Why Oshawa Ontario Is A Prime Spot For Entrepreneurs

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, is a vibrant and thriving city with a rich history and diverse community. Known as the Automotive Capital of Canada, Oshawa is home to the General Motors Canada headquarters and assembly plant, making it a significant industrial hub. 


The city's cultural scene also thrives, with numerous art galleries, theatres, and cultural events throughout the year. Oshawa was founded in 1850 and was originally known as “Skae’s Corners” after its first postmaster, Robert Skae. 


The city has a strong German heritage, with many German immigrants settling in the area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This cultural influence is still evident today, with many German traditions and customs celebrated in the city.


Oshawa has over 130 parks, providing residents and visitors with ample green spaces, walking trails, and recreational activities. The Oshawa Botanical Gardens is a beautiful oasis in the city's heart, showcasing various plant species and breathtaking scenery. 


The city also has a strong commitment to active transportation, with an extensive network of cycling paths and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. Oshawa is home to several esteemed educational institutions, including the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College. 


The city has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, attracting various industries and creating job opportunities for its residents. The city's diverse culinary scene offers various restaurants serving cuisines worldwide.


Oshawa has a lively sports community with numerous sports facilities, leagues, and teams for both recreational and competitive athletes. The city hosts various annual events, including the Ribfest, Peony Festival, and the Oshawa Fiesta Week, attracting visitors from near and far. 


The Oshawa Centre is the largest shopping mall in the Durham Region, offering a wide range of retail stores, dining options, and entertainment. Oshawa offers a unique blend of affordability, natural beauty, and community spirit. 


The city's proximity to Toronto, approximately 60 km east, makes it an attractive option for those who want to enjoy the amenities of a larger city while still maintaining a smaller-town feel. The city's parks, waterfront, and recreational activities provide ample opportunities for outdoor enjoyment. 


Oshawa's vibrant arts and culture scene ensures there is always something to do or explore. Oshawa, Ontario, is a hidden gem in Canada, offering a rich history, diverse culture, and exciting attractions. 


From its automotive heritage to its beautiful waterfront, this vibrant city has much to discover and explore. Whether you are interested in arts and culture, outdoor adventures, or simply enjoying the charm of a thriving downtown, Oshawa has something to offer everyone.


History of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Oshawa's origins date back to the late 18th century, when the area was a transfer point for the fur trade. Local Mississauga natives traded beaver and other animal pelts, which were transported to trading posts further west. 


In the late 1700s, a French trading post was established near the Oshawa harbour, though it was abandoned after a few years. In the early 19th century, resident Roger Conant started an export business shipping salmon to the United States, attracting further migration to the region. 


Many early settlers were United Empire Loyalists who left the United States to continue living under British rule. The community was officially incorporated as a village in 1850, and its population was around 1,000. 


It had several churches, a post office, various tradesmen, and some early industries, including a foundry, grist mill, and cabinet makers. The automotive industry became a major driver of Oshawa's growth in the late 19th century. 


In 1878, Robert Samuel McLaughlin Sr. moved his carriage works to Oshawa, taking advantage of the harbour and rail links. This eventually evolved into the McLaughlin Carriage Company and later General Motors of Canada, which remains a major employer in the city.


Oshawa continued to grow and industrialize through the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was incorporated as a town in 1879 and a city in 1924. The city's economy and identity became closely tied to the automotive industry, earning it the nickname "The Automotive Capital of Canada."


Over the decades, Oshawa's automotive sector has grown and declined, but it remains an important part of the city's economy and heritage. Today, Oshawa is a diverse community with a strong focus on education, healthcare, and other industries while maintaining its automotive roots.


Geography of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, is located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, approximately 60 kilometres (37 miles) east of downtown Toronto. The city's geography is characterized by its flat and solid ground, making it suitable for building and development. 


Oshawa is in the Saint Lawrence Lowlands, a mixed wood forest region of the larger Canadian/Boreal Shield landform region.


Oshawa's coordinates are:

  • Latitude: 43.897095
  • Longitude: -78.865791
  • DMS (degrees, minutes, and seconds) format: 43° 53' 49.5420'' N and 78° 51' 56.8476'' W.


