I stumbled on a map of the region of Durham. I noticed that Ajax was rather an odd shape compared to the rest of the city's and towns surrounding it. It kinda looks like it was cut out from the City of Pickering. Naturally, I needed to understand why this was.
Of course my curiosity lead me to adventures. I did some research and found that Ajax's foundations are linked to the second world war and knowing this stirred up other questions.
I decided to go check out Veteran's Point Gardens located in Ajax. I hoped by going there I would find out more information.
Veteran's Point Gardens
What a beautiful day for a walk. It's not too hot and the park looks empty except for a few joggers. It smalls like freshly cut grass and I can hear the chirps of nesting birds.
The first thing I noticed when entering the garden was the amount of information displayed everywhere. I was like a kid in a candy store, going from plaque to plaque absorbing all the information about Ajax and its past.
At the end of a long pathway, at the south end of the garden, I stumbled on an amazing piece of artwork on the ground. It was a large square map depicting the WWII navel battle which included the British Navel battleships H.M.S Ajax, H.M.N.Z.S Achilles, and H.M.S Exeter.
A short video of me walking around before leaving the park.
I'm glad that I took the time to explore this site. It would be a wonderful place for a picnic, plus it is located right beside Lake Ontario and the Waterfront Trail runs south of the garden.
Also, I find that it is one thing to read or view pictures online about a place, but when you stand in a spot and allow all of your senses take in what is around you, it becomes a experience, a memory.
INTERESTING FACT and LEARNING
The Beginning of Ajax and WWII
Ajax is has such an interesting history. I learned so much by researching the past of this incredible city and I wanted to share it with you. I urge you to explore the information in this portion of the blog. There is so much to learn but here are some fun facts to stir your curiosity.
Remember, Get out, Explore, and Learn.
- In 1941 Ajax was carved out of Pickering and was the first fully planned industrial community in Canada. At this time "Ajax" wasn't known by that name. It didn't have a name.
- The founding of Defence Industries Limited (D.I.L) where Ajax is now, was really the start of the city of Ajax.
- D.I.L was the largest shell filling plant in the British Commonwealth during WWII.
- The community grew at D.I.L and a post office was needed. In order to have a post office the community needed a name. A competition among D.I.L employees resulted in the name Ajax.
- The name was chosen in honour of one of three ships that, in 1939, had engaged and defeated the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee at the battle of the River Plate near Uruguay.
- Ajax was incorporated has a town in 1955.
This Youtube video explains Ajax during the war and has interviews with people who were employees at D.I.L. It is an interesting watch to learn more.
This video gives a brief history of Ajax.
1942 Ajax Aerial Photograph
A photo of the Defence Industries Ltd. In Ajax, Ontario
Photograph of a Defence Industries Ltd. Employee on one of the assembly lines.
*The images above have been taken from the Town of Ajax's online archive and has been reviewed and approved for use of this is blog. These images are not to be used without the permission from the The Town of Ajax archive*