Pickering, Ontario

Pickering, Ontario

Infobox Settlement
official_name = City of Pickering, Ontario
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 600
map_caption = Map showing Pickering's location in Durham Region
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_type2 = Region
subdivision_name = Canada
subdivision_name1 = Ontario
subdivision_name2 = Durham Region
leader_title = Mayor
leader_title1 = Governing body
leader_title2 = MPs
leader_title3 = MPP
leader_name = David Ryan
leader_name1 = Pickering City Council
leader_name2 = Dan McTeague (Pickering—Scarborough East)
Mark Holland (Ajax-Pickering)
leader_name3 = Wayne Arthurs (Pickering—Scarborough East)
Joe Dickson (Ajax—Pickering)
established_title = Established
established_date = 1974
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 231.58
area_total_sq_mi = 89.41
area_land_km2 =
area_land_sq_mi =
area_water_km2 =
area_water_sq_mi =
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
population_as_of = 2006
population_note =
population_total = 87838
population_footnotes = [ [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/profiles/community/Details/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CSD&Code1=3518001&Geo2=PR&Code2=35&Data=Count&SearchText=pickering&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=35&B1=All&Custom= 2006 Community Profiles - Census Subdivision ] ]
population_metro =
population_urban =
population_density_km2 = 379.3
population_density_sq_mi = 145.3
timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = −5
timezone_DST = Eastern (EDT)
utc_offset_DST = −4
latd=43 |latm=50 |lats=22 |latNS=N
longd=79 |longm=4 |longs=53 |longEW=W
elevation_m = 83.8
elevation_ft = 275
website = [http://www.cityofpickering.com cityofpickering.com]
footnotes =

Pickering is a city located immediately east of Toronto in Durham Region, Ontario, Canada. It is part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and is a suburb of Toronto.


Pickering Township was surveyed and established in 1791 as part of what was then York County. Its name derives from Pickering, North Yorkshire in North Yorkshire, England and was one of five townships along Lake Ontario named for towns in northeast England (York, Scarborough, Pickering, Whitby and Darlington). The municipality was incorporated in 1811 and became part of the newly-formed County of Ontario in 1852.

Early activity in Pickering was based on agriculture, with local rivers providing water-power to operate local mills. The mouth of the Rouge River was employed as a harbour for the shipment of goods to Toronto and other points on the Great Lakes. The Kingston Road connecting Toronto and Kingston was surveyed in the area in 1810. The construction of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1856 also promoted development.

From the 1850s on, a community known as Pickering Village grew along the Kingston Road near Duffins Creek. It was separated from the township in 1953 and incorporated as a village.

During the Second World War, the community of Ajax was created as a munitions plant in the eastern portion of the township. In 1950, Ajax was separated from the township and incorporated as an improvement district.

Considerable growth took place in Pickering Township after the Second World War, spurred by the completion of Highway 401 and the area's proximity to Toronto. Further growth occurred with the start of construction of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station in 1965.

In the early 1970s, Pickering was the proposed site of Pickering Airport, a second international airport for the Toronto region. Land was expropriated for the project, but never built due in part to opposition from residents and environmental groups. The Province of Ontario also expropriated land in the area for the planned community of Seaton south of Highway 7. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority recently proposed a smaller airport for the site and the planning is underway to develop the Seaton lands as an urban area.

In 1974, municipal restructuring created the Regional Municipality of Durham. Pickering Township became the Town of Pickering. Pickering Village and some parts of the township north of Ajax became part of the new Town of Ajax. The town’s boundaries in the west were also changed in 1984 – a portion of the Port Union neighbourhood was transferred to the Borough of Scarborough and is now part of the City of Toronto. The 1971 census, the closest to the restructuring, indicated that Pickering Township had a population of 31,735 prior to the creation of Durham Region.

In 2000, Pickering was granted city status.


