Friday, 29 June 2012

Help us preserve the history of Ottawa's small businesses and retail districts

How well do you know the history of Ottawa’s retail districts?

Walk down Bank, Elgin, Rideau or any of Ottawa’s other commercial streets and you’ll pass buildings with varied and colourful workplace histories: that top-end vacuum cleaner retail store that was once a photography shop was built originally to house a bank. This fancy restaurant used to be an auto showroom. That construction company office was a funeral monuments and tombstone outlet, and before that it was a gas station.

The Workers History Museum’s new venture, Life on Main Street, examines a series of interesting commercial buildings in downtown Ottawa to discover their history as businesses and workplaces.  The project looks at the types of businesses and shops which occupied these buildings overtime, the types of jobs performed there, and the special architectural features of the building. The collected material will be archived for future projects and research. 
The WHM will collaborate with Ottawa business owners to produce various products to feature each building, including: written and photographic material on display in storefront windows; a virtual exhibit; and video commentaries from business owners, employees and clients.

The initial building to be featured for the Life on Main Street project is 231 Bank Street, currently home to Wallack's Art Supplies.  Research began on the Wallacks building in earnest in May 2012, with completion slated for winter 2012/13.

To contribute to the Life on Main Street project or suggest unique buildings or businesses in Ottawa, please write us at with “Main Street” in the subject line.

Follow the progress of this project on Twitter using hastag #MainStreetProject

Saturday, 16 June 2012

WHM Website is now LIVE!

On June 16th at 5:15 p.m. the Workers History Museum officially launched its new website.

See it now at:

Monday, 11 June 2012

Coming Soon: Virtual Launch

Tired of going to and seeing the same old splash page and message telling you that "Our Website is Coming Soon"? Well the wait is finally at an end.

The Workers History Museum is pleased to announce the Virtual Launch of our website this Saturday June 16 at 5:15 p.m. 

Visit our website at that time and see the product of months of hard work by our volunteers.

Our website will feature:
  • information on projects and exhibits
  • calendar of events
  • membership and donor forms
  • volunteer applications
  • educational resources
  • links to our blog, twitter accounts and other online resources
You can also follow us on Twitter @WorkersHistory for daily news and updates.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Please join us to celebrate the forthcoming book, Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety.

Join the Workers History Museum with authors Ian McKay and Jamie Swift for the launch of their new book which dissects Canada's military re-branding into a ''Warrior Nation" and has been hailed by reviewers as a controversial and highly original work on Canada's political and military role on the world stage.

All are welcomed!

Thursday June 14, 2012
5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Under One Roof
251 Bank Street, 2nd floor, Ottawa
(at the corner of Bank an Cooper)


Once known for peacekeeping, Canada is becoming a militarized nation whose apostles--the "new warriors"-- are fighting to shift public opinion. Unpacking the ominous campaign to change a nation's defintions of itself, Warrior Nationa is an essential read for those concerned by the relentless effot to conscript Canadian history.
Author Ian McKay is an award-winning author and Professor of  History at Queen's University; Jamie Swift is also a Kingston author of numerous books.

This event is co-sponsored by: Between the Lines Books; Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; Citizens for Public Justice;; The Council of Canadians; and the Workers History Museum