Darlington to Oshawa
Port Oshawa small boat harbour is closed for recreational boaters for 2003. We were turned away as all but a harbour of refuge in November 2002.
West from Port Darlington to Raby Head a gravelly and sandy shore marks the low coast line with the except for a point 1 mile SW of Darlington, where there is a bluff 105 feet high. Near the harbor mouth the shore is lined with cottages, while to the NW you can clearly see the St Mary,s Cement Plant, one mile NE of Raby Head
The Ontario Hydro Generating Station at Raby Head is conspicuous and has a restricted area of navigation extending 1 mile offshore. All vessels are prohibited from entering this area. The Darlington Nuclear generating station producing 3524 megawatts and has one of the best safety records of any nuclear facility in the world. The station itself is flood lit at night and very visible from the lake. Visitors may apply to tour the plant from May to September, a 24 Hr. notice is required.Ontario Hydro Site
The St. Marys Cement Plant lies 1 mile NE of Raby Head and is conspicuous having numerous silos with an elevation of 180 feet ,the plant's chimneys being marked by obstruction lights rising to 380 feet. At night many of the building are flood lit. The St. Marys Cement Company wharf, located 1 mile SW of Port Darlington, is at the end of a landfill area which extends 0.4 miles offshore. Five concrete dolphins with elevations of approximately 14 feet are joined by catwalks with a water depth of 27 feet alongside. Privately maintained lights mark the north and south ends of the berth A submerged water intake lies 0.2 miles west of the St. Marys wharf and extends 0.4 miles offshore with a depth of 22 feet and marked by a private buoy.
Darlington Provincial Park which is open year round is located on the NE side of Mclaughlin Bay. The park offers camping, picnic area, showers, washrooms, playground, a store, and small boat and canoe rentals. There are nature trails, a pioneer cabin, and a cemetery.
West from Raby Head there are clay cliffs which slowly gives way to a gravel beach with low lying swampy land, but having some open water. Mclaughlin Bay lies 1.2 miles east of Oshawa and the bay itself is closed to the lake by a shingle bar. There was a shallow access channel to Second Marsh in 1994 just to the west of Mclaughlin Bay. There is shallow water extending 0.6 miles offshore which is marked by a buoy.
Oshawa is 29 miles west of Cobourg, 33 miles north from Wilson N.Y. and 28 miles east of Toronto. There are no obstructions to the harbor approaches with the exception of shallow water to the east as described above in McLaughlin shoal.
Oshawa Harbor is commercial as well as a Customs Clearing Port operated by the Oshawa Harbor Commissioner. The harbor has a speed limit of 7 knots within 305 feet of shore and a special restriction of 5 knots is in effect when passing any vessel that is at anchor, tied up, or otherwise secured and which has explosives aboard. One note of caution when anchoring, as in strong east winds vessels have reportedly experienced a tendency to drift to the west. Except during commercial operations, when the harbor is well lit, it can be quite dark and you should be prepared to have an auxillary searchlight ready for night entry to the inner harbor.
Oshawa harbor is 1 mile SE of the city center and has been greatly improved since last my visit. The harbor is man made and the entrance is between a boulder break wall and concrete pier 7 feet high extending outwards from the natural shoreline. Approaching the harbor there are the typical clay banks which are generally wooded, with a slight bluff approximately 20 feet high, 0.6 miles to the SW. The harbor is subject to silting although dredging maintains depth.
A prominent feature of the harbor is the light colored storage tanks on both the eastern and western sides of the harbor as well as the conical storage domes to the east of the entrance.
This harbor is still used commercially, the main wharf being used by commercial vessels. For small craft there is a marina (1) and a yacht club (2) in the NW sector of the harbor.
Oshawa Harbor Lights and Signals. The Range Lights have a bearing of 327.5 °. The front light (502) is located on the outer end of the west pier located in a 25 foot high white circular tower with a green upper section and a florescent-orange triangular day mark with a black vertical stripe. The rearmost light (503) is located on a white skeleton tower 50 feet in height with a florescent-orange triangular day mark and a black vertical stripe. There is a fog signal located in the foremost light structure which sounds on 20 second intervals when required.
Boaters visiting Oshawa can watch the unloading of cargo from the commercial ships, some of which are from overseas, others are Lakers, among the materials discharged are potash, steel and metal ores.
Port Oshawa small boat harbour will be largely closed for 2003. We were turned away as all but a harbour of refuge in November 2002.
The Oshawa Yacht Club is located at the outermost division of the harbour with the fuel dock along the south western face. The club is friendly and convenient for everyone including the Canada Geese who seem to love their lawn, requiring care if shuffling barefoot through the grass.
Oshawa Yacht Club ( 2 ) Like many clubs there is space available for members of reciprocating yacht clubs. There is a nominal fee of $ 7.50 for the first night and regular rates apply for longer stays if there is available space. You check in at the gas dock for slip assignment. Visitors from reciprocating yacht clubs have the use of facilities.
Port Oshawa Marine ( 1 ) is located deeper in the harbour along the western approach. There are transient slips available. For those looking for a project boat there are plenty of prospects here.
Oshawa first began as a French trading post in 1750, then as an early industrial centre. It is now the home of General Motors of Canada, whose history began as Robert S. McLaughlin's carriage works in 1869. McLaughlin was among the first builders of cars in Canada, which were very popular in their time, but the company eventually sold out to General Motors of Canada, with McLaughlin remaining at the helm. Lasco has a steel factory in Oshawa, also.
Oshawa is now a pleasant, fast growing and prosperous city with much to offer the visitor.
Further on, about 2.5 miles away in the town there is more extensive shopping, much as you would expect in a town of this size. Oshawa is not as tourist oriented as are the ones to the east.
Locally recommended eating places are the relatively inexpensive Marwood Park, serving great Roast Beef, on Wentworth, and the Kanco, noted for its reasonably priced noonday buffet and Sunday brunch, at King and Centre Streets. If you have taste for something spicy, there is The Delhi Palace ; for Fine Italian food try Pazio's, or the Amadeus, serving Various steak and seafood dishes, all of which are on Simcoe St. On King is to be found yet another steak-house called El Stavros.
West of the Western pier is Lakeview Park, an Oshawa day use park with a sandy beach, swimming area with lifeguard station, picnic areas, snack bar, pay phones, children's adventure playground and landscaped brick boardwalk. The park has 4 artificial boulder islands roughly 50 feet long and 7 feet high built just offshore, with the west island connected by a causeway to shore.
Within the Park are three houses, the Oshawa Sydenham Museum, showing life as it was from 1850 to 1880, the Henry House and the Guy House, a wood frame farmhouse built in 1835, where-in are kept the archives, public gallery and a gift shop. Being the home of General Motors as well as that of the owner of its predecessor Company, Colonel R S McLaughlin, it is no wonder that there are several Automotive Museums through-out the town.
Of special note is the 12 acre Parkwood Estate, home of the late Col. Mclaughlin, with its 55 room mansion, surrounded by sunken gardens, pools and lighted fountains. There is a tea house overlooking the fountains which serves lunch during the summer season. Entrance to the estate costs $5 ($3 for students and seniors), it is a long bike ride from the harbour but is more easily reached by bus.
At another location but also reachable by bus is the Robert Mclaughlin Art Gallery, where works of artists of Oshawa and nearby Whitby are displayed.
COMRA (City of Oshawa Rescue Association) maintains a voluntary staffed rescue vessel here and monitors 68 from 07:00 to 21:00 hrs during the boating season.
Oshawa Yacht Club
Port Oshawa Marina
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