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Bowmanville was first incorporated as a town in 1858, but later incorporated with the neighbouring townships of Clarke and Darlington in 1974 forming the Town of Newcastle, which was renamed in 1994 to the Municipality of Clarington. Subdivided housing developments first arrived in the 1950s, with a significant increase in housing development through the 1980s and 1990s. Bowmanville is surrounded by rural areas on three sides, and Lake Ontario to the south. Farmland formerly covered central Bowmanville until the population increased, thus establishing a nascent downtown core by the early 19th century. There is a harbour to the south of Bowmanville in Port Darlington.


Courtice is located adjacent to Oshawa and west of Bowmanville in the Municipality of Clarington. Courtice Road (Durham Road 34) connects with Highway 401 at Interchange 425, providing arterial access to the community. The area was first settled in 1795. Courtice remained primarily a small rural village well into the 20th century, but housing developments beginning in the mid-1980s caused the community to grow rapidly. By the mid-1990s growth had slowed somewhat, although new housing developments are continuing and the area remains popular due to relatively low prices. Housing is primarily single-family detached residential, and most residents travel to Toronto or points west in Durham Region for employment. Commercial development is centred along Highway 2, with particular concentrations at the intersections with Townline Road (at the boundary with Oshawa) and Courtice Road.


Newcastle is located about 80 km east of Toronto, and about 18 km east of Oshawa and Bowmanville on Highway 401. It is also the southern terminus of Highway 35 and Highway 115. Newcastle was incorporated as a town in 1856. It remained a small community until the 1990s, when new residential development began and the population quickly swelled. Newcastle is surrounded by farms raising cattle, pigs, apples, grain, and corn.


Orono is located on the southern stretch of Highway 35/115, approximately 87 km east of Toronto. The town was founded in 1832. The Municipality of Clarington, in which Orono is located, was formed through the union of the Townships of Clarke and Darlington. Historically, Orono was the seat of government for Clarke Township. Now Clarington's fourth largest urban community, Orono is attractive to those who prefer a quiet, more rural lifestyle. The downtown consists of several small shops and a central town hall that are typical of villages throughout Ontario.


Rural Clarington is the rural area surrounding the urban cores in Clarington. It contains mostly farmland and scattered small villages.

Rural Clarington