Discover Whitby, Ontario: A Blend of History, Culture, and Natural Beauty

Whitby, Ontario, a town located in the Durham Region, is a charming blend of urban and rural landscapes. Nestled on the north shore of Lake Ontario, Whitby is home to the headquarters of Durham Region. With a population of 138,501 as per the 2021 census, this town is approximately 45 km east of Toronto and is a popular commuter suburb in the Greater Toronto Area.

The Rich History of Whitby, Ontario

Whitby, Ontario, was named after the seaport town of Whitby, Yorkshire, England. The original name of "Whitby" is Danish, dating from about 867 AD when the Danes invaded Britain. It is a contraction of "Whitteby", meaning "White Village". The allusion may be to the white lighthouse on the pier at Whitby, Yorkshire, and also at Whitby, Ontario.

Whitby's chief asset was its fine natural harbour on Lake Ontario, from which grain from the farmland to the north was first shipped in 1833. The Town of Whitby was chosen as the seat of government for the newly formed County of Ontario in 1852, and incorporated in 1855.

Whitby is also the site of Trafalgar Castle School, a private girls' school founded in 1874. The building, constructed as an Elizabethan-style castle in 1859–62 as a private residence for the Sheriff of Ontario County, is a significant architectural landmark and Whitby's only provincial historic site marked with a plaque.

During the Second World War, Whitby was the location of Camp X, a secret spy training facility established by Sir William Stephenson, the "Man Called Intrepid".

The Amalgamation of Whitby, Ontario

In 1968, the Town of Whitby and Township of Whitby amalgamated to form the current municipality. Today, Whitby is the seat of government in Durham Region. It is commonly considered part of the Greater Toronto Area, although statistically it belongs to the greater Oshawa Metropolitan Area.

The Geography of Whitby, Ontario

Whitby borders Ajax to the west, Pickering to the northwest, the Township of Scugog to the north, and Oshawa to the east. To the south is Lake Ontario.

The Demographics of Whitby, Ontario

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Whitby had a population of 138,501 living in 46,460 of its 47,389 total private dwellings. The median total income of households in 2020 for Whitby was $123,000.

The Ethnicity of Whitby, Ontario

As per the 2021 census, the most common ethnic or cultural origins in Whitby are English (19.9%), Irish (17.1%), Scottish (16.7%), Canadian (13.7%), Italian (6.4%), German (6.2%), Indian (6.0%), French (5.4%), British Isles (4.8%), Chinese (4.3%), Jamaican (3.5%), Dutch (3.4%), and Polish (3.0%).

The Languages of Whitby, Ontario

The 2021 census found English to be the mother tongue of 75.5% of the population. This was followed by Urdu (1.7%), Tamil (1.6%), Mandarin (1.5%), French (1.3%), Spanish (1.1%), Italian (1.0%), Tagalog (0.9%), Cantonese (0.8%), Arabic (0.7%), Hindi (0.7%), Dari (0.7%), and Portuguese (0.6%).

Transportation in Whitby, Ontario

Ontario Highway 401 runs through the south end of Whitby, with interchanges at Brock Street and Thickson Road. Ontario Highway 407 was opened in Whitby in 2016. The toll highway passes between Brooklin and the urban portion of the town. Ontario Highway 412, connecting the 401 with the 407, also opened to traffic in the same year.

The Arts in Whitby, Ontario

Whitby, Ontario, is home to the Durham Council for the Arts, Whitby Brass Band, Whitby Courthouse Theatre, and Station Gallery.

Notable Places in Whitby, Ontario

Whitby, Ontario, is home to several notable places including Camp X, Whitby Public Library, Lynde House Museum, Trafalgar Castle School, and Iroquois Park Sports Center.

Sister Cities of Whitby, Ontario

Whitby, Ontario, has sister city relationships with Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, Austria; Longueuil, Canada; and Whitby, UK.