By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
A notable piece of Oshawa’s past is being transformed into an exciting part of its future.
For many local residents, the address 1569 Simcoe Street North won’t necessarily jog any memories, but the story behind it will.
That is where the city’s iconic Pleasure Valley Ranch opened in the late 1930s.
The ranch featured a wide variety of attractions including a man-made lake, a dance hall, outdoor skating, horseback riding, and pools.
Built and operated by George James, it soon became a popular attraction in the City of Oshawa.
In the early 1950s, James added Pleasure Valley Speedway, which only operated for two seasons, after which the property was sold to the operators of Camp Samac.
However, this wasn’t the end of the James family legacy at the site, as in the 1960s, George opened up the Oshawa Julip.
It was a fast-food restaurant named after another location in Montreal.
The bright orange round building which housed it would remain an iconic landmark in Oshawa for the next 50 years.
Eventually, the ranch and Oshawa Julip were both closed.
However, the Julip was re-imagined and was painted white as part of the Oshawa Creek Family Golf Centre, which included mini-putt, go-karts, a driving range, paddleboats, and a restaurant.
The golf centre eventually closed and was sold off several times, and the land was slated for a student housing project.
Then almost exactly seven years ago, the former Orange Julip became a victim to man’s oldest foe – fire.
The iconic building went up in flames on Sept. 8, 2012, taking with it almost 75 years of memories.
But as George James once had dreams, the site will eventually be the place of dreams coming true for a whole new generation.
The land where Pleasure Valley once stood is now in the hands of Podium Developments, a company founded in 2004.
With 16 successful projects completed in Toronto, Oshawa, Barrie, Kingston, and Guelph and nine others currently in development in Canada and the U.S., Podium is a well-respected name in the developing industry.
Along with Building Capital, another established company, Podium is developing the land into a project known as Ironwood in North Oshawa.
The project will feature a new modern townhouse community on 11 acres of prime urban real estate.
Ironwood in North Oshawa features three unique blocks within its borders, The Tweed, The Houndstooth, and The Herringbone.
All three offer different takes on the unique living experience of Ironwood in North Oshawa.
Christian Huggett, vice-president of development for Podium says there is something for everyone in the project.
He says it is a perfect opportunity for first-time buyers, or those looking to downsize.
While the north end of Simcoe Street has historically been student housing due to the proximity to Durham College and Ontario Tech University, Huggett says this is a great spot for family living as well.
There are plenty of stores, restaurants, attractions, schools and healthcare services well within a reasonable drive.
But to Huggett, perhaps the most appealing thing about Ironwood in North Oshawa is the built-in amenities that come along with it.
Only yards from their front door, residents will have access to their own trails, community garden, playground facilities, off-leash dog park, toboggan hill, playing field/ice rink and a clearing for yoga and other activities.
All this, as well as localized wood areas and the Oshawa Creek running alongside the property.
Above all, Ironwood in North Oshawa offers an affordable option for those looking for high-quality living.
For more information, visit https://myironwood.ca/