The city's natural landscape is dominated by Lake Ontario, which provides a scenic waterfront and recreational opportunities. The surrounding area is a mix of forests and agricultural land, with some hills and valleys. The landscape is generally flat, making it suitable for development and construction.



Oshawa has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfb) with significant seasonal temperature differences. Summers are generally warm, while winters are cold but not extreme. The city receives relatively low snowfall compared to other parts of Ontario.


Demographics of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

The key demographics of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, can be summarized as follows:



  • The population of Oshawa was 159,458 in the 2016 census, and grew to 175,383 in the 2021 census. The estimated population in 2024 is 185,692, indicating an annual growth rate of 1.92%.
  • Oshawa's population density is 1,998.3 people per square kilometer, significantly higher than the provincial average of 14.8 people per square kilometer.



  • The median age in Oshawa is 40.7, slightly lower than the provincial and national median age of 40.9.
  • 66.8% of the population is between 15-64 years old, while 16.5% is 65 years and over.



  • The male-to-female ratio in Oshawa is 1.0:1, the same as the provincial and national averages.


Ethnicity and Immigration:

  • Oshawa has a diverse population, with 7.0% identifying as Black, 5.5% as South Asian, 1.7% as Chinese, and 1.4% as Filipino.
  • The largest immigrant groups in Oshawa are from the United Kingdom (2.8%), Jamaica (1.2%), the Philippines (1.0%), India (0.9%), and Poland (0.7%).
  • 92.7% of the population speaks English only, higher than the provincial average of 86.1%.


Oshawa is a diverse and growing city with a slightly younger and more English-speaking population than the provincial average. Its strong manufacturing and automotive industry presence is reflected in its household income statistics.


Economy of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

The economy of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, is diverse and growing. Here are some key points:


Major Industries

  1. Manufacturing: Oshawa is known for its manufacturing sector, particularly in the automotive industry. General Motors Canada is a major employer in the city, and the reopening of the GM Canada Truck Assembly Plant in 2021 significantly boosted the local economy.
  2. Healthcare: Healthcare is another significant sector, with Lakeridge Health being a major employer.
  3. Retail Trade: Retail trade is also a major contributor to the local economy, with many shopping centers and retail establishments.
  4. Education: Educational services, including the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College, are significant employers in the city.


Major Employers

  1. General Motors of Canada: GM is the largest employer in Oshawa, with thousands of employees directly and indirectly employed.
  2. Ontario Ministry of Finance: The revenue collection divisions of the Ontario Ministry of Finance are also a significant employer.
  3. Durham Catholic District School Board: The school board is another major employer in the city.
  4. University of Ontario Institute of Technology: The university is a significant employer, with over 1,900 students and staff attending classes and working in downtown Oshawa.


Economic Growth

  1. GDP Growth: Oshawa's GDP is projected to grow by 4.4% in 2022 and 2.2% in 2023, according to the Conference Board of Canada.
  2. Population Growth: The city's population is expected to grow by 12.3% over the next nine years, reaching a projected 197,000 in 2031.
  3. Commuting: The average Oshawa to downtown Toronto commuter spends 690 hours commuting per year, equivalent to three working months, and over $18,000 on hard costs such as fuel and vehicle maintenance.


Oshawa's economy is diverse, with a strong focus on manufacturing, healthcare, and education. The city offers a growing talent pool, a high quality of life, and a competitive cost structure, making it an attractive destination for new residents and businesses.


Education in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, offers diverse educational institutions and programs. Here are some key points:



  1. Durham College: Established in 1967, Durham College is a public college with two main campus locations in Oshawa and Whitby. It offers over 13,600 full-time post-secondary and apprenticeship students, with many international students from over 60 countries.
  2. Ontario Tech University: Located in Oshawa, Ontario Tech University is a public research university that offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs.
  3. Trent University Durham GTA: Trent University has a campus in Oshawa and offers undergraduate and graduate programs in various disciplines.
  4. Queen's University's Family Medicine satellite campus at Lakeridge Health Oshawa provides medical education and training for students and healthcare professionals.



  1. Skilled Trades: Durham College offers programs in skilled trades such as automotive, electrical, and plumbing.
  2. Environmental Studies: Durham College has programs in environmental studies, including environmental science and conservation biology.
  3. Performing Arts: Durham College offers programs in the performing arts, including music, dance, and theatre.
  4. Business and Technology: Durham College offers programs in business and technology, including business administration, computer science, and engineering technology.


