Celebrating past, present and future

December is upon us and the bells of Christmas are already ringing. We take this moment to celebrate the past year with all its victories as we look to the future with a new space leased for further expansion.

 

OHML recognize Highway of Heroes

Our Home and Miniature Land is creating a tribute to Ontario’s Highway of Heroes which honours the Canadian military. 

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Back In Time (chronicle II)

Our Home and Miniature Land depicts everyday scenes of today on a massive, albeit miniature, scale. But we also bring the past to life. Last month we shared with you the model of Dundurn Castle in the Hamilton exhibit as it transported you into the past with typical scenes from earlier time periods. This month we look at the Bell Homestead. This is a national historic site in Brantford, Ontario, where Alexander Graham Bell conducted his earliest experiments. In fact, the telephone was invented at the Homestead in July, 1874. In our display we replicate the Melville House and shed out back where you can see Bell walking. You might also want to check out the outdoor summer concert!

 

OHML Leadership: Jean-Louis Brenninkmeijer and Dave MacLean

Our Home and Miniature Land is the brainchild of Jean-Louis Brenninkmeijer who is the Founder and Revenue Protection Inspector. He set out the vision and culture behind what we’re trying to do, and is responsible for financing, public relations and corporate partnerships. Jean-Louis was encouraged by his family to pursue his dream of building a miniature Canada that is open to the public and comes with an educational slant. Meeting Dave MacLean was a blessing and together they proceeded to make the dream a reality.

Jean-Louis grew up with model trains and was always interested in them as a hobby. He has more than 20 years of experience as an executive in retail  – in six countries and markets throughout Europe and North America. Then it was ten years in the investment business with a focus on renewable energy technologies like wind.

Born in the United Kingdom, he has a degree in Marketing from St. Eligius College in Antwerp, Belgium. In addition to English, he speaks French, Dutch and German. He is an avid stamp collector who enjoys skiing, rowing and sailing, and is a supporter of children’s charities. Jean-Louis is also an avid reader. His favourite book is As The Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer, and his favourite movie The Shawshank Redemption.

 

[1853 watercolour of Bytown looking east along Wellington Street near Bank Street. The artist was C. Sedley. Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada]

Ottawa named Canada’s capital on December 31, 1857

On the last day of 1857 Queen Victoria made her pronouncement for the capital. It would be Ottawa, a logging town which two years earlier had been known as Bytown. The population wasn’t even 14,000, but it had some distinct advantages: it straddled the line between Ontario and Quebec, and was far enough from the American border to satisfy those still smarting from the War of 1812. An American newspaper of the day joked that Ottawa was safe from attack because any invader would get lost in the woods trying to find it. The decision was left to Queen Victoria because politicians couldn’t decide among five cities – in addition to Ottawa were Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City and Kingston. Eight years later in 1865 the Parliament Buildings were opened and two years after that Canada became a country.

Jacqueline Wong