Every few years, the high schools of Oakville choose some students to take on a multi-week trip to Neyagawa, Japan. That name might be familiar, ever driven down Neyagawa Boulevard? The trips and the street name are all part of Oakville’s sister city relationship with Neyagawa, Japan.
The Sister City program is an international program established by US President Eisenhower in 1956. It was a product of the end of the second world war, when countries were hoping to create understanding and friendship with each other.
In the year after the program was established, Oakville and Dorval, Quebec came together to sign a twinning agreement, making the two cities “Twin Municipalities”.
That same year, 1957, Dorval officials came to Oakville’s centennial celebration, and then again ten years later for the opening of the Centennial Centre and Public Library, cementing Dorval as an important part of Oakville’s history.
Later, in 1984, Oakville formed a very close relationship with the city of Neyagawa in Japan. In 1982, delegates came to America to tour cleaning and waste disposal facilities in the USA and Canada, and their visit to Oakville became the starting point for their relationship in 1984 when both cities agreed to become sisters.
Oakville and Neyagawa hoped to learn from each other, as they were similar in several ways: both were rapidly growing suburbs to larger cities, and had similar industries. On Canada day 1994, Nayagawa delegates came to visit Oakville to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their relationship. Neyagawa certainly has made an impact on Oakville, the iconic “moose and wolves” art installation at Erchless was made permanent in 2009 in honour of the 25th anniversary of Oakville’s relationship with Neyagawa.
Oakville’s third sister is Huai’an China, which was chosen in the hopes of creating business opportunities.
Over the years, many gifts have been exchanged between Oakville and our sister cities, some of which can be seen on display in the town hall.