Durham College students develop interactive 'portals' on Oshawa's Waterfront Trail


TeachingCity Oshawa and Durham College City Idea lab students have developed an “interactive experience” on the Waterfront Trail that allows people to scan signage with their smartphones to learn about history and points of interest.

The idea is to get people out on the trail - part of the 3,600-kilometre Great Lakes Waterfront Trail that connects 155 communities - to learn, explore and enjoy.

People walking along Oshawa’s 11-kilometre portion of the trail can use their smartphone cameras to scan Quick Response (QR) codes placed on signage to learn about the various parks and amenities on the trail, while also using a navigation guide to link you to other points of interest along the way.

Durham College students in the School of Media, Art and Design researched, designed and created the interactive information portal that includes a wayfinding tool as part of a City Idea Lab course through TeachingCity Oshawa.
After the academic year ended, Durham student Karan Bhanwra worked directly with faculty member Linda Cheng to finalize these technologies through the RBC Student Leader Award.

“This is another example of how TeachingCity initiatives are advancing the City of Oshawa as a leading city of urban research and learning,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “The creativity and resourcefulness of this interactive information portal has created a fun and inventive way for families and visitors to explore the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail in Oshawa.”

TeachingCity brings together the City of Oshawa and its education and research partners - Canadian Urban Institute, Durham College, Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, Ontario Tech University, and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering - to address Oshawa’s urban issues through innovation, collaboration, applied research and shared experiential learning opportunities.

City Idea Lab is an innovative curriculum-based program that provides post-secondary students the opportunity to work directly with faculty and City staff to co-design solutions to local issues through knowledge transfer, dialogue and experimentation.