Oshawa’s Cedar Dale community to be honoured with historical park signage

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Published May 16, 2023 at 12:39 pm

Photo from Oshawa Museum blog

Oshawa will honour the history of the lakeside Cedar Dale community this year with park signage welcoming residents and visitors to the ‘Historic Village of Cedar Dale.’

City staff was tasked with looking into how Oshawa could acknowledge the currently unacknowledged historical hamlets of Cedar Dale, Southmead and Westmount as their legacies are “in danger of being lost” and report back with their findings in 2023.

Staff brought their report to the Community and Operations Services Committee Monday and declared that since the Westmount and Southmead neighbourhoods, also in south Oshawa, were never classified as hamlets or villages and there was little known about their history it would not be “feasible or appropriate” to provide recognition.

Cedar Dale, on the other hand, was very much an historic village – a ‘police village,’ in fact, separate even from East Whitby Township – and deserving of recognition.

According to the 1877 County of Ontario Atlas, Cedar Dale is listed along with Columbus, Raglan and Harmony as one of the principal villages within what was then known as East Whitby. Cedar Dale was located just south of what is now Bloor Street and was bounded by Park Road and Wilson Road with frontage to Lake Ontario. It was not a part of Oshawa until the early 1920s.

Many local historians credit the creation of Cedar Dale to one man, A.S. Whiting, who chose to build his new manufacturing business in the area – south of the still new community of Oshawa – and brought in people to work at his new factory from his home state of Connecticut.

Whiting is also credited with naming Cedar Dale, according to a May 7, 1873 edition of the Ontario Reformer, as his workers made their homes nearby on what became known as Whiting Avenue.

Staff determined placing stand-alone road signs, as found in Columbus and Raglan in north Oshawa, would not be practical due to the size and space required and opted for the signage in local parks.

The approximate $14.500 cost for the signs – to be located at Lake Vista, Southmead, Stone Street, Conant, Cordova Valley, Snowbird, Wellington, Lakewoods and Fenelon/Venus parks – would be beyond the normal Parks Operations sign budget and will come from the general Operating Budget.

The motion carried 4-2 and still has to be approved at the next Council meeting.

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