Durham Region covers an area of over 2,500 square kilometres and is conveniently located to the East of Downtown Toronto. Another Region with a diverse landscape, Durham has everything from the large lakeshore communities of Pickering and Oshawa to the farmlands and recreational areas in the north. Durham Region has a well educated population of over 570,000 that are employed by a wide variety of Businesses. These employers range from the High Tech like Siemens and Corning controls through agriculture and automotive manufacturing – GM Motors, Volkswagen Canada and BMW Canada all have facilities in the Region.
Durham Region administers its Healthcare and Education following the Provincial guidelines. The responsibility for the day to day operations of the education belongs to the Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board – all the schools in the area are governed by these boards.
One essential piece of research you need to do BEFORE you purchase/rent a house is to find the school(s) you want your child(ren) to attend. This is vital as the schools are dedicated to particular residential area’s so where you live decides where they go to school.
The Region has excellent transportation links including Pearson International airport, Oshawa airport and the Harbour at Oshawa which give tremendous access to North America. This is coupled with easy access to recreational opportunities in the outdoors and everything that a Major metropolitan area like the GTA has to offer!
Each section below is only an overview so please use the links to each Town/City website on the main website linked below for more detail. For job research definitely use the Chamber of Commerce websites for each location for great information on the local businesses.
The Town Of Ajax – In 2005 Ajax will celebrate its 50th anniversary as a town and has many events planned to recognise this. A small town in the South of Durham Region on the shore of Lake Ontario, it was named after the World War two British Warship The Ajax.
With a population in excess of 80,000 the Town covers an area of over 65 square km. The unemployment rate was 5.4% (2001) with an average family income of around $80,000 a year. The average price of a house was in the region of $215,000 making Ajax one of the cheaper areas in the GTA. Transport is provided by the Ajax/Pickering Transit that also links in with GO Transit and the Greyhound Bus.
There are two recreation centres in the Town that offer a full range of activities and sports. There are skateboard parks for the kids as well as summer camps for various activities during the school holidays. The Lake provides great recreation for the residents during both the summer and winter months.
The Municipality of Clarington – A collection of several smaller communities, the municipality now has around 75,000 residents and occupies just over 600 square Kilometres of the Lake Ontario shoreline in the south of Durham Region. The main settlements are Darlington, Newcastle and Bowmanville/Courtice. The area is growing quickly with a 10 year population growth average of 4% per year.
The main businesses are agriculture (and the services), aggregate excavation and cement works, tourism, manufacturing, retail and construction. There is an average unemployment rate of only 4.9% as the area is very business friendly, with the average household income around $74,000. There are great transportation links with 3 major highways, docks, rail links, a regional airport with 2 runways and of course – Pearson International. The Clarington Transit connects with Whitby and Oshawa Transit and you can even use the same tickets on each system.
There are good facilities with a modern hospital that continues to expand, plenty of schools and the newly built University of Ontario Institute of Technology. There are 5 golf courses, 2 marina’s, 2 indoor and 2 outdoor swimming pools, 5 arena’s with 7 ice surfaces, extensive parks and 7 conservation areas that have downhill and cross country skiing. Last but not least – Bowmanville even has its own Zoo!
The City Of Pickering – Ideally situated between Downtown Toronto to the West and Port Whitby Marina to the East, the 94,200 population of the City of Pickering enjoy life on the shores of Lake Ontario. With the Waterfront Trail extending along the shores and the “environmentally significant” wetlands of Frenchmen’s Bay residents are provided with some great scenery and recreation opportunities. On top of that the impressive leisure centre has fantastic modern facilities that any community would be proud of. For those with interest in the History of the region, a visit to the Pickering Museum Village should not be missed.
Business in Pickering is also well catered for and the City unemployment rate of 4.9% is well below the Canadian average. The main employers are the Ontario Power Generation plant that can be found on the waterfront and includes a massive wind turbine, Manufacturing and Construction, Business services and Retail. As with all the municipalities in Durham Region, for employment research go through the City’s Business Directory for some idea of who is in the area and how to contact them.
Public Transport is administered by the joint Ajax/Pickering Transit Authority who also link into the Toronto Transit Commission, GO Transit, Whitby Transit and Oshawa Transit to maintain a comprehensive network. Schools and Healthcare are administered by the Durham Region school boards and Health service.
