Oshawa is a remarkably diverse city, home to substantial numbers of South Asians, African-Canadians, Chinese, and Aboriginal peoples. Traditionally a premier destination for European migrant workers, it also includes significant Polish, Russian, Slovak, and Germanic communities. An historic city with a palpable youthful vibe, Oshawa is also home to more than 10,000 college students studying at Durham Collage, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, or Trent University. Whether you’re a College Joe or a retiree, a lifelong Canadian or an immigrant, you won’t feel out of place in this colorful melting pot.
For more than a century, General Motors Canada was (bad pun alert) the driving force of Oshawa’s economy, earning the city its “Automotive Capital of Canada” nickname. Auto remains a major player today, but the city’s economy has expanded and diversified to include other industries like I.T., health and biosciences, and advanced manufacturing. With new white-collar businesses sprouting up every year, the days of Oshawa’s residents either working at GM or trekking to Toronto to earn a paycheck are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Still, much of the town retains a distinct laid-back, blue-collared vibe.
Once Southern Ontario’s best-kept secret, the city has experienced a population boom in the new millennium. Enticed by relatively low housing costs, easy access to Toronto, and lots of new housing in the northern sector, new residents are moving to Oshawa by the bus load (actually, most are driving Chevrolets). City planners expect the population to reach 175,000 by the year 2023 (compared to 156,000 in 2014), making Oshawa one of Canada’s fastest growing municipalities.