Pickering has experienced rapid growth in the post-war period. Between the 1996 and 2001 censuses, the municipality experienced a growth rate of 10 percent (78,989 people to 87,139). Population growth has slowed considerably in recent years, growing only slightly between the 2001 and 2006 census. This is due mainly to development restrictions on land in the northern portion of the city. Negotiations are ongoing to permit development in this area. Consequently, the city has estimated that by 2023, Pickering will be home to nearly 170,000 residentscite web|url=http://www.cityofpickering.com/business/economic/pdfs/Profile2006.pdf|title=City of Pickering Economic and Community Profile|publisher=City of Pickering|year=2005|accessdate=2007-03-03] . The province of Ontario has also designated Pickering as one of two municipalities in Durham Region as an urban growth centre.

A significant portion of Pickering residents are classified as visible minorities. According to the 2006 census, 10% of the city's population is Black, 9% South Asian, 3% Filipino and 2% East Asian. 70% of the population identifies as Caucasian.


The southern part of the city is mainly suburban, with industrial areas mainly restricted to the area around Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. Most of the suburban areas were built as subdivisions after World War II, starting in the area around Frenchmans Bay. Prior to the war, the few suburban areas in the township were the communities of Dunbarton, Fairport, Liverpool Market, and Rouge Hill.

The northern part of the municipality is mainly rural, primarily used for agricultural purposes. However, a number of communities exist in this area, and the locally controversial Seaton area also falls within this part of the city. The primary rural communities in Pickering are Claremont, Brougham, and Whitevale; however, a number of smaller communities exist throughout northern Pickering.


Pickering is home to the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, an eight-reactor facility with a capacity of 4,120 megawatts. The first station, Pickering A, opened with four reactors in 1971. Ontario Power Generation, the plants' operator, is the largest single employer in the city. In 2001, the wind-powered OPG 7 Commemorative Turbine was opened on the generating station site.

A number of manufacturers are also located in the city. Major employers include Yorkville Sound (audio equipment), the Canadian headquarters of Purdue Pharma (pharmaceuticals and health & beauty products), Hubbell Canada (electrical equipment), PSB Speakers - Lenbrook (stereo equipment) and [http://www.eco-tec.com Eco-Tec Inc.] (industrial water purification and chemical recovery systems).

Pickering is also the home of the head office of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. MPAC is responsible for value assessment for property tax purposes for all municipalities in Ontario.

Pickering is a founding member of the Durham Strategic Energy Alliance or DSEA. The nucleus of the DSEA is primarily Pickering businesses such as Ontario Power Generation, Veridian, Wardrop Engineering, AECL, Intellimeter, Areva and Eco-Tec.

In 2006, "Profit" magazine recognized Pickering as one of the top 10 cities in Canada to grow a business.


The city council consists of a mayor, three regional councillors and three city councillors. The mayor and regional councillors sit on the council and also represent the city at Durham Regional Council. The city councillors sit on city council only. Pickering is divided into three wards, with one city councillor and one regional councillor representing each ward.

The current mayor is Dave Ryan.

Emergency services

Police services in Pickering are provided by the Durham Regional Police from a division office located in the eastern section of the city. Officers from this location also patrol Ajax. Pickering Fire Services operates from four stations with a force of full and part-time firefighters. Three stations in the urban portion of the city are staffed with full-time firefighters, while the fourth fire hall in Claremont uses on-call part-timers. Ambulance/emergency medical services are provided by Durham Region.


Provincial Highway 401 travels east-west in the southern portion of the city. There are full interchanges at Whites Road and Brock Road and a partial interchange at Liverpool Road. Highway 407 ETR enters Pickering in the northwest from Markham and continues to its current terminus at Brock Road. A proposed extension would see the highway extended eastward to Highway 115/Highway 35. Highway 7 continues eastward to Whitby from the end of Highway 407 ETR. Major Durham Regional roads include Taunton Road, which becomes Steeles Avenue in Toronto. Kingston Road, the original settlement road connecting Toronto and Kingston and former Highway 2, is still a major local roadway and is maintained by Durham Region.

The main Toronto-Montreal lines of the Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway pass through Pickering, as does a separate Toronto-Havelock CP line. VIA Rail trains travel through Pickering along the CN line, but there are no stops in the city. GO Transit provides commuter rail service along its Lakeshore East line. A GO Station is located near Liverpool Road.

