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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

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2015 | 2014

News Archives for 2015

March 2015

Mar 24 - Oshawa Announces Community Torchbearer for Pan Am Games Torch Relay

Left to right: Councillor Diamond, Councillor Chapman, Norma Douglas, Mayor Henry, Beverly Hendry, City Manager, and Councillor Aker.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.

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Mar 24 - Easter Weekend: Operating hours and schedules

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

Waste Services

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.

Learn more about activities available during the Easter Weekend at Legends Centre and Civic Recreation Centre.

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Mar 23 - Oshawa celebrates Earth Hour on March 28

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

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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.

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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 and Facebook page

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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, online at 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

Depot Project webpage:/depot-project.asp
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Mar 11 - Oshawa announces first-ever Cultural Leadership Council

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; 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.

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Mar 11 - Durham/Oshawa named a Top 10 city to buy real estate in Canada

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:


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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.

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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

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

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Mar 9 - Have your say on our new website: Focus Group and Call for Photos

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 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

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. 1-month, level-1 Adult Pass to the City’s recreation facilities
  2. 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

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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

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

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

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Mar 5 - Oshawa in the News: good news media coverage

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.

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Mar 3 - Oshawa releases capital works program for 2015

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 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.

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February 2015

Feb 26 - TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay Celebration Announced for Oshawa

TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay route detailed on map of Ontario.The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President’s Choice® and OLG, is coming to Oshawa on June 5, 2015.

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.

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Feb 26 - City donates trees to enhance McLaughlin Bay

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

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

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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.

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Feb 20 - Oshawa Mayor delivers State of the City address to local business community

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.”

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Feb 19 - Registration for Spring Summer Programs is now open!

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.

Budget highlights:

  • 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

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Feb 19 - City of Oshawa receives funding offer from Ontario’s Ice Storm Assistance Program

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.

Background Information

Additional Resources

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

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Feb 13 - Mayor Henry talks winter snow clearing operations on The Weather Network

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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Feb 13 - D.R.P.S.: Prepare For The Deep Freeze This Holiday Weekend

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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Feb 10 - Celebrate the Flag - Join in the Celebrations!

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.

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Feb 10 - Marketing Intelligence: Special Events Planned for Downtown Oshawa

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:

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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.

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January 2015

Jan 28 - City of Oshawa launches

The City of Oshawa has launched, 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 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 For more information, contact Purchasing Services at 905-436-5637, by email at 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,, is part of the City’s website redesign project. Underway since fall 2014, the new website will launch in spring 2015.

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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:

  1. Implementation of the Plan 20/Twenty for Downtown Oshawa
  2. Advance major development applications including new residential subdivision applications in the Kedron Part 2 Planning Area
  3. Complete a new Airport Business Plan
  4. Finalize the City’s first Integrated Transportation Master Plan
  5. Finalize a Windfields Farm Legacy Program
  6. 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.

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Jan 26 - Oshawa Council approves 2015 operating and capital budgets

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

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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.”

For more information about the Games in Oshawa, visit or

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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 The podcast series is also available via iTunes by searching “From The Ground Up: North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers.”

For more information on Economic Development Services, visit or follow @InvestOshawa on Twitter.

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Jan 8 - Oshawa in the News: December media summary report

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.

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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:

  1. February    – Highest February residential ($26.7 million)
  2. March        – Highest commercial value in one month ($153 million)
  3. August       – Highest August on record ($68.5 million)
  4. December  – Highest December on record ($43.8 million)
  5. Highest year-end commercial value ($182.8 million)
  6. 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

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