Whitby, Ontario

November 30, 2023

Whitby, Ontario

A Gem on the Shores of Lake Ontario


A dynamic community committed to growth and development, Whitby, Ontario puts forth initiatives that will positively impact the lives of its residents.

Positioned along the scenic shores of Lake Ontario, the Town of Whitby offers residents and visitors the promise of a vibrant and dynamic community. With its population of over 135,000 residents, Whitby combines the charm of small-town living with the convenience of urban amenities.

Brimming with an abundance of local businesses and dining options, the town prioritizes sports, recreation, and outdoor activities, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts who can explore its scenic parks and trails. Throughout the year, Whitby hosts a diverse array of events and festivals, offering a window into a community rich with quality-of-life opportunities and adventures.

A Place of Choice

Whitby has experienced significant growth and transformation over the years and is emerging as a hub for economic development and innovation. Elizabeth Roy, the town’s Mayor, proudly shares her experience of being a resident since 1993. She emphasizes the strong sense of community, where families have thrived for generations, commenting that Whitby’s appeal lies not only in its welcoming atmosphere but also in its embrace of diversity, making it a place for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Downtown Revitalization Meets Technology and Innovation

Discussing Whitby’s two distinct downtown cores, known as Downtown Whitby and Downtown Brooklin, Mayor Roy remarks, “I think the most important thing is that we need to have people in place to support our downtowns.”

She highlights the necessity of attracting residents to live and work in these areas, suggesting that this will lead to continued growth and bring even more unique establishments.

In Downtown Whitby, revitalization efforts include the construction of the Station No. 3 condominium complex by Brookfield Development, which will bring 160 units to the community. This endeavor, which is expected to be complete in 2024, repurposes a former fire hall and includes an expansion that incorporates additional commercial and retail spaces.

Referring to the strategy to build out Whitby’s downtown core Roy says, “There will be some density in place. We’re on a major transit corridor and this allows for that transit from our GO stations, and our Durham Regional Transit, to travel east to west and north to south. Having all that connectivity is creating more opportunities. We are even looking at how we can work with our post-secondary institutions to have corporate space in the area as well.”

Whitby’s downtown area is also becoming a hub for technology companies, showcasing the town’s commitment to innovation and progress. Notable firms such as 360insights, which has found its home in a repurposed school building, geekspeak Commerce, and the rapidly expanding Predictive Success are making significant contributions to the heart of the community.

Expanding Healthcare and Infrastructure in a Growing Region

Whitby is strategically investing in healthcare infrastructure to meet the growing needs of its residents, as Mayor Roy relays, “When you take a look at our community strategic plan that we completed within the first six months of my term at Council, I found it important to have a good understanding of what our community did want us to focus on. Healthcare was very high up in the ranking for that. Not only looking at our hospitals but also looking at the supports that need to be in place such as physician recruitment.”

The development of the West Whitby Health Center, a 154,000-square-foot healthcare facility, will help address that need. Scheduled to open in 2024, this state-of-the-art location will accommodate 85 physicians and offer essential services, including cardiology, physiotherapy, fertility, men’s health, audiology, psychology, and an urgent care clinic.

“We are hoping that neighboring sites to this facility will be supportive sites,” Roy suggests, noting the proximity of pharmaceutical company Thermo Fisher. The Town is also hoping the Ontario government will support the plan for a new hospital, which will provide increased capacity and bring care closer to home for residents of Durham.

Redefining the Waterfront

Whitby’s charm extends to tourism and recreation. The town offers various experiences for visitors, from a thriving marina with over 420 slips to golf facilities and Thermea Spa Village. “Our award-winning marina brings visitors to our community from across Canada and the United States,” Roy says.

Whitby’s waterfront is a focal point for future development, with plans to enhance the area, increasing density and offering more activities to residents and tourists.

