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Ajax is a town in Durham Region, midway between Oshawa and Toronto. Split from Pickering Township in 1941 to house munitions factory Defence Industries Limited, it is now a growing Greater Toronto Area suburb with nearly 127,000 people (2021).


Ajax was established in 1941 as a wartime munitions production centre, where a workforce of up to 9000 people filled 40 million shells for the war effort. The University of Toronto briefly used the former munitions factory site as a technical school (1945-1949) which trained 7000 engineers. The town hosted various industries in the post-war era. The first town council was elected in 1954; the Village of Pickering and lakeside Town of Pickering Beach were annexed to the Town of Ajax when Durham Region was created on January 1, 1974.

The remainder of Pickering Township is now the City of Pickering. Since the 1980s, Ajax has become a steadily growing sprawl of single-family suburban homes. The town is named for a World War II Royal Navy cruiser, one of three warships (HMS Ajax, HMS Exeter and HMS Achilles) responsible for the first major British victory of the war; German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee was defeated at the Battle of the River Plate near Montevideo, Uruguay in December 1939.

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Get around[edit]


  • 1 Veterans' Point Gardens, at the foot of Harwood Avenue. A lakefront memorial to HMS Ajax, the Defence Industries Limited factory and workers who made Ajax their wartime home. The street lamps are intended to resemble ship's masts. Sir Henry Harwood (January 19,1888-June 9, 1950) served as Commodore on the HMS Ajax in 1939-1940.


Carruthers Creek in Ajax

Ajax has five golf courses, 90 km of trails and sixty parks and playgrounds.

  • Ajax Community Theatre, +1 289-892-4132. Performances are held at the St. Francis Centre, 78 Church Street South. $20, students $15.
  • 1 Ajax Downs, 50 Alexander’s Crossing, +1 905-686-8001. Horse race track with slot machines. Getaway Restaurant on site.
  • 2 Ajax Waterfront, on Lake Ontario. 150 acres of parkland on 6 km (4 miles) of waterfront; includes 7 km of multi-use trail for walking, jogging, cycling and in-line skating. Picnic area, open spaces for recreational activities. Connects to the Waterfront Trail and Trans Canada Trail.
  • 3 Greenwood Conservation Area. On Duffins Creek, picnic area, campsites for scouts/guides and youth groups. Pumpkinville fall festival includes horse-drawn wagon rides, pumpkin patch and family pumpkin carving contest, inflatable rides, a Haunted House, face painting, children's activities, live entertainment, interactive experiences and a haunted trail walk.
  • 4 St. Francis Centre, 78 Church St S, +1 905-619-2529 ext 2787. Former St. Francis de Sales Church, built in 1871 and restored in 2011 as a home for arts, culture and live entertainment.


  • Summer in the Square, Heritage Square at Ajax Town Hall, 65 Harwood Avenue South. Wednesday nights, summer. Local talent, tribute bands, children's entertainers. Events are moved indoors during inclement weather. free.
  • Winterfest. Horse-drawn wagon & dog sled rides, outdoor ice skating with DJ, ice sculptures, ice carving demonstrations, face painting, crafts, live entertainment, community displays, inflatable rides, snow golf, snow painting and snowshoeing. Free hot chocolate. free.


  • 1 Pickering Village, Kingston Road, in west end of the town. Former village with historic architecture. On Old Kingston Road, the 1817 Toronto-Montréal stagecoach trail and main street which was paved a century later as Ontario Highway 2. Established during the original early-1800s Quaker settlement in the area, this district now houses restaurants, shops and professional services.


There are a hundred restaurants in Ajax; a full list is available on but a few options include:




Ajax is a local telephone call from both Toronto and Oshawa. Wi-Fi is commonly available in coffee shops, hotels and fast-food restaurants. There are three Ajax public library branches (one at the town hall, one each at the two community centres) which offer public Internet.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Ajax
TorontoPickering  W  E  WhitbyKingston
TorontoPickering  W  E  WhitbyOshawa

This city travel guide to Ajax is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.