Search Transit Toronto

Powered by GOOGLE.

A Brief History of Oshawa GO Station

Text by Damian Baranowski

See Also

Before GO

The original Oshawa Train Station was built by Grand Truck Railway in 1856, as a stop on the GTR Main line that ran from Toronto to Montreal (though built in phases, it would be a while before the line reached Toronto). In 1923, GTR was bought by the Canadian National Railway who would use the station to for passenger and cargo services. Despite this being the main station in the city of Oshawa, there was also another train station for Canadian Pacific Railway located at the end of Centre Street west of the CPR Oshawa Yard (this station was demolished in 1990’s). VIA Rail started serving the Oshawa station in 1977.

GO Bus Service

GO Bus service to Oshawa started in 1970s, with GO taking over Grey Coach routes. The service was based out of Oshawa’s GO Bus Terminal Which was also used by Oshawa Transit (Now Durham Regional Transit).


(See also: A History of GO-ALRT)

Plans to expand GO Train Service to Oshawa were starting to be in talks by 1982. Possible stations were planned at Ritson Road, Wilson Road, and Farwell Street (On the CN Rail Line). The government was looking to expand with new, cheap, and a futuristic mode of transit that would show off UTDC technical capabilities and bring up sales. The GO-ALRT project was designed to extend the Lakeshore lines from Oakville to Hamilton and from Pickering to Oshawa. However, budget cuts in 1985 killed the plan. New legislation would come to give GO Trains a higher edge on the rail lines it operated on.

The First Step to Oshawa

In 1988, the Lakeshore East GO line was extended from Pickering to Whitby, on its own right of way track (meaning no interference from VIA or CN Freight Trains) and it was at this time serious plans were drawn out to extend the line to Oshawa. In the early 1990s VIA Rail upgraded the station modernizing it for the 21st century. This would make the job of extending the line to Oshawa much easier as GO decided it would be best to use the existing VIA Rail station as the best site for a GO Train station.

The provincial government extended GO Train service to Oshawa on October 1, 1990, running a single train along the Kingston Sub, bypassing Ajax and Whitby station on the old GO-ALRT right-of-way. At the same time, GO bus service was increasing rapidly in Oshawa. The opening of the Oshawa Centre Terminal in 1992, caused all the Oshawa Transit Buses to be rerouted out of the Old Downtown Terminal and into more popular shopping centre terminal. As traffic increased, GO Transit worked on extending the tracks from Whitby to Oshawa and, on January 8, 1995 regular GO service was extended to Oshawa station.

There were bumps along the way, however, The eastern suburbs enjoyed expanded service until July 3, 1993, when budget cuts forced all but the rush-hour trains to be cut back to Pickering. On May 1, 2000, all-day-weekday service returned to the GO Sub, although weekend and holiday trains still terminated at Pickering. Weekend and holiday service was restored to Whitby and extended to Oshawa station on December 30, 2006.

Changes start

By 2006, GO trains were running into Oshawa every 30 minutes, all day. VIA also started to add more trains to the station and, in 2009, started work on upgrading the station. At the time, VIA was served by a single platform. The new construction changed this to an island platform, connected to the main station by a bridge over the CN tracks. This bridge provided a bird’s eye view of the station and the CN Yard south of the site. Meanwhile, GO added Presto machines to the station in 2012.


As of 2016, GO and VIA planned to demolish the current station building, to replace it with a new structure to open in 2017. However, the future of Oshawa station as a GO station is in question. Metrolinx is planning to expand GO service to Bowmanville, and one of the approaches would be to switch from the GO tracks to the CP Rail line further north. This route has the added advantage of adding new GO stations closer to Oshawa’s downtown. Two stations are planned, one located south of the Oshawa Civic Recreation Complex called “Thornton Corners” and another just south of downtown Oshawa at 500 Howard Street, on the site of the former Knob Hill Farms outlet and CPR yard. This station would be dubbed “Oshawa Central Station”. A third possible station would be located at Grandview Drive in the east end of Oshawa.

If the current Oshawa station remains under this arrangement, its use might be similar to the split that exists between West Harbour and Hamilton GO stations at the west end of the Lakeshore GO line.

Oshawa GO Station’s Particulars

Oshawa GO station features three platforms: a single centre platform serving two GO tracks, and two VIA rail platforms, an island serving two tracks, and the original platform nearest the station, serving a single track. The station also boasts a bus loop with bus shelters serving Durham Region Transit and GO Transit vehicles as we;; as a Kiss and Ride drop-off area (closed early 2017 due to new station construction). The station is wheelchair accessible, with elevators connecting passengers from the station building to VIA’s island platform.

The station has a ticket counter serving VIA and GO trains, and automatic ticket machines serving both companies. The station boasts a waiting area, an ATM, washrooms, Gateway Newsstands and a bike shelter.

Oshawa GO Station Image Archive


Support us on Patreon Button

Welcome to Transit Toronto! This is an information site dedicated to public transportation in Toronto, maintained by transit enthusiasts for transit enthuasiasts. This is NOT the official website of the Toronto Transit Commission, Metrolinx or any other transit provider or government agency. To access the official websites of these agencies, consult this page here.