The City of Oshawa honoured the legacy of some of the city’s most impactful community members and organizations on April 16, 2018. The high-profile list included the famed racehorse Northern Dancer, E.P. Taylor and Windfields Farm, as well as Dr. Gary Polonsky, Ms. Noreen Taylor and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).
Born at Windfields Farm, Northern Dancer won the Kentucky Derby in record time, the Preakness Stakes and the Queen’s Plate, among other races. As a sire of sires, it is estimated that up to 70 per cent of all Thoroughbreds carry his bloodline today. To further recognize his historic contribution to both horse racing around the world and the legacy of E.P. Taylor’s Windfields Farm, Oshawa City Council, with the support of UOIT, has decided to designate Northern Dancer’s gravesite under the Ontario Heritage Act.
Attendees also recognized Dr. Gary Polonsky, as the inaugural recipient of the E.P. Taylor/Windfields Farm Champion Award. The award recognizes an individual who has exemplified innovation and overcome adversity, which Dr. Polonsky has done tirelessly throughout his career. The challenges that he overcame as a visionary to champion and create UOIT and to make Durham College a stronger post-secondary institution has transformed both the Regional and Oshawa economies to be more knowledge-based and competitive, and have them recognized around the world.
In addition, the original Windfields Farm entry sign was presented to Ms. Noreen Taylor, the third Chancellor of UOIT and wife of the late Charles Taylor and daughter-in-law of the late E.P. Taylor, along with and Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Susan McGovern, Vice-President, External Relations and Advancement of UOIT. The sign will be displayed at the school as part of the UOIT’s efforts to preserve the heritage of the farm.
In holding this event, the city demonstrated its continued commitment to honouring the Windfields Farm legacy by presenting UOIT with the remaining funds from the 2012 Minto Group donation, totalling $113,443.12, to undertake landscaping and site improvements adjacent to Northern Dancer’s gravesite in the core farm area of the former Windfields Farm.
The “Honouring the Windfields Farm Legacy” program was approved by Council in 2016 as a commitment to preservation, education, events and commemoration by the city, UOIT and others. The program has already advanced and completed a number of items to honour Windfields Farm, E.P. Taylor and Charles Taylor and their legacy, including but not limited to:
- the designation of the Windfields Stone House and Trillium Horse Cemetery under the Ontario Heritage Act
- streets, parks and woodlots named after the Taylor family, Windfields Farm and its horses, and horse racing
- developed designs reflective of Windfields Farm architecture and aesthetic for City facilities and parks.
This event further supports the implementation of this Legacy program. The E.P. Taylor/Windfields Farm Champion Award will be presented annually as a reminder that Oshawa’s future is built on the legacies of the men and women like E.P. Taylor: the innovators, leaders and champions.