and OLG, community partner CIBC and signature supporters Ontario Trillium Foundation, Porter Airlines and Star Media Group and Metroland Media to ensure a memorable experience for everyone.
Each torchbearer must be a Canadian citizen or legal resident of Canada and 13 years of age or older (as of August 3, 2015). For a complete list of criteria, visit TORONTO2015.org/torch-relay.
Specific timing for the 12 community celebrations will be confirmed at the end of July. The street-level route will also be confirmed in July.Return to top
The City is currently seeking Oshawa-based artists, graphic designers and illustrators to submit proposals for artwork to be used as promotional material for Oshawa’s culture events. The selected creative will promote “Culture Night in Oshawa” (or a similar theme) which includes this summer’s Culture2 (Culture Squared), and Concerts in the Park events, as well as the annual Cultural Summit this fall.
The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 27. Submitted design/artwork proposals must meet the following criteria:
- Commitment and ability to meet timelines.
- Previous experience and results related to services requested.
- Quality and relevance of examples from previous design or related work.
- Quality and suitability of proposed design/ sketch
The successful candidate will be awarded $1,500 for their design and/ or artwork. In addition, credit will be provided on the “Culture Night In Oshawa” promotional material including the City’s website.
Additional details and submission requirements are available online at: www.oshawa.ca/culturepromo
Taking place in Oshawa’s Civic Square (outside of City Hall), Culture2 begins in July and is a free event. Artists, performers and cultural organizations are invited to perform or display at Civic Square at no cost. Participants who perform on the stage sign up on the evening and take the stage for 10 minutes.
About Concerts in the Park
Concerts in the Park takes place at Memorial Park during the summer. Each week a scheduled performer takes the stage for 1.5 hours. A variety of groups and individuals have entertained at this free, family friendly event since it started performing live music from genres such as rock, pop, opera and folk.
About the Cultural Summit
In 2014, the City held its first Cultural Summit at the Arts Resource Centre. The Summit was an opportunity for the City to update the community on achievements related to the Culture Counts: Oshawa’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan. It also included an opportunity for members of the cultural community to present on a project, program or activity that they completed/started that year.
Other relevant information for Culture2 and Concerts in the Park
In 2014, the Canadian Automotive Museum, Robert McLaughlin Gallery and McLaughlin Branch - Oshawa Public Library were open late on Thursdays during the summer and together they coordinated cross-participation and visitation amongst each cultural event/attraction.
Ontario Government Creating Jobs, Building a Strong Economy
Ontario is moving forward on the final phase of construction for Highway 407 East, which will help relieve congestion, create jobs, support the economy, and make area roads safer by providing emergency detour routes for travellers in Durham Region.
Blackbird Infrastructure has signed a fixed-priced contract to design, build, finance and maintain the project.
The province will also set and regulate tolls, and use toll revenue to fund new infrastructure and transit projects across Ontario.
Construction is expected to begin in fall 2015 from Harmony Road to Taunton Road/Highway 418 and is scheduled for completion in December 2017. The remainder will open in 2020.
This is the final phase of the Highway 407 East project, which will:
- Extend Highway 407 eastward from Harmony Road in Oshawa to Highway 35/115
- Provide a new north-south 10-kilometre highway link, Highway 418, to connect Highway 407 to Highway 401, just east of Oshawa
- Provide eight new interchanges including a partial interchange at Highway 418 and Taunton Road and three freeway to freeway connections (Highway 407 and Highway 418; Highway 418 and Highway 401; and at the end of Highway 407 at Highway 35/115)
Improving highways, roads and bridges across the province is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- Highway 407 is a separate entity owned and operated by the Province, connected to the existing 407 ETR.
- Initial tolls on Highway 407 will be lower than on 407 ETR.
- Ontario has 16,900 kilometres of highway and 2,800 bridges.
- The $1.2-billion contract was awarded to Blackbird Infrastructure.
For additional information, please visit the Ministry of Transportation Newsroom.Return to top
Read the latest news coverage of the many great things happening in Oshawa.
The City of Oshawa's March 2015 Media Summary Report report summarizes news coverage of City programs and events, as well as great news about Oshawa.Return to top
Apr 1 - Lancaster Bomber Navigator Chick Hewett Honoured at Street Naming Ceremony
Oshawa resident, Henry (Chick) Hewett was honoured today at a street naming ceremony located at the 420 (City of Oshawa) Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association. Mr. Hewett served as a Lancaster Bomber Navigator in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II and flew 35 missions with the Royal Air Force Bomber Command between 1944 and 1945. Mr. Hewett is a distinguished member of the 420 (City of Oshawa) Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association and recently received the Bomber Command medal.
“It was a pleasure to officiate at the street naming ceremony for distinguished Air Force Veteran Chick Hewett,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “Chick is a well-known and highly respected member of our community and I’m very pleased to see this street named in his honour.”
Chick Hewett Lane is located in front of the 420 (City of Oshawa) Wing, north from Stevenson Road to the Airport. The decorative “Chick Hewett Lane” street sign features the poppy insignia in honour of Oshawa’s war dead and war veterans as well as the Royal Canadian Air Force roundel. On hand for the ceremonies were members of Oshawa City Council, community dignitaries, Chick Hewett and his family and representatives from Oshawa war veterans’ associations.
In 2003, City Council adopted a Street Naming Policy to honour the memory of men and women from Oshawa who served in war or peacekeeping assignments, as part of Canada’s military, by the naming of new streets. Chick Hewett Lane marks the 51st veteran street name to be assigned for use in Oshawa.
“Our Veteran Street Naming Policy is a small way for Oshawa to recognize our veterans and the naming of “Chick Hewett Lane” is well deserved by Mr. Hewett,” said Councillor John Aker, Chair of the Development Services Committee. “I can’t think of a better place to name a street in honour of an Air Force Veteran than at our Airport.”
For additional information about the Street Naming Policy in Memory and Honour of the War Dead and War Veterans, or to submit a nomination, visit www.oshawa.ca/planningservices.Return to top
Help Oshawa welcome the world this summer
The City of Oshawa is getting ready to welcome the world this summer and would like you to be part of their TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games community experience!
Durham-based groups and individuals now have the opportunity to be part of the Games right here in Oshawa, and are invited to submit an Expression of Interest to publicly perform by Monday, April 27 at 9:00 a.m.
"We all know there is a lot of talented people in Oshawa so why not show it to the world during the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. "Come on Oshawa, let’s show the world who we are!"
This opportunity is open for two different types of groups/individuals:
- Performances, including anything from original music and dance to spoken word and drama; all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants for these positions will receive an honorarium.
- Cultural demonstrations, including sketches, performing arts, music (i.e. drumming), sport, comedy, caricatures, face painting, painting/drawing, historic vignettes, magic, puppeteering, and more!
