Oakville Museum Exhibits and Collections
The beautiful historic home and gardens of the Erchless Estate were once the home of our Town’s founding family, but are now the setting for Oakville’s Community Museum. You can also visit our new satellite exhibition gallery at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre. General admission at both locations during public hours is free!
The museum holds a diverse collection of objects reflecting the history of Oakville from its establishment to the present day including costumes and textiles, fine and decorative arts, ethnological artefacts and Chisholm family-related materials. Artefacts that are not currently part of our permanent or temporary exhibits are carefully stored to ensure their preservation. For information on donating artefacts to the collection, please visit the support page.
8 Navy Street, Oakville
Open Tuesday through Sunday and holiday Mondays from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
What about Water? Oakville’s H20 & History
June 21, 2013 to May 3, 2015
Water is life – and life in Oakville has always been tied to water. Discover the influence water had on Oakville’s beginnings, its settlement, its growth and how Oakville’s existence remains dependent on water!
Exhibit Launch Family Movie Night
Friday, June 21 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Join us for free family fun! Bring the whole family to an outdoor screening of the hilarious animated film "Flushed Away". Oakville Museum celebrates everything wet as we launch our informative new exhibition, What About Water? Bring your blankets and folding chairs and enjoy free popcorn and snow cones! Don't forget your water bottle as we will have a water bar ready to quench your thirst. Join us at 8 p.m. for a great evening at the Erchless Estate park! This event and exhibit sponsored by Pets Plus Us.
Family, Farm and Fighting During the War of 1812
Until November 2014
Oakville's strongest link to the War of 1812 stems from the United Empire Loyalists who fought in the War, and settled in Trafalgar Township, particularly along modern day Highway 5. The hardships of these pioneers of Upper Canada were compounded on June 18, 1812 when the United States declared war against Great Britain. This exhibit explores their stories.
Freedom, Opportunity and Family: Oakville’s Black History
Artifacts, pictures, text and a documentary video tell the stories of many of the African-American families who settled in Oakville and were important to the development of our community. Visitors will discover the story of Branson Johnson, a freeborn African-American, who arrived in Oakville with his family in 1855. His Certificate of Freedom from a Maryland court and the pocket watch in which it was hidden for many years are featured. Passed down from one generation to the next, the certificate shows how subsequent generations defined and preserved evidence of freedom.
The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Freedom
In this exciting and moving multi-media presentation, the ghost of Deborah Brown tells the true story of her heroic flight from a life of slavery in Maryland to her new life of freedom in 19th-century Toronto. The exhibit was created by Parks Canada in partnership with the Ontario Black History Society and the Royal Ontario Museum (Presentation available in French and English).
Oakville Museum Exhibitions at Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, museum exhibit space
2302 Bridge Road, Oakville
Available for viewing during public hours. Visit the QEPCCC page for current hours.
Children’s Wear: Can you Imagine?
December 8, 2012 to June 2, 2013
Hand sewn dresses, sweaters, coats, sailor suits, shoes and play clothes all tucked away and saved for history. Get a glimpse of how children’s fashion trends have changed over time. Young visitors will find themselves asking “can you imagine?”
June 14 to September 29, 2013 (Main Gallery at QEPCCC)
Discover the art and life of Juliet Chisholm Turney, the great-granddaughter of Oakville's founder, William Chisholm.
Juliet led an extraordinary life. She was a creative and innovative woman whose affluent upbringing, various disciplines of study, professional training and work allowed her to travel the world exposing her to a broad range of ideas, cultures and human conditions.
This exhibition introduces Juliet's art through paintings, drawings, sketches, illustrations and photographs from the Oakville Museum's Permanent Collection. The story of her life and artistic trajectory is told through her early paintings created in Paris, her book illustrations of a cat named 'Baba', her photojournalistic images of 1940s China and her detailed drawings of her home town, Oakville.
This exhibition is a representation of her art from the 1920s to the 1950s: expressions and records of what she saw and felt.
What about Water? Oakville’s H20 & Sport
June 21, 2013 to May 4, 2014
Water is fun – and fun in Oakville has often been tied to water. Uncover Oakville’s rich and interesting history with water sports. You will be surprised just how many sports that have enjoyed popularity in Oakville are dependent on water!
For more information about previous listings, visit our past exhibition page.
Community Outreach Presentations
Throughout the year, museum staff present a series of mini exhibits coupled with conversational-style presentations to seniors’ residences in our community. Various themes are covered including oddities in the museum’s collections, an overview of Oakville’s history, vintage quilts and cocktail party gowns. If you are interested in booking an outreach exhibit at your facility, please call 905-338-4400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.