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Durham Region of the Greater Toronto Area, Canada

Durham Region covers an area of over 2,500 square kilometres and is conveniently located to the East of Downtown Toronto. Another Region with a diverse landscape, Durham has everything from the large lakeshore communities of Pickering and Oshawa to the farmlands and recreational areas in the north. Durham Region has a well educated population of over 570,000 that are employed by a wide variety of Businesses. These employers range from the High Tech like Siemens and Corning controls through agriculture and automotive manufacturing – GM Motors, Volkswagen Canada and BMW Canada all have facilities in the Region.

Durham Region administers its Healthcare and Education following the Provincial guidelines. The responsibility for the day to day operations of the education belongs to the Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board – all the schools in the area are governed by these boards.

One essential piece of research you need to do BEFORE you purchase/rent a house is to find the school(s) you want your child(ren) to attend. This is vital as the schools are dedicated to particular residential area’s so where you live decides where they go to school.

The Region has excellent transportation links including Pearson International airport, Oshawa airport and the Harbour at Oshawa which give tremendous access to North America. This is coupled with easy access to recreational opportunities in the outdoors and everything that a Major metropolitan area like the GTA has to offer!

Each section below is only an overview so please use the links to the main website below for more detail. For job research definitely use the Chamber of Commerce websites for each location for great information on the local businesses.

Durham’s Municipalities

The Town Of Ajax – In 2005 Ajax will celebrate its 50th anniversary as a town and has many events planned to recognise this. A small town in the South of Durham Region on the shore of Lake Ontario, it was named after the World War two British Warship The Ajax.

With a population in excess of 80,000 the Town covers an area of over 65 square km. The unemployment rate was 5.4% (2001) with an average family income of around $80,000 a year. The average price of a house was in the region of $215,000 making Ajax one of the cheaper areas in the GTA. Transport is provided by the Ajax/Pickering Transit that also links in with GO Transit and the Greyhound Bus.

There are two recreation centres in the Town that offer a full range of activities and sports. There are skateboard parks for the kids as well as summer camps for various activities during the school holidays. The Lake provides great recreation for the residents during both the summer and winter months. All education and healthcare are administered by the Durham Region and can be accessed via the Region website.

The Municipality of Clarington – A collection of several smaller communities, the municipality now has around 75,000 residents and occupies just over 600 square Kilometres of the Lake Ontario shoreline in the south of Durham Region. The main settlements are Darlington, Newcastle and Bowmanville/Courtice. The area is growing quickly with a 10 year population growth average of 4% per year.

The main businesses are agriculture (and the services), aggregate excavation and cement works, tourism, manufacturing, retail and construction. There is an average unemployment rate of only 4.9% as the area is very business friendly, with the average household income around $74,000. There are great transportation links with 3 major highways, docks, rail links, a regional airport with 2 runways and of course – Pearson International. The Clarington Transit connects with Whitby and Oshawa Transit and you can even use the same tickets on each system.

There are good facilities with a modern hospital that continues to expand, plenty of schools and the newly built University of Ontario Institute of Technology. There are 5 golf courses, 2 marina’s, 2 indoor and 2 outdoor swimming pools, 5 arena’s with 7 ice surfaces, extensive parks and 7 conservation areas that have downhill and cross country skiing. Last but not least – Bowmanville even has its own Zoo!

The City Of Pickering – Ideally situated between Downtown Toronto to the West and Port Whitby Marina to the East, the 94,200 population of the City of Pickering enjoy life on the shores of Lake Ontario. With the Waterfront Trail extending along the shores and the “environmentally significant” wetlands of Frenchmen’s Bay residents are provided with some great scenery and recreation opportunities. On top of that the impressive leisure centre has fantastic modern facilities that any community would be proud of. For those with interest in the History of the region, a visit to the Pickering Museum Village should not be missed.