In 1957, Oakville Mayor W. Anderson signed a declaration to twin Oakville and Dorval, Quebec as sister cities. Dorval is a suburb of Montreal. Dorval, founded in 1667, is one of the oldest cities in North America.
In 1984, officials in Neyagawa, Japan, were looking for cities to twin with when a former Oakville resident living in Japan suggested Oakville. At the time, both cities had a mix of industry and agriculture and both were dealing with the challenge of achieving balanced growth in different ways. They felt they had lessons to share.
In April 1984, Oakville Mayor Harry Barrett and Neyagawa Mayor Tadahiro Nishikawa signed a declaration to twin the two cities. The City of Neyagawa, Japan is a suburb of a larger city. Neyagawa is located about 20 kilometres north-west of the City of Osaka, about in the centre of a triangle formed by three of Japan’s oldest cities — Kyoto, Nara and Osaka. Neyagawa was founded as a city in 1951 and grew to be a suburb of Osaka. Many of its residents commute to work in Osaka.
In 2012, the Mayor and the town’s Director of Economic Development, participated in a trade mission to establish business relationships and explore opportunities for economic development with China, and a number of initiatives have since developed including:
- implementing an Oakville-China Business Opportunities Forum for local companies
- hosting delegations from China including two from the City of Huai’an
- creating an Oakville-Chinese Business Association in the Town of Oakville
- following up with the City of Huai’an’s letter of intent to form the sister city relationship.
In June 2015, Mayor Burton signed the sister city agreement during his trip to China with Sheridan College President, Dr. Jeff Zabudsky. Moving forward, Oakville and Huai’an will continue to connect and visit one another to establish business relationships and explore economic development opportunities.
Located in the Jiangsu Province of China, the City of Huai'an is about a two-hour drive from Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu, and a four-hour drive to Shanghai. Huai’an is known for farming, including vegetables, fruits, oil seeds, poultry, livestock, and forestry. Improvements in transportation have led to more national and international investors coming to Huai’an allowing the city to expand in various sectors including chemicals, automotive, mechanical, textile, bio-technology, and new materials.
Benefits of twinning
Twinning of cities grew in popularity after World War II, as people looked for ways to promote understanding between cultures. Oakville’s relationship with its sister cities was initiated to promote understanding, cooperation, friendship and economic development.
Here are some of the exchange programs in which Oakville participates with its sister cities:
- citizen exchanges
- student/teacher exchanges
- service club exchanges
- sports organization exchanges
- artwork exchanges
- economic exchanges
On the first floor of the North Atrium at Town Hall you can see examples of gifts on display sent to the town from our sister cities.
In the case of Neyagawa Boulevard and Dorval Drive, Oakville named these streets after the town’s sister cities!
For more information, please contact
Sarah Douglas-Murray, Senior Manager Cultural Services
905-845-6601, ext. 3007