Oshawa or Aazhaway: Leave Your Canoe, News, Atom, 2013-2014, AA (Kitchener Minor Hockey)

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Oshawa or Aazhaway: Leave Your Canoe
Submitted By Jarid Peterson on Wednesday, September 18, 2013
    When travelling for Hockey Tournaments it is important not only to be gracious with your Host City but also to understand a little more about their cultures and customs. The City of Oshawa is no different, so hopefully we can help educate our youth not only through sport but also through conversations

            The early beginnings of Oshawa were quite lucrative as a major fur trading center sitting in the mouth of the Credit River. The name Oshawa is a settler’s interpretation of the Ojibwa word “Aazhaway” which means “the crossing place” and can also be used for “where we must leave our canoes.” In 1850 the name was an officially incorporated village as it had long been used by the local Post Office.

            The City quickly developed into the industrial powerhouse it has continued to be by operating several wagon factories and tanneries throughout the area. Located so close to the water ways and ever expanding railways Oshawa remained a central area for shipping and manufacturing. By 1879 the village had become a town due to the increase in migration to the area.

            Motor Car manufacturing began in the area in 1907 by the McLaughlin Motor Car Company which was building the Buick automobiles which ultimately became General Motors by 1918 through the keen foresight and industrious nature of founder Robert Samuel McLaughlin. In the ten years between 1920 and 1930 the population of Oshawa exploded from 4,000 to 16,000 people.

            As for a sporting history of Oshawa, the Generals of the OHL have drawn in the talents of players like Bobby Orr, Eric Lindros, Marc Savard, Dave Andreychuck and John Tavares. Their newest arena is the General Motors Centre which was constructed in November 2006. The Oshawa Generals have had two of their arenas burnt to the ground, the Bradley Arena in 1928 and the Hambley Arena 25 years later.

            With a current population around 150,000 there have been some notable figures born in Oshawa from John J McLaughlin who invented Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale to World Darts Champion John Part. Knowing a little more about the cities you travel can offer you a little more respect and admiration for the area, and are great conversation starters for long car rides.

            Good Luck Lady Rangers, you have a whole city of supporters behind you and a whole city of friends in front of you.

*Pictured above Robert Samuel McLaughlin

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