|Elevation||150 m (490 ft)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC−5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC−4)|
|Forward sortation area||L1C|
|Area code(s)||905 and 289|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2007)|
Bowmanville is the largest community in the Municipality of Clarington (formerly known as the Town of Newcastle) in Durham Region, Ontario, Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario about 75 km east of Toronto and 15 km east of Oshawa along Highway 2. The Town of Bowmanville was a stand-alone incorporated municipality from 1858 to 1973.
Bowmanville is located in the Greater Toronto Area.
Bowmanville is surrounded by rural areas on three sides, and Lake Ontario to the south. Farmland formerly covered central Bowmanville until the population increased, thus establishing a nascent downtown core by the early 19th century. There is a harbour to the south of Bowmanville in Port Darlington.
Settlers were attracted to the area by the farmland, and creeks for water mills, first (including one still standing, now called Vanstone's Mill) at Bowmanville (originally Barber) Creek, at the present-day intersection of King Street and Scugog St., from which businesses and housing spread east, and later on Soper Creek (including another mill still standing as the municipality's Visual Arts Centre).
The lands which would later become Bowmanville were first purchased by John Burk, who later sold it to Lewis Lewis. Lewis opened the first store in what was then called Darlington Mills. The store was purchased in about 1824 by Charles Bowman (for whom the town was eventually named) who then established the first post office. Its first postmaster was Robert Fairbairn, who ran the post office from 1828 to 1857.
The success of the Vanstone Mill, fueled by the machinery of the Crown's land grant program, led to the rapid expansion of the Bowmanville settlement in the early years of the 19th century. Under the generous yet discriminate eyes of wealthy local merchants such as John Simpson and Charles Bowman, small properties would often be sold to promote settlement and small business. The town soon developed a balanced economy; all the while gradually establishing itself as a moderate player in shipping, rail transport, metal works and common minor business (including tanneries, liveries, stables and everyday mercantile commodity exchange).
By the time of Confederation, Bowmanville was a vital, prosperous and growing town, home to a largely Scots-Presbyterian community with all manner of farmers, working, and professional class making the town their home. With local economic stability and accessible, abundant land available for the construction of housing, the town soon sported several new churches, each designated to house both Free and Auld Kirk, Anglican and Protestant congregations, including the Bible Christian Church, later to be a major stream of Canadian Methodism.
At present, St. John's Anglican Church. St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, St. Paul's United Church and the impressively ornate Trinity United Church (site of an old Auld Kirk church) still serve the community. All of these edifices, appropriately, lie on or are in close proximity to present-day Church Street.
In the 19th century, in 1857, the Ontario Bank was founded in Bowmanville, with local resident John Simpson as its first president. The bank, while appearing to be a local enterprise, was primarily controlled by 16 Montreal businessmen. The Ontario bank eventually opened local branches including locations in Whitby, Oshawa, and Port Hope. In 1874, it was moved to Toronto, and would later become insolvent as a result of investing in speculative stocks in 1906. The historic Ontario Bank building at the intersection of King and Temperance was demolished in 1971 
Local business organized and modernized in the 20th century, with the Dominion Organ and Piano factory, Specialty Paper Company, the Bowmanville Foundry, and the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (1910) all providing steady work for Bowmanville's ever-growing working populations. Goodyear even went so far as to provide affordable housing for its employees, and present day Carlisle Ave. (built by magnanimous Goodyear president W.C. Carlisle) in the 1910s still stands as one of Ontario's best preserved examples of industrial housing. The land on which the Bowmanville Hospital was built was donated by J.W. Alexander, the owner of the then-prospering Dominion Organ and Piano factory.
Formal education evolved in-step with Ryersonian philosophies of the day, and the advent of the Central Public School (1889) and the Bowmanville High School (1890), (both designed by Whitby architect A.A. Post) were the finishing touches to the town that was a model of then-Ontario Premier Oliver Mowat's philosophy of education, expansion and innovation for the citizens of the province.
The 20th century saw a steady rise in the construction of area schools, with Vincent Massey P.S. (1955); Waverley P.S. (1978); Dr. Ross Tilley P.S. (1993); John M. James P.S. (1999) and Harold Longworth P.S. (2003) all accommodating gradual population increases and building developments in specific demographic areas of the town. The local school board was amalgamated with neighboring jurisdictions to form the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board in 1997.