International Students

  1. International Student Support: Durham College has a dedicated international student support team to help students with their academic and personal needs.
  2. English Language Proficiency Exams: For international students, Durham College accepts various English language proficiency exams, including IELTS and TOEFL.


Oshawa offers diverse educational institutions and programs with a strong focus on practical skills and hands-on learning. The city also has a growing research and innovation ecosystem, with initiatives to support entrepreneurship and community engagement.


Transport System of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

The Oshawa, Ontario, Canada's transport system is a comprehensive network of public and private transportation options. Here are the key points:


Public Transit

  1. Durham Region Transit (DRT): DRT is Oshawa's primary public transit system, operating buses on various routes throughout the city and surrounding areas. It was formed in 2006 by merging several transit agencies, including Oshawa Transit.
  2. GO Transit: GO Transit provides regular train and bus services between Oshawa and other Greater Toronto Area (G.T.A.) municipalities. The Oshawa GO Station is a major hub for these services.
  3. VIA Rail Canada: VIA Rail Canada operates rail transit services from the Oshawa station, connecting the city to other parts of Canada.


Private Transportation

  1. General Motors of Canada: General Motors of Canada is a major employer in Oshawa and operates a private bus fleet for employee transportation.
  2. Other Private Operators: Several private bus operators in Oshawa, including Durham Recruiting, Adecco, Redwood Employment, and Randstad Canada, provide transportation services for various industries and events.


Road Network

  1. Highway 401: Highway 401 runs directly through Oshawa, connecting it to other major highways and cities in the Greater Toronto Area.


Public Transportation Services

  1. Door-to-Door Transit: DRT offers door-to-door transit services for disabled community members through its Specialized Services.
  2. Community Bus: Oshawa has a community bus service that operates on specific routes and schedules, providing transportation to various city areas.


Oshawa has a well-developed public and private transportation network with various options for commuters and residents.


Living in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, is a vibrant city with a rich history and diverse community. Here are some key points about living in Oshawa:

  • Education System: Oshawa's education system is well-established, with a strong focus on arts, culture, and heritage programs.
  • Job Market: Oshawa's job market is diverse, with opportunities in various sectors, including healthcare, education, and manufacturing.
  • Commuting: The city is well-connected to Toronto and other surrounding areas, making it an attractive option for commuters.
  • Average Home Price: The average price to buy a home in Oshawa is $793,000, with detached 3-bedroom homes averaging $790,000 and 3-bedroom townhouses averaging $694,000.
  • Renting: The average rent in Oshawa is $1,349 for a Bachelor, $1,260 for a 1 Bedroom, and $2,000 for a 3 Bedroom.
  • Community Support: Oshawa has a strong sense of community, with various festivals and events throughout the year, including the Oshawa Fiesta Week and the Peony Festival.
  • Diversity: The city has many visible minorities, including black, South Asian, Chinese, and Filipino.
  • Public Transit: Oshawa has a good public transit system, with Go Transit trains and buses connecting residents to Toronto and other surrounding areas.
  • Driving: The city is accessible by car, with Highway 401 running directly through it and connecting to other highways and cities.
  • Healthcare Services: Oshawa is serviced by Lakeridge Health Oshawa, one of the province's largest community hospitals.
  • Health Insurance: The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) provides residents with health care coverage; additional insurance options are available to cover prescription drugs and services not covered by OHIP.
  • Cultural Attractions: Oshawa has a variety of cultural attractions, including the Canadian Automotive Museum, the Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum, and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery.
  • Outdoor Activities: The city has plenty of outdoor spaces, including parks, trails, and a beach along Lake Ontario.


Oshawa offers a unique blend of history, culture, and community, making it an attractive option for living in a vibrant and diverse city.


Healthcare in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, has a comprehensive healthcare system with various medical facilities and services. Here are some key points about healthcare in Oshawa:


Medical Facilities

  1. Oshawa Clinic Group: The Oshawa Clinic Group is a chain of medical facilities that provides various medical services, including primary care, laboratory services, physiotherapy, and foot care.
  2. ParaMed Oshawa: ParaMed Oshawa offers home health care services and wellness solutions to people of all ages, including personal home care, senior companion care, Alzheimer’s home care, palliative care, and respite care.


