Whitby, Ontario

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Whitby
Town
Town of Whitby
Whitby Harbour
Whitby Harbour
Motto: Durham's Business Centre
Map showing location of Whitby in Durham Region
Map showing location of Whitby in Durham Region
Coordinates: 43°52′47″N 78°56′30″W / 43.87972°N 78.94167°W / 43.87972; -78.94167
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Region Durham Region
Incorporated 1855
Government
 • Mayor Pat Perkins
 • Governing body Whitby Town Council
 • MP (vacant) (Whitby—Oshawa)
 • MPP Christine Elliott (Whitby—Oshawa)
Area
 • Land 146.53 km2 (56.58 sq mi)
Elevation 91 m (299 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 122,022 (Ranked 41st)
 • Density 832.7/km2 (2,157/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC−4)
Website whitby.ca

Whitby (2011 population 122,022[1]) is a town in Durham Region. Whitby is located in Southern Ontario east of Ajax on the north shore of Lake Ontario, and is home to the headquarters of Durham Region. It is approximately a 30 minute drive to the Toronto borough of Scarborough, and it is known as a commuter suburb in the eastern part of the Greater Toronto Area. While the southern portion of Whitby is predominantly urban, and an economic hub, the northern part of the municipality is more rural and includes the communities of Ashburn, Brooklin, Myrtle and Myrtle Station.

History[edit]

Whitby Township (now the Town of Whitby) was named after the seaport town of Whitby, Yorkshire, England. In addition to Whitby, Yorkshire, the Town of Whitby is also officially twinned with Longueuil, Quebec and Feldkirch, Austria.

When the township was originally surveyed in 1792, the surveyor, from the northern part of England, named the townships east of Toronto after towns in northeastern England: York, Scarborough, Pickering, Whitby and Darlington.[2] The original name of "Whitby" is Danish, dating from about 867 CE 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.' Although settlement dates back to 1800, it was not until 1836 that a downtown business centre was established by Whitby's founder Peter Perry.

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. In the 1840s a road was built from Whitby Harbour to Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay, to bring trade and settlement through the harbour to and from the rich hinterland to the north. The Town of Whitby was chosen as the seat of government for the newly formed County of Ontario in 1852, and incorporated in 1855. The remainder of Whitby Township remained a separate municipality, although the eastern half surrounding Oshawa was incorporated as the new Township of East Whitby in 1857. In the 1870s a railway, the "Port Whitby and Port Perry Railway", was constructed from Whitby harbour to Port Perry, and later extended to Lindsay as the "Whitby, Port Perry and Lindsay Railway."

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. The school celebrated its 125th anniversary in 1999.

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". Although the buildings have since been demolished, a monument was unveiled on the site of Camp X in 1984 by Ontario's Lieutenant Governor John Black Aird.

In 1968, the Town of Whitby and Township of Whitby amalgamated to form the current municipality. Municipal boundaries were not changed during the 1974 formation of Durham Region and remain to this day.

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. They are both in the eastern part of the Golden Horseshoe region.

Demographics[edit]

Historical populations
Year Pop.   ±%  
1871 2,732 —    
1881 3,140 +14.9%
1891 2,786 −11.3%
1901 2,110 −24.3%
1911 2,248 +6.5%
1921 2,800 +24.6%
1931 5,046 +80.2%
1941 5,882 +16.6%
1951 7,267 +23.5%
1961 14,685 +102.1%
1971 25,324 +72.4%
1981 36,698 +44.9%
1991 61,281 +67.0%
1996 73,794 +20.4%
2001 87,413 +18.5%
2006 111,184 +27.2%
2011 122,022 +9.7%
Visible minorities and Aboriginal population
Canada 2006 Census Population  % of Total Population
Visible minority group
Source:[3]
South Asian 3,680 3.3
Chinese 2,105 1.9
Black 6,695 6.1
Filipino 1,180 1.1
Latin American 780 0.7
Southeast Asian 345 0.3
Arab 715 0.6
West Asian 650 0.6
Korean 200 0.2
Japanese 535 0.5
Mixed visible minority 1,025 0.9
Other visible minority 800 0.7
Total visible minority population 18,730 17
Aboriginal group
Source:[4]
First Nations 750 0.7
Métis 330 0.3
Inuit 65 0.1
Total Aboriginal population 1,175 1.1
White 90,550 82
Total population 110,455 100

Like much of Durham Region, demographics in Whitby are characterized mainly by rapid population growth. The 2006 census population of the town is 111,184 inhabitants, compared with the 2001 Statistics Canada total of 87,413. This represents population growth of over 27.2% in five years. The number of inhabitants has more than doubled since 1986, when Whitby had a census population of 45,819 people.