While specific dates and locations are still to be announced, performances and demonstrations will take place between Friday, July 10 and Sunday, July 26 in downtown Oshawa.
Additional details and submission requirements are available online at: www.oshawa.ca/panamculture.Return to top
The Oshawa community responded to the Earth Hour challenge this past Saturday evening by reducing the demand for electricity by 4.51 megawatts or approximately 2.95 per cent.
The reduction in electricity demand is equivalent to approximately 45,000 homes shutting off one 100-watt light bulb for the hour.
Oshawa’s demand for electricity was considerably stronger than provincial results. The Independent Electricity System Operator reported that Ontario reduced demand by less than 1 per cent, or 100 megawatts.
“I am so proud of the commitment Oshawa showed to our environment this past weekend,” said Councillor Amy England, Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee (O.E.A.C.) Council representative. “It is events like Earth Hour that allow for greater discussion and reflection on energy use.”
Residents are encouraged to continue conserving energy where they can by participating in the O.E.A.C.’s Carbon Reduction Challenge. Daily challenges will be posted on the City’s website, as well as the City’s Twitter and Facebook accounts using #OshEco. The Challenge will run through to Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22.
"The idea behind the Carbon Reduction Challenge is to get Oshawa resident's thinking about what they can do when the lights go back on," said Victoria Fast, Chair of the Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee. “I hope the tips we share will encourage continued conversation surrounding efforts to reduce environmental impact.”
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 162 countries and territories worldwide.
For more information about the City of Oshawa's environmental initiatives, including Earth Hour, visit www.oshawa.ca/environment.
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April 19-25 is Community Clean-up Week
Volunteers wanted to help clean up Oshawa for the Pan Am Games
With spring in the air, homeowners, families, businesses, students and community leaders are encouraged to take part in the annual Community Clean-up Week to help tidy up for the Pan Am Games that are coming to Oshawa this July.
The kick-off week takes place April 19-25. Clean-ups can be done anytime up to the May long weekend. Groups of all sizes are invited to volunteer in cleaning up parks, green spaces, trails and schoolyards. Registered participants will be provided with free bags and gloves, while supplies last, and will also receive a Certificate of Appreciation to acknowledge their contribution to the community. Volunteers and groups can learn more and obtain the registration form online at www.oshawa.ca/cleanupweek.
“Spring is here and almost all the snow is gone and unfortunately the winter’s litter is now visible in our green spaces,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “Communities with Brooms is a great way for all to assist in cleaning up these areas. I encourage all to gather with some neighbours, get outside in the fresh air and help make Oshawa look better.”
As part of the annual initiative, a collaboration of organizations within Oshawa is coordinating a downtown event, Communities with Brooms, on Wednesday, April 22 beginning at 11:30 a.m. The event will bring community volunteers together, as well as representatives from Downtown Oshawa Board of Management, M.P. Colin Carrie, Durham Regional Police Service, John Howard Society and City of Oshawa. Residents can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Communities 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 905-438-3146 or visit www.oshawa.ca/cleanupweek. To register for Communities with Brooms, email email@example.com.Return to top
Oshawa Fire Services once again is holding a Junior Fire Chief essay contest for Grade 5 and 6 students. The topic of this year’s essay is “Fire safety begins with you. What can you and your family do to be safe from fire?” The essay should emphasize how families can help to not only prevent fire in their homes, but also explain what every household needs to escape if a fire does occur.
Five finalists will be chosen to present their essay to a panel of judges the week of April 20. The winner will receive a new bicycle courtesy of Canadian Tire, a “Junior Fire Chief” hoodie and a complimentary week at Oshawa Fire Services Junior Fire Fighter summer camp. The Junior Fire Chief will also take part in activities to promote Oshawa Fire Services throughout the year.
“The Junior Fire Chief contest and this year's topic "Fire Safety begins with you" is a great way to assist our children in learning more about fire safety,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “It should also enhance their parent’s knowledge as I'm sure there will be many questions as the students prepare their essays. Good luck to all!”
All essays for the Junior Fire Chief 2015 contest must be submitted by Tuesday, April 14. The contest is open to Oshawa students in Grades 5 and 6.
Essays can be submitted through the following methods:
Mail - 199 Adelaide Ave. W. Oshawa, ON L1J 7B1
Fax - 905-436-3883
E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
In person - Firehall #5 at 1550 Harmony Rd. N (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am -4:30 pm)
Pick-up - fire department personnel from school offices on Tuesday, April 14
For information about Oshawa Fire Services, visit www.oshawa.ca/fire and follow “OshawaCity” on Facebook. On Twitter, follow @OshawaCity and #OshawaFire.Return to top
The City of Oshawa is proud to announce Norma Douglas as the Oshawa community torchbearer for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President’s Choice® and OLG.
The torch relay will visit Oshawa on Friday, June 5 and will feature Norma Douglas as the community torchbearer. The 84 year old Oshawa resident competed at the 1955 Pan American Games in Mexico City, where she not only participated in the official debut of team synchronized swimming at that level of competition, but also won a silver medal for Canada as a member of the Peterborough Ornamental Swim Club.
“I feel very privileged – I never thought this would happen to me!” said Norma. “This is a nice finishing touch to my Pan Am Games experience; it’s like icing on the cake – a little extra at the end.”
Mrs. Douglas’ love for the sport did not end when she got out of the pool; she became a well-known coach, synchronized swimming referee and a highly sought after judge. In addition to being Ontario’s judging chairman for a period, Norma traveled coast to coast judging, training other judges, and providing seminars throughout Canada and the United States.
“I am looking forward to being part of the Pan Am Games again. My biggest memory from the 1955 Pan Am Games in Mexico City is walking into the Opening Ceremonies with the multitude of talented athletes. With Canada being so high in alphabetical order we got to watch everyone come in after us – it is a moment I’ll never forget.”
Norma founded the Oshawa Synchronized Swimming Club, now the Durham Synchro Club, in the early 1970s when her family moved to Oshawa from Peterborough, and assisted when Oshawa hosted the Canadian Synchronized Swimming Nationals as a referee.
According to Norma, the Douglas family has always been very community-oriented. Her children and grandchildren are active members of the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, Community Living, Oshawa Minor Lacrosse, Epilepsy Durham, Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre, and run an Oshawa-based business, while Norma is currently active within the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres.
Nowadays, Norma does not spend as much time in the pool, but ensures she stays active and healthy. “I won’t do anything differently than I normally do to [prepare for the relay]. I’ll walk on the treadmill daily, and do some walking outside.”
“Norma Douglas will proudly carry the Pan Am flame as Oshawa’s community torchbearer,” said Mayor John Henry. “Oshawa is excited to be a part of this historic journey and we look forward to showing our community to the world.”