Healthcare Services

  1. Primary Care: Oshawa has a strong primary care system with various medical facilities and services, including family medicine clinics and community health centers.
  2. Specialized Care: The city also has specialized care services, such as the Lakeridge Health Oshawa, which offers various medical services, including emergency care, surgical services, and diagnostic imaging.
  3. Home Health Care: ParaMed Oshawa provides home health care services, including personal home care, senior companion care, Alzheimer’s home care, palliative care, and respite care.


Oshawa has a well-established healthcare system with various medical facilities and services and a strong focus on education and training in the healthcare sector.


Tourist Places in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, offers a variety of tourist attractions and activities that cater to different interests and preferences. Here are some popular tourist places in Oshawa:


Museums and Galleries

  1. Oshawa Museum: This museum showcases the history of Oshawa and its people, with a collection of over 50,000 objects and records.
  2. Canadian Automotive Museum: This museum is dedicated to the history of Canada's automotive industry and features a collection of vehicles and artifacts.
  3. Robert McLaughlin Gallery: This gallery is the largest public gallery in the Durham Region, with a permanent collection of over 4,000 works of art.


Parks and Nature Reserves

  1. Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens: This botanical garden is home to North America's largest peony collection and offers beautiful gardens and walking trails.
  2. McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve: This wildlife reserve is a protected area for wildlife and offers hiking trails and opportunities for birdwatching.
  3. Pumphouse Marsh Wildlife Reserve: This marsh is a small coastal wetland with a variety of wildlife and offers hiking trails and opportunities for birdwatching.


Historical Sites

  1. Parkwood National Historic Site: This historic site is one of Canada's last remaining grand estates and features architectural, landscape, and interior designs of the 1920s and 1930s.
  2. Oshawa Regiment Museum: This museum is home to Canada's most extensive collection of operational, historic military vehicles and offers a glimpse into Canada's military history.


Entertainment and Shopping

  1. Tribute Communities Centre: This venue hosts various events, including concerts, conventions, and sports games.
  2. Oshawa Centre: This shopping centre is the largest and busiest in the Durham Region, offering a variety of shops and dining options.
  3. All or Nothing Brewing: This brewery offers visitors local beer and a fun atmosphere.


Outdoor Activities

  1. Lakeview Park: This park offers picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, a waterfront pier, and a beach, making it a great spot for outdoor activities.
  2. Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path: This bike path runs from Lakeview Park to Adelaide Avenue West and offers a scenic ride along Oshawa Creek.
  3. Purple Woods Conservation Area: This area offers hiking trails and opportunities for nature exploration.


These are just a few of the many tourist attractions and activities available in Oshawa.


Local Food of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, offers diverse local food options, including traditional Italian, Indian, American, and more. Here are some key points about local food in Oshawa:


Local Food Options

  1. Restaurants: Oshawa has a variety of restaurants serving traditional Italian food, Indian cuisine, and American dishes.
  2. Farmers' Markets: The city has several farmers' markets, including the North Oshawa Farmers' Market, Oshawa Center Farmers' Market, and Port Perry Lakefront Farmers' Market, offering fresh produce, baked goods, and artisanal products.
  3. Local Food Stores: There are several local food stores, such as Watson's Farm Market, offering fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, baked goods, and more.
  4. Specialty Food: Oshawa has a variety of specialty food options, including vegan and upscale dining, as well as grab-and-go options, baked goods, and hot beverages.


Local Food Producers

  1. Farmers: Local farmers offer a range of products, including fresh produce, meats, eggs, and dairy products.
  2. Breweries: Oshawa has several breweries, including All or Nothing Brewery, offering craft beer and local food options.
  3. Wineries: Local wineries, like Applewood Farm Winery, offer award-winning fruit wines and ciders.
  4. Farmers' Markets: The city has several farmers' markets, including the North Oshawa Farmers' Market, Oshawa Center Farmers' Market, and Port Perry Lakefront Farmers' Market, offering fresh produce, baked goods, and artisanal products.


Oshawa offers diverse local food options, from traditional restaurants to farmers' markets and specialty food stores.


You can also check the information regarding Orillia, Ontario


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