History of Ajax ON
Ajax, ON is a fast growing town situated within South Ontario’s Durham Region which occupies the eastern part of the GTA. This beautiful town was named in honor of a legendary Royal Navy warship, HMS Ajax, which is known for its many battles and successes during the infamous Second World War. The Town sits about 16 miles east of the city of Toronto along the banks of Lake Ontario. It is adjoined by Pickering city on the western and northern side and Whitby town on the eastern side.
In the years preceding the 2nd World War, the area that forms today’s Ajax On town was a totally undeveloped rural area under the jurisdiction of Pickering Township. The town was formally established in the early 1940s following the construction of a giant D.I.L. shell plant that came to employ over 9000 people by 1945. A small town-site developed around this plant and soon achieved a rising trajectory in terms of development. The area had access to railway transportation, a school, a fully functional drainage system, and a fast-growing population with people coming from all parts of Canada to work in the plant.
As mentioned earlier, the town became Ajax to honor the HMS Ajax, the warship that registered the first significant victory for the British in the 2nd World War. After the war had died out, the development of Ajax town was further boosted by the establishment of a temporary engineering school by Toronto University in the former D.I.L. plant buildings to cater to hundreds of newly dismissed soldiers who had gone ahead to enroll as engineering students with the university. This branch of the university closed down after 1949 having produced over 7,000 engineering graduates. After this, George W. Finley’s vision of developing the town into a planned community was implemented, giving rise to the planned community that is Ajax town.
It is worth noting that since its inception, the town remained without a local municipal administration until after its first election which was held in 1954. The jurisdictional boundaries of Ajax town were changed during the formation of Durham Region when the town was amalgamated with Pickering Village. The town also annexed parts of Pickering Township which mainly include the famous Town of Pickering Beach. The “new Ajax” and the newly-formed Durham Region came into being in early 1974.
Today, Ajax, ON is a flourishing town with a fast-growing population, great infrastructure, a rich cultural diversity, an up-and-coming Eco-tourism industry and a thriving downtown core.