Roy adds, “This past summer, we did a pop-up trial with Town Brewery in one of our heritage buildings at the waterfront, and it was a home run.”
The mayor says Whitby residents want more experiences like this at the waterfront because of its a prime location.

Enhancing Arts, Sports, and Cultural Opportunities in Whitby

Mayor Roy notes that residents and visitors to the community are also looking for more cultural experiences. She shares that Whitby places great importance on cultural enrichment, with venues such as Station Gallery offering live music and art experiences. To continue to move the community forward in this area, the town recently launched a tourism strategy.

“There are so many reasons people visit Whitby, from our growing culinary scene to our world-class sports facilities to our family-focused entertainment attractions,” Roy says.

She talks about The Abilities Centre, which is a world leader in inclusive programming and activities, as well as Whitby’s active sports community which hosts events like national and provincial lacrosse tournaments and a large international hockey event called Silver Stick, attracting participants from across North America.

With the influx of tourists into the community, there is a growing demand for additional hotels, “which is a positive,” Roy says. She notes that one of the actions in the Town’s Community Strategic Plan is to bring a hotel and conference centre to Whitby to support more visitors.

Addressing Housing Shortages

Whitby has committed to the construction of 18,000 homes or units, including apartments, townhomes, and condos.

The focus includes waterfront development with projects like Dockside, comprising 1,500 residential units and 30,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, featuring 4 towers of 18 stories and 5 towers of 33 stories.

An area to the west of Brooklin’s Downtown is also planned for development, and the town has received numerous applications and site plan approvals. “From north to south, east, and west, we’re going to see growth,” says Mayor Roy.

Infrastructure Investments

Shovels are in the ground for the construction of a state-of-the-art sports complex by Ledcor Construction, with a total investment of $155 million. The Whitby Sports Complex will be completed by 2025 and will be a sustainable, world-class sports facility for the community.

Mayor Roy points out the importance of road improvements, especially in addressing congestion throughout the community. The construction of a mid-arterial road connecting Ajax to Oshawa is expected to improve travel within the region.

Valued Community Partnerships and Collaboration

Whitby is fortunate to have strong advocates and collaborators who contribute to its continued success. The Chamber of Commerce plays a vital role in promoting local businesses and fostering a thriving economic environment. Roy says its support is invaluable, especially from a business perspective. She stresses that the efforts of Whitby’s Business Improvement Area are equally important, as they support the small business community and attract customers to shop in local establishments.

Mayor Roy also recognizes the significant contribution of the Town’s staff, sharing that their dedication and hard work significantly impact Whitby’s overall appearance and appeal.

Moving forward, Whitby is a community on the rise, driven by a comprehensive economic development strategy that embraces diversity, innovation, and the well-being of its residents.

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Whitby, Ontario

What: A diverse community of 135,000 residents

Where: Durham Region, Ontario

Website: www.whitby.ca


Thermea Spa Whitby – thermea.com

For those who dream of being somewhere else, Thermëa spa village | Whitby is a wellness haven. A hideaway offering a wide selection of experiences dedicated to the wellbeing of body and mind, and a refuge which allows you to reconnect with the elements, others, and yourself.

Brookfield Residential – brookfieldresidential.com

From the development of award-winning, master-planned communities for over 65 years, to the design and construction of quality homes, Brookfield Residential is committed to cultivating exceptional life experiences for every homeowner. Brookfield Residential is proud to create lasting communities that are thoughtfully designed and provide comfort with a sense of place for years to come. Discover the best places to call home at brookfieldresidential.com

Gerdau – www.gerdau.com

Gerdau is a leading global steel producer.  Our steel serves customers in the agricultural, automotive, civil construction, distribution, energy, industrial, and mining markets.  At our Whitby mill, we produce rebar and merchant bar steel products with greater than 98% recycled content and one of the industry’s lowest carbon footprints.

Whitby Chamber of Commerce – www.whitbychamber.org

Silverstick – https://silverstick.org/


November 2023 Issue of Business View Civil and Municipal

November 2023

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