During the 41-day torch relay, each of the 3,000 torchbearers will complete, on average, a 200-metre relay segment. The torch will be carried by more than 60 modes of transportation and exceed 5,000 kilometres on the road and 15,000 kilometres by air.
“The torch is a unique symbol of the Pan Am Games and carries a powerful energy that will unite Canadians,” said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer, TO2015. “The torchbearers will proudly carry the flame through more than 130 communities, igniting the Pan Am spirit as they go.”
Featured on the torch are the United We Play! pictograms — colourful depictions of people in motion —symbolizing the assembly of athletes through the celebration of sport and culture. The aluminum torch stands 65 centimetres high and weighs 1.2 kilograms (or roughly the same weight as a baseball bat). With a burn time of 10 to 12 minutes, the flame can withstand winds of up to 70 kilometres per hour and is visible in all kinds of weather conditions.Return to top
Service Oshawa & City Hall
Service Oshawa will be closed on Friday, April 3 and Monday, April 6 for the Easter holidays. For your convenience, Service Oshawa will be open Saturday, April 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or can be reached at 905-436-3311 or email@example.com.
There will be no waste collection services on Friday, April 3 and Monday, April 6. Residents who normally receive waste collection on Friday are reminded that due to Good Friday, waste will instead be collected on Saturday, April 4. Waste collection during the week of April 6 will occur one day later than your regularly scheduled collection day. Please check your waste collection calendar for more information, or visit the waste webpage.
Recreation Facilities and Fitness Centres
Due to Easter Weekend, all recreation programs (e.g. swimming lessons) are cancelled Friday, April 3 through to Monday, April 6.
Oshawa’s recreation facilities and fitness centres will be running modified schedules during the holiday weekend:
- Friday, April 3: Legends Centre is open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All other recreation facilities are closed.
- Saturday, April 4: all recreation facilities are open regular facility hours.
- Sunday, April 5: Civic Recreation Complex is open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and the Legends Centre is open 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All other recreation facilities are closed.
- Monday, April 6: Civic Recreation Complex is open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and the Legends Centre is open 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. All other recreation facilities are closed.
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Oshawa community members can celebrate their commitment to the planet during Earth Hour festivities this weekend.
On Saturday, March 28 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.
“This is an important time to reflect on our energy use, share and learn about how to make better decisions to support our environment and our world,” said Councillor Amy England, Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee (O.E.A.C.) Council representative. "It gives an opportunity for families to spend time together working to make our world a better place."
People looking for a social Earth Hour event can head over to the Regent Theatre at 7:00 p.m., where the O.E.A.C. will be kicking off their Carbon Reduction Challenge and screening the film, “No Impact Man”.
The Challenge will work to spread the word about how committing to small daily changes can add up to big savings – both for your wallet, and the environment. Daily challenges will be posted on the City’s website, as well as the City’s Twitter and Facebook accounts using #OshEco. The Challenge will run through to Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22.
The event will also feature presentations, videos and other information on how to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and save money on your energy bills. The event is free and everyone is welcome.
"Celebrating Earth Hour is not just about turning out the lights for an hour," said Victoria Fast, Chair of the O.E.A.C. "This event is designed to help residents learn what they can do to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions after the lights go back on."
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 162 countries and territories worldwide.
For more information about the City of Oshawa’s environmental initiatives, visit www.oshawa.ca/environment.Return to top
Mar 20 - Community Clean Up Week 2015
Officially, spring has begun and again this year, Community Clean-up Week takes place April 19-25, 2015. The City of Oshawa is asking residents to organize a clean-up to help tidy up for the Pan Am Games that are coming to Oshawa this July. After the cold winter that we experienced, there will be more litter than usual to collect so get involved in this annual community project.
All groups are invited – large or small - to help clean up local parks, green spaces, trails and schoolyards. Groups that complete a Record of Community Involvement will receive free waste bags and gloves, while supplies last. Upon completion of the clean up, registered groups will receive a Certificate of Recognition to acknowledge their contribution to the community. Clean ups can occur anytime from April 19 to May18.Return to top
Mar 16 - City of Oshawa participates in the 2015 Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge
Mayor John Henry and Members of Council are taking part in the 2015 Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge to recognize and celebrate poetry, writing, small presses and the contribution of poets, writers and libraries to the cultural life in our city. In addition, City Council proclaimed March 21, 2015 as ‘World Poetry Day’ and April 2015 as ‘National Poetry Month’ in the City of Oshawa.
“The City of Oshawa is proud to take part in a cultural initiative that celebrates the significance of literary arts. It is important to encourage the development of writers of all ages and levels and appreciate the positive impact literature can have on our community life,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry.
At the City of Oshawa Council Meeting taking place on April 7, 2015, J. Graham Ducker, from Oshawa, will read “You Came Into My Shop Today” from his published book Observations of Heart and Mind.
The Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge is in partnership with the City of Calgary, the League of Canadian Poets (LCP), the Writers’ Guild of Albert (WGA), and Loft 112 Literary hub http://poets.ca/programs-2/mayors-poetry-city-challenge-2015/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MayorsPoetryCityChallenge.Return to top
Mar 11 - Consolidated Operations Depot update
Read the February 2015 project status report for Oshawa’s new Consolidated Operations Depot (C.O.D.).
Have a question? Submit your C.O.D. related question(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org, online at www.oshawa.ca/depotproject or call 905-436-3311. City staff will respond to inquiries and all questions and answers regarding the project will be compiled (personal information will not be included) and posted to the webpage at www.oshawa.ca/depotproject.Depot Project webpage:/depot-project.asp
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The City of Oshawa is pleased to announce two new cultural initiatives under Culture Counts: Oshawa’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan: the establishment of a Public Art Policy and the creation of the Cultural Leadership Council.
On March 9, 2015, Oshawa City Council approved the City’s first Public Art Policy to guide the administration, selection and maintenance of public art in public spaces in Oshawa.
The policy applies to any artwork placed in City-owned buildings or spaces, including parks, green spaces, trails, recreation facilities and other municipal buildings, sidewalks and roadways. Examples of public artworks currently located in Oshawa include murals, sculptures and various pieces on display in City recreation facilities.
“Public art can transform city spaces, engage residents and strengthen tourism,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “By introducing this policy, we are recognizing the great value of public art to the Oshawa community.”
Also in March 2015, the City announced the creation of the Cultural Leadership Council that will help implement Culture Counts: Oshawa’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan.
The cross-sectorial leadership group is comprised of representatives from external agencies, post-secondary partners, Oshawa cultural organizations, creative industries, local businesses, and community members, including artists and youth.
