The name Oshawa originates from the Ojibwa term aazhaway, meaning "the crossing place" or just "(a)cross".
While Oshawa is rapidly becoming merely the eastern edge of Toronto's sprawling surrounding urban area, it was long best known for manufacturing motorcars. Col. Sam McLaughlin established the McLaughlin Motor Car Company Limited in 1907 as the successor to his father's McLaughlin Carriage Company. He became director and vice president of General Motors Corporation in 1916; the Oshawa factory became General Motors Canada in 1918. The last Oshawa-built Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra vehicles will hit the road in 2019, ending a 112-year history which inspired Oshawa's former mottos "The City that Motovates Canada" and "The City in Motion".
Today, Oshawa is an education and health sciences hub. The city is home to three post-secondary institutions (Durham College, Trent University Durham and University of Ontario Institute of Technology) and to Lakeridge Health Oshawa, Lakeridge Health and Education Research Network (LHEARN Centre) and the Oshawa Clinic, the largest, multi-specialty medical group practice in Canada.
Oshawa is on Highway 401, exits 415 through 418. All interchanges exit to Bloor Street in the city's south end. Highway 2 (King Street) is the main street of downtown Oshawa.
By rail, Oshawa is served by VIA rail's Toronto-Kingston-Montréal and Toronto-Kingston-Ottawa corridor services. GO Transit, the Toronto-area commuter train/bus operator, provides all-day half-hourly train service to/from Toronto, plus various long-distance bus routes. Fares vary by distance; Oshawa to downtown Toronto (one-way) via GO Transit is $11.20 (cash, as of 2019), half-fare for seniors, plus ~10% discount for Presto card users.
The two transit hubs in Oshawa are:
- 1 Oshawa GO station, 915 Bloor St W, toll-free: . Intercity (Via Rail) and commuter (GO) station with ticket counter, public washrooms, waiting room.
- 2 Oshawa Bus Terminal, 47 Bond St W (at Centre St). There is no ticket counter at the terminal. There are ticket vending machines for GO Transit buses. Greyhound buses stop at the terminal but Greyhound tickets must be purhased online.
Intercity express bus service in the Montréal-Toronto corridor stops in Whitby, an Oshawa suburb, at the Whitby GO commuter rail station. Express bus service from Greater Toronto Area to Oshawa are provided by GO Transit. Greyhound Canada runs services from Toronto, Port Hope, Cobourg and Belleville, and from Peterborough and Ottawa. Can-Ar offers daily service from Lindsay and Toronto.
- 1 Canadian Automotive Museum, 99 Simcoe Street S, L1G 4G7, ☏ , fax: . M-F 10AM-4:30PM, Sa Su 10AM-4PM (closed on Sun Nov-Feb). A two floor trip through old-time cars in a former car dealership. Cars on display include a hundred-year-old fire truck, a Ford Model T, a boat/car hybrid, a steam powered car, one of the world's first Rolls-Royces and a 1983 Delorean. $12 (adult), $10 (senior), $6 (child 6-17).
- 2 Ontario Regiment (RCAC) Museum, 1000 Stevenson Rd N, L1J 5P5 (South Field, Oshawa Municipal Airport), ☏ . Sa Su 1-5PM. Tanks, historic vehicles, regimental artefacts. By donation.
- 3 Parkwood Estate Gardens (Parkwood National Historic Site), 270 Simcoe Street North (Adelaide and Simcoe Streets), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM. Grand private estate built in 1917 for Canadian automobile businessman Col. Sam McLaughlin includes a mansion with several gardens, Art Deco garden pavilions, secret rooms, ornate ceilings and even a bowling alley. A National Historic Site of Canada, it has been used as a set for many films, including It, Billy Madison, Chicago, and X-Men.
- 4 The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.
- 1 Linton's Farm Market, 571 Raglan Rd E, L1H 7K4, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. From their website: Over 50 years ago the Lintons' started growing tomatoes for a canning company and gradually added more and more vegetables and fruit and a farm market stand where they now sell a wide variety of vegetables and fruit, homegrown frozen meat, cheese, honey, jams, preserves, fall decorations (etc.)
- Oshawa Centre, 419 King St W at Stevenson Road. M-Sa 9:30AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. The largest mall in Durham region. Theres a Durham Region Transit's bus terminal outside of the mall's south-east entrance, with regular bus services to Oshawa GO Station, Whitby GO Station, and the campuses of Durham College.
- Teddy's Restaurant & Deli, 245 King St W, L1J 0A1 (King Street West and Park Road), ☏ . 10:30AM-9:30PM. $10-25/person.
- Avanti Trattoria, 17 King St E (downtown), ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-10PM, Sa 4PM-10PM, Su 4PM-10PM. Italian.
- Berry Hill Food Company, 82 King St W (downtown), ☏ . Tu-F 8AM–10PM, Sa 9AM–10PM, Su 9AM–3PM. Contemporary fine dining.
- The White Apron Restaurant, 10 Bond St, ☏ . 7AM-3PM. Breakfast and lunch.
- La Quinta Inn & Suites, 63 King St E, ☏ . Free Wifi, free parking, breakfast included, non-smoking hotel, suites, fitness centre. From $89.
- Paddington Place Bed & Breakfast, 413 Paddington Cres, ☏ . On a mature stretch of protected greenbelt space with lovely wooded trails and meandering creek. Air-conditioned and smoke-free. From $109.
- Travelodge, 940 Champlain Ave (just off Highway 401), ☏ . Free WiFi, free breakfast buffet, onsite parking, pet friendly, pool - indoor, fitness centre.
Oshawa is home to two post-secondary institutions, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College. They share a campus on the northern side of Oshawa.
- 2 University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). The newest university in Ontario. It offers unique programs that are not commonly found in other schools, such as their "Game Development and Entrepreneurship", "Networking and IT Security" and "Automotive Engineering" programs.
- 3 Durham College.