Where the Streets Get Their Names – Shakespeare in Oshawa

By Gabby C., co-op student

William Shakespeare was an English playwright who wrote his way into the hearts of many, while breaking those of his famous characters. Majority of schools make kids learn the names of these characters in English class, sitting and waiting for something to make sense. Yet, Shakespeare survives not just in the classrooms, but out and about Oshawa as well. The question is how did he manage to make it to Oshawa from across the pond? The answer is simple: street names.

This portrait is known as the ‘Chandos portrait’ after a previous owner, James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos. It was the first portrait to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1856. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5442977

Shakespeare was born on an undetermined date in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. Within his life, he wrote more than 30 plays as well as poems. Though he is known for writing within the genres of comedy, history and tragedy, the latter is home to his most famous plays. For generations, Shakespeare has surprised, and shocked audiences while exposing humanity’s faults in the process. While there is a Shakespeare Avenue within Oshawa, there are also streets named after some of his famous characters!

Macbeth is Shakespeare’s shortest play, but that does not make it any less action packed or dramatic than the others. Macbeth centres around the title character while he dives head first into madness as a consequence of playing with fate. When a group of witches predict that Macbeth will become king, he takes their prophecy to the next level. In an attempt to go from Thane of Glamis and Cawdor, he kills King Duncan and takes the throne. However, this course of action throws the world into chaos and it is up to one not of woman born to defeat Macbeth and return order.

By Théodore Chassériau – Musée d’Orsay, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=684950

As stated, Macbeth is Thane of Glamis. In reality, Glamis is a small town in Scotland;you can find Glamis Court southwest of the Rossland/Thornton intersection in Oshawa, along with other streets named after places in Scotland!

However, Macbeth is not Shakespeare’s only plays with ties in Oshawa.  King Lear also has a couple of streets named after its characters.

By John Gilbert – Bridgeman Art library (painting in Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19793496

King Lear is another one of Shakespeare’s tragedies. It follows an old king, Lear, as he struggles with the consequences of believing lies told to him by his two oldest daughters, and banishing those – including his third daughter – who tried to help him see through the fog. The play watches as Lear descends into misery while struggling to reassume power. His three daughters, Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia, are all married. Goneril to the Duke of Albany. Duke of Albany is a real title that was bestowed to the youngest sons of the Scottish and eventually British royal family. In Oshawa, however, it is name to Albany Drive!

So, next time you’re driving around Oshawa, keep an eye out for the above-mentioned roads or any others with Shakespeare related names! There is bound to be more out there!

This blog series is typically written by Lisa Terech, Community Engagement co-ordinator, but we were excited when our co-op student offered to guest author this post!

For further reading on William Shakespeare, visit the following sites:




Student Musings – Sarah, Peter, Elora and Jennifer

This semester, we are happy to host four students from our local post-secondary institutions who are able to get hands-on experience in the workplace while offering valuable assistance where we need the help.  Read on to meet our four students, Sarah, Peter, Elora and Jennifer!

c2d6gqiukaeqm37My Name is Sarah Kalina and I’m a field placement student here at the museum. I am attending Durham College to complete my Library and Information Technician Diploma. Completing my field placement will wrap up my final requirement for graduation. I am here in the archives working under Jennifer. I have been tasked with reorganizing the photograph collection both physically and digitally as to keep specific subjects together. The biggest reorganization I have done is 294 photographs for the Lowry Lakeview Park collection. It is interesting to see how the picture collection is organized and reorganized and I am happy to be a part of the process.

All of the staff here at Oshawa Museum are extremely knowledgeable and welcoming. I am grateful for all of the information I am gaining just from being here let alone the skills I am developing/honing. I am excited for the rest of time here and the experience I will gain.


img_2118Hello, my name is Peter McKenzie.  I am an intern here at the Oshawa Museum, and a student/graduate from Trent University.  After graduating in 2016 with a degree in Anthropology, I am currently taking a one year Marketing and Entrepreneurship program at Trent Durham.  I have always enjoyed learning about various cultures and histories of the world, and once I heard that the Oshawa Museum was accepting interns, I jumped at the chance!  I’ve lived in Durham (specifically Whitby) for most of my life, yet have never really learned much of the area’s history.  Working at the museum, I get a chance to not only assist, but to learn about Oshawa’s history as I do so.

Ever since I began studying Anthropology, I have had my heart set on working in a museum, and the staff here has been very kind and accommodating to allow me a well-rounded experience.  So far, I have assisted in poster designs, podcast production, and artifact accession, with more plans in the future.  I have certainly been enjoying my internship here, and I look forward to the rest of my time here at the Oshawa Museum!


