As we look ahead to this holiday weekend, there will be many getting ready to escape to the bliss of the cottage or the solitude of a campground, or perhaps just getting ready for a weekend relaxing at home with the family. Whatever your plans are, Oshawa residents should also take a minute to remember one thing.
The August holiday is named many different things across Canada, but here in Oshawa, it’s McLaughlin Day, named fittingly for one of Oshawa’s most famous, successful and perhaps most generous residents.
The Oshawa we know today definitely wouldn’t be the way it is now if it wasn’t for Colonel RS McLaughlin.
Sam McLaughlin’s footprints in this city are wide ranging and have benefited the city both socially and economically. McLaughlin’s company, which would become General Motors, has forged the industry and employment landscape in this city for decades and put Oshawa on the map as an industry hub.
However, his social contributions to the city he loved are also vast, so much so that many residents may not be aware that some of their favorite city facilities were in fact made possible by the generous automaker.
McLaughlin contributed land, structures (like the bandshell in Memorial Park) and helped out financially with a number of facilities, including Camp Samac, the Union Cemetery War Veterans Plot, and the McLaughlin Library to name a few.
His magnificent home also continues to be a tourist attraction and a draw for big screen directors who wish to use its preserved atmosphere and architecture in their movies.
The first McLaughlin Day was celebrated in Oshawa in 1983, so this year, remember to take a minute and remember one of Oshawa’s most important residents. Even if you’re just spending the long weekend soaking up the sun at Lakeview Park, because yes, McLaughlin donated that to the city as well.