AQUINO TANK Weekend: 9 / 10 June 2018

Canada's Largest Military Show. Details here.

 

 
The Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum, Oshawa Ontario

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Welcome to our Museum

 

The Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum maintains Canada's largest collection of operational military vehicles. Our popular 'Tank Saturdays' are an experience for the senses and visitors of all ages. Join us throughout Spring/Summer to see Canadian, Commonwealth and Allied Forces' military vehicles up close and in action!

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  About our Museum
   
  A SHORT HISTORY OF THE 'FERRET CLUB'
   
 

Article: Oshawa museum comes alive on Tank Saturday

Photo: Sabrina Byrnes, Metroland/Durham Region Media Group

 

Oshawa museum comes alive on Tank Saturday

Chance to see history on the move

Keith Gilligan

Oshawa This Week, 16 May 2012

   
 

The Ontario Regiment Ferret Club, a part of the Oshawa Military Industrial Museum, has come a long way since its founding in Oshawa over 36 years ago.

 

The Regiment's Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, Major (retired) Norman Wilton, an Airborne veteran of World War II and prominent business leader, provided the initial funding for the establishment of a nine-car troop of Ferret scout cars procured from Canadian Forces.

 

A small group of active and ret'd crewmen, NCOs and officers came together under the direction of former Ontarios Sergeant David Mountenay (left) for the purpose of stripping the Ferrets and restoring them to parade-ready operational condition. David served as President of the Ferret Club for over 25 years and is currently the Chair of the Museum.

 

As the club's membership and collection expanded so, too, did its appetite for larger restoration projects. Jeeps, Sherman and Centurion tanks soon followed, as did a series of wheeled vehicles including GM trucks built in Oshawa during the war years. The museum also took possession of several ret'd Canadian APCs, Lynxes, a Staghound, wreckers, American M60 tanks, an artillery piece and the actual jeep used by the late Major Ward Irwin (later Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Regiment) in theatre during the Italian campaign.

 

Over the past three decades, the museum's collection has grown to include a number of fully restored vehicles including several tanks and tracked vehicles used by the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, the Canadian Forces, and allied forces.

 

In 1980, the club set up shop in a two bay garage formerly located at the intersection of Simcoe St N and Glover's Rd in Oshawa. The Club relocated to a dairy farm near Ritson Rd N and the 8th Concession for a few years in the mid 1980s.

 

Before long, it became necessary to find a permanent home for the club's rapidly growing collection. The members felt there was no more historically appropriate location than the Oshawa Municipal Airport, home to the Commonwealth Air Training Plan for allied pilots during the Second World War.

 

The airport also served as the dropping-off point for candidates to Oshawa's then ultra-secret spy school Camp 'X'. James Bond's creator, Ian Fleming, trained there along with numerous other agents who played a vital part in the winning of World War II.

 

The Ontarios, past and present, enjoy a long history of service and gallantry which is documented and explained in the museum's static display section. The static displays were, for many years, housed in  a room at Parkwood, the home of the Ontario's storied patron and long-time Honorary Colonel, Robert Samuel McLaughlin, founder and president of General Motors Canada.

 

The club and museum are more than just a showcase of vintage military vehicles and equipment. The museological functions of acquisition, storage, conservation, research, exhibition also contribute to our understanding of Canada's military history during the past three centuries.

 

Our volunteers, aided by serving members of the Regiment, crew and operate vehicles at nearly every Regimental function, D-Day and VE-Day commemorations throughout Ontario, the annual Coe Hill Labour Day parade, CNE Warriors' Day parade, and Oshawa's Fiesta and Remembrance Day parades.

 

In honour of our Regiment's contribution to several United Nations peacekeeping missions across the globe, we have painted and displayed many of our vehicles with colours and markings reflecting Canada's half-century contribution to international peace-keeping and peace-making operations.

 

The museum also plays a commemorative role by recalling the human sacrifice of Canada's servicemen and women over the past two centuries. As memories of World War II and the Korean War slowly recede from living memory, our role of museums like ours becomes increasingly important.

 

We believe that Oshawa's citizens value these reminders of courage and personal sacrifice our soldiers but also the thousands who toiled on the home front in local industry during two World Wars. We have restored several vehicles built in Oshawa's General Motors plants during World War II and we display many artefacts related to the local industrial war effort during 1939-45.

 

In keeping with our theme of remembering the sacrifice of the Canadian Forces, our volunteers maintain a busy schedule at the museum. We maintain a large, fully inventoried collection of uniforms, non-operational weapons, medals and artefacts used by the Canadian Army and Canadian Forces dating back to the early 1850s.

 

Our collection of medals includes those of past members of the Ontario Regiment, such as our Honorary Colonel, RS McLaughlin, and several highly decorated Ontarios during conflicts including the Fenian Raids, Boer War, both World Wars, the Korean War and modern UN and NATO operations, including Canada's War in Afghanistan.

 

 

 

The Ontario Regiment Museum is an accredited Canadian Forces Museum. We are grateful for the assistance provided by the Directorate of History at the Department of National Defence.

   
 
 
 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum.

All rights reserved.

 

Our address

1000 Stevenson Rd N , Oshawa, ON  Canada  L1J 5P5  

 

Tel 905.728.6199  

 

Email  info@ontrmuseum.ca

 

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We are a volunteer-operated accredited Canadian Armed Forces Museum. We are funded by the generosity of our visitors, patrons, serving and retired members of the Regimental Family and our local community.

 

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Driving directions: From Hwy 401 (Exit 415) at Stevenson Rd, drive north approx 4.5km (8min) to the Oshawa Municipal Airport.

 

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Preserving the 150-year history of our Regiment and its soldiers for future generations.

 

Last updated: 24-Aug-2017