The standing and appointed members of the Cultural Leadership Council are:
- Sandra Black (External Agency – Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres)
- Linda Jansma (External Agency – Robert McLaughlin Gallery)
- Brian Malcolm (External Agency – Parkwood Estate)
- Ellen Stroud (External Agency – Oshawa Public Libraries)
- Laura Suchan (External Agency – Oshawa Community Museum)
- Kate Ingram (Public Post-secondary Education – Trent University)
- Szanne McNutt (Public Post-secondary Education – U.O.I.T.)
- Greg Murphy (Public Post-secondary Education – Durham College)
- Kristine Dandavino (Cultural Organizations – Oshawa Opera)
- Alexander Gates (Cultural Organizations – Canadian Automotive Museum)
- Harley Pageot (Cultural Organizations – Next Summer Collective)
- Tricia vanOostveen (Cultural Organizations – Oshawa Art Association)
- Amie Scott (Business Communities)
- Alexis Ward (Creative Industries)
- Derek Giberson (Artist)
- Gary Greenwood (Artist)
- Marcie Riel (Artist)
- Margaret Rodgers (Artist)
- Brianne Blackman (Resident)
- Alexandra Down (Resident)
- Madimba Tshibuabua (Resident)
- Brendan Hill (Youth – Age 18-25)
The volunteer community council members are responsible for attending meetings, participating in local cultural events and initiatives, advocating for the recommendations in the Culture Counts Plan, sharing feedback from the public on Cultural Leadership Council activities, and serving as a resource to City staff.
“I am very pleased our Cultural Leadership Council will soon be in place and that it has a terrific cross-section of representation from our community,” added Councillor Chapman. “I thank those who have volunteered to serve and look forward to your leadership ensuring ‘Culture Counts’ continues to move in the right direction.”
The Cultural Leadership Council will also partner with the City on the implementation of various Culture Counts initiatives and act as the lead and co-lead on specific strategies and action items.
Culture Counts: Oshawa’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan was unanimously approved by Council in February 2014. The Plan includes six strategic directions that provide a framework of strategies and actions, including the establishment of a governance structure to help implement the Plan and the development of a Public Art Policy.
For more information on Culture Counts, including the Cultural Leadership Council and biographies of the members, visit www.oshawa.ca/culturecounts; or, follow @OshawaCulture on Twitter and CultureCountsOshawa on Facebook.Cultural Leadership Council:/culturecounts/cultural_leadership_council.asp
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Mar 11 - Oshawa Fire Services adds EpiPens to life-saving equipment
Recently, Oshawa Fire Services added EpiPens to its list of life-saving equipment on all of its front line fire trucks. The epinephrine auto-injectors, or EpiPens, are used to help treat anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction often caused by certain foods, bee stings or medications.
“There are a number of people who have adverse medical reactions to different things and an EpiPen can be a true lifesaver,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “Having these available on our first response fire trucks and our firefighters trained in the proper use will have positive results for Oshawa.”
Nine Oshawa fire trucks have been equipped with both EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. to be administered to adults and children respectively who present with anaphylaxis. All Oshawa Fire Suppression personnel (147 staff) have been trained on the use of this life-saving piece of equipment.Return to top
In a search to find the best deals in Canadian real estate for 2015, MoneySense magazine has ranked Durham/Oshawa as one of the Top 10 cities in Canada for the best deals in real estate.
The rankings of the country’s largest cities are based on housing value, price momentum, economic strength and rental income potential, with Durham/Oshawa placing 10th on the list of Top 35 cities in the county to buy and own real estate in now.
For more information: www.moneysense.ca/property/best-deals-in-real-estate-2015-canadas-best-cities-to-buy-in
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Mar 10 - Oshawa Council approves revised Procedural By-law to enhance public participation
The City of Oshawa is pleased to announce that Council’s Procedural By-law has been updated as a result of recommendations from the Public Participation Committee. The updated Procedural By-law will improve public participation at Council and Committee Meetings.
Specifically, the Procedural By-law changes include:
- The public is welcome and encouraged to attend all Council and Committee meetings held in open session. Individuals observing these meetings must conduct themselves in a manner which maintains a certain level of decorum and in accordance with the Procedural By-law. Actions which are determined by the Chair to be disruptive to the meeting or to others in attendance, such as verbal outbursts, clapping or jeering at a member of Council’s, delegation’s or staff’s comments, or any action determined to be disruptive to the meeting, will not be tolerated. Should an individual fail to cease his/her actions upon request by the Chair, he/she may be removed from the meeting.
Individuals wishing to address Council concerning a matter on the agenda must do so within the parameters prescribed in Section 55 of Council’s Procedural By-law. Delegations must be conducted in a manner, which maintains the professional decorum of the meeting and must not contain language which is defamatory, offensive or disrespectful to anyone.
- The wording in Sections 10 (1.2), (1.3) and (3) related to meetings notices and agendas was amended to use more common language.
- In order to create an atmosphere for effective participation, Councillors must always act in an ethical, respectful and courteous manner that allows Council to productively address all issues before it.
- Council must not engage in debate with citizens appearing as delegates or presenters regarding any matter presented.
- With respect to delegations, individuals who have addressed a Standing Committee and wish to speak at Council when the Committee recommendation comes forward, both those in favour and those opposed to the Committee recommendation are now permitted to address Council rather than just those who are opposed.
For individuals wishing to address Council on reports which go directly to Council without having first appeared on a Standing Committee agenda and the request to speak is received after the agenda deadline, staff will prepare an addendum to the agenda for these requests only, which will be provided to Council via e-mail prior to the meeting. Such requests must be received by 12:00 noon on the day of a regular Council meeting or by 12:00 noon the day before a Special Council Meeting. A majority vote will be required in order for the delegation to address Council.
“These changes are a step in the right direction and hopefully as a Council we can continue to engage and find new ways to allow for more open communication,” said Councillor Amy England, Chair of the Corporate Services Committee. "And remember we always welcome suggestions on how we can continue to improve our by-laws”.
The Public Participation Committee consisted of five members of the public who are Oshawa citizens: Bob Malcolmson (Chair), Cheryl Marek, Greg Reid, Merle Cole and Doug Thomson.
The Public Participation Committee reported to City Council through the Corporate Services Committee and was required to make recommendations related to improving public participation in Council and Committee meetings.Return to top
Mar 10 - Catch a glimpse inside Oshawa facilities
The City of Oshawa is now offering virtual tours to assist residents in visualizing and navigating city recreational facilities. The new tool, now available on the City’s website, provides a simulated walk through of the Arts Resource Centre, Civic Recreation Complex, Donevan Recreation Complex, Legends Centre, Northview Community Centre and the South Oshawa Community Centre.
“Oshawa has some amazing but large facilities and for some, finding your way around them may be difficult,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “However, now you can plan your visits by taking a virtual tour through our website. Isn’t technology wonderful?”
