McLaughlin Carriage Co. and Motorcar Co. employees at the Richmond and Mary Street plant, 1908

The Curator’s View: Oshawa Show and Shine

This post comes from Sonya Jones, Assistant Curator and Curator of The Thomas Bouckley Collection.

Every Wednesday evening during the summer months in Oshawa, the downtown hosts Show and Shine, where local car enthusiasts display their vehicles and gather to interact. In the past, it has been located at the Queen’s Market but this year it is in the civic parking lot just north of the RMG. The RMG is excited to be right next door and have changed our extended hours to Wednesday nights, instead of Thursdays, to welcome Show and Shine visitors to the gallery. To compliment this summer event, a Thomas Bouckley Collection exhibition on the automotive history of Oshawa is being featured in the E.P. Taylor Gallery.

Composite photo of Robert McLaughlin and his two sons, Robert Samuel and George W, both of who played significant role in bringing the carriage business into the automotive business. 1898

Composite photo of Robert McLaughlin and his two sons, Robert Samuel and George W, both of who played significant role in bringing the carriage business into the automotive business. 1898

The Thomas Bouckley Collection contains a rich ensemble of photographs that tell the story of how the McLaughlin’s brought the auto industry to Oshawa. In 2008, my first year working at the gallery, the 100th anniversary of the McLaughlin Motorcar Company, and the release of the McLaughlin-Buick was celebrated. One of my first projects was a commemorative exhibition to coincide with the release of a Canada Post stamp highlighting Col. Sam McLaughlin’s contributions to the auto industry, for which the Thomas Bouckley Collection contributed images.

McLaughlin Carriage Co. and Motorcar Co. employees at the Richmond and Mary Street plant, 1908

McLaughlin Carriage Co. and Motorcar Co. employees at the Richmond and Mary Street plant, 1908

With the state of the auto industry today, it is important to once again look back on the history and relevance of the industry to this community. The struggles and uncertainty of Oshawa’s General Motors of Canada was outlined in a Globe and Mail article this weekend, GM Canada’s Foggy Road Ahead. As much as we are reminded about the importance of the industry to the community’s current economy, historically, the industry played a key role to the growth and success of Oshawa.  Like the commemorative stamp, the photographs in this summer’s exhibition, Oshawa’s Automotive History, remind us of Col. Sam McLaughlin’s contributions to the auto industry and his endless generosity to Oshawa.

McLaughlin-Buick down at the lake, c. 1915

McLaughlin-Buick down at the lake, c. 1915

On view until the end of August, this exhibition celebrates Oshawa’s long connection to the auto industry and the people who made it happen.

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Looking north up Simcoe Street at Athol Street, 1944

The Curator’s View: Oshawa Then and Now

This post comes from Sonya Jones, Curator of The Thomas Bouckley Collection.

Recently the Toronto Star published an article called “Oshawa: the GTA’s final frontier for development”, which details how and why Oshawa has grown and changed so much in the last ten years. The change in economy from reliance on the auto industry to becoming a knowledge economy, through four universities, as well as Durham College, is credited as being the reason why more and more developers are seeing Oshawa’s potential. Exploring how much Oshawa has changed since it was first founded has always been a priority of the Thomas Bouckley Collection. Starting with Bouckley’s vision for documenting his changing city, to continuing that tradition through Then and Now projects, the collection visually tells Oshawa’s story. In continuation of the Then and Now series, the RMG has once again partnered with the Oshawa Senior Citizens’ Camera Club to show the area of Oshawa that perhaps has seen the most changes: the downtown.

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From its humble beginnings as a small settlement community to that of a large metropolitan city, Oshawa grew out of the intersection of King and Simcoe Streets known as the “Four Corners,” expanding and growing on all sides.

Similar to the Then and Now: Oshawa Creek project, members of the Oshawa Senior Citizens’ Camera Club used historical images from the Thomas Bouckley Collection as a starting point, and photographed the Four Corners as it appears today. This exhibition of side-by-side historical and contemporary photographs is also accompanied by a short video created by the club on the subject. On view until August 29, this exhibition celebrates our changing city!

Details about this exhibition on our website: click here.

Sneak peek of Foreclosure at The Vault. Photo by Will McGuirk.

Hot Topics: One Weekend in June

Hot Topics come from the desk of Jacquie Severs, the RMG’s Manager, Communications & Social Media

Oshawa’s Downtown revitalization project is an ongoing venture, one that has some starts and stops (as do most worthwhile projects) but it is exciting to watch. In the past three years I’ve worked at the RMG, I’ve seen dramatic change. In this post, I thought I’d share a to-do list for events this coming weekend in the downtown area, all free to attend, all artsy, and all incredible opportunities to participate in the transition of this community.

