Oshawa Museum Expansion Update

By Laura Suchan, Executive Director

You might have seen the Oshawa Museum in the news lately.  The Oshawa Express featured an article on the museum expansion plans and the approval, in principle, from the City of Oshawa to build a new Visitor Centre in Lakeview Park.  This is big news for us as it gives us the green light to begin site investigate and technical due diligence as needed. This location, as noted in the image below, was chosen in the 1990s by our consultants, Sears and Russell, in consultation with City staff, as being the most appropriate location for an expansion project.

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Aerial image from City of Oshawa Interactive Map

The OHS is excited about this new development because a new museum facility will allow us to improve spaces and amenities and support the efficient and sustainable operation of the Oshawa Museum going forward.  In 1996 we completed a Master Plan study that recommended collections and museum support services be consolidated in a new purpose designed building.  In 2016 this recommendation was once again echoed by the Canadian Conservation Institute in their Facilities Assessment Report noting, “Oshawa Museum staff have exhausted options for using historic spaces efficiently; therefore, new space is needed.”

A new facility would offer:

  • Centrally located reception/admissions area;
  • The opportunity to repatriate the Oshawa municipal collection from the Archives of Ontario
  • Consolidated administration, staff and volunteer work area;
  • Oshawa history orientation gallery;
  • Enhanced exhibit and program space;
  • Consolidated collection storage in spaces large enough to facilitate access, permit growth and provide high security and environmental controls;
  • Improved visitor amenities;
  • Increased fire protection through fire-resistive construction and spaces protected by automatic fire suppression;
  • Spaces built using materials that facilitate preservation and good housekeeping; and
  • Sufficient storage for all collections above grade and outside of flood risk zones.

Our plan is to have a new museum building in time for the upcoming 100th anniversary of Oshawa becoming a city in 2024.  In our minds, there is no better way to celebrate the past than embracing the future with the opening of a new, improved, community museum facility.

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