Hidden Gems in Downtown Oshawa

By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

On Saturday June 14, I, along with Visitor Host Shawn, led a tour of Oshawa’s Downtown, looking at the heritage that is found there.  Many thanks to the Oshawa Public Library for inviting us to host this walk!  It truly is a wonderful tour, looking at the heritage buildings, newer landmarks, and other points of interest.  This is the third time I have led this tour, and my appreciation for both the tour as well as our Downtown increases every time.

Addressing the guests at June 2014's Downtown Walking Tour - our stop at Simcoe Street United Church

Addressing the guests at June 2014’s Downtown Walking Tour – our stop at Simcoe Street United Church

While it only comprises one stop, the ‘Four Corners’ are a recurring topic throughout the tour.  While at the intersection of King and Simcoe Streets, we recall the story of the infamous plane crash in 1918, when a training plane crashed into the buildings at the northwest corner.  Photo-historian Thomas Bouckley described this as the ‘most heavily photographed episode in the history of Oshawa’ (Pictorial Oshawa, Volume 2).

The  'most heavily photographed episode in the history of Oshawa' - Four Corners plane crash, April 22, 1918

The ‘most heavily photographed episode in the history of Oshawa’ – Four Corners plane crash, April 22, 1918

Perhaps one of my favourite stops is one of the ‘newest,’ when we stop at the General Motors Centre and talk about the history of hockey in Oshawa, and we talk about our OHL team, the Oshawa Generals (let’s go you Gennies!).  The GM Centre, built in 2006, is the latest of many arenas the Gens have called home, including the Bradley Arena, the Oshawa Arena (renamed the Hambly Arena) and the Civic Auditorium.

Between stops, I love talking to our guests about the Museum, about the history of our city, and somehow, I manage to talk a LOT about food!  Arguably, one of the best reasons to visit Downtown Oshawa (if not for the awesome walking tour) is for the food.  There are many restaurants (some new, some longstanding) to visit in the Downtown, with options to satisfy any epicurean desire.  The food is delicious, and the people are lovely.

The lunch I enjoyed before the Downtown Walking Tour! Thanks Berry Hill for the amazing sandwich and coffee!

The lunch I enjoyed before the Downtown Walking Tour! Thanks Berry Hill for the amazing sandwich and coffee!

I love Oshawa, I love this community, and I love supporting local.  If you haven’t visited Downtown Oshawa recently, give it a try.

A ‘nutshell’ early history of the Downtown can be found here: Downtown Oshawa: Our Hidden Heritage

The latest Downtown restaurant guide can be found here: http://www.oshawa.ca/media/The%20Emerging%20Foodies%20-%20New%20Downtown%20Oshawa%20Dining%20Guide.pdf

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