Tag Archives: Durham Region

LOCAL FOCUS: Whitby & Oshawa

LOCAL FOCUS: Whitby & Oshawa

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LOCAL FOCUS: Whitby & Oshawa

by Gale Beeby

The eastern anchors of the Greater Toronto Area


Both the City of Oshawa and the Town of Whitby have historic downtowns with the requisite collection of century homes, but new subdivisions are quickly changing the landscape.

Click here for a fill list of new homes for sale in Oshawa.

Click here for a full list of new homes for sale in Whitby.


Oshawa is a hockey town and it’s not the Maple Leafs that residents are cheering for, it’s the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. The team has many successful alumni, including Bobby Orr, Eric Lindros and Rick Middleton, to name but a few.

For those seeking more genteel pursuits, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is the largest in Durham Region and features a collection of more than 4,000 works of art.

The Whitby Public Library is a state-of-the-art building that offers an extensive array of collections and programs as well as the Whitby archives. The Whitby History Museum and Children’s Centre has a unique collection of artifacts that tell the story of early life in Southern Ontario. One of Whitby’s best-known 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.


The Oshawa Botanical Gardens is a beautiful oasis that is home to North America’s largest contemporary peony collection. 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.

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.


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 downtown Oshawa, you’ll find a variety of unique shops and restaurants and its here you will find the annual Original Downtown Sidewalk Sale, and the Festival of Murals.

In Whitby, Pearson Lane is a historical development that houses boutiques, cafés and services.


Public transit is provided by Durham Region Transit, which connects it with the other cities in the region, including Pickering, Ajax, Clarington, Brock and Uxbridge. Highway 401 runs through the south of 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.


Whitby population: 128,400

Oshawa population: 159,500

Whitby slogan: Community of Choice … for Business

Oshawa slogan: Prepared to be Amazed

Walk Scores:

Whitby: 43 average

Oshawa: 51 average




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Orchard East by Jeffery Homes in Bowmanville

Jeffery Homes will release Orchard East on February 3, 2018

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Jeffery Homes will release Orchard East on February 3, 2018

Orchard East by Jeffery Homes is the perfect community to raise your family or enjoy your empty nest. Located in the new Bowmanville with rolling hills bordering the site, you always expect the best from Jeffery Homes and Phase II of this new community will be no exception.

The official opening of Orchard East is Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 190 William Fair Drive, Bowmanville, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Price lists will be given on that date only.

Jeffery Homes is an award-winning second-generation company that has been building spectacular homes in Durham Region for over 55 years. Choose from relaxed yet sophisticated exteriors that incorporate a variety of materials such as natural stone and contemporary finishes — all with the unmistakable Jeffery touch their fans have come to expect.

A wide variety of amenities await just minutes from your door in the town of Bowmanville. This charming and vibrant town offers every convenience you desire from big box stores to small boutiques, grocery stores and more. Choose from family or fine dining in the many eating establishments located in the town centre. This amazing community offers your choice of health care centres, hospital, sports and recreation facilities. In addition, you are within minutes of the spectacular countryside, golf courses and conservation areas.



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January 2017 eNewsletter

Huge success for small units at University Studios

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Huge success for small units at University Studios

By Anita DeVries – DRHBA

I never thought I would see it here in Oshawa.

But yes, the millennial phenomena of smaller is better has been spotted in the spacious, beautiful, green Durham Region at University Studios, located at Durham Region’s Education Hub.

Podium Developments and Building Capital are building SmartStudios and, at 275 to 400 square feet, they are an efficient use of small spaces that creates comfortable lifestyles.

Built within walking distance to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College, these compact units are very functional and affordable and offer better living spaces than traditional dorm life or room rentals.

For example, the Murphy bed — with the military quality hinges — can be pulled down over a kitchen table. The bed is made and ready to snuggle into with your laptop or book and there are reading lights and USB connections built right into the wall unit. In the kitchen area you will find a two-element cooktop and a clever height-changing desk, which can be used as a stand-up table, extra counter space or regular sit-down breakfast nook. The kitchen and hall cabinetry is combined into a single sleek bank on one side of the apartment, providing storage and functional space.

This new building will be highly energy efficient as it will be built under the new building code.

There are 308 studio units being built in the eight-storey mixed-use building — just south of UOIT and Durham College — at 1900 Simcoe Street North. Commercial units on the main floor provide convenient access to shopping and restaurants.

The starting price for a fully furnished unit — including bed, refrigerator, washer, dryer, stovetop, dishwasher, standing desk, dining table, four chairs, loveseat, side table and LCD television — was $150,000 and they were gobbled up by eager buyers in the first weekend that sales opened. The project is under construction and will be occupied by September 1, 2018.

Due to the desirability of the location on a main public transit route, the developers negotiated with the City of Oshawa for reduced parking space allotments from more than one space per unit to 0.22 spaces per unit. There will be four car share spaces and residents will be able to have membership in the car share program. This will encourage tenants and owners to use public transit and active transportation, which leads to cleaner environments.

“Today’s millennials don’t have an interest in owning cars,” said Christian Huggett, one of the masterminds at Podium who researched and designed the suites. “They are more socially responsible and environmentally conscientious.”

Building an entire building full of micro suites is not a traditional approach to a multi-storey condominium building. Generally, a range of unit types are provided for variety and to reduce sales risk. But the Podium team discovered that there has been no bachelor units built in Oshawa since before 1989, so the market for these units was wide open. After studying micro suites built in New York, San Francisco and Tokyo, and realizing the new mindset of people who have grown up in an era where owning a home and two cars means working your life away, Huggett pitched the exclusively micro-suite project and soon everyone was excited about it.

“The proximity to campus will mean that most residents will be students, who will live better than we did in university,” said Huggett, noting that they have their own bathrooms and kitchens at University Studios.

It is difficult to make small units function well, but Podium’s design team had a wealth of life experience in living small — from dorm rooms to sailing and living in Scandinavia. The team also came up with a flexible design to make units accessible; as a result, 49 of the 308 units will be fully accessible, meeting CSA and ADA standards.

“The accessibility committee was very excited about this project,” said Huggett.

Podium Developments has an established reputation for building student housing; they have already built towns and condos in north Oshawa geared for students. As land prices continue to increase, and household sizes continue to decrease, we may be seeing more of these types of smaller functional units — and not just near universities.

Due to the strong demand for the units at University Studios, Podium and Building Capital are teaming up again to build on the success of the SmartStudios with the launch of the lowrise University Towns on the same stretch of Simcoe Street North.



Anita DeVries is the executive officer at the Durham Region Home Builders’ Association.




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