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The Modern Harbour

Often large ships came into the harbour. My siblings and neighbourhood kids would talk to the men on the ships as they worked and it wasn’t uncommon for them to toss us some fruit.

– Linda Cory Bazowsky, 2002

Bulk Cargo Ship Unloads Raw Sugar at Port Oshawa. Enjoy this video clip with an English Transcript.

Over the years, large tracts of land in the port area were purchased or acquired by the Oshawa Harbour Commission, including the Second Marsh, the Beaton Properties, and the former Gifford Farm, where the original Port Oshawa Pioneer Cemetery was located.  In the 1990s, the City of Oshawa obtained ownership of the Second Marsh lands and continued to work in collaboration with the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Friends of Second Marsh.


Colour photograph of the view of lakefront from Second Marsh. Field in foreground with trees surrounding small body of water in middle and Bonnie Brae Point visible in background.

View looking west towards the harbour from the Second Marsh in the 1980s.


When a major recession hit Canada in the early 1990s, the Oshawa Harbour suffered along with the rest of the country. Competition was increasing from other modes of transportation. Through good years and bad, ships continued to dock at the Oshawa Harbour for goods of all types bound for destinations all over the world. According to an article from Oshawa This Week, in 1992, the Oshawa Harbour handled over 52 ships; one shipment included 22,000 tons of steel products from Lasco Steel (Gerdau). That year, the first ship arrived on April 17, 1992, and its captain was welcomed with the traditional top hat ceremony.


Colour photograph of five people, one is holding a top hat, standing in front of a large ship.

Top Hat Ceremony, Port Oshawa, 2020


Since the early 1990s, the City of Oshawa has undertaken various studies analyzing potential uses for the lands surrounding Oshawa Harbour, including the land where the marina and Oshawa Yacht Club were located.

Colour aeriel photograph of the marina lands at the Oshawa Harbour.

The Oshawa Marina in 1989.

Following extensive negotiations between the City and the Federal Government between 2000 and 2010, the lands where the marina was located were acquired by the City in 2012 and 2014.

In 2012, the Oshawa Harbour Commission became a Canada Port Authority. The Port of Oshawa was the last port in Canada to be overseen by a harbour commission.

On June 18, 2019 the Oshawa Port Authority amalgamated with the Hamilton Port Authority, known today as the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA Ports). In 2020, HOPA completed a Land Use plan for the harbour lands.