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Whitby harbour.
Whitby (2006 population 111,184) is a town in Ontariomarker, Canadamarker. Whitby is located in Southern Ontario east of Torontomarker on the north shore of Lake Ontariomarker, and is home to the headquarters of Durham Regionmarker. 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 Ashburnmarker, Brooklinmarker, Myrtle and Myrtle Stationmarker.


Whitby Township (now the Town of Whitby) was named after the seaport town of Whitby, Yorkshire, Englandmarker. In addition to Whitby, Yorkshire, the Town of Whitby is also officially twinned with Longueuilmarker, Quebecmarker and Feldkirch, Austriamarker.

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. 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 Simcoemarker and Georgian Baymarker, 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 Ontariomarker in 1852, and incorporated in 1855. In the 1870s a railway, the "Port Whitby and Port Perry Railway," was constructed from Whitby harbour to Port Perrymarker, and later extended to Lindsaymarker 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 Xmarker, 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 Regionmarker 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 for census purposes it belongs to the greater Oshawamarker Metropolitan Area. They are both in the eastern part of the Golden Horseshoe region.


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 45,800 people. The median household income in 2005 for Whitby was $84,219, which is above the Ontario provincial average of $60,455.

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.


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 Regionmarker Councils, as does the mayor. The current mayor is Pat Perkins.

Whitby is also home to Durham Regionmarker headquarters, the headquarters of the Durham District School Board, and some of the law courts.

Emergency services

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.


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, a major Liquor Control Board of Ontario warehouse and the Canadian headquarters of BMW. Other companies present in Whitby include pharmaceutical manufacturer Patheon, Johnson Controls, Lear Corporation, Automodular Assemblies, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, and several others.


Public education in Whitby is provided via the Durham District School Board, which also has its headquarters in Whitby. As of late 2008, there were 18 elementary schools and six secondary schools.

The Durham Catholic District School Board oversees public Catholic education in Durham Region. There are eight Catholic elementary schools and two secondary schools.

As noted above, Whitby is home to Trafalgar Castle School, a private school for women that offers grades 6 through 12 in a university preparatory programme.

Another private education option,located nearby in Ajax is Durham Secondary Academy and Middle School, a small coed private high school and middle school for grades 5 to 12.

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 Collegemarker. The main campus of the college is located in Oshawa, as is the University of Ontario Institute of Technologymarker.

Health care

Despite being among the 100 largest cities/towns in Canada, Whitby 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 Whitbymarker and is a specialized health centre, with the closest full-service hospitals being Lakeridge Health Oshawa and the Rouge Valley Ajax-Pickering Hospital in Ajaxmarker.

The Whitby Mental Health Centre, a psychiatric facility, is located on the lakefront. It was originally called the Whitby Psychiatric Hospital.


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 Pickeringmarker. 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 weekday service via its Lakeshore East line, which (in Whitby) runs parallel to the CN tracks. A GO Stationmarker 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 Perrymarker and Beavertonmarker 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.


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.


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

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, "Anne Ottenebrite" swimming pool, six tennis courts, five ball diamonds, a skatepark, a soccer pitch, a restaurant "The Sports Garden Cafe," 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

Sister cities

See also


External links

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