As the town grew and prospered, so arrived Bowmanville's grand era of architectural building and refinement. Many excellently maintained specimens of Italianate, Gothic Revival, Colonial Brick and Queen Anne architecture remain in Bowmanville's older central neighborhoods. Much of Bowmanville's residential and commercial architectural heritage was either lost or threatened by demolition and modern development from 1950 to 1980, but a 25 year renaissance in appreciation and awareness (led largely by local historians and LACAC members) helped to preserve the precious remnants of days gone by.
Bowmanville was incorporated as a village in 1852 and as a town in 1858. In 1974, the town was amalgamated with neighbouring Clarke Township and Darlington Township to form the Town of Newcastle as part of the municipal restructuring that created the Regional Municipality of Durham. The Town of Newcastle was renamed Municipality of Clarington in 1994.
Subdivided housing developments first arrived in the 1950s, with a significant increase in housing development through the 1980s and 1990s. The population rose to about 10,000 in the 1970s, about 20,000 in the 1980s, about 25,000 in the 1990s and today is about 35,000. Transportation improvements in the 1980s included a widening of Highway 401 (first built through Bowmanville in 1952) to six lanes and of Highway 2 to 4/5 lanes. Many have referred to this as the "Lane Era" of Bowmanville.
Prisoner of war camp
Camp 30, the Lake Ontario Officers' Camp-Bowmanville, held captive German army officers from the Afrika Korps, fliers from the Luftwaffe and naval officers from the Kriegsmarine. Farms surrounded the camp that had been a delinquent boys' school prior to the war. In several accounts by former POWs, the prison was represented as very humane, in that the prisoners were well treated and well fed.
Among the German officers transferred from England to Bowmanville was Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer, who was the top U-boat ace of World War II. Kretschmer assumed the duties of the senior naval officer, sharing the command with the senior Luftwaffe officer Oberstleutnant Hans Hefele and the senior army officer General Leutnant Hans von Ravenstein.
The Bowmanville boys' school had been quickly turned into a POW camp by surrounding the existing school buildings with a barbed wire fence. The facility, which had been designed to house 300 boys, was cramped and undersized for grown men. Two 12-foot-high (3.7 m) fences with electric lights every twelve feet and nine guard towers surrounded the 14-acre (57,000 m2) site. The fence had sixty miles of barbed wire looped around the small perimeter. Lieutenant Colonel R.O. Bull M.C. had a support staff plus the Veterans Guard of Canada, consisting of nine officers and 239 other ranks under his command to guard the prisoners.
When the naval prisoners arrived at Bowmanville, there were no recreational facilities. The naval officers quickly transformed the camp. Flower and vegetable gardens were planted, sports fields, tennis courts and a swimming pool were built. The quarters were expanded, giving the prisoners better living conditions. The prisoners received money from home or earned extra money by manufacturing wooden furniture. They were able to purchase beer, cigarettes and dry goods from Eaton's mail order catalogue. It was an ideal life except that there were no women and no freedom. For some there was the urge to get back to the war and defend their country, and for others a desire to remain POWs for the duration of the war.
A daily routine of exercise, sporting events and work assignments was established. As well as English being taught, professors from the nearby University of Toronto gave lectures for university credit classes. A school was also formed, which taught midshipmen seamanship and navigation courses.
Current movies were shown each week. National and religious holidays were observed, and music concerts were given regularly. Elaborate stage plays were produced. Extraordinary puppets were designed and fabricated for puppet shows. Although the conditions were good in the Canadian POW camps, there was very little to do, and the routine was always the same.
The Battle of Bowmanville
In October 1942, between 150 to 400 prisoners revolted against the POW guards after they were shackled as retribution as part of the escalation of Germany's new Commando Order.
Lt.Col. James Taylor had asked German senior officer Georg Friemel to supply 100 prisoners to volunteer to be shackled as part of the ongoing international dispute. When he refused, Otto Kretschmer and Hans Hefele were also asked to provide volunteers, but refused.
Taylor ordered the guards to find 100 officers to be shackled by force, and Horst Elfe, Kretschmer and others barricaded themselves in the mess hall, arming themselves with sticks, iron bars and other makeshift weapons. Approximately 100 Canadian soldiers requisitioned from another base arrived, and together stormed the mess hall using only baseball bats, so the two sides remained evenly matched. After several hours of brawling, the Canadians brought high pressure water hoses and soaked the cabin thoroughly until the prisoners agreed to come out peacefully.
During later incidents in the battle which spanned several days, Volkmar König was wounded by gunfire and another bayoneted, and a Canadian soldier suffered a skull fracture from a thrown jar of jam. After calm had returned, 126 of the prisoners were transferred to other camps.
