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History of Oshawa ON

Oshawa is a modern city situated in the southern section of the beautiful waterfront province of Ontario, around 38 miles east of Toronto’s Downtown core. The city itself touches the shoreline of Lake Ontario and is generally seen as the eastern pillar of both the Golden Horseshoe and the Greater Toronto Area. It is by far the largest metropolis in the so-called “Durham Region.”

Considering near Oshawa ON previous status as the only “Automotive Capital” in the county, it is safe to say that the city’s past and present are tied to the automobile industry and have been since the inception of General Motors Canada in the late 1800s.

Historians have it that the piece of land occupied by today’s Oshawa city started out as a simple exchange point for the fur trade where Coureurs des bois traded valuable items for animal fur from the locals. The voyagers would dock their canoes at the Oshawa harbor for loading and then sail back to a more developed trading area at the mouth of Credit River.

Although a small trading post was established at Oshawa harbor in the early 1760s by the French voyagers, it never turned out as successful as they had hoped and it was only a matter of time before it was abandoned. A few years down the line, its ruins were used as shelter by the first settler in the area and the pioneer of what is now known as the city of Oshawa. Moody Farewell was one of the most prominent fur traders in the area during that era and also one of the pioneer residents of Oshawa. He is partly credited with influencing the change of the areas name to Oshawa.

The new community started flourishing somewhere in the late 1700s when a local resident by the name Roger Conant started what turned out to be a very successful salmon shipping export business to the U.S. His immediate success led to further migration and settlement in the area mainly by the United Empire Loyalists, followed by Irish and later French immigrants. This is where all the industrialization began and by 1907, the area was not only one of the most industrialized parts of Canada but also a prominent automobile manufacturing town-a legacy that remains one of its proudest economic activities.

Today, Oshawa is not only a thriving economy with a vast number of businesses, industries, and corporations but also an education and health sciences center with around three tertiary educational institutions.