Exhibits

Exhibits and collections on display at our museum galleries.

The Oakville Museum holds a diverse collection of objects reflecting the history of Oakville from its establishment to the present day including costumes and textiles, fine and decorative arts, ethnological artifacts and Chisholm family-related materials. You can also find exhibits at our satellite gallery at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre.

Artifacts that are not currently part of our permanent or temporary exhibits are carefully stored to ensure their preservation. 

Oakville Museum virtual tour

Current exhibits

To the Limit! RCAF Aerobatics in Action

On display at QEPCCC, 2303 Bridge Road until August 31, 2024.

Discover Canada’s history of high-flying, thrill seeking aerobatic teams who have pushed themselves, and their aircraft, to the limit! 

This travelling exhibition was developed by the National Air Force Museum of Canada with funding and support provided by the RCAF Centennial Committee.

The Home Team Wins: Oakville’s Hockey Clubs

Sixteen Mile Sports Complex
May 2024 to April 2025

People have been playing hockey in Oakville for well over 100 years. Long before artificial rinks, organized leagues, and matching uniforms, folks were strapping on skates and shovelling off sections of frozen ponds and rivers to play with friends and family.

This display spans the history of Oakville’s hockey teams from their modest beginnings on local waterways to the dozens of competitive teams representing our community at local, provincial, and national levels today.

With a focus on the Oakville Blades Junior C team, the show will open as the Blades compete for the prestigious Centennial Cup national title beginning on May 9, 2024, at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.

Image courtesy of Appleby College Archives.

Pathway to the Stars: A Centennial Celebration of Oakville’s Contributions to the Royal Canadian Air Force

On display at Erchless Estate, 8 Navy Street

April 2024 marks 100 years of service for the Royal Canadian Air Force as an independent military element. Since the very beginning, the Town of Oakville and its residents have played an outsized role within the RCAF's contributions to world aviation and military history. By using artifacts and stories uniquely related to Oakville, this exhibition charts the growth of the Air Force from its earliest flights during the harrowing days of the First World War to its current position as one of the world's most advanced military units.

Freedom, Opportunity and Family: Oakville’s Black History

Permanent exhibit at Erchless Estate, 8 Navy Street.

Artifacts, pictures, text and a documentary video tell the stories of many of the African-American families who settled in Oakville and were important to the development of our community. 

Visitors will discover the story of Branson Johnson, a freeborn African-American, who arrived in Oakville with his family in 1855. His Certificate of Freedom from a Maryland court and the pocket watch in which it was hidden for many years are featured.

Oakville's Early Black History: Virtual Tour

The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Freedom

Permanent exhibit at Erchless Estate, 8 Navy Street.

In this multi-media presentation, the ghost of Deborah Brown tells the true story of her heroic flight from a life of slavery in Maryland to her new life of freedom in 19th-century Toronto. The presentation is available in French and English.

The exhibit was created by Parks Canada in partnership with the Ontario Black History Society and the Royal Ontario Museum.

Seven Glorious Virtues

On display at QEPCCC, 2303 Bridge Road.

Ancient philosophers deemed certain virtues necessary for a happy individual. These virtues also were necessary in creating a good society. Achieving goodness or virtue is something that must be cultivated every day through ones actions. Learn about some of the glorious virtues of historic Oakville residents personified through artifacts in the Museum’s permanent collection which have contributed to society.

Oakville’s Flower: HMCS Oakville

On display starting September 25, 2023, at Oakville Town Hall, 1225 Trafalgar Road.

This exhibit tells the story of HMCS Oakville, a Second World War naval ship which has a meaningful connection with the Town of Oakville. The ship was christened at Lakeside Park on November 5, 1941 and its officers and crew were adopted as honorary citizens. Less than a year later, HMCS Oakville would take part in one of the most famous naval battles of the Second World War when she attacked, captured, and sunk U-boat U94. The ship’s bell, which is said to symbolize the spirit of the ship, is among the cherished original artifacts on display.

Exhibit presented by the Oakville Museum with information provided by Sean E. Livingston, author of "Oakville's Flower: The History of HMCS Oakville".

Read Me a Story: Fables and Fairytales

Now on display at Erchless Estate, 8 Navy Street

Elders have tried to teach children important life lessons through storytelling since time began. Through museum artifacts we take a whimsical look at reoccurring themes found in fables and fairytales from a long, long time ago.

Past exhibits