The tours are designed to benefit anyone who is considering attending a class for the first time, renting a meeting room, booking a birthday party, attending a sporting event or workshop or planning a social event. The virtual tours can be viewed at www.oshawa.ca/virtualtour.Return to top
The City of Oshawa is redesigning its website and is calling for community participation through a Focus Group session and a Call for Photos.
Call for Input!
The web project includes the reorganization of content to make it easier for online users to find information. The City is seeking participants for a focus group on Thursday, April 16. Participants will share input on the new website menu structure and organization of information.
To reserve your spot in the focus group (day and evening time slots are available), contact Corporate Communications by email at email@example.com or by phone at 905-436-5686.
Call for Photos!
The City is looking for photos that paint a picture of the city and celebrate Oshawa. Focused on sharing Oshawa’s hidden treasures through the lens of our community members, residents and photographers can participate in the Call for Photos by submitting their photographs online at www.oshawa.ca/callforphotos.
Individuals who submit photos up until April 17, 2015 and meet the posted criteria (for example, photos cannot include identifiable people) will be entered in a random draw on April 20, 2015 for the chance to win one of two prizes:
- 1-month, level-1 Adult Pass to the City’s recreation facilities
- City of Oshawa tote bag
Selected photos along with the photographer credit will be featured in the “Your Oshawa” Photo Gallery when the new website launches this spring. Additionally, submitted photos may be used on the City’s new website pages and City-produced promotional materials.
“One of the best ways to continue to grow as a city is to be able to interact and communicate with residents through a strong online presence. So have your say and help us improve your online experience,” said Councillor Amy England, Chair of the Corporate Services Committee.
The City website redevelopment project began in fall 2014. Public feedback has been integral to the success of the project. Participation and input from residents, business leaders and community partners has helped to shape the new website’s design, organization of information and top priorities for web content.
The new City website will launch in spring 2015. For more information, including details on the Focus Group and Call for Photos, visit www.oshawa.ca/websiteproject.Return to top
Mar 9 - Oshawa’s Peony Festival named Top Festivals & Events in Ontario
Peony Festival scores a hat-trick at FEO
For the third year running, Oshawa’s Peony Festival has earned its place in the Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario (FEO) for 2015. FEO’s annual Top 100 list recognizes festivals and events that excel within the industry.
“Amazing that our Peony Festival has again earned recognition as a top Ontario event,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “I encourage people to visit this year’s Festival on June 13th and 14th and enjoy our beautiful gardens.”
The 11th annual Peony Festival takes place June 13-14, 2015 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 and attracts over 4,000 visitors. 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, art competition and photo contest are all part of this remarkable flower festival. For more details about the Peony Festival, visit www.oshawa.ca/peony.
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 2015 Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario, visit www.festivalsandeventsontario.ca.Return to top
Read the latest news coverage of the many great things happening in Oshawa.
The City of Oshawa's February 2015 Media Summary Report report summarizes news coverage of City programs and events, as well as great news about Oshawa.Return to top
The City of Oshawa has released its capital works program identifying major road works, engineering projects and other infrastructure priorities for 2015.
During the construction season, over 10 major projects will be initiated or completed this year, ranging from road rehabilitation and sidewalk construction to watercourse improvements, storm sewer upgrades, bridge rehabilitation and cycling improvements.
As part of the annual pavement preservation program, approximately 80 kilometres of City roads will receive preventative work, including 7 kilometres of paving and resurfacing, 75 kilometres of sealing road cracks, and maintenance of curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
Some of the other major infrastructure projects include:
- completing the City’s first modern roundabout at the intersection of Thornton Road North and Conlin Road West to help accommodate increased vehicle traffic when the Highway 407 East Extension is complete;
- completing the $8-million Conlin Road West project that includes widening Conlin Road West from Founders Drive to Stevenson Road, constructing a new bridge, realignment of the Oshawa Creek and adding cycling lanes;
- replacing four pedestrian bridges, including one that completes the 7-kilometre Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path; and,
- watercourse improvements along Goodman Creek and Harmony Creek.
“The growth in Oshawa has simply been amazing, and these 2015 capital projects to our new and existing infrastructure ensure our residents have the services they require,” said Councillor John Aker, Chair of the Development Services Committee. “Early Council approval of these projects has enabled the City to get the best prices possible through our tender process.”
Another initiative this year is the expansion of the Watercourse Monitoring Program. A partnership between the City, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Central Lake Ontario Conservation, the program monitors and assesses water conditions in the Oshawa Creek and Harmony Creek and helps to support Oshawa’s commitment as a “Great Lakes Community.”
To learn more about upcoming capital works and infrastructure projects, visit www.oshawa.ca/infrastructurerenewal. To stay up-to-date on potential service disruptions, bookmark the Public Notices and Road Updates sections on the City website or follow “OshawaCity” on Twitter or Facebook.Return to top
Residents can now learn about the torch relay celebrations taking place in Oshawa and mark that special date in their calendar. We’re inviting the community to celebrate the Pan Am flame when it visits the Civic Recreation Complex and City Hall here in Oshawa.
“Oshawa is excited to host the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay. We look forward to sharing the Pan Am spirit and showcasing our great community,” said Mayor John Henry. “Welcoming the Pan Am flame to Oshawa is a special opportunity to show our community pride!”
A detailed map is now available online highlighting Oshawa, with the date and location for the community celebrations.
The torch relay begins its 41-day journey when the Pan Am flame is lit during a traditional Aztec lighting ceremony at the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico before landing in Canada on May 30, 2015. From Toronto, the flame heads to Thunder Bay on May 31st where it will visit the Terry Fox Monument before arriving in Nipigon, the most northern town on the Ontario leg of the journey. The smallest towns through which the torch will pass are Bruce Mines, population 566 and White River, population 607.
“The Games are all about bringing people together, and the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay will unite Ontarians, Canadians and communities. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to experience the emotion, excitement and significance of the Pan Am flame,” said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).
Three-thousand torchbearers will carry the flame through communities across Ontario as well as Richmond, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal and Halifax. The torch will see more than 60 modes of transportation while touring through Canada exceeding 5,000kms on the road and 15,000kms by air. The torch relay will finish in Toronto on July 10, 2015 to light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, which signifies the start of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.
As it makes its way to the Opening Ceremony of the Pan Am Games, the torch will visit six Canadian Forces Bases, a national and provincial park as well as five First Nations communities including the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations, the official Host First Nations of the Games. The Pan Am torch will also visit five national historic sites including Fort Henry in Kingston and the Halifax Citadel.
On July first, the torch will take part in Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill in our nation’s capital, Ottawa - a chance to celebrate and share the Pan Am spirit during Canada's biggest birthday party.
TO2015 is proud to bring the relay to Canadian communities with the help of presenting partners President’s Choice® and OLG, community partner CIBC and signature supporters Ontario Trillium Foundation, Porter Airlines and Star Media Group and Metroland Media to ensure it is a memorable experience for everyone involved.