According to the 2006 Census, approximately 17.0% of Whitby's population is classified as visible minority, with Black (6.1%), South Asian (3.3%) and Chinese (1.9%) populations forming the largest individual groups.2011 Census data[5] show that English is the mother tongue of 83.7% of the residents of Whitby, while native speakers of French make up 1.7% of the population. Of immigrant languages, only Italian is the mother tongue of more than 1% of the population (1.4%).

The median household income in 2012 for Whitby was $101,392.[6]

Government[edit]

The Town government consists of a mayor and four councillors, each representing an individual ward. There are also three regional councillors elected at large. They sit on both the Town and Durham Region Councils, as does the mayor. The current mayor is Pat Perkins.

Whitby is also home to the headquarters buildings of Durham Region and the Durham District School Board.

Emergency services[edit]

Whitby is policed by the Durham Regional Police. There is also a detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police located in Town, mainly to patrol area provincial highways. Whitby Fire & Emergency Services provides firefighting services from five fire stations and ambulance/emergency medical services are provided by Durham Region EMS.

Economy[edit]

Many residents commute to work in other Greater Toronto Area communities, and General Motors Canada in Oshawa is a major employer for all of Durham Region. Whitby is itself home to a steel mill operated by Gerdau Ameristeel, a retail support centre operated by Sobeys, and a major Liquor Control Board of Ontario warehouse. Other companies present in Whitby include pharmaceutical manufacturer Patheon, Johnson Controls, Lear Corporation, Automodular Assemblies, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, and several others.

Education[edit]

Public education in Whitby is provided via the Durham District School Board, which also has its headquarters in Whitby. As of late 2012, there were twenty three elementary schools and four secondary schools: Anderson C.V.I., Donald A. Wilson S.S., Henry Street H.S. and Sinclair S.S.

The Durham Catholic District School Board oversees public Catholic education in Durham Region. There are eight Catholic elementary schools and two secondary schools; Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School and All Saints Catholic Secondary School. There is often a rivalry referred to between these schools, with students participating in a variety of activities to prove their worth.

As noted above, Whitby is home to Trafalgar Castle School,[7] an independent school for women that offers grades 5 through 12 in a university preparatory programme. Built in 1859 by the flamboyant Sheriff of Ontario County, Nelson Gilbert "Iron" Reynolds, Trafalgar Castle remains a unique Canadian treasure. The school had opened its doors in 1874 and was called "Ontario Ladies' College" until the late 70s, after which it changed its name to "Trafalgar Castle".

There are also a number of Montessori schools offering programmes for early elementary grades.

Whitby is also the site of the Skills Training Centre of Durham College. The main campus of the college is located in Oshawa, as is the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Health care[edit]

Although Whitby is one of the 100 largest cities/towns in Canada, it lacks a full-service hospital. The town was served by the Whitby General Hospital until 1998, when Durham hospitals were amalgamated by the Lakeridge Health Corporation, Under the amalgamated system, the hospital became Lakeridge Health Whitby and is a specialized health centre, with the closest full-service hospitals being Lakeridge Health Oshawa, Markham Stouffville Hospital in Markham and the Rouge Valley Health System, Ajax and Pickering campus in Ajax.

The Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences is located on the lakefront. It was originally called the Whitby Psychiatric Hospital, then Whitby Mental Health Centre.

