Ontario Heritage Trust / Fiducie du patrimoine ontarien
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September 26, 2015

Come and celebrate our unique heritage!

Whether you are visiting for a few hours, a few days or longer, Oshawa will keep you entertained, relaxed and informed.

We hope you enjoy our Doors Open sites this year, as well as the wonderful parks and gardens located throughout the city.

For complete information about our event, call 905-436-3311, ext. 3146, or toll-free 1-800-667-4292, ext. 3146. Or visit www.Oshawa.ca.

The earliest known settlement near present-day Oshawa began in 1400 when Lake Ontario Iroquois settled a large village of approximately 12 longhouses near what is now known as Harmony Creek. Benjamin Wilson and his family arrived in 1794 at the Oshawa lakefront and established themselves in an abandoned log building originally constructed by French traders in the 1750s.

In 1816, John Kerr became the first settler, purchasing land at the northwest corner of what are now King and Simcoe streets. For many years, the settlement was simply called Kerr’s Creek. In the 1830s, Edward Skae ran a general store at this same corner, and the hamlet soon became known as Skae’s Corners. The name Oshawa was ultimately chosen to represent the settlement – it translates from the native dialect to mean the point at the crossing of the stream where the canoe was exchanged for the trail. Oshawa was incorporated as a village in 1849, and by 1853, the Port of Oshawa was established as a clearing and warehousing port.

Oshawa's industry continued to grow with the coming of the Grand Trunk Railway. Robert McLaughlin relocated to Oshawa in 1876, drawn by its flourishing rail and harbour facilities. With the help of a $50,000 interest-free loan from the town, the McLaughlin Carriage Company quickly developed into the largest carriage works in the British Empire. With the automobile fast gaining popularity, the McLaughlins contracted with the Buick Motor Car Company of Michigan to incorporate the Buick engine in the McLaughlin car. The McLaughlins acquired the rights to build Chevrolets in 1915 and the Chevrolet Motor Car Company of Canada was formed. Three years later, the McLaughlin Motor Car Company and Chevrolet Motor Car Company of Canada merged to create General Motors of Canada Limited – with Robert McLaughlin as its president.

Between 1900 and 1924, the town expanded further – with sewers, hospitals, paved streets and municipal parks. On March 8, 1924, with a population of 15,545, Oshawa was elevated from town to city status. Today, with a population of 157,000, Oshawa is the largest municipality in the Regional Municipality of Durham.

Oshawa is a growing and evolving city that fosters the development of diverse economic sectors and knowledge-based industries. Although still a centre of strength, especially in the field of engineering, automotive is no longer Oshawa’s sole focus. Oshawa’s diversified business platform focuses on five emerging key sectors: advanced manufacturing, health and bioscience, energy generation, multi-modal transportation, and logistics and information technology. Oshawa is home to three highly acclaimed post-secondary institutions – Durham College, Trent University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). In addition, Queen’s University School of Family Medicine has established a residency program at Lakeridge Health Oshawa.

Oshawa is also rich in arts and cultural assets – with over 500 cultural businesses, events and festivals. The new Culture Counts: Oshawa's Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan, supports and builds on Oshawa’s cultural vitality. This plan, in partnership with community groups and cultural organizations, will guide our arts, culture and heritage for years to come.

Doors Open Oshawa always welcomes volunteers.

Contact us to learn more about joining our volunteer team to make Doors Open Oshawa another resounding success!

Call: 905-436-3311, ext. 3146 or toll-free 1-800-667-4292, ext. 3146

Email: Heritage@Oshawa.ca

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms

61 Charles Street

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
61 Charles Street
Oshawa, Ontario
Year built: 1903
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Built in 1903 by the T. Eaton Company Limited, 61 Charles Street expanded in the 1920s and manufactured for the automotive industry. For nearly 50 years afterwards, it was the home of Alger Press Ltd. The building now provides classrooms, student services, a library and much more as part of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available

Boys and Girls Club of Oshawa, Eastview Unit

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
433 Eulalie Avenue
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-728-5121, ext. 222
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Boys and Girls Club of Oshawa has served local residents for over 50 years. Thousands of people have participated in programs at the Eastview Unit over the years. Perhaps you were one of them. For Doors Open 2015, there will be many historical photos on display and a self-guided tour.
Partial wheelchair access

Canadian Automotive Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
99 Simcoe Street South
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-576-1222
Year built: 1920
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Established in 1961 and housed in a 1920s car dealership, this museum showcases the development of the automobile with approximately 76 vehicles dating from 1902 to 1988, as well as other items relating to these historical cars. The building has its original freight elevator. During Doors Open, visit the gift shop, and enjoy family crafts and guided tours.
Parking
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Church of St. Peter