Specific timing for Oshawa celebrations will be confirmed beginning in May. Street-level route will also be confirmed in May.
In addition, a separate TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Torch Relay will take place prior to the start of the Games on August 7, 2015. Details on the route and torchbearer application process will be released in April 2015.Return to top
Trees collected from the City of Oshawa’s Christmas tree collection program this past January will enhance the fish habitats in McLaughlin Bay. The City of Oshawa worked with Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Central Lake Ontario Conservation to supply Christmas trees to create artificial habitats for fish instead of composting the trees into soil.
Built into a cube with logs and trees placed in the middle, these artificial habitats known as fish cribs provide protection, food and shade for young fish and are hotspots for breeding and spawning. Additionally, the tree branches and roots improve the water quality by providing nutrients to the water to help aquatic plants grow. The completed fish cribs can be seen on the west side of the McLaughlin Bay and will sink in the spring to provide fish habitat and cover.
“This partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is an amazing way for us to continue the Christmas spirit by giving back to our environment,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee.
The structures were constructed by staff from Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Central Lake Ontario Conservation with help from volunteers from General Motors and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.
The City of Oshawa Christmas tree collection occurs every January. To learn more about the program visit www.oshawa.ca/waste.Return to top
Feb 20 - Oshawa recognized with provincial economic development awards
The City of Oshawa was recognized by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) at its annual Marketing Awards Dinner. This year, one hundred and twenty-nine submissions were judged for projects in communities across the province and two of Oshawa’s initiatives were recognized.
In the Publications category, Oshawa received an award for the Emerging Foodies guide, a unique guide to the food scene in downtown Oshawa. Oshawa also received an award in the Strategic Plans category for Culture Counts – Oshawa’s Arts, Culture and Heritage plan. The Plan provides a framework and vision to help Oshawa continue to build a creative, vibrant and sustainable community that engages and inspires residents.
“While development activity in Oshawa has and continues to break records we also support the revitalization of our downtown with such things as our “Emerging Foodies” guide,” said Councillor John Aker, Chair of the Development Services Committee. “I am pleased that this unique guide has been honoured with an EDCO Publication award and encourage people to make good use of it when visiting our downtown.”
“Our Arts, Culture and Heritage plan – “Culture Counts” has been well received and thanks goes to the staff and community members who came together to develop this plan,” said Councillor Bob Chapman, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “The fact that “Culture Counts” has been recognized with an EDCO Strategic Plan award is simply amazing.”
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.Return to top
Oshawa Mayor John Henry delivered his State of the City Address to the local business community at the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce’s annual Mayor’s Lunch on February 18.
To a packed conference room at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre, Mayor Henry thanked the Chamber and its businesses for their valuable contributions to the local economy.
“The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce plays an integral role in our community,” said Oshawa Mayor Henry. “To our business leaders, thank you for your commitment to our community and confidence and investment in Oshawa.”
The State of the City address opened with the Mayor speaking to key challenges, including: high electricity prices in Ontario, which is affecting the manufacturing industry and places a strain on small businesses; the need for provincial funding to assist with Highway 407 East Extension related road works; and ensuring the future of the automotive sector in Oshawa to protect jobs, spin-off industries and our post-secondary partners.
The Mayor stressed that cooperation and partnerships between all levels of government and stakeholders is essential to finding solutions to these challenges.
Mayor Henry shared good news stories from municipalities across the Region. Oshawa’s highlights included:
- more than half a billion dollars’ worth of building permits issued in 2014 and six new building records, including highest year ever on record;
- 35 new business openings in Oshawa last year;
- recognition from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for fostering entrepreneurship, with Oshawa ranking 6th in Ontario for entrepreneurial policy;
- Oshawa ranked 7th most affordable in a BMA Municipal Study comparing average property taxes across 26 municipalities;
- Oshawa reported the greatest increase in average household net worth in all of Canada, according to Environics;
- Oshawa ranked a Top 10 community in Canada for new residents; and,
- the City’s Director of Economic Development Services, Cindy Symons-Milroy, recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers of 2015.
Mayor Henry also spoke to initiatives for the year ahead that will guide Oshawa’s growth as a diverse and innovative city for business, research and education, including: supporting existing and new businesses; fostering innovation, new business start-ups and creativity; and taking advantage of new growth opportunities in key sectors.
“I am looking forward to the year ahead and the many exciting new developments, initiatives and collaborations that are planned and underway for our local economy,” said Mayor Henry. “Cooperation and partnerships between all levels of government, within our community, and among everyone here today is crucial in the years ahead and to our continued success.”Return to top
Are you ready to get active? The new activeOshawa Spring and Summer Leisure Guide is now available. There is something for everyone - swimming, skating, dance, art, music, fitness, sports and camps. Oshawa residents are now able to register either online, by drop-off, fax or stop by one of our designated in-person locations. Non-Resident registration begins on Wednesday, March 4.activeOshawa Leisure Guide :/mun_res/leisure/leis_act.asp
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Feb 19 - Council-approved 2015 operating and capital budgets are now available online
The City of Oshawa’s Council-approved 2015 operating and capital budgets are now available online. The 2015 City Budget invests in key strategic priorities to strengthen the future of the City while also balancing affordability with the delivery of quality services.
The operating budget provides funding to deliver efficient and affordable services to the Oshawa community such as snow removal, road maintenance, and fire prevention and response.
The capital budget represents an investment of more than $28 million in core infrastructure to support continued growth. This includes building renewal, parks and trails, and road/sidewalk reconstruction, as well as investing in key strategic priorities including completion of the Consolidated Operations Depot project, Highway 407 related local road works and Fire Hall No. 6.
The 2015 City Budget also includes 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 18 local community groups.
- meets the public service and infrastructure needs of residents
- balances competing priorities and challenges
- continues to provide high quality services while keeping taxes as affordable as possible
- provides for inflationary increases
- includes increased contributions to capital reserves to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the City
“The 2015 budget includes input from Council, City staff, and our community. It reinforces this Council’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and demonstrates that our city is on course to provide the services, programs and infrastructure needed to support our quality of life, while strengthening businesses and attracting investment,” said Mayor Henry.
“City Council continues its commitment to control taxes while retaining high service standards within the community,” said Councillor Nancy Diamond, Chair, Finance Committee. “The strategic combination of extensive opportunities -- for public input; ensuring affordability as a critical measure; investigation of funding options; long term planning; and commitment from Finance Committee members, Council and staff -- has delivered an effective budget for 2015 and a solid base upon which to develop future budgets.”
The 2015 City Budget includes a tax levy increase of 1.82 per cent for residential properties, which translates to a property tax increase of $12.43 per $100,000 of assessment. This means that a residential property owner with a property assessed at $290,000 would pay an additional $36.03 per year in property taxes on the City of Oshawa portion of their tax bill.
