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Ontario Regiment RCAC Regimental Museum facts for kids

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The Ontario Regiment (RCAC) Museum
Ontario Regiment Ferret Troop Pre-Oshawa Fiesta Parade Oshawa c.1991.jpg
Established 1980
Location Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
UN White Ferret Ontario Regiment Museum, Oshawa
Ferret Scout Car in Canadian UN detail, 1993

The Oshawa Military and Industrial Museum is an accredited Canadian Forces Museum located in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. The museum, more commonly known as The Ontario Regiment (RCAC) 'Ferret Club', traces its roots in Oshawa to 1980, having grown to become the Historic Vehicle Section of the Ontario Regiment (RCAC) Museum.

The museum's maintainers are a uniquely skilled and dedicated group of volunteer civilian military vehicle enthusiasts and include several current and former members of The Ontario Regiment (RCAC), other units of the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps and the Royal Canadian Army Cadets.

Description

Operated as a living museum, this organization is quite different from most traditional collections and displays of Canadian militaria. Almost every vehicle in the museum’s collection is operational, or in some state of repair or restoration. Many vehicles including the vintage Sherman Mark IV, Chaffee, M60 and Sheridan tanks, armoured personnel carriers, trucks and jeeps are frequently driven in parades and other ceremonial activities involving The Ontarios or other units of the Canadian Forces. Since most of these vehicles are ‘runners’, the museum's staff and maintainers are slightly less reluctant to let people climb onto and into their prized pieces than most museum curators. From time to time, a patron may even experience a ride first-hand.

The funding required to restore, maintain, and fuel the museum’s historic vehicle collection and static displays is provided entirely by volunteers—current and former members of the Canadian Forces, veterans, cadets and civilians alike. The museum raises some its operating funds by providing the use of some vehicles for select recognizable Canadian and international television or film productions. The task of restoring and maintaining such a large collection of antique vehicles is extremely resource-intensive, often physically strenuous and very expensive. Many of the Museum's collection of unrestored or under-repair vehicles are visible from Stevenson Rd N, the road leading into the south field of the Oshawa Executive Airport lands.

Collections

Historic Vehicle Section (Ferret Club)

ONTR Museum Sherman BART in winter, c. 1993 2
Bart: Mark IV Sherman tank of the Ontario Regiment (RCAC) Museum, 1993

The Museum has a large number of armoured vehicles in its collection ranging from a motorcycle to jeeps, carry-alls, carriers and tanks. Aside from fully restored Bren Gun Carrier and M24 Chaffee, a pair of M4A2(76)W HVSS, and one unrestored Centurion, there are also a number of foreign-operated vehicles including a Scania HLVW prototype that went unprocured by the Canadian Forces in the 1980s. Several Ferrets are still in operation, along with an FV433 Abbot SPG self-propelled gun provided by the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) detachment at Suffield, Alberta.

Two M60A3s dwarf almost everything else, although the two M551A1 Sheridans are deceptively large. A number of ex-US Army M113A2s are maintained and driven regularly, as are the M113C&R Lynx. Softskin vehicles include a number of examples of different Canadian military pattern vehicles, as well as many jeeps and a couple of nice examples of the M37. M62 wreckers which are frequently employed to move the larger vehicles, turrets, or chassis and engine and components around the facility. Many other post-war trucks are also on display.

Static Display Section

116thBn rifle coy oshawa 27 May 1916
116thBn rifle company marched through Oshawa on 27 May 1916

Apart from its Historic Vehicle Section, the museum's volunteers painstakingly maintain Static Display Section consisting of militaria including uniforms, medals, photographs, diaries, historical books and artifacts relevant to the history of the Regiment, the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, and the Canadian Army from the 1850s to present day. These artifacts are displayed in diorama settings depicting their era of use. Among the medals displayed include those of past members of the Ontario Regiment, including the original Order of Canada awarded to its longest-serving Honorary Colonel RS (Sam) McLaughlin.

Museum Information

The museum is located at 1000 Stevenson Road North in Oshawa. It offers group tours by appointment, and general admission if by donation.

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