Local transit services are provided by the region-wide Durham Region Transit. GO Transit buses connect Pickering with other points in the GTA.

Pickering is the proposed site of a new airport.
"For more details, see Pickering Airport."


Pickering is served by the Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board. As of early 2007, the public board operates 17 elementary schools and two secondary schools, Dunbarton High School and Pine Ridge High School (Pickering High School was previously located in Pickering, but was transferred to Ajax when the city boundaries were changed). The Catholic board runs seven elementary schools and one secondary school, Saint Mary Catholic Secondary School. Blaisdale Montessori School, a private school chain, has several locations throughout Pickering serving children from preschool age to grade 8.

Famous people and groups

* Neil Young spent part of his early years in Pickering, living on Brock Road. In Jimmy McDonough's biography "Shakey", Young is quoted as saying, "When I first really started focusing on rock and roll was in Pickering. Brock Road."
* Sean Avery, NHL Forward, currently playing for the Dallas Stars.
* Glenn Clark, head coach of the Toronto Rock.
* Ernie Coombs, better known as Mr. Dressup, resided in Pickering.
* Perdita Felicien, Athens 2004 Olympic 100m Hurdler

* Dale Goldhawk, journalist and consumer rights advocate.
*Alan Haskvitz, National Teacher's Hall of Fame educator lived and taught in Pickering. [http://www.nthf.org/inductee/haskvitz.htm]

* Spider Jones, former professional boxer, media/radio personality, currently with CFRB radio.
*Andrea Lewis,Singer,Actor and Songwriter
* Karl Polanyi, professor of economics at Columbia University and author of the "The Great Transformation", resided in Pickering.
* Sarah Slean, singer, grew up in Pickering.
* Beverly Thomson, CTV co-host national morning show.
* Tyler Stewart, Bare Naked Ladies, drummer/singer lives in Pickering.
*Glenn Healy Former NHL goalie,member of 1994 Stanley Cup Champions New York Rangers
*Mike Cadiz Singer,Actor and Songwriter and former professional boxer spent part of his early years in Pickering, living on Brock Road.
*Julien Robazza aka Young Stitch, critically acclaimed rapper and leaders of North Sentral.
*Sasha Glavik Defensive back currently playing for the Hamilton Tigercats, attended St.Mary's CSS

In film

* The 1957 CBC/Hollywood production of the classic television show "Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans" was filmed in Pickering. A farm at the corner of Valley Farm Rd. and 3rd Concession, owned by Arthur Gottlieb, was the setting for the 25-episode series. A fort and pond were built specifically for the show. The site is now a residential area.

* The Canadian tv show "Paradise Falls"' first season was filmed in the village of Whitevale as was David Cronenberg's "Dead Zone".

* The 1995 family/adventure film "Salt Water Moose" starring Timothy Dalton and Lolita Davidovitch was filmed in and around Frenchmans Bay in Pickering.

* The 1998 comedy/action film "The Big Hit" with Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips, Avery Brooks, Christina Applegate and Elliot Gould, was filmed in part in Pickering near Petticoat Creek.


*Virgin Radio
*Classic Rock Q107


External links

* [http://www.cityofpickering.com/ City of Pickering Website]
* [http://www.picnet.org/ Pickering Public Library Website]
* [http://www.pada.ca/ Pickering Ajax Digital Archive Website of Local History]
* [http://pineridgearts.org/sculptureDurham.html Sculptures in Pickering and Durham]
* [http://pineridgearts.org/artfest.html Artfest on the Esplanade]
* [http://www.pmvf.ca/ Pickering Museum Village Foundation]
* [http://www.dwac.ca/ Durham West Arts Centre]
* [http://pineridgearts.org/ PineRidge Arts Council]
* [http://www.DurhamWestRotaryRibfest.com/ Annual Pickering Ribfest]
* [http://www.pickeringisspringfield.com/ Pickering is Springfield]

Canadian City Geographic Location
North= Uxbridge, Scugog
West= Toronto, Markham
Center= Pickering
East= Ajax, Whitby
South=Ajax, "Lake Ontario"

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