Study Tours

  • Home Improvements Study Tour
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Todmorden Mills & Montgomery's Inn

Home Improvements - Restoring and Interpreting Historic Sites: a Canadian Perspective offers museum professionals the chance to explore and discuss recent thinking in Canadian historic house restoration and interpretation using two City of Toronto historic sites, Todmorden Mills and Montgomery’s Inn, that have just undertaken restoration projects. Following the 1967 Centennial, many historic sites were opened as museums, sharing narratives of Canada’s history. These often employed the latest thinking in museum interpretation and restoration. But what of those sites fifty years later? How have they responded to changes in interpretation and historical research and technology? How are they changing and refreshing in the face of changing audience demographics and competition for leisure time? How are they adapting to work with community partners and offering collaborative approaches to presenting historical narratives and programming? 

This full day study tour includes bus transportation to, from, and between sites, lunch, a visit to the farmers market, and offers the chance to explore and discuss recent thinking in Canadian historic house restoration and interpretation.

Discuss the pros and cons of a single interpretative period, lessons learnt from restoration projects, and more!  Tour the 1940s Cottage and the 1890s Helliwell House-a rare example of a two-storey adobe structure with a one-storey board and batten attachment.  Meet the staff from City of Toronto Museum & Heritage Services responsible for the development and completion of its re-restoration and reinterpretation project, and learn about the many factors that informed curatorial decisions in these re-restorations.

Learn more about the curatorial research and decisions that informed the representation process at Montgomery's Inn, including a desire to allow visitors more opportunity to interact with the past and explore narratives that highlight the prominence of Montgomery’s wife and employees. Discuss the good, bad, and ugly of restoration projects, tour the inn, enjoy a historically inspired lunch and refreshments, and visit the Inn’s Farmer’s Market. 




Black Creek Pioneer Village & Collaborative Workshop

Explore hands-on collaboration with a visit to Black Creek Pioneer Village in the morning and an afternoon spent working on an exhibit-related issue using design thinking principles.  This full day study tour includes bus transportation to, from, and between sites, lunch, an abbreviated escape game, and a beer sample!

What do escape games, haunted walks, axe throwing, yoga, reggae concerts, and beer all have in common? Black Creek Pioneer Village collaborates with commercial partners to operate these businesses on the museum’s property.  Welcoming outside organizations into The Village has impacted the museum’s operations while challenging staff to rethink how space (including staff rooms, storage rooms, and greenspace!) can be used and what new audiences bring to the site.

  •  Join staff from The Village and Secret City Adventures (SCA) as they dissect how both organizations cooperate to share space while running two distinct businesses.
  • Play an abbreviated version of SCA’s escape game “Where Dark Things Dwell”
  • Sample beer brewed by Pioneer Breweries Ltd. A division of BCPV

The value of collaboration is evident but often difficult to encourage within a team setting where different expectations, skill sets and motivations exist. The collaborative workshop will help reinforce the benefits but provide tangible examples of how a museum, gallery, science centres and historic sites can implement effective ways of creating a collaborative process that encourages staff and visitor participation. Participants will see that a diverse set of thinkers offers opportunities for innovation and creative problem solving.  Lead by Emilio Genovese, Exhibitions and Graphic Designer at the ROM and held at the Archives of Ontario, this workshop will:

  • Explore diversity in thinking at the table and staff ownership on projects
  • Foster innovation and creativity for problem solving


Both Study Tours are partially accessible, depending on the sites and your needs, and include bus transportation to and from sites. 

For additional information regarding accessibility, alternative accomodations, and the Pre-Conference Study Tours, please contact the OMA at 416-348-8672, toll-free at 1-866-662-8672, or email