Transportation[edit]

Ontario Highway 401 runs through the south end of Whitby, with interchanges at Brock Street and Thickson Road. Proposed eastward extensions of Highway 407 will likely see that toll highway extended through Whitby to its planned terminus at the junction of Highways 35 and 115. The southern terminus of Highway 12 is also located in Whitby. It originally extended from Highway 401 northward as part of Brock Street, but this portion was downloaded to Durham Region in 1997. The southern terminus is now located just south of Brooklin at the location of a possible future interchange with Highway 407, should it be extended eastward. Finally, Highway 7 runs east-west between Brooklin and the City of Pickering. At Brooklin, the road changes to a north-south alignment and is multiplexed with Highway 12 to the northern boundary of the Town.

Four railways pass through Whitby. The Toronto-Montreal corridor main lines of the Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway both pass east-west through the south end of Whitby. A second CP line running from Toronto to Havelock also passes through the northern part of Whitby. Via Rail trains travel through Whitby, but the nearest station is in Oshawa. Finally, GO Transit provides frequent service via its Lakeshore East line, which (in Whitby) runs parallel to the CN tracks. A GO Station is located in Town.

Local transit services are provided by the region-wide Durham Region Transit. Prior to the Regional service, the Town provided its own service. GO Transit buses also connect Whitby with Durham Region (including Port Perry and Beaverton to the north) and areas further afield.

Whitby Harbour, an important factor in the development of the Town, is now home to a 430-berth recreational marina.

Media[edit]

Whitby is served by the Whitby This Week newspaper, part of the Metroland Media Group. Several other papers have been published in the town over the years, including the Whitby Free Press, which ran from 1971 to 1996. Other GTA media outlets also serve the area, including the Durham-based Artsforum Magazine..

Cultural assets[edit]

  • Camp X
  • Durham Council for the Arts
  • Whitby Brass Band
  • Whitby Courthouse Theatre
  • Whitby Heritage Day
  • Whitby Public Library
  • Station Gallery

Sports[edit]

Whitby Harbour

Whitby's most famous sporting team are the Whitby Dunlops, a celebrated ice hockey squad that captured the world championship in 1958 at Oslo, Norway. This team featured long-time president of the Boston Bruins, Harry Sinden and former mayor of Whitby, Bob Attersley. The Dunlops were revived in 2004 as part of the Eastern Ontario Senior Hockey League.

The Whitby Yacht Club, which offers racing, cruising, social, and sail training programs on Whitby Harbour overlooking the Lake Ontario, was founded in 1967.[8]

Lacrosse is also a prominent sport in Whitby. The Brooklin Redmen Senior A lacrosse club is one of the most successful in Canadian sporting history, while the Junior A Whitby Warriors have been awarded the Minto Cup four times since 1984.

Whitby is also home to the Iroquois Sports Complex, one of the largest minor sports centres in North America. The facility includes six icepads, a swimming pool named for local Olympian Anne Ottenbrite, six tennis courts, five ball diamonds, a skatepark, a soccer pitch, The Sports Garden Cafe restaurant and the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame. Whitby also developed the McKinney Sports complex which boasts three ice pads, two tennis courts and a skatepark, and Luther Vipond Arena in Brooklin, with one ice pad. These 3 sport complexes hold many sporting events.

For the 2008-2009 season the OPJHL has relocated a team to Whitby, to play out of the Iroquois Complex, known as the Fury.

Notable residents (past and present)[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Série « Perspective géographique », Recensement de 2011 – Subdivision de recensement, Whitby, T - Ontario" (in French). Statistique Canada. 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Winter, Brian (1999); Chronicles of a County Town: Whitby Past and Present. ISBN 0-9685745-0-5, pg. 8
  3. ^ "Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision". 12.statcan.gc.ca. 
  4. ^ "Aboriginal Peoples - Data table". 12.statcan.ca. 
  5. ^ "Census Profile for Census Subdivision of Whitby (Town), Ontario". 12.statcan.ca. 
  6. ^ "Whitby, Ontario - Demographics". Manifold Data Mining Inc. 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  7. ^ trafalgarcastle.ca
  8. ^ Whitby Yacht Club
  • Ed McPherson 'The Whitby Yacht Club: 25 years in the making' Whitby, Ont. : Whitby Yacht Club, c1992.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°54′12″N 78°56′34″W / 43.903205°N 78.94278°W / 43.903205; -78.94278