For more information, and to view the 2015 City Budget online, visit www.oshawa.ca/2015budget.Return to top
Oshawa to recoup December 2013 ice storm costs
The City of Oshawa is pleased to report that the Province of Ontario has offered an interim installment of $571,619 from Ontario’s Ice Storm Assistance Program. The Ontario government is offering interim funding to municipalities while it continues to review all claims received. Oshawa’s interim installment represents 35 per cent of the City’s total requested amount and will be applied to the City’s winter maintenance reserves. The City has requested $1.6 million in funding.
“We appreciate the Province recognizing the significant financial impact of the ‘2013 Ice Storm’ by providing assistance. We welcome the first installment and look forward to receiving the additional installments,” said Mayor Henry. “We are very proud of the accomplishments of our staff, as well as their dedication to our community during and after the ice storm.”
Oshawa was one of the first Ontario municipalities to activate its Emergency Operations Centre on Sunday, December 22, 2013. City staff, the Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation, and other Regional departments quickly worked together to address the City’s immediate issues. This included 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. This was the worst winter storm and physical damage the city has faced in many decades.
Province of Ontario Ice Storm Assistance Program Quick Facts
- The province announced in February 2014 that it would pay 100 per cent of eligible disaster response and recovery costs to municipalities and conservation authorities severely affected by the December 2013 ice storm.
- The Ice Storm Assistance Program is a one-time disaster relief program for the December 2013 ice storm. It focuses on costs related to the immediate emergency response, such as setting up warming centres, and the subsequent cleanup of debris necessary to protect public safety.
- Ontario will be reimbursed by the federal government for a portion of the eligible response and recovery costs under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements.
- The ice storm caused widespread damage and blackouts across southern, western and eastern Ontario. At the peak of the storm, over 800,000 hydro customers were without power.
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Oshawa Mayor John Henry and the City of Oshawa are being featured on The Weather Network for the City’s practices in winter maintenance.
Two news segments aired on February 12:
- How the City of Oshawa budgets for snow plowing and sidewalk clearing - watch the video
- How the City uses road temperature technology to assist with informed and timely winter road maintenance - watch the video
The Weather Network will visit the City’s Ritson Depot once again on February 17 to report on:
- How a City snow plow operates
- A look inside the City’s brine storage facility
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The Durham Regional Police Service reminds residents to take precautions for the cold this Family Day Weekend and offers some tips. Read the article.
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Feb 12 - Emergency Shelter Information - During Cold Weather Period
Looking for/interested in information about emergency shelters? Visit the Region of Durham's Emergency Shelter webpage for details.
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The 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada will be celebrated on Sunday, February 15. It marks the day in 1965 when the red and white maple leaf flag was first raised over Parliament Hill in Ottawa as well as throughout Canada.
“The Canadian Flag symbolizes our pride and patriotism for a country full of promise. It is recognized and admired worldwide as a symbol for a country made of peace, harmony and democracy,” said Mayor John Henry.
Take part in the National Flag Day celebrations by learning more about how our flag was created and its meaning. Another fun way to celebrate the anniversary is to participate in the “Share your Moment with the Flag” challenge by sharing a picture or video of you and the flag with the hashtag #flag50 on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
For more information on National Flag of Canada Day, visit the Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage webpage.Return to top
Business leaders are invited to a free Lectures20 event on February 20 at CORE21. A panel of speakers will present “Special Events Planned for Downtown Oshawa in 2015.”
Knowing the character, demographic and dates of these events should lead a business’ seasonal marketing campaign. Attendees will also hear from Durham Region Tourism on how to cross promote your business effectively.
To register and for more information: http://lectures20.eventbrite.comReturn to top
Feb 4 - Oshawa in the News: January 2015 media summary report
The City of Oshawa's January 2015 Media Summary Report is now available!
The report summarizes news coverage of City programs and events, as well as great news about Oshawa.Return to top
The City of Oshawa has launched bids.oshawa.ca, a new bid opportunities web portal for vendors and contractors. The new web portal provides vendors with easy, online access to view City of Oshawa bid and tender opportunities.
Each year, the City issues a wide range of bid opportunities for various goods and services, from construction services to building supplies to computer software and equipment. In 2014, the City issued approximately 100 formal bid opportunities.
All bids are available free of charge at bids.oshawa.ca. Registered vendors can subscribe to receive email notifications of opportunities that are relevant to their selected categories of goods and/or services.
Highlights of the self-service features for vendors and contractors are:
- Easy, online access to view bid opportunities
- Vendors can register for an account to be notified by email of opportunities that are relevant to their commodity choices.
- Vendors can register additional company contacts to receive email notifications.
- After registering for a bid, vendors can easily download all relevant documents (e.g. drawings) and will be notified by email of any addenda or changes to the bid.
“We are making it easier to do business with the City of Oshawa,” said Councillor Nancy Diamond, Chair of the Finance Committee. “In such a highly competitive economy, businesses will receive notification of bid opportunities and have full access to potential contracts. At the same time, the City will benefit from a broader range of suppliers. In the ‘soft launch’ this week, over 1,000 suppliers have already taken advantage of registration.”
In addition, the new system provides a more efficient method to manage the City’s vendor database, including maintaining an inventory of emergency vendors that could provide services or products in the event of an emergency.
To access the new web portal and view current bid opportunities, visit bids.oshawa.ca. For more information, contact Purchasing Services at 905-436-5637, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in-person at City Hall, 7th Floor (50 Centre Street South) during regular business hours, Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The new web portal, bids.oshawa.ca, is part of the City’s website redesign project. Underway since fall 2014, the new website will launch in spring 2015.Return to top
Jan 27 - Oshawa appoints new Commissioner of Development Services
The Corporation of the City of Oshawa is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Paul Ralph as the new Commissioner of Development Services, effective February 2, 2015. This appointment follows the retirement of Mr. Thomas Hodgins at the end of January.
In 1986, Mr. Ralph began his tenure at the City of Oshawa as a Planner A and went on to various positions such as Planner B, Senior Planner, Principal Planner and Manager, Development & Urban Design. In May 2008, Mr. Ralph was promoted to Director, Planning Services.
“On behalf of members of Council, I would like to congratulate Mr. Ralph on his appointment to Commissioner,” said Councillor John Aker, Chair of Development Services. “Mr. Ralph has an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience that will benefit our city as we continue to grow and prosper”.
Some of the Development Services Department strategic priorities include such matters as:
- Implementation of the Plan 20/Twenty for Downtown Oshawa
- Advance major development applications including new residential subdivision applications in the Kedron Part 2 Planning Area
- Complete a new Airport Business Plan
- Finalize the City’s first Integrated Transportation Master Plan
- Finalize a Windfields Farm Legacy Program
- Deliver a major capital program including, road, sidewalk, bridge and watercourse improvements.