Bowmanville is home to the historic Bowmanville Foundry, the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police regional office, Goodyear conveyor belt factory (recently sold). There is a marina on Lake Ontario at Port Darlington, south of town. Bowmanville was a finalist for the ITER project. Darlington Nuclear Generating is the major employer. Southern Ontario's GO Train light rail service is to be expanded to Bowmanville shortly. This will increase the efficiency of public transportation to nearby cities such as Oshawa, and beyond.
Since the 1950s, Bowmanville has been accessible via Highway 401 and is served by three interchanges: Waverley Road—Durham Road 57 (Exit 431), Liberty Street—Durham Road 14 (Exit 432) and Bennett Road (Exit 435), that also serves the retirement community of Wilmot Creek on the Lake Ontario shore. The interchange with Highway 35 and Highway 115 to Lindsay and Peterborough (exit 436) lies 500 metres east of Bennett Road.
Bowmanville is bisected by the Canadian Pacific Railway, while the Canadian National Railway runs to the south of the town. Bowmanville had its own transit system, Clarington Transit from 2002–05, and is now served by Durham Region Transit, which offers connections to GO Transit and Via Rail.
Public education is provided by the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. There are eight elementary schools in Bowmanville and two secondary schools, Bowmanville High School and Clarington Central Secondary School.
The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board oversees public Catholic education through three elementary and one secondary school (St. Stephen's Secondary School).
The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly Mosport International Raceway) which hosts both minor grand prix races and major racing events by CASCAR, the SCCA, NASCAR, and the American Le Mans Series annually is located about 25 kilometres north of Bowmanville.
Bowmanville is home to the oldest private zoo in Canada, the Bowmanville Zoo.
The Bowmanville Santa Claus Parade has been held annually on the third Saturday of November since 1961.
The Bowmanville Eagles were the most recent local hockey team to play in Bowmanville, but were merged with the nearby Cobourg Cougars in early 2010 by the CCHL and OJHL.
The Bowmanville Eagles were reborn in 2011. The hockey team was admitted as a Junior C Hockey Club playing in the Central Ontario Junior C League. The Eagles were a Junior C team in the 1970s, 1980's and early 90's. The Eagles applied and were accepted to the Junior A level in 1995. The Eagles were a powerhouse team in the 1980s winning the Charles Schmalz Cup (Provincial Jr C Championship) in 1982. They won the Central Ontario Championships in 1981, 82, 84, 85, 92, 93,94
In their final season as a Jr. C team before moving to Jr. A, the Eagles went to the Schmalz Cup Final. The Eagles did not have success at the Jr A level until approximately 2004. They had moderate success from there until 2010. The Jr. A league decided it needed to contract some clubs and unfortunately the Eagles were one of the clubs on the contraction list.
In their inaugural season back as a Junior C club, the Eagles won the Central Ontario League Championship. The Eagles won playoff rounds over Uxbridge, Little Britain and Lakefield. In the Provincial round of the playoffs the Eagles went up against the Campbellford Rebels of the Empire Jr C league where they lost out in seven games.
Bowmanville is the home of the Clarington Tigercats-Durham Knights Football Club which was founded in 1999.
- Josh Bailey, NHL N.Y Islanders
- Bryan Bickell, NHL Chicago Blackhawks, won Stanley Cup in 2010 and 2013
- The Great Farini, famed acrobatic performer of the 19th century.
- Sir Sam Hughes, Canada's former Minister of War
- Mike Keenan, Former NHL coach, won Stanley Cup in 1994
- Chris Kelly, NHL Boston Bruins
- Lee Mellor, author and musician
- Paul Robins, Bible Christian minister
- Alfred Shrubb, a world record holding distance runner from the turn of the 20th century
- Albert Ross Tilley, WWII burn surgeon and Order of Canada recipient
|Oshawa, Courtice||Newcastle, Port Hope|
|Port Darlington, Lake Ontario|
- "Bowmanville". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada. http://www4.rncan.gc.ca/search-place-names/unique.php?id=FDGDW&output=xml. Retrieved 2012-07-29.
- Thickson, J. (March 3, 1832). "History of West Durham Region". Bowmanville Statesman.
- Humber, William."A Small Town On The Edge".Natural Heritage/Natural History Inc.,1997, p19-21
- Humber, William."A Small Town On The Edge".Natural Heritage/Natural History Inc.,1997, p121
- Clarington Municipal website
- History as a Prisoner-of-War camp
- History: A brief history of how Clarington became settled