Local Focus: GTA East
Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa all have historic downtowns with the requisite collection of century homes, but new subdivisions are quickly changing the landscape. Developers have also responded to the need for more affordable housing and the condo boom has arrived.
In Pickering, The Nautical Village is a fabulous day away from the hectic grind of modern life. There are many quaint shops, cafés, bakeries and restaurants, as well as a splash pad and park for the kids and beach volleyball courts. Pickering Museum Village is a unique experience brought to life by “live” pioneers in 18 heritage buildings.
The Whitby Public Library is a state-ofthe- art building that offers an extensive array of collections and programs as well as the Whitby archives. One of Whitby’s bestknown historic sites is the infamous Camp X, which was a secret spy training facility during World War II. Established by Sir William Stephenson, the “Man Called Intrepid,” British and allied forces also used the camp as a communications link between Britain and the United States with overseas information passing secretly between allied nations.
In Oshawa, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is the largest in Durham Region and features a collection of more than 4,000 works of art. The Military Museum has Canada’s largest collection of operational military vehicles, and the Canadian Automotive museum is housed in a 1920s car dealership and has 60 vehicles on display.
Parks & Rec
There are great recreational areas along the Lake Ontario waterfront in all four of the municipalities. In Pickering, Frenchman’s Bay offers canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, wind surfing and sailing. Conservation areas include Petticoat Creek, the Claremont Conservation Area and the Greenwood Conservation Area.
In Ajax, you can enjoy nature at the Greenwood Conservation Area and the town’s expansive system of cycling and walking trails, which totals 74 kilometres.
There are over 100 parks maintained by Whitby and over 60 kilometres of trails, including the Bio-Diversity Trail, the Cullen Central Park Trails, Otter Creek Trail and the Whitby Shores Waterfront Trail. The 670-acre Lynde Shores Conservation area, together with the adjacent Cranberry West Tract, is known for its wildlife and provides habitat for nesting birds.
Oshawa also boasts beautiful and pristine wildlife preserves, including the Pumphouse Marsh, Second Marsh and the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve. On Oshawa’s Lake Ontario shoreline you will find Lakeview Park with many picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, a waterfront pier and sandy beaches.
The Oshawa Centre is the largest shopping complex in Durham Region and is home to over 230 establishments that include retail, food outlets and a variety of services. In each of the municipalities’ downtowns you’ll find a variety of unique shops and restaurants.
In Whitby, Pearson Lane is a historical development that houses boutiques, cafés and services. Pickering Village — an old Quaker Village — is filled with numerous shops, specialty boutiques and gourmet restaurants provide a wide selection of goods and services.
Public transit is provided by Durham Region Transit, which connects with the other cities in Durham Region, including Clarington, Brock and Uxbridge. Highway 401 runs through the south of the region and Highway 7 runs across its northern edge. Highway 407 ETR is being extended to Highways 35 and 115 and will cross the top of Durham Region.
BY THE NUMBERS
Pickering population: .96,000
Ajax population: . . . .120,000
Whitby population: …134,900
Oshawa population: .168,000
Pickering: . . . . . .50 average
Ajax: . . . . . . . . . .47 average
Whitby: . . . . . . . .43 average
Oshawa: . . . . . . .51 average