Parkwood Estate (270 Simcoe Street North): Stroll around the magnificent grounds, heritage gardens, architectural elements and statuary of Parkwood Estate, Oshawa’s Designated Heritage Site, and stately home-turned-museum of the Col. Sam McLaughlin, founder of GM Canada. Entrance to the grounds is free, but restricted during the winter months. Check online for availability.
Union Cemetery (760 King Street West): Established in 1837, this tranquil stretch of land is perfect for photographers, and is the largest cemetery in the city. It includes dedicated plots for WWI and WWII veterans, which are marked with a cross, and stones for Oshawa’s War Dead include a maple leaf, plus several impressive mausoleums, and soapstone markers from the 1830s. Check out our guide to the cemetery’s iconography here.
McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve (1908 Colonel Sam Drive) Located on the shore of Lake Ontario in south-east Oshawa, this 25-year-old green space is sandwiched between Second March Wildlife Area to the west, and Darlington Provincial Park to the east. Once a dairy farm, the 108 acres that currently make up McLaughlin Bay are owned an operated by GM of Canada, and the reserve currently hosts 400 varieties of plants, trees, shrubs and wildflowers, and birds. Trails range from 300 m to 1.7 km, and are generally flat and easily walkable. Birdwatchers and photographers (and anyone else who likes a good view), can use the two platforms for panoramic views of the reserve. The McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve is open seven days a week, year-round, and is free for everyone to use. In winter, snowshoeing and cross country skiing are permitted. Click here for directions.
Oshawa Harbour (end of Simcoe Street South): Lake Ontario creates a magnificent backdrop for photographs, which is why this south-end park and beach are a favourite for family, wedding and engagement pictures. But many local photographers turn their lenses on the ships come in and out of Port Oshawa, with stunning results. Check out these inspiring shots captured by Oshawa-based shutterbugs.
Oshawa Botanical Gardens (155 Arena Street): Home of the annual Peony Festival, winding pathways, stunning gardens, waterways and architectural features abound at Oshawa’s Botanical Gardens. Entrance is free and open to anyone, year round.
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