Oshawa (2011 population 149,607; CMA 356,177) is a city in Ontario, Canada, on the Lake Ontario shoreline. It lies in Southern Ontario approximately 60 kilometres east of downtown Toronto. It is commonly viewed as the eastern anchor of the Greater Toronto Area and of the Golden Horseshoe. It is the largest municipality in the Regional Municipality of Durham. The name Oshawa originates from the Ojibwa term aazhaway, meaning "the crossing place" or just "(a)cross".
Oshawa’s roots are tied to the automobile industry, specifically the Canadian division of General Motors Company, known as General Motors Canada. Founded in 1876 as the McLaughlin Carriage Company, General Motors of Canada's headquarters are located in the city. The automotive industry was the inspiration for Oshawa's previous mottos: "The City that Motovates Canada", and "The City in Motion". The lavish home of the carriage company's founder, Parkwood Estate, is a National Historic Site of Canada, and a backdrop favoured by numerous film crews, featured in many movies including 54, Billy Madison, Chicago, and X-Men.
Once recognized as the sole "Automotive Capital of Canada", Oshawa today is an education and health sciences hub. The city is home to three post-secondary institutions (Durham College, Trent University Durham and University of Ontario Institute of Technology) and to Lakeridge Health Oshawa, Lakeridge Health and Education Research Network (LHEARN Centre) and the Oshawa Clinic, the largest, multi-specialty medical group practice in Canada. Key labour force sectors include advanced manufacturing, health technology, logistics, energy and IT.
Downtown Oshawa is identified as an Urban Growth Centre in the Government of Ontario's Places to Grow initiative. More than 5,000 people work and more than 2,400 university students study in the downtown core. The downtown is a prominent centre for entertainment and sporting events (Regent Theatre and General Motors Centre), food (50+ restaurants and cafes ) and culture (The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and Canadian Automotive Museum). Oshawa is home to a Regional Innovation Centre and offers start-up facilities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Co-working offices are also located in the downtown.