Located on the eastern end of the Greater Toronto Area, Oshawa is the birthplace of the automotive industry in Canada. Often called the "Automotive Capital," the city is home to General Motors Canada's headquarters and major assembly plants. Former president of the McLaughlin Carriage Company, Samuel McLaughlin helped evolve the local company into General Motors of Canada in the early 20th century. The McLaughlin estate, Parkwood, is now one of the most popular spots in Oshawa, and a backdrop for Hollywood films like Billy Madison, Chicago and Studio 54. Far before General Motors, Oshawa got its economic start in the 18th century when natives of the Mississauga tribe set off in their canoes from what is now Oshawa Harbour to trade with the French along the shores of Lake Ontario.
Today, with a population of about 150,000, Oshawa offers a balance of residential, commercial, industrial, social and recreational amenities. Some sights to see include the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens, McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve, Oshawa Community Museum, and the geological formation known as the Oak Ridges Moraine.