Auto Museums in Ontario

by Lori Straus

A trip to an automotive museum can fill your tank for automotive wonder. And have you heard? Auto enthusiasts will soon have another place to dwell in amazement: a third automotive museum in Ontario.

Canadian Automotive Museum

Located in Oshawa, the Canadian Automotive Museum boasts a collection of Canadian and international vehicles that dates back to 1900. You can see a circa 1903 Redpath Messenger, a 1908 Tudhope-McIntyre, and even a 1909 Ford Model T.

American vehicles in the museum include the 1902 Orient Buckboard, 1921 Kissel Gold Bug, and even a 1926 Ahrens-Fox Pumper Firetruck.

Love British cars? Then check out the 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost used by the Prince of Wales during the 1919 Royal Tour, and the 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25 that was owned by the chairman of the Toronto Maple Leafs, J.P. Bickwell. (Bickwell was involved with the Leafs from 1924 to 1951 as owner, president, and finally chairman.)

The Canadian Automotive Museum is also home to a handful of European cars, including a 1965 Amphicar and a 1928 Bugatti Type-37.

If research is on your mind, this museum has you covered. It houses “the world’s most extensive collection of Canadian-specific automotive materials including manuals, brochures, advertisements, and photographs,” according to its website. Materials date back as far as the early 1900s. If you have materials you would like to donate, contact the museum.

Part view of a 1954 Hillman Minx Mark VII at Stockholm City centre, Sweden
Part view of a 1954 Hillman Minx Mark VII at Stockholm City centre, Sweden

Canadian Transportation Museum and Heritage Village

This Kingston museum focuses on transportation overall, not just cars and trucks. However, you’ll get a much more in-depth view into the development of the automobile. The Canadian Transportation Museum has a collection that ranges from 19th-century horse-drawn wagons to a 1992 Dodge Viper. According to the website, you “will see a full representation of the vehicles that were made and driven right here in Southwestern Ontario throughout the 20th century.”

Coming Soon: the Ontario Auto Museum

An automotive museum in the heart of Toronto! That’s what the board of the Ontario Auto Museum (OAM) has proposed. The museum promises to be a place where car lovers of all ages can bask in the glory of the automobile, from its history and impact on our lives to its progress into the future of green technology and other innovations.

The museum’s website says, “The OAM will present seasonal exhibits, showcase Canadian Collectors, and present annually a history of auto racing during events such as the INDY, the Toronto International Car Show and others.” The website doesn’t give an opening date, and no doubt the pandemic has put a dent in plans, but you can follow @OAutoMuseum on Twitter to stay in the loop.