In 1990, General Motors of Canada Limited celebrated the construction of their new “green” Canadian Corporate Headquarters as well as the creation of the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve. Named after the automakers’ founder, Col. Sam McLaughlin, the Reserve has become a popular attraction for lovers of nature and peaceful surroundings.
The Reserve is situated on the north shore of Lake Ontario in south-east Oshawa, Ontario. It is readily visible from Highway 401 (Toronto to Montreal), and is located between the Second Marsh Wildlife Area (a Provincially Significant Wetland) on the west and Darlington Provincial Park (a heavily forested zone) on the east.
The Reserve occupies in excess of 41 ha (108 acres) of land owned and operated by General Motors of Canada Limited. An additional 40 ha of the same tract has been set aside for the office complex, parking and services, along with adequate buffer zones.
The abandoned field separating Col. Sam Drive and the east side of Second Marsh will perhaps be developed someday as per the original site plan agreement between General Motors of Canada Limited. and the City of Oshawa. The plan calls for the development of a prestige business park, and as these various parcels are leased, they will be developed in adherence to a strict code designed to protect the integrity of the Second Marsh. There will be no loss of wetlands as a result.
Home to almost 400 different varieties of plants, trees, shrubs and wildflowers, as well as a great number of native birds, mammals and fish, the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve features a number of walking trails, viewing platforms for photographers and birdwatchers as well as the Dogwood Trail, for use by partially-sighted or visually-impaired visitors. It is open to the public seven days a week, year-round, free of charge, and is wheel-chair accessible