“The Corporation will be relying on Mr. Ralph to use his vast expertise and experience, to lead the Development Services Department, and help the City achieve its strategic goals while championing our corporate values of authenticity, courage and trust,” said Ms. Beverly Hendry, Interim City Manager.
Mr. Ralph will oversee five branches: Administration and Accessibility Services, Building Permit and Inspection Services, Economic Development Services, Engineering Services and Planning Services. In addition, the Oshawa Municipal Airport is managed through this department.
Mr. Ralph holds an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree with a major in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo. He is a registered Professional Planner and a member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners.Return to top
On Friday, January 23, 2015, Oshawa Council approved the 2015 operating and capital budgets. The 2015 City Budget invests in key strategic priorities to strengthen the future of the City while also balancing affordability with the delivery of quality services.
The operating budget provides funding to deliver efficient and affordable services to the Oshawa community such as snow removal, road maintenance, and fire prevention and response.
The capital budget represents an investment of more than $28 million in core infrastructure to support continued growth.
The 2015 City Budget also includes 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 18 local community groups.
For more information on the budget process, visit www.oshawa.ca/2015budget.Return to top
Jan 23 - Attend the Pan Am Games Information Session on Wednesday, January 28
TORONTO2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Oshawa Information Session
Residents and businesses invited to the January 28, drop-in evening session
TORONTO2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee representatives, Games partners, together with the City of Oshawa, invite residents and businesses to a TORONTO2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Information Session on Wednesday, January 28, 2015.
The drop-in information session will take place between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the City of Oshawa’s Civic Recreation Complex (Meeting Rooms 4 & 5).
Experts from TO2015, Ministry of Transportation, Integrated Security Unit and City of Oshawa will give a presentation and will be available at various display tables to answer questions about the Games in Oshawa.
In summer 2015, Ontario will host the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games between July 10 and August 15, 2015. The Oshawa Sports Centre (General Motors Centre) will serve as the venue for boxing and weightlifting events.
“The City of Oshawa is proud to host boxing and weightlifting competitions during the TORONTO2015 Games,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry. “The Oshawa Sports Centre (General Motors Centre) is the choice venue for the 245 athletes; it will provide a spectacular view for up to 3,000 spectators per session.”Return to top
Jan 22 - Oshawa’s own chosen as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers
Consultant Connect, a consulting agency designed to bridge the gap between economic developers and site consultants, recently announced North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers of 2015. The City of Oshawa is proud to announce that Cindy Symons-Milroy, Director of Economic Development Services was included in this prestigious list.
“I have the privilege of working with a great team in our Economic Development branch and together, we continually reach out to the site selection community in order to make Oshawa top of mind and build those critical relationships that help drive investment decisions,” said Cindy Symons-Milroy.
The economic developers selected for the list were nominated by their colleagues in both the economic development industry and the site consultant community for excellent practices, innovation and success in building the communities they serve.
“The list of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers was developed as a way to acknowledge the work of these 50 economic development leaders and elevate the conversation around best practices in the industry,” said Ron Kitchens, managing partner of Consultant Connect. “Each leader named is absolutely deserving of this recognition for the work they do every day to build their communities. The insights they share on the podcast are invaluable and worth every minute of your time to listen in.”
“On behalf of the Development Services Committee and Oshawa City Council, I congratulate Ms. Symons-Milroy on receiving this recognition,” said Councillor John Aker, Chair of the Development Services Committee. “Oshawa has seen a great deal of growth over the past four years with 2014 having almost an equal balance between residential and commercial/industrial growth. I’m sure the focus of Ms. Symons-Milroy and her staff will ensure continued economic activity in our city.”
Along with the honour of being recognized as one of the top performing economic developers, Ms. Symons-Milroy will be featured on the podcast, From The Ground Up: North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. Ms. Symons-Milroy will share insights gained from her experience in the field of economic development, what makes Oshawa unique and her perspective on the most important industry and leadership trends of the future.
For more information about North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers or to subscribe to the weekly podcast, visit http://consultantconnect.org/category/econdev-podcast/. The podcast series is also available via iTunes by searching “From The Ground Up: North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers.”Return to top
The City of Oshawa's December 2014 Media Summary Report is now available!
The report summarizes news coverage of City programs and events, as well as great news about Oshawa.Return to top
Jan 5 - Oshawa issues over half a billion in building permits in 2014
For the first time in its history, the City of Oshawa has surpassed half a billion in construction value. Oshawa continues its record-setting trend with six new building records in 2014:
- February – Highest February residential ($26.7 million)
- March – Highest commercial value in one month ($153 million)
- August – Highest August on record ($68.5 million)
- December – Highest December on record ($43.8 million)
- Highest year-end commercial value ($182.8 million)
- Highest year on record ($507 million)
Total construction value in 2014 was more than $60 million over the record set in 2007, which was $446 million. Also in 2014, the City of Oshawa issued 1,400 building permits with a total value of $506,845,400 (comprising of $265,604,200 in residential, $182,844,100 in commercial, $30,063,600 in governmental/institutional and $28,333,500 in industrial value).
In addition, there were 805 new residential units created in Oshawa consisting of 434 single dwellings, 210 apartment units, 150 townhouses, 2 duplexes, 2 semis and 7 accessory dwellings.
Some of the major 2014 projects included:
- Oshawa Centre Holdings Inc. – Shopping Centre addition at 419 King St. W. ($130 million)
- 255 Simcoe St. Holdings – Seniors’ apartment at 30 Adelaide Ave. E. ($20 million)
- Chayell Hotels – Hotel & Conference Centre at 67 Simcoe St. N. ($20 million)
- Metal Traders Inc. – Industrial warehouse at 953 Farewell St. ($11.7 million)
- City of Oshawa – Consolidated Operations Depot at 199 Wentworth St. E. ($8.4 million)
- Durham Catholic District School Board – Elementary school at 1425 Coldstream Dr. ($7.2 million)
“Oshawa has had an amazing year of construction with growth well balanced between residential and commercial/industrial. These statistics emphasize the fact that our City is an excellent place to live, learn, work and play,” said Councillor John Aker, Chair of the Development Services Committee. “During the next four years, there will be positive announcements for the City of Oshawa to ensure our continued growth. The Development Services Committee and staff are committed to Oshawa’s growth through good planning.”
“2015 also promises to be strong for Oshawa’s growth and development,” says Mike Leonard, Oshawa’s Chief Building Official. “We have 450 permit applications from last year that will be reviewed and issued in 2015.”
Oshawa has kept monthly building records since 1975, while yearly records date back to 1963. For more information on Building Permits & Inspection Services, visit www.oshawa.ca/permits.Return to top