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1175 Cedar Street
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-728-8080
Year built: 1961
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This church, built in 1961, replaced a portable building erected on this site in the 1950s. Church furnishings from Holy Trinity Church (that merged with this one in 1964) were rededicated here later that same year. Today, the church houses artifacts from previous churches dating back to the 1850s. View an exhibit of vestments and sacred vessels.
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Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Ontario's sport heritage

Civic Recreation Complex, Sports Heritage Fair

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
99 Thornton Road South
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-436-3311
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join us in the lobby for heritage displays of Oshawa's sport groups. Many local organizations have a long and interesting history of sport in Oshawa. What better venue to explore this history than our newest recreational facility!
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Columbus Community Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
3265 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, Ontario
Year built: 1859
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Columbus Community Centre, designated in 2011, has origins that go back to 1859 when it was the East Whitby Township Hall. Come and explore the building, historical displays and artifacts from recently lost properties, including Windfields Farm – once part of East Whitby Township. For Doors Open this year, tour the adjacent Columbus Methodist Cemetery at noon and 2 p.m.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access

Cowan House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
39 Athol Street West
Oshawa, Ontario
Year built: 1858
Style: Georgian
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cowan House, built in 1848, is a Georgian-style dwelling with Italianate properties – seen in the bracketed eaves and portico elements. It was home to businessman and mayor W.F. Cowan and his family. Today, it serves as offices and meeting rooms for St. George's Memorial Church.
Parking
Guided tours available
Trails

History in the Hallows Walking Tour

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Meet at 50 Centre Street South (south entrance of Oshawa City Hall)
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-436-3311
Landscape type: Natural heritage
Building type: Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; tours depart every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour; last tour at 3:30 p.m.
This 45-minute walking tour along the Oshawa Creek includes the area once called "the hallows." The tour enables participants to consider the history of Oshawa from the perspective of the creek and its environment. An online photostream supports the tour (follow on your cell phone). Note: Rugged terrain, so wear sturdy shoes.
Parking
Guided tours available

Intrepid Park, Camp X

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Boundary Road just south of Wentworth Street West
Oshawa, Ontario
Year built: 1941
Architect: Canadian Corps of Engineers
Landscape type: Landscape
Saturday: tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Join renowned author Lynn Phillip Hodgson for a guided tour of Camp X, the former top-secret Second World War spy training school. Meet at the monument in Intrepid Park to explore the remains of the camp, strategically located by the Lake Ontario shore.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Islamic Centre of Oshawa

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
23 Lloyd Street
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 289-200-6070
Year built: 2012
Architect: Array International Architects
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This first mosque built in Oshawa is reminiscent of the Ottoman Empire. Features include a traditional-style dome, arched windows and a minaret. Both the dome above the main prayer hall and the dome atop the minaret are enhanced by ornamental crescent moons. Guided tours and free refreshments. This is a place of worship – please be respectful of any dress codes.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Ontario's sport heritage

Kinsmen Civic Memorial Stadium

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
89 Arena Street
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-436-3311
Year built: 1948
Building type: Attraction, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Called the Wrigley Field of Canada because of the thick ivy clinging to its outfield walls, this stadium is home to Baseball Oshawa. It opened in 1949 (in honour of fallen Second World War servicemen) at a time when ballparks were evening gathering places. Meet Hall of Fame inductee Jim Lutton, who will share his stories of baseball in Oshawa.
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Lazer X-treme

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
44 Bond Street East
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 416-606-0145
Year built: 1951
Building type: Attraction
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lazer X-treme is located in the former United Automobile Workers Local 222 union hall. Built in 1951, this building housed what was once the largest union local in North America. Thousands of autoworkers organized to vigorously defend local autonomy and democracy, vitally shaping Oshawa's cultural heritage. Now a popular laser-tag venue, Lazer X-treme offers fun and excitement for all ages!
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Living Room Community Art Studio, The

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
149 Simcoe Street South
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-721-9596
Year built: 1856
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This building once had a delicatessen on one side and a wool shop on the other. After being vacant for several years, it has been reclaimed and revitalized by the community as a gathering place to make art. All materials are free and there are many classes to join. During Doors Open, there will be a special art activity.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available

Ontario Regiment Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1000 Stevenson Road North (Airport South Field)
Oshawa, Ontario
Building type: Attraction, Military, Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This museum is a historical summary of the military heritage of the Ontario Regiment, one of Canada's oldest continuing armoured regiments. The display includes uniforms, medals, arms and photos and a collection of historical vehicles with over 80 operational military jeeps, carriers, trucks and tanks. Some restrictions apply.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Ontario's sport heritage

