As far back as 1862 one can trace occasional utterances of public men in regard to the establishment of a public park for Oshawa. Hon. T. N. Gibbs at the annual meeting of village ratepayers, in 1862, laid emphasis upon this item as one of the pressing needs of the day. It seems almost incredible that half a century should have passed by without action having been taken in a matter of such apparent benefit. In 1908 Alexandra Park was obtained by the town and laid out as a park.
Some five years previously the Athletic Association purchased six acres of land in the south-east corner of the Park. When it was proposed to move the South Ontario Agricultural Society from Whitby to Oshawa, the town purchased, for its purpose largely, nineteen acres of what was known as the Gibb’s Farm at $175 per acre. The Athletic Association, at a rental of $1.00 per year, fused its landed interests with those of the town, thus making a park of twenty-five acres. In the same year the Golf Club, largely through the efforts of James Provan, secured the land to the west of the park and established themselves upon the beautiful premises now occupied for that purpose. The author of these historic sketches would, without desiring to be convicted of “vain boasting,” wish to have it remembered that he was not only the chief promoter of the purchase of Alexandra Park, but also that he was responsible for the execution of the original work performed upon the grounds. Due credit should also be given to the first Public Parks Commission, which consisted of R. S. McLaughlin, Dr. F. L. Henry, Chas. Robson, F. L. Fowke, Mayor G. F. Blarney and W. E. N. Sinclair; the latter is deserving of especial mention for the faithful and loyal support he gave to the enterprise from its very inception, and Dr. Henry for the many years of attention given to the Park as chairman of the Commission. The munificent gift of Lakeview Park, and $6,000 to equip the same, in 1920, by the General Motors, through its President, Mr. R. S. McLaughlin, will undoubtedly be long remembered as among the most useful municipal benefactions experienced by Oshawa.