Durham Region is full of opportunity and activity for DC students

Photo credit: Invest Durham

Durham Region is an exceptional place to live, work and play. And, with both of our Durham College (DC) campuses located here, it’s also a great place for students to take their learning beyond our campus and support and lead initiatives that benefit the entire community.

Take a look around at all that Durham Region has to offer, and don’t be surprised if you run into a few DC grads and students!

  • woman painting an orange flower on an artboard

    Immerse yourself in culture

    If you’re looking for new experiences, you’ll find plenty of them in Durham Region.

    Parkwood Estate is a great place to enjoy a beautiful day. Once the home of R.S. McLaughlin, founder of General Motors of Canada, the century-old mansion boasts historic gardens and greenhouses as well as timeless art and architecture. Parkwood is familiar to some DC students, not only because it has been featured in a number of films and television shows, but  Horticulture Technician program students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and training in the estate’s renowned green spaces.

    DC has been home to a number of talented artists over the years, many of whom have been featured in the annual Durham College Thesis Exhibition at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. But you don’t have to leave campus to enjoy beautiful art. Art in the Pit is hosted by DC third-year Fine Art Community Collaboration Service Learning students in partnership with the LivingRoom Community Art Studio and the City of Oshawa. Open to the public, Art in the Pit is a free, on-campus experience that helps participants connect with their own creativity and with others through engaging activities in a relaxed environment.

  • Woman wearing green "Grower" shirt holding fresh onions from a garden

    Enjoy delicious, seasonal food

    Durham Region is a foodie’s delight. Local businesses like Crave Doughnuts and The Piano Inn and Café serve up delicious menu selections and they’re also owned by proud DC alumni.

    Our Whitby campus is home to Bistro ’67, one of Canada’s 100 Most Scenic Restaurants. Bistro ’67 offers a true field-to-fork dining experience, with meals prepared and served by students from our Culinary and Hospitality programs, and using fresh ingredients from our own gardens.

    The Durham College Farmer’s Market features freshly harvested DC-grown produce, baked goods and preserves. It’s held at both the Whitby and Oshawa campuses every week throughout the summer.

    DC has partnered with Community Care Durham (CCD) and the Town of Ajax to help provide affordable, locally grown produce to those in need. CCD launched a weekly mobile food market in north Ajax. Thanks to DC’s W. Galen Weston Centre for Food and the Barrett Centre of Innovation in Sustainable Urban Agriculture, the mobile food market provides seasonal produce, including lettuce, radishes, apples, strawberries, potatoes, watermelon, cabbage, sweet potatoes and more. All proceeds support CCD’s food programs and help fight food insecurity in our communities.

  • scanning a directions marker with a phone on a durham trail

    Experience nature

    Durham Region provides endless opportunities for you to get outside, soak up the sun and experience the natural beauty that surrounds you. The area boasts a number of trails and waterfronts that are ideal for exercise, leisure and sightseeing. Get your steps in with a walk on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, the Oak Ridges Moraine, or enjoy the sights and sounds of Lake Ontario at lakefront parks across the region.

    If it’s the latter that interests you, DC students from the Contemporary Web Design and the Interactive Media Design program are ready to help. They partnered with TeachingCity Oshawa to develop a waterfront trail wayfinding app that guides you along Oshawa’s 11-kilometre waterfront trail with strategically placed QR codes. The app works in conjunction with the QR codes, that when scanned, provide you with valuable information, history and fun facts about your location on the waterfront trail. The waterfront trail wayfinding app will enhance your waterfront experience in Oshawa and provides information you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

    Wherever you go in Durham Region, you’ll find evidence of DC’s commitment to supporting our communities.

Durham College is leading the way to a greener future

At Durham College (DC), we prioritize green initiatives in everything we do. From our solid waste management policy that supports recycling batteries, light bulbs and air filters, to our field-to-fork-to-field philosophy – DC truly walks the talk and has the results to prove it. Recently named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the seventh year in a row – our efforts are truly making a difference not only on our campuses but in educating the next generation of students to be leaders in sustainability, too. 

Here are just a few examples of how green we really are at DC.

  • Going underground for energy generation.

    DC’s Oshawa campus features the college’s geothermal field and Energy Innovation Centre (EIC), which helps reduce the college’s demand for heating and cooling. Located underground, the geothermal field captures 550 tons of clean, sustainable power, which is processed through the EIC and distributed to DC’s Gordon Willey building to fuel its energy needs.

    The EIC is a bright and modern exhibit-like building where you can learn more about how the geothermal system works through interactive touch screens, system diagrams and performance metrics. Visit our Oshawa campus today and experience the EIC for yourself!

  • Building a better planet with a field-to-fork-to-field philosophy

    DC’s Silver STARS rated Whitby campus is home to the impressive W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (Weston Centre). Students in the Faculty of Hospitality & Horticultural Science, plant, grow and harvest produce on the campus’ one-acre farm, which is prepared and served at the Weston Centre’s award-winning Bistro ’67 restaurant and Pantry retail store.

    As the college works toward a zero-waste policy in its culinary labs, the Weston Centre’s new organic regeneration system will support our efforts by producing waste compost for use in the college’s agricultural growing fields, completing the field-to-fork-to-field cycle.

    The Weston Centre also features state-of-the-art labs including two greenhouses, an indoor hydroponic farm, pollinator garden and an arboretum, just to name a few.

  • Helping combat food insecurity with sustainable urban farming.

    As a recognized leader in food, farming and horticulture science education, DC’s Barrett Centre of Innovation in Sustainable Urban Agriculture (Barrett Centre) addresses some of society’s biggest challenges, including food insecurity. By partnering with the community in local food production initiatives and creating a new dynamic urban farm which follows a holistic and sustainable approach to urban agriculture and vertical and regenerative farming methods, we will help solve food insecurity issues while also enhancing soil and air quality. 

    This year, 10 student-led projects focused on addressing food insecurity were funded by the RBC Urban Agriculture Work Integrated Learning Program. Students from across the college in any faculty were invited to apply to explore unique ways to address this challenge.

  • Going green inside the classroom and beyond.

    Although DC’s state-of-the-art green facilities are quite impressive, small changes are never overlooked. For example, water bottle fillers are available across both campuses to reduce the use of plastic, low-flow water systems in bathrooms save water, LED lights reduce energy and there are charging stations for electric vehicles.

    The development of the college’s new Office of Campus Sustainability also serves as proof of our long-term commitment to sustainability and dedication to continuous improvement and innovation.

At DC, we understand that our sustainability efforts exceed our classroom walls and campus grounds. They impact more than just our students and employees; they help contribute to a healthier planet for future generations.