The Workers’ History Museum and the Public Service Alliance of Canada National Capital Regional office hosted Doors Open at the PSAC Headquarters building at 233 Gilmour Street in Ottawa with over 260 visitors coming in to check out the building’s architecture.
The volunteers were kept busy talking about the PSAC building’s history as well as providing information about the PSAC itself. Exhibits and videos created by the Workers’ History Museum were on display and were reviewed with interest by the visitors.
Volunteers were Barb Stewart, Bob Hatfield, Linda McLaren, Ken Clavette, Arthur Carkner, Penny Bertrand and Paul Harrison from the Workers’ History Museum and Renelle Chalifoux, Linda Walters and David Lanthier from the PSAC National Capital Regional council.
Come join the Workers’ History Museum and partners as we celebrate the launch of our newest project, Capital History Comics, The Wong Brothers Make Their Mark, a comic book highlighting an Ottawa history story.
Meet the illustrator and descendants of the Wong brothers, learn more about the project and purchase your own copy (French and English available)!
An event in association with the Ottawa Asian Heritage Month Society.
Workers’ History Museum Secretary Bob Allen explains how the Rideau Canal was built. WHM/Bytown Labour History walking tour, Wednesday, 5 July 2017.
Workers’ History Museum Secretary Bob Allen describes how American immigrant Philemon Wright took squared timber rafts down the Ottawa River to Quebec City. WHM/Bytown Labour History walking tour, Saturday, 8 July 2017.
Celebrate Canada’s 150th. and hear fascinating stories about the National Capital’s labour history.
In partnership with the Bytown Museum, the Workers’ History Museum will conduct four labour history walking tours per month (two English, two French) for the months of July, August, September and October, 2017.
Each guided walk starts and finishes at the Bytown Museum and lasts approximately one and a half hours.
How did Americans, the military, and the railways influence the development of jobs in early Ottawa? Answers were provided Sunday, 7 May 2017, when the Workers’ History Museum sponsored a guided labour history walk. Participants started at the Bytown Museum, went north to the Ottawa River, south along the Rideau Canal, then up to Confederation Square as part of the Jane’s Walk weekend.
Tour guide Bob Hatfield explained: “This is a pilot of a WHM / Bytown Museum walk, which we will give from July to October of this year as part of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations.” Bob developed the tour, with research from Kira Smith, Ken Clavette and Linda McLaren.
WHM President Arthur Carkner and Secretary Bob Allen, who will be leading some of the tours later this year, were marshals at Sunday’s walk.
“American immigrants were the first white residents here”
Photo credits: Bob Allen
“The bodies of workers killed building the Rideau Canal will be reinterred in September, 2017”
The Workers’ History Museum is proud to host a viewing of its historiographical film about the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The film presents the fifty-year story that began when leaders from many different, often competing associations came together to formally establish a union for federal government workers.
Fifty years ago, the leaders of many different, often competing, associations came together at a convention to formally establish a union for federal government workers. This represented the culmination of years of struggle to achieve what other workers outside the federal public sector had enjoyed for decades. It was the first step to bringing about real change in our members’ workplaces. It helped families and built communities.
In 50 years, our membership has grown to include public sector workers in the north, university teaching and Research Assistants, workers in Indigenous communities and more. From the beginning, PSAC recognized the need to reach out to the broader labour movement, working in Canada and internationally to build solidarity with the struggles of working people around the world. As we celebrate our first 50 years, the work of building our union goes on.
On August 1st the Workers’ History Museum made its mark on Colonel By day with two tables full of activities, information and smiling volunteers. This year marked the 21st annual Colonel By Day and this year the event celebrated the workers who laboured to build the Canal, their families and their lives-lived and lost. How appropriate then that the Workers’ History Museum was there overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage site Rideau Canal locks to interact with those that attended. The weather cooperated and a beautiful day made it easy for the volunteers to have a fantastic time speaking with tourists from as far as England and as close as Centretown! We were able to speak with over a hundred and twenty enthusiastic people and to build awareness of the museum and the great things we do. To pique peoples interests we had activities at the tables which included an always popular typewriter, a set of hammers and mallets and a colouring and painting station. All around us were interesting heritage displays and events, such as Bagpipe music and Irish dancing and costumed characters including the ever entertaining Mother McGuinty. This was a day not to miss and we are already looking toward next year so mark your calendars for August 6th 2017 and come join us by the locks! Check out the great video below to get an even better sense of the beautiful heritage filled day!
Until Fort McMurray in the spring of 2016, the Ontario fire of 1870 was the largest wild-fire in Canadian history.
It is startling how similar the descriptions of the skies, the golden glow across the horizon at midnight, the strangling smoke, the wall of fire sweeping across the land, people racing before the flames…
The Great Wildfire of 1870 started in the Ottawa Valley, as a small blaze near Arnprior and a brush fire near Pakenham raced across eastern Ontario. The wildfire swept past the Carp ridge, through the Almonte Area, devastating Bells Corners, and on to Ottawa. Smoke filled the skies. Farmers, villages and animals, wild and domestic raced before the oncoming flames. Farmlands, lives and habitats were lost. The fire was stopped at Preston Street by brave fire-fighters who, with the help of pick and shovel, breached the north dam of Dow’s Lake, flooding the old Dow’s swamp lowlands right down Preston on to LeBreton flats — just in the nick of time, of course.
Where: the Chambers at Ben Franklin Place When: Saturday, September 17, at 2:00PM
Storytellers are Ruth Stewart-Verger and Murray McGregor.
The 12 storey PSAC HQ is a distinctive elliptical iron-spot brick building at the corner of Gilmour and Metcalfe. Designed by Paul Schoeler of Schoeler & Heaton Architects, it was completed in 1968. In 2000, the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada | Architecture Canada identified it as one of the top 500 buildings produced in Canada during the preceding millennium.
WHM volunteers will answer questions about the PSAC building and about Workers’ History Museum exhibits which will be on display there.
Renovations are underway, so please enter the building by the rear entrance.