Ontario Regiment Museum – one of Oshawa’s best kept secrets
Published November 25, 2022 at 11:07 am
“There is such a passion for our history in our Region,” says Jeremy Neal Blowers, Executive Director for the Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum.
The military history of Oshawa is mapped out across the City, from the museum located in the north end of Oshawa beside the airport, to the secret spy school of Camp X by Lake Ontario, to the Armouries right downtown on Simcoe Street, named for the British Army general and the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada.
The Genosha Hotel, where authors Ian Fleming (James Bond) and Roald Dahl (Gremlins) spent time is also located downtown, and the city’s core has other interests for Blowers, “Personally I enjoy heading downtown in my free time. Catch some live music, maybe a hockey game, and some great food and venues. My personal favourite spots are Avanti Trattoria and Cork & Bean. There is always something going on and something to see on a Friday or Saturday night in Oshawa.”
Blowers urges visitors to make a day off it when visiting the museum for what he calls history in motion. As the museum houses the largest collection of working military vehicles in the country the tanks and trucks are not always static when on display. There are regular events built around mock battles, drills, races, and rides. Street-safe vehicles are also part of the city’s parades as well as the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies.
“To experience ‘history in motion’ is something entirely different from just reading a book or watching a documentary,” says Blowers. “We have been improving our shows to ensure they are educational and informative, but fun at the same time. We have pivoted our focus to families and youth, to make Tank Saturday more accessible and enjoyable for all ages.”
Blowers says the museum will be returning to its regular monthly schedule in 2023, starting with a special Tank Saturday – Winter Warfare on February 11. “Watch Tanks in the snow and learn about vehicles developed for winter conditions.”
Their schedule had been bumped off-course by the pandemic restrictions but that time was used to change up the museum’s attractions and activities.
“For two years while we were closed to the public, we have been very busy. The museum has been updated with new displays, interactive exhibits, and a number of newly restored vehicles for the visitor to enjoy. We are always rotating the tank and vehicle displays so something is new on each visit,” says Blowers.
Oshawa’s Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum, a museum where history is in the now and the new.
With files from Will McGuirk and Oshawa Tourisminsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising