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Oshawa Ontario

Oshawa Ontario isn't a major vacation destination nowadays, because its been a major industrial centre for nearly a hundred years, but it has some notable attractions. 



Attractions include:

  • Parkwood, the one time home of the McLaughlin family who were early motor vehicle pioneers, 
  • Lakeview Park (adjoining a great beach), 
  • the Tank Museum, and the 
  • Canadian Automotive Museum, 
  • as well as serious shopping opportunities. 

Parkwood Estate

Parkwood, the Oshawa home of the McLaughlin family

Parkwood Estate was the home of the McLaughlin family whose fortune was made in automobile manufacturing and consolidated when they merged their local plant into General Motors. Their tie up with the giant American manufacturer was also good for Oshawa because even today, decades later, Oshawa is still the headquarters of GM Canada. Today, Parkwood House is a Canadian National Historic site. 

Oshawa, Parkwood House and gardens

The present house was built in the 1920 - 30's and has a lot of interesting features that reflect the interests of the time, like a bowling alley and squash court.

The house and gardens are located off Simcoe Street North and can be visited Tuesday through Sunday from 1:30 to 4 pm throughout the year.


Oshawa, Parkwood Gardens

Walking in the gardens is open to all from 8:30 am to 5 pm (its free during the summer and fall). Costs for house and garden tours are very reasonable, check them out at their website -- see link below.

The grounds are beautiful and worth visiting just for the pleasure of wandering around them. They're also popular for wedding photos and other events, check their website for details. 

Canadian Automotive Museum: Oshawa Ontario

Oshawa, Canadian Automotive Museum

In keeping with the automotive theme, Oshawa Ontario is also home to the Canadian Automotive Museum and, because it was established to preserve the Canadian automobile story, Canadian products feature strongly (including some McLaughlin vehicles) as well as many other interesting vehicles from the early years of motoring.


Oshawa Tank Museum

The museum is located on Simcoe Street South, parking nearby, and it's open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm every day but Christmas Day.

Another Oshawa museum for vehicles, tanks this time, can be found at our page: Tank Museum 


McLaughlin Gallery

Oshawa Art Gallery

Oshawa Ontario also has a major art center in the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, named for the founder of the McLaughlin Carriage Works. The gallery began in 1967 with major financial support and art works from the private collection of Ewart McLaughlin and his wife Margaret. Another McLaughlin, Isabel, an important modernist painter and founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters, also provided financial support and more than 100 important Canadian and international works. 

Lakeview Park

Oshawa Pioneer House - Guy House

Lakeview Park is located on South Simcoe Street at Lake Ontario west of Oshawa Harbour. It has a great beach with concession stands nearby. The park also includes sports fields for soccer and baseball etc, barbecues for picnics, tennis courts, and a host of other summer activities. The park is also on the Waterfront Trail.

Another attraction of the park is a number of local pioneer homes, the one above is the Guy House and the one below, the Henry House, fitted out in the style of the time they were in use, and interpreted by guides in period costume. The houses can be toured 12 pm to 4 pm Tuesday to Friday and Sunday. In July and August, the tours are all week and 12 to 5 pm 

Oshawa Pioneer home, the Henry House

Located at the east end of Oshawa Ontario on Lake Ontario, McLaughlin Bay and Park provide a wetland and park for migratory birds and people who like to watch them. The park also has larger animals such deer, foxes and coyotes, but you need to be there early in the morning or late in the evening to see them. McLaughlin Bay has trails, a boardwalk and observation decks for birdwatchers.

The park adjoins Darlington Provincial Park and the Waterfront trail connects the two. Parking for the McLaughlin Bay park is off Colonel Sam Drive. 

Shopping Malls

Oshawa Shopping Centre Mall

There are three major shopping malls in the city, the Oshawa Centre, Midtown Mall and the Five Points Mall. Oshawa Centre is the classier of the malls in Oshawa with all the major mid-market retail names in attendance, such as American Eagle, Roots etc.

Another Durham Region town with pretty buildings, still in their original location, with good shopping, and a big annual motor event, is Port Perry. Visit our page, then visit the town. 

The retail park at Champlain Ave, just off the Stevenson Rd exit of the 401, has larger stores, such as Lowes and Urban Barn, as befits a centre for major Durham ontario shopping.


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