The City is young with 79% of the population under age 45 giving a median age of only 35. The average household income is over $80,000 with an average price of a home around $235,000.
The City Of Oshawa – After starting off as a French fur Trading Post in 1750, The City of Oshawa has come a long way. Now, it is renowned as the eastern Gateway to the Greater Toronto Area and has become the economic centre of Durham Region. Its rapidly expanding population of over 146,000 also marks it as the largest residential community as well.
General Motors Canada are based here in North Americas largest automobile production facility that produces over 1 million vehicles per year and are the City’s leading employer. Minacs Call Centre has arrived and along with many different manufacturers, research and development companies, advanced manufacturing of transportation equipment, Healthcare, Printing and Publishing the city has a truly diverse Business base. The City has an unemployment rate of around 6%.
Being well located on the shores of Lake Ontario in the South of Durham region, the City has excellent transportation links that include a deep water port. Two major highways pass through the city and it has its own regional airport with close proximity to Pearson International. The Transit system links in with GO Transit, Toronto transit Commission and several other local community networks. Via rail provide the rail network to give the City every possible transportation option.
There is also plenty to do in the area – with the big city close by and easily accessible. For outdoor pursuits, the Kawartha and Haliburton tourism areas are close along with numerous parks and conservation areas that provide hiking, skiing and cycling. Over $60 million is being invested in the City’s recreational infrastructure in the next 2 years. This includes many renovations and improvements of existing facilities and a large new recreation centre for the city.
Many new residential and business developments are being constructed in the north of the city as it continues to grow. The cost of housing is cheaper than Toronto with an average home costing around $160,000 in 2001. The median income for each household was in the region of $60,000.
The Township Of Scugog – In the Northeast of the Durham Region, the Township of Scugog is located on and around the shores of Lake Scugog and occupies around 470 square km. Once the separate Towns of Port Perry (now Municipal Government HQ), The Island of Scugog, Cartwright and Reach, all have now amalgamated into the single municipality to reduce the administration costs.
The area is well set up for Tourism and the major employer is a Casino. After that, retail and manufacturing provide employment to the approximately 20,000 residents of the Township. There are 5 Marinas, 2 ice rinks, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a Theatre and 4 golf courses. The average household income is around $70,000 with an unemployment rate of 5%. It will cost an average of $220,000 to buy a single family home in the area. Police, Healthcare and Schools are administered by the Durham Region Government.
The Township Of Uxbridge – The Township of Uxbridge has a relatively small population of around 18,000 spread throughout various village sized communities in the Northwest of Durham Region. Located about 40 miles North of Toronto in the picturesque OakRidge Moraines, the Town of Uxbridge is the centre piece of the Township. A pleasant community that is close enough to the big City for all its amenities, Uxbridge has its own leisure centre, swimming pool and two ice arena’s.
The Town also has the Northern terminus for the York – Durham Heritage Railway in the form of a fully restored station.
The Township’s main industries are the Construction and Manufacturing, Business Services and Retail. These provide plenty of employment with a low unemployment rate of 4.1% (2001). The average household income is around $75,000 with the cost of a home coming in around $270,000.
The Town Of Whitby – Conveniently located just 15 miles to the East of Toronto, the Town of Whitby is an industrial town. The rapidly expanding population is now over 100,000 and the towns businesses are also expanding at a fast rate as it aims to be the business centre of Durham Region. With 4 major highways, close proximity to the Oshawa harbour (and its own smaller harbour)and Pearson International airport, extensive rail network and an enviable Transit system the Town is thoroughly “connected”.
The automobile industry has a large presence, though the town has a truly diverse base of companies. The services range from plastics and steel work through to telecommunications and pharmaceuticals. The two main downtown area’s (Whitby and Brooklin) are both historical “heritage” areas with an old world charm. The Town has an unemployment rate of just 4.9% and an average household income of $80,000 taken from the 2001 figures.
For recreation, there is a multi million dollar leisure centre (Iroquois Park Sports Centre) with fantastic facilities. Golf courses, parks, a marina, yacht club, Whitby Shores waterfront trail, indoor soccer and all the other facilities you would expect to find in a modern Canadian urban centre. There are plenty of schools that are administered by the Durham Region school boards and close proximity to several Universities and Colleges. Healthcare is administered by the Durham Region and is provided through several clinics and the main Lakeridge Health Centre, Whitby.