Alexandra Park

In 1902, the Oshawa Athletic Association Limited was formed in order to purchase land to be used to promote community sports in the area.  Shares of the Athletic Association were sold for ten dollars each.  Names such as Cowan, Henry, McLaughlin, Robson, Sinclair and many others were supporting shareholders in this bold initiative.  As a result, six acres of land on the southeast corner of the present-day Alexandra Park were purchased.

Alexandra park

In 1905, the town council appointed a Board of Park Commissioners.  The mandate of this Board was to find and secure a site for sports and recreation, a fairground, and general Town Park.  Quick action was needed because the South Ontario Agricultural Society had plans to move its annual fall fair from Whitby to Oshawa.

Four properties were considered and a decision was made one year later.  It was decided that 19 acres of land adjacent to the six acres already owned by the Athletic Association would be purchased at a price of $150.00 per acre.

On August 13, 1906, the purchase was made.  On the same day, a 99-year lease was taken out on the six acres of land adjoining the 19 acres.  Together, the two pieces of land made up a park of 25 acres.  It was named Alexandra Park, in honor of Queen Alexandra, the wife of the then reigning sovereign, King Edward VII.

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Refreshment stand at Alexandra Park near the Grandstand circa 1918 (A983.28.11)

Soon, preparations for the fair began.  Six horse and cattle barns were built.  Buildings to house sheep and poultry were provided.  An exhibition building for the display of vegetables, fruits, grains, flowers and dairy products was also erected.  A special Ladies Building exhibited items of interest to women and provided space for financial headquarters.  Facilities were also provided for horse racing, motorcycle racing as well as for football, baseball, rugby and lacrosse.

The first “important” event to be held in Alexandra Park was the first Oshawa fair, which was held there in 1906, only a few weeks after the park had been acquired.  Both the baseball and lacrosse teams won their first games in the new park, and the opinion was expressed that “it was the best athletic grounds of any city or town in the province”.


References:

Newspaper clipping — History of Oshawa: Alexandra Park Was First of Public Parks Of    Oshawa.  By M. McIntyre Hood.  Undated

Sports Park Built on Trewin’s Hill,  By W. Ford Lindsay, Oshawa Times, undated.

Athletic Group Nucleus of Alexandra, By Wendy Corlett, Oshawa Times, January 10, 1981.

City of Oshawa Municipal Manual, 1956.  Page 119.

Oshawa Museum Archival Collection — Alexandra Park File

 

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