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Oshawa in Bloom


Curated by Sonya Jones

Part of Oshawa’s charm comes from its natural and architectural heritage, which is heightened by the community’s beautiful landscape and gardens. This collection of photographs from The Thomas Bouckley Collection looks back at Oshawa’s historical gardens and celebrates the community’s long and continued tradition of producing beautiful private and public gardens.

Oshawa has various associations that promote community and public gardens, including The Oshawa Garden Club, formerly the Oshawa Horticultural Society, established in 1931. The society has long encouraged horticulture throughout the city and promoted the creation and upkeep of public gardens to enhance Oshawa’s green spaces. Its membership has always had a passion for gardening and are devoted to maintaining Oshawa’s horticultural beauty.

The City of Oshawa is also dedicated to this cause. The landscape team grows all of their own flowers in city greenhouses, designing, planting, and maintaining Oshawa’s many public gardens, flower displays and hanging baskets that brighten the downtown and park spaces. Over the last few years, the city has also increased the number of community gardens located on city-owned land. These gardens are community driven projects run by volunteers and local community groups, with a deep commitment to community engagement and learning. Additionally, Oshawa has been designated a Bee City by Bee City Canada for its commitment to maintaining and developing pollinator-friendly public gardens and amending by-laws to encourage planting and reduce mowing.

For over 20 years, Oshawa has participated in the Communities in Bloom competition. The organization evaluates communities based on landscape, gardens, community involvement and overall cleanliness, and has recognized Oshawa with numerous Provincial, National, and International awards. While these awards honour the recent history of Oshawa’s landscape, these photographs show there is no doubt that the city has always been home to beautiful public and private gardens.


Follow this link for an art activity inspired by this exhibition that you can do at home! Be sure to check out Oshawa’s 17th Annual Peony Festival, which is being held virtually this year.