Yep, Oshawa’s our stomping grounds, so we were all mystified when we realized we’ve never featured the city in this space in our magazine. The Spark Centre team proudly works right downtown at 2 Simcoe Street, but we’re all big fans of sites and spots Oshawa has to offer. Here’s a short list of some of our favourites.

Get Your Motor Runnin’
canadian automotive museum

You already know the automotive industry figures prominently in Oshawa’s past, present and future, so it makes perfect sense for the city to house exhibits about our history and the finest collection of Canadian automobiles around. Permanent exhibitions include cars built in Canada from 1903 to 1999 and masterpieces from the MacDougald collection (cars from the Canadian business magnate John McDougald’s estate), but there’s also quite the number of rare British vehicles, European autos and an automotive research library like no other. 99 Simcoe Street South

Steep Yourself in History
Parkwood Estates

You’ve no doubt driven by this magnificent manor. A National Historic Site that takes up a city block is the former residence of the late Robert Samuel McLaughlin, his wife, Adelaide, and their five daughters. Built 1917, the 55-room mansion is open to the public for guided tours and scrumptious lunches and teas. The property also serves as a remarkable venue for tons of events, pop-up shops, film and television shoots and a plethora of weddings each year. Stroll through the meticulous gardens and take in the history that surrounds the estate.
270 Simcoe Street North

Get Inspired
Robert McLaughlin Gallery

The largest public art gallery in Durham Region, the RMG opened in 1967 when an exhibition was organized to show work created by local artists. Today, Canadian art aficionados can stroll through the gallery at their leisure and take in the more than 4,700 works of art in the permanent collection, including the largest holding of work by Painters Eleven (the first collective of abstract artists in the province) and the Thomas Bouckley Collection (photography compiled by the Oshawa historian and collector). Check the website for upcoming exhibitions.
72 Queen Street

Shop ’Til You Drop
White Feather Country Store

You might think you’re headed to White Feather for their famous apple fritter or a loaf of cheese bread that some of us have been known to devour in the car and finish before we even get home, but we’d be willing to bet you’ll come out with more great finds. Aside from the grocery section (they sell their own farm-fresh chicken and eggs, plus lots of frozen meats, vegetables, etc.), there are more rooms filled with unique home decor items, cool gifts and even clothing. Prepare to spend time browsing.
15 Raglan Road East

Have a Pint
All or Nothing Brewhouse and Distillery

There’s really no better time for beer than, well, now. And if you’re in the market for a glass or bottle of a delicious brew made by locals who thrive on producing quality sips for their customers, All or Nothing Brewhouse and Distillery should be on your must-visit list. Stop into the taproom and bottleshop for a taste of one (or more) of their unique beverages, like the Durham College Lords Ale or the Mind Over Matter Mead Braggot. Sounds refreshing.
439 Ritson Road South

Take a Breather
Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens

The OVBG offers a stunningly unique garden experience. Following the terrain of the Oshawa Valley Creek are many walking and bike paths to explore, plenty of benches for folks to stop and take in the scenery and various gardens to visit, including the daylily collection located on the east side of the creek and features locally hybridized daylilies. Perhaps the most admired on the property is the peony garden, which displays more than 300 varieties of peonies each year (it’s one of the largest collections on the continent).
155 Arena Street

Buy Tickets
Regent Theatre

We’ve heard a lot about Regent Theatre while researching this issue — of course, it’s home to the Ontario Philharmonic (on page 36) and the Oshawa Music Awards (see page 37), but there’s so much more to this mainstay in the community. Built in 1919, Ontario Tech University (owner of the theatre since 2009) commissioned structural work and a re-creation of the original plaster mouldings that are now done in blue and gold. Come for classic movie nights, rock concerts, comedians and other great acts.
50 King Street East

Dine Out
Avanti Trattoria

Offering one of the most authentic Italian-cuisine experiences in the area, Avanti is known for its relaxed, comfortable setting — a family owned and operated spot where you’ll eat and drink to your hearts content, then crave another visit pretty much the second you leave. Start with the arancini and nunziatina salad, then opt for the spaghettini carbonara (a classic) or the amanti di carne — a meat-lover’s pizza (there are more than 20 varieties, in case you prefer veggies on your pies) you’ll want to reorder next time you’re in.
17 King Street East


Lakeview Park & Memorial Park 

They’re about a nine-minute drive away from one another but they’re both worth a visit for a variety of reasons. Lakeview (55 Lakeview Park Avenue), located along the shores of Lake Ontario, is surrounded by mature trees, trails (including a waterfront path) and the Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path. The Jubilee Pavilion in the park has a banquet hall and offers a pretty place for the community to meet. Meanwhile, Memorial Park (110 Simcoe Street South) is in the downtown core and plays host to a plethora of events and concerts, thanks to the bandshell and ample seating area for folks to kick back, listen to music and enjoy the atmosphere.  

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