Category: Colonel By Day

Colonel By Day with The Workers’ History Museum

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!


Come Join Us: WHM Volunteers at Col. By Day

Volunteers at the Workers’ History Museum had a great time at Colonel By Day on August 5, 2013!

Volunteering with the WHM is a great way to get involved in the local community, and we have a number of volunteer needs covering a wide range of interests. Whether your skills are in doing research, working on an exhibit or acquisitions project, writing articles, or helping with admin tasks or fundraising, we have a place for you.

If you think you might be interested in volunteering with the WHM, please email

Colonel By Day 2013

The Workers’ History Museum’s was proud to take part in Colonel By Day 2013. This was our third year at this event, and our most successful yet. It was a beautiful day and lots of people were out at the Rideau Locks. At least 80 people stopped by our booth to chat about the museum.

Our Britannia Park exhibit, on its first public outing, was very well received. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson spent some time chatting with Chris Goneau, the project’s researcher. We also talked to a number of people who had been to the park as youngsters, and for whom the Britannia display brought back fond memories.

The WHM’s two videos were offered for sale, A Struggle To Remember: Fighting for Our Families and The Almonte Train Wreck: A Story of People. There was plenty of interest in both, with several older visitors remembering the difficulties they had faced before family leave was established in Canada. Hearing such stories is always such a poignant reminder of why this campaign was so important, and why it is so essential that we don’t forget the people who fought for it.

The children’s activities also drew in lots of young visitors. In addition to an easel for watercolours, children could colour in pictures of workers that one of our volunteers had designed. An Underwood typewriter from 1935 was also on display, and both adults and kids remarked on how difficult it must have been for workers to type on machines like this.

An innovation this year was to conduct video interviews of WHM volunteers during the festival. Congratulations to the Video Committee for coming up with this idea. Let’s hope these interviews encourage even more volunteers to get involved with our Workers’ History Museum.

Overall, it was a very rewarding day, and we’re looking forward to next year’s event!

Celebrate Colonel By Day with the Workers’ History Museum

The Workers’ History Museum will be at the Rideau Canal Locks for Colonel By Day (Monday, August 5th). Join us for a day of fun-filled family activities as we celebrate Ottawa’s past.

• See our brand new exhibit about Britannia-on-the-Bay.
• Try out a 1960s-style typewriter from the now-demolished Percy Street Public School.
• Share your impressions of workers past and present by adding a drawing to our collage.

We’ll be on the grounds of the Bytown Museum from 11am to 4pm. Hope to see you there!