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Whitby is a town in Durham Region. Whitby is located in Southern Ontario east of Toronto on the north shore of Lake Ontario, and is home to the headquarters of Durham Region. While the southern portion of Whitby is predominantly urban, and an economic hub, the northern part of the municipality is more rural and includes the communities of Ashburn, Brooklin, Myrtle and Myrtle Station.
When the township was originally surveyed in 1792, the surveyor, from the northern part of England, named the townships east of Toronto after towns in northeastern England: York, Scarborough, Pickering, Whitby and Darlington. The original name of "Whitby" is Danish, dating from about 867 CE when the Danes invaded Britain. It is a contraction of "Whitteby," meaning "White Village." The allusion may be to the white lighthouse on the pier at Whitby, Yorkshire, and also at Whitby, Ontario.' Although settlement dates back to 1800, it was not until 1836 that a downtown business centre was established by Whitby's founder Peter Perry.
Like much of Durham Region, demographics in Whitby are characterized mainly by rapid population growth. The median household income in 2005 for Whitby was $84,219, which is above the Ontario provincial average of $60,455.
Many residents commute to work in other Greater Toronto Area communities, and General Motors Canada in Oshawa is a major employer for all of Durham Region.
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