Oshawa: A Hidden Gem in Ontario

Oshawa, located in the Durham Region of Ontario, is a city that is often overlooked by tourists. However, this hidden gem has a lot to offer visitors, from its rich history to its beautiful natural attractions. In this article, we will explore the best things to see and do in Oshawa.


Canadian Automotive Museum

The Canadian Automotive Museum is a must-visit for car enthusiasts. It houses a collection of over 100 classic and antique cars, including the McLaughlin-Buick, which was built in Oshawa in 1908. Visitors can also learn about the history of the Canadian automotive industry and its impact on the city.

Parkwood Estate

Parkwood Estate is a National Historic Site that was once the home of the McLaughlin family, who were prominent in the automotive industry. The estate features a 55-room mansion, beautiful gardens, and a carriage house. Visitors can take a guided tour of the mansion and learn about the history of the McLaughlin family and their impact on Oshawa.

Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens

The Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. It features a variety of gardens, including a rose garden, a herb garden, and a butterfly garden. Visitors can also explore the nearby Oshawa Creek Trail, which offers scenic views of the creek and surrounding forest.

Lakeview Park

Lakeview Park is a popular destination for families. It features a playground, splash pad, and picnic areas, as well as a beach and pier. Visitors can also take a stroll along the waterfront trail and enjoy the scenic views of Lake Ontario.

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is a public art gallery that features a collection of over 4,000 works of art, including Canadian contemporary art and works by the Group of Seven. Visitors can also participate in workshops and events, or take a guided tour of the gallery.

Natural Wonders

Second Marsh Wildlife Area

The Second Marsh Wildlife Area is a 123-hectare wetland that is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, fish, and mammals. Visitors can explore the marsh on foot or by canoe, and learn about the importance of wetlands in the ecosystem.

Harmony Valley Conservation Area

The Harmony Valley Conservation Area is a 310-hectare park that features hiking trails, picnic areas, and a pond. Visitors can also participate in outdoor activities such as fishing, birdwatching, and cross-country skiing.

Oshawa Creek Trail

The Oshawa Creek Trail is a 12-kilometre trail that follows the Oshawa Creek through the city. It offers scenic views of the creek and surrounding forest, and is a popular destination for hiking, cycling, and jogging.


Fiesta Week

Fiesta Week is a multicultural festival that celebrates the diversity of Oshawa. It features live music, dance performances, and food from around the world. Visitors can also participate in workshops and activities that showcase different cultures.

Peony Festival

The Peony Festival is a celebration of the beautiful peony flowers that bloom in Oshawa each year. It features guided tours of the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens, as well as live music, food vendors, and a marketplace.


Oshawa was established in 1822 by Roger Conant, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War. It was incorporated as a village in 1850, and as a city in 1924. The city's growth was largely due to the McLaughlin family, who founded the McLaughlin Carriage Company in 1876 and later the McLaughlin Motor Car Company. The company eventually became part of General Motors, which still has a presence in Oshawa today.


Oshawa may not be as well-known as some of Ontario's other cities, but it has a lot to offer visitors. From its rich history to its beautiful natural attractions, there is something for everyone in this hidden gem. So why not plan a trip to Oshawa and discover all that it has to offer?


  • "Canadian Automotive Museum." Canadian Automotive Museum,
  • "Harmony Valley Conservation Area." City of Oshawa,
  • "Lakeview Park." City of Oshawa,
  • "Oshawa Creek Trail." City of Oshawa,
  • "Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens." City of Oshawa,
  • "Parkwood Estate." Parkwood Estate,