TOWN OF WHITBY
Summary: The Town of Whitby has a population of more than 135,000 residents and is projected to grow to nearly 200,000 by 2031. It is home to the headquarters of the Reginal Municipality of Durham.
Major development will take place in the next few years in West Whitby with the construction of new subdivisions and employment blocks.
The Port Whitby Area will be transformed in the coming years.
The recently approved Waterfront Master Plan calls for the development of a large urban park, tourism and events area. Visit www.whitby.ca to learn more.
Location: Whitby is located on the shores of Lake Ontario. The northern part of the municipality is more rural and includes the communities of Ashburn, Brooklin, Myrtle and Myrtle Station.
Transportation: The Hwy. 407 extension through the north end of Whitby and Hwy. 412 (a north-south connection for Hwys. 407 and 401) opened in 2016. This new infrastructure investment eases access for residents and business owners travelling throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
The provincial government announced a new GO commuter station to be located at the Whitby-Oshawa border, improving access for students to Durham College Whitby Campus, Trent University Oshawa Campus and the business park land at the Durham Learning and Business District. The project is slated for completion in 2023-2024.
History: Whitby Township (now the Town of Whitby) was surveyed in 1792 and named after the seaport town of Whitby, Yorkshire, Eng. A downtown business centre was established in 1836 by the town’s founder, Peter Perry. Whitby’s chief asset was it natural harbour, from which grain was shipped. It was chosen as the seat of government for the newly-formed County of Ontario in 1852. During the Second World War, Whitby was the location of Camp X, a secret spy training facility.
Economy: Whitby has a diverse and stable economy. More than 30 international companies and growing entrepreneurial firms have located in Whitby across many sectors. Metrolinx’s East Rail Maintenance Facility, expected to be complete at the end of 2017, will employ 350 to 400 people and support GO Transit’s service expansion.
Recreation: The Iroquois Park Sports Centre is Canada’s largest municipally-owned and -operated sports facility. Located on 50 acres of parkland, its boasts six arenas, two swimming pools, athletic training facilities, six tennis courts, five baseball diamonds, a soccer pitch, licensed restaurant, banquet facilities and more.
The Abilities Centre (www.abilitiescentre.org) is a 125,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that offers sports, fitness, arts and life skills programming, as well as research and education opportunities, for people of all ages and abilities. The multi-award-winning facility is an International Centre of Excellence renowned for its fully accessible design and inclusive environment.
Whitby is home to several community centres, including the Brooklin Community Centre and Library features a seniors' activity room, dedicated pre-school program space, gymnasium and more. Port Whitby Marina and Yacht Club is the fifth largest in Ontario.
Nature: The town maintains 125 parks with 950 acres of active parkland, more than 1,000 acres of passive open space and beaches, and approximately 60km of trails. The Whitby Shores Waterfront Trail (www.waterfronttrail.org/whitby) offers 13km of family-friendly trail that travels through Lynde Shores Conservation Area, connecting two provincially-significant wetlands.
Arts and culture: Arts and cultural assets include the Whitby Public Library (www.whitbylibrary.on.ca) and Whitby Museum in downtown Whitby.
Enjoy art exhibitions and displays at the Station Gallery (www.whitbystationgallery.com) and local theatrical performances offered by the Whitby Courthouse Theatre (www.whitbytheatre.org).
The Centennial Building is an anchor in Whitby's arts and culture community and is home to the Whitby Courthouse Theatre and the Whitby Brass Band (whitbybrassband.com).
Arts and cultural events are held throughout the year at Celebration Square at the Whitby Central Public Library, Grass Park in Downtown Brooklin and other settings.
Downtowns: Downtown Whitby and Downtown Brooklin offer a wide array of restaurants, clothing stores, entertainment facilities, health and wellness providers, financial services and home furnishings. Stroll along the verandas of Pearson Lanes (in Downtown Whitby), a unique development of historical homes that house individual boutiques.