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My name is Elora Andrews and I am a student at Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario, in the Library and Information Technician program. I am currently attending the museum for 8 hours a week and loving every minute of it. This museum is adorable and the archivists here are amazing and so much fun!

I am currently working on an e-book which I hope to have finished in a few weeks, so stay tuned!




Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetI am Jennifer Floyd, a second year student at Durham College in the Library and Information Technician program. As a placement student, I get to hang around the archive once a week and do some research – I promise it’s not as dull as it sounds. I get to learn about Oshawa’s past and help put together projects (publications, websites, etc) so others can learn as well. I’ve always loved history, and being able to mix that into my program at the college is a fantastic opportunity I didn’t think possible.

Since my placement is in the archive, I don’t have a huge opportunity to spend time in the museum itself. However, that’s where my favourite things are (that I’ve seen so far anyways). The museum has an amazing collection of clothing – dresses, suits, shirts, and, oh, the shoes! I could probably spend a few hours (read: days) with that collection.

I’ve only just begun my placement, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what else the museum and archive has to offer – there’s so much here, I doubt I’ll be able to see it all before I’m done.

Student Museum ‘Musings’ – Kaitlin

By Kaitlin B., Co-Op Student

My name is Kaitlin and I am student from the CICE program at Durham College. The times that I am here are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I started my time here three weeks ago and so far it’s a great experience. Some of the duties that I do here at the Oshawa Museum are documenting artefacts, help run tours around the museum, complete computer work on the museum’s website and cleaning the Guy house store, the other houses and the artefacts.

Kaitlin in the Henry House Kitchen

I enjoy the tasks that I do here but my personal favourite thing to do is to is to clean the museum houses and the artefacts that are inside them with either members of the staff here of on my own. I enjoy the peace and quiet of the museum and if I’m by myself, the ghosts here don’t bother me. My favourite house here is the Robinson House because of the rich history of the house and it hold my favourite exhibit, the First Nations Exhibit.  I find the First Nation exhibit interesting because its fascinating to learn how they lived and to learn about their culture.  That is it for my first blog and there will be many more to come through out my experience here.

Volunteering at the Museum!

Hi there, my name is Emily and I have been a volunteer in the archives at The Oshawa Community Museum for about a year now. I first began volunteering here to gain experience in my field as I had hoped to apply to graduate studies in Library and Information Science, after completing my undergrad at Trent University Oshawa. I thought I would take this opportunity to share a bit about my experience here, and how volunteering has helped me plan for my future career!

Emily working in the Archives!
Emily working in the Archives!

The majority of my volunteering here has been in the archives. When I began volunteering in the archives I mainly worked with the photograph collection by entering numerous photographs into the digital database. These photographs all capture a moment of Oshawa’s past and this has been very interesting for me to look through because I have been able to learn so much about the history of Oshawa.

Between school and school work, I am able to come into volunteer about once a week and have tried to keep this schedule for most of time I have been here. During the summer however, I took a short break from volunteering and put on a Victorian Dress and took on the role of summer student. While still helping in the archives, I was also able to help with other Museum functions. When September rolled around, I once again began volunteering. When I started up again I moved away from the photographs collection that I had been working on and began entering some of the larger archival items into the database. This has allowed me to become more familiar with different aspects of the archival collection at The Oshawa Community Museum.

Jen, Emily and Caitlan, summer 2013
Jen, Emily and Caitlan, summer 2013

The experience I have gained here at The Oshawa Community Museum has been extremely valuable to me for two main reasons. First, having the opportunity to work hands on in the archives, I have gained a better understanding of my field and the career I am pursuing. This experience has allowed me to determine whether the field of Information is something I could see myself doing and I think it is safe to say now that this is career path I want to take. Secondly, the time I have spent volunteering at the Museum has helped me apply to graduate studies. From being able to say I have worked with an Archivist to being able to demonstrate my passion for this field it has been great to develop skills and show this to grad schools. I am also happy to say I have now (thankfully), finished my applications to grad school and am eagerly waiting to see where I will end up next year!

Overall, I believe I have had a unique and valuable experience volunteering here at the Oshawa Community Museum. It has been a positive stop on my career path and one I know has helped shape my future in Information. I am very happy I made the decision to volunteer early and encourage students thinking about archival research, library or information studies to consider a volunteer placement somewhere like the Oshawa Community Museum!