Oshawa City Hall

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
50 Centre Street South
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-436-3311
Year built: 1952
Architect: Hanks & Irwin Architects (original); Pentland, Baker & Polson Architects (civic square, 1967); Barry Bryant & Associates (renovations, 2009-10)
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oshawa City Hall originally stood at the corner of Simcoe and Richmond streets; it was rebuilt in its current location in 1952. In 2009-10, the building underwent renovations, including the demolition and reconstruction of the Council Chamber. This year, the Council Chamber will be open for guided tours. The Oshawa Community Museum will also showcase a special sport heritage exhibit.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms

Oshawa Community Museum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Special exhibit at Oshawa City Hall, 50 Centre Street South
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-436-7624
Year built: c. 1840
Building type: Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Oshawa Community Museum tells the story of Oshawa’s history, from its earliest First Nation inhabitants to present times. This year, staff will be on hand at Oshawa City Hall to inform visitors about the museum, and Oshawa’s exciting history will be displayed through photographs, artifacts, videos and brochures.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Oshawa Municipal Airport

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1200 Airport Blvd.
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-576-8146
Year built: 1940-96
Building type: Attraction, Commercial, Transportation
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at some aviation businesses and services supporting the aviation industry. This Doors Open event will include hands-on activities for kids, exhibitor booths, information for hangar purchase/rental and several displays. Visitors can take the free shuttle bus between various airport venues and activities. Food and sightseeing flights are available for purchase throughout the day.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Ontario's sport heritage

Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
99 Athol Street East
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-245-0360
Year built: 2007
Building type: Attraction, Museum
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This museum, located on the first floor of the General Motors Centre, honours those who have achieved a high level as players, teams and builders of sport in the city. Caricatures of each inductee are found on the walls. Numerous artifacts and photographs will be on display, depicting the sport history of Oshawa – from hockey heroes to Kentucky Derby winners.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms

Regent Theatre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
44-52 King Street East
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-721-3399
Year built: 1919
Architect: John McNee Jeffrey
Style: Georgian
Building type: Theatre
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Regent Theatre was designated in 2001. Its façade, built in 1919 for Famous Players theatres, has Georgian architectural lines. One of the town’s few remaining examples of this classically inspired style, the building reopened in 2010 as a lecture theatre for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, as well as for community and cultural events.
Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly

Robert McLaughlin Gallery, The

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
72 Queen Street
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-576-3000
Year built: 1969; Erickson addition 1987
Architect: Arthur Erickson
Building type: Museum
Saturday: Noon to 4 p.m.
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery was built as a square, modernist structure. It was expanded by architect Arthur Erickson, who built around the existing structure, incorporating the original stone façade into the dramatic lobby, which is flooded with natural light, skylights and soaring ceilings. During Doors Open, join interactive and fun artist-led drawing activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Parking
Washrooms
Guided tours available

St. George the Great Martyr Ukrainian Catholic Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
597 Albert Street South
Oshawa, Ontario
Year built: 1955
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This church’s green copper domes rise above the skyline, creating a landmark for all travellers on Highway 401. Built in 1955 in the heart of Old Oshawa, this impressive place of worship is the spiritual home for the area’s Ukrainian Catholics. In 2012, they celebrated the 100th anniversary of the parish in Oshawa. The original church stood across the road.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms

St. George's Memorial Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
51 Centre Street South
Oshawa, Ontario
Year built: 1924
Architect: Eden Smith; parish hall designed by Forsey Page & Steele
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
St. George's opened in 1924 – the same year Oshawa became a city. Constructed of Credit Valley sandstone in the Gothic-revival style, designer Eden Smith considered this to be his finest work. The buttresses and Gothic tracery are noteworthy; the tower supports a 15-bell carillon. The parish hall was a later addition. Drop in for an organ concert during Doors Open.
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Simcoe Hall Settlement House

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
387 Simcoe Street South
Oshawa, Ontario
Telephone: 905-728-7525
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Begun in 1935 by the Woman's Welfare League, Simcoe Hall Settlement House was designed to help people in the community who were struggling. Prominent Oshawa businessman Charles Robson donated his home and property for this endeavour. In 1950, an addition was built to extend programming space. Tours will be available throughout the day, and archival photos will be on display.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Guided tours available

Simcoe Street United Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
66 Simcoe Street South
Oshawa, Ontario
Year built: 1867-68
Architect: Gundy & Langley
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Built in the year of Confederation for a Methodist congregation, this church is a fine example of the Gothic revival style. Lancet-arched openings and a polygonal spire with pinnacles and dormers embellish the exterior. A Casavant organ, ornamental timber arches 11 metres (36 feet) high and a pressed-tin ceiling dominate the interior.
Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Union Cemetery

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
760 King Street West
Oshawa, Ontario
Year built: 1837
Building type: Cemetery
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Many famous people from Oshawa's and Canada's past are interred in what was then known as Thornton's Burying Ground. Today, the site covers 29 acres and includes private mausoleums and a Gothic revival chapel. The mausoleum was built in 1924 and features an ornate marble interior and hand-painted stained-glass windows.