Pickering (Ontario)

Pickering is a Toronto outer suburb in Durham, Ontario. Located directly east of Toronto on Ontario Highway 401, it shares a name with Pickering in North Yorkshire, England.


Former Pickering College site (1877-1905), now Hermitage Park, Ajax

While Jesuit missionaries report contact with a native community here (likely Onondaga) in 1669, by 1813 Pickering was a small rural village with 180 residents. A post office established in 1829 was called Pickering; this name was later extended to the 1807 Quaker settlement in the area. The Kingston Road (an originally-muddy 1817 horse carriage trail, which became the "Provincial Highway" or Ontario Highway 2 a century later in the motorcar era) passed through the village as a first stop on the then-arduous Toronto to Montréal stagecoach journey; anyone who completed the trip in a mere week was making very good time. The steam-powered Grand Trunk Railway cut the journey to 14 hours in 1856 and brought commerce to the area, a grist milling centre. The internal combustion engine sped travel further; by the 1960s. the 401 freeway brought motorists from Montréal through Pickering into Toronto in about six hours.

The 1877 Pickering College, originally a seminary, burned in 1905 and was a total loss; the school rebuilt in Newmarket. The town of Ajax was split from Pickering Township in 1941 and named for a wartime battleship; this left "Pickering Village" and the former college site (now Hermitage Park) as part of Ajax, while "Pickering Township" remained Pickering. As the nearby city of Toronto has expanded, surpassing Montréal to become Canada's largest city in the 1970s, traffic through and suburban sprawl into Pickering has steadily increased. The township was incorporated as a town in 1974 and is now nominally a city. By 1996 there were 79000 people, by 2001 there were 87000 people as rising housing prices within Toronto sent commuters further afield.

Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, Pickering's largest employer, first went on-line in the early 1970s; it later expanded to eight reactors and now generates 4.12 gigawatts to power the Greater Toronto Area. A second generating station (Darlington, to the east of Oshawa) was added to Durham Region; each site has a public Information Centre. The southern portion of the municipality is primarily suburban, although one can still find rural areas in Pickering by heading north. A major airport continues to be proposed for this area but, due to strong and continued local opposition since the mid-1970s, has never been built.

Nautical Village, Frenchman's Bay

Get in

By motorcar

By train

By bus

By air

Oshawa has an airport with small charter planes but no scheduled passenger service. Toronto Pearson International Airport in Malton (IATA: YYZ) is the one major airport in the area, but travellers must cross all of Toronto to reach it as it's on the far side of the city, in Peel Region. There is a small Toronto Islands Airport in downtown Toronto with a few domestic and US short-haul flights.

By boat

Pickering is on Lake Ontario.

Get around

By bus
By taxi








Wi-Fi is available at the Pickering Public Library; the main branch at One The Esplanade (+1 905-831-6265 or +1-888-831-6266) is open 9:30AM-9PM weekdays, 9-5 Saturday, 1-5PM Sunday.

Go next

Routes through Pickering

London Toronto  W  E  Ajax Oshawa
Kitchener Markham  W  E  Whitby Peterborough
Jct Uxbridge  N  S  END
Toronto Scarborough  W  E  Ajax Oshawa

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, January 11, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.