FRIDAY 7 JUNE

Core21 Oshawa

Core21 Oshawa

Friday evening from 5:30-7pm, drop into CORE21. This new co-working space is the result of many years of discussions around arts incubators and collaborative work spaces, with participation from many community stakeholders and the City of Oshawa economic developers. After an extensive renovation to the former Honest Way department store, CORE21 is opening its doors for guided tours to the facility on Friday. While there you can enter to win a 25 Hour, One Month Co-working Membership.

Check out the facebook event for CORE21.
Visit CORE21 online.

The Coachlites

The Coachlites

The draw for the CORE21 membership will happen at RMG Fridays, our monthly event held here at the RMG from 7-10pm. This event is themed “Welcome Summer”. It will feature live musical performances by Tim Watson and The Coachlites. I realized just today that The Coachlites are named after the Coachlite Roller Gardens, a roller skating rink downtown Oshawa. Have a listen to their debut performance this week and decide for yourself if the name fits! This event also celebrates the opening of two new art exhibitions, we’ll have interactive augmented reality posters from the War of 1812 Oshawa Project, and we’ll be talking about our Vintage Oshawa: Summer in the City project as well.  It will be a busy and diverse night with an incredibly fun crowd. Remember, there’s a cash bar!

Check out the facebook event for RMG Fridays.
Check out the webpage for RMG Fridays.

Wasted Space logo

After RMG Fridays, if you’re interested in seeing more art happening in the community, visit Wasted Space. It is a new art cafe and lounge located just a short walk from the RMG at 74 Celina Street. This comfortable venue is decorated with art by local artists, a plethora of lava lamps, and comfortable sofas. Chantelle Lacoursiere is showing her artwork there on Friday, and they’ll have live music, a DJ, and finger foods to keep your energy up. This is a licensed venue.

Check out the facebook event for this opening.
Become a fan of Wasted Space on facebook.

SATURDAY 8 JUNE 

Saturday is the start of the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden’s Annual Peony Festival! I’ve been told the peonies are perfectly timed this year and will be spectacular on the weekend. With over 300 varieties to view, this is the 9th Annual event, and it runs 10am to 4pm both Saturday and Sunday at 155 Arena Street. This festival was voted one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals and Events!

Peony Festival Logo

Learn more about the Oshawa Peony Festival.
There is also a Bomb Girls Garden Party at Parkwood Estate as part of the festival!

 Sneak peek of Foreclosure at The Vault. Photo by Will McGuirk.

Sneak peek of Foreclosure at The Vault. Photo by Will McGuirk.

After a stroll in the gardens, stop by a new collaborative art space downtown Oshawa called The Vault. Located on the site of a former bank, the space became available to the Oshawa arts community when landlord Zal Press contacted City Hall to inform them he wanted to open the space to local artists. Opening at 1pm on Saturday, Transition Saturday will have a featured exhibition titled Foreclosure by Mike Berube, a photojournalist. Other artists participating in the show are Jay Dart, Dani Crosby, Grant Cole, Tammy Gay, Shannon Sosoon, Brian Vince, Steven Brown, Erica Podlowski, and Janice McHaffie. The event is at 19 Simcoe Street North and is a fundraiser for Feed The Need. Non-perishable food items will also be collected at the door. 

Read more about Zal Press and his desire to ReNew Oshawa.
Check out the facebook event page for Transition Saturday.

SUNDAY 9 JUNE

OPG Second Sundays

Sunday the RMG hosts OPG Second Sundays. This is a monthly event for families of all kinds and sizes. Drop into the gallery from 1-3pm, explore our exhibitions, and try a hands-on art making activity! This month, inspired by the exhibition Falling in Place and the Oshawa Peony Festival guests can build their own cities and imaginary worlds in full bloom while making big beautiful paper peonies. This monthly series is generously sponsored by Ontario Power Generation.

Learn more about upcoming OPG Second Sundays.
Sunday will be a busy day downtown Oshawa as the Peony Festival continues.
Parkwood Estate’s Bomb Girls Garden Party continues to rage throughout the weekend!

Pride Logo

Pride Durham is a non-profit organization that hosts Pride and social events in Durham Region. Sunday 9 of June is the final event in Pride Week, which includes the 3rd Annual Durham Pride Parade. The parade travels through the downtown area travelling on Centre Street starting at 2:30pm.

Get more details about this year’s Pride festivities at the website.
Become a fan of Pride Durham on facebook.