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

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

Now on 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".

What's your type?

May 6, 2022 to Spring 2023 at Erchless Estate, 8 Navy Street

Often found hiding in attics and lurking in basements are two of the most revolutionary machines to come out of the 1800s. Typewriters and sewing machines helped change the role of women as they entered the working world with new skills. The machines share complex relationships with women, their societal roles and their voices.

The pairing of machines dating from 1875 to 1975 shows the evolution of technological advances and material design of these working tools. The juxtaposition also provokes questions about their role in history and helps tell the stories of the women who used them.

Read Me a Story: Fables and Fairytales

Now on 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.

History of Sledge Hockey

Now on at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex, 3070 Neyagawa Blvd

What is sledge hockey? Sledge Hockey of Canada (SHOC) was established over twenty-five years ago. Learn about the history of the sport, the rules of the game and get introduced to some of its leading athletes, some of which call Oakville home.

Past exhibits