Oshawa, ON – The City of Oshawa honoured the legacy of some of Oshawa’s most impactful community members and organizations tonight. The high-profile list included Northern Dancer, Mr. E.P. Taylor and Windfields Farm, 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 today carry his bloodline. 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.
The event 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.
To demonstrate the City’s continued commitment to honouring the Windfields Farm legacy, they presented 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.
Mrs. Noreen Taylor, the third Chancellor of UOIT as well as wife of the late Charles Taylor and daughter-in-law of the late E.P. Taylor, was presented along with Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Susan McGovern, Vice-President, External Relations and Advancement of UOIT, with the original Windfields Farm entry sign for display as part of the school’s efforts in preserving the heritage of the 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; and,
• developed designs reflective of Windfields Farm architecture and aesthetic for City facilities and parks.
Today’s 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.
“The story of Northern Dancer, the Taylor family and Windfields Farm is filled with determination, grit and perseverance,” said Mayor John Henry. “Honouring the Windfields story annually will serve as inspiration for all those who hear it year after year.”