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Museum motoring ahead

Auto museum gets provincial funds

It was all hands on deck at the Canadian Automotive Museum for the announcement that it would be receiving $72,000 from the provincial government. This money, along with a 2015 grant from the federal government, is going towards revamping the building’s exterior. At the announcement were Jennifer French, MPP for Oshawa, left; Alex Gates, the museum’s curator; Councillor Doug Sanders; Tricia Gazarek, a volunteer with the Ontario Trillium Foundation; Councillor Bob Chapman; Colin Carrie, MP for Oshawa; Councillor John Shields; and Councillor Rick Kerr.

By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

Oshawa’s Canadian Automotive Museum (CAM) has some money coming its way from the province to improve its exterior.

At an announcement at the Simcoe Street museum, it was announced the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agent of the provincial government, would be contribution $72,000 towards improving the building’s exterior.

This matches funds given to the museum by the federal government in 2015.

Alexander Gates, the museum’s curator, says CAM has big plans for these new funds.

“We’re going to be putting metal cladding around the building, which includes a level of insulation which will keep our heating and cooling costs down. We’re also getting a new HVAC as well. It’s really about better climate control and preservation of the building. Some of the exterior brick isn’t in great shape,” he says.

“At this point, in terms of costs, it’s more cost effective for us to put that insulation on the outside, as well as the exterior metal cladding, in order to preserve the building and keep the museum going for years to come.”

Gates adds that with that original brick, dating back to the building’s construction nearly a century ago, improvements will be made to the interior as well.

“The good thing about the insulation on the exterior of the building is that it’s actually allowing us to go back to the brick on the interior of the building,” he says.

“We can go back to the brick, and have a great character to the building moving forward. We’re going to continue on removing some of the old paneling and get back to that brick and back to that character of a 1920s showroom.”

In fact, some of that remodeling work has already gotten started.

“Right now, our volunteers have removed the old drop ceiling, removed some of the old wiring and really taking it back to this old, kind of industrial feel,” he says.

“Back in the 1960s, when they built the museum, that wasn’t what was in vogue at the time. But now, in 2017, the idea of having cement floors, brick walls, exposed ceilings, it’s all very chic, all very trendy. There’s coffee shops that pay a lot of money to have faux interiors like this.”