Vintage Oshawa Photo Blog

“Hot Topics” blog posts come from the desk of Sam Mogelonsky, our Communications & Social Media Coordinator.

Have you visited Every Thursday for #ThrowBackThursday we will be posting a photograph from the Thomas Bouckley Collection on the blog, as well as on our facebook page. These are amazing images that show the exciting history of our community.

The Collection was donated to the RMG by the late Thomas Bouckley, amateur historian and collector of Oshawa’s history. The entire computerized collection comprises over 2,300 historical photographs of Oshawa and about 100 works are featured in three exhibitions per year. Click here to Browse the online database.

The Vintage Oshawa blog is a place to share Bouckley historical images, as well as a place for residents of Oshawa to share their vintage photographs of Oshawa’s past, helping to create a visual history of the city. Please submit your images and caption information to help us grow this online collection. Questions? Submit your photo!


Image: R.S. Williams Piano Workers, 1910


The Results are in! Making History: Youth Art & Writing Contest

This post comes from the desk of Sonya Jones, Curator of the Thomas Bouckley Collection.

The Making History: Youth Art & Writing Contest gave young writers and artists creative freedom to express what their community’s history means to them. Youth were asked to submit an art or writing project that was inspired by a photograph in the Thomas Bouckley Collection. I was thrilled with the diverse responses! Seven submissions were chosen to be included in a small exhibition in the RMG’s Windfield Lounge.


Courtney Dianard Departure 2012


Military fathers with their children, 1939

The five poems/short stories and 2 paintings appear next to the relevant photograph from the collection. The viewer sees the historical photograph in a new way—reinterpreting it based on the students’ creative expression. Congratulations to the winners Courtney Dainard, for the Best Overall Art prize, and Tara Zammit, for the Best Overall Writing prize. Courtney’s painting of a young girl’s sorrow at her father’s departure for war reminds us of the many children who experienced this feeling throughout our community’s history. And Tara’s poem, Open Your Ears, fills the piano room at Bishop Bethune College with joy and music.


Piano Practice, Bishop Bethune College c. 1925

Open Your Ears

Dance little tune,

Fly about the room,

Capture my soul like soup on a spoon.

Piano erupt,

Let my ears indulge,

Open them to something some never love.

But I do, yes I do!

Brother, let me preach,

For the passion in the soul is something one cannot teach.

Let the curtains billow and whisper

As the wind whips around,

Let them join in the creation of this marvelous sound.

Old books line the shelves,

Collecting memories and dust,

Unveiling secrets of history, music and lust.

It’s too much for us!

The dull mind cannot bear

All the beauty, the joy

All the strife, all the cares.

Let the pictures be an audience.

Placid faces stay calm,

Though the spirits inside dance as if they still shone.

In my white blouse and navy,

I sing sweetly along.

On a stool by the piano

Is where I belong.


The exhibition Making History on view until March 3, 2013. The historical images come alive with different interpretive narratives—giving new meaning to Oshawa’s past.

Making History

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is pleased to invite young writers and artists to enter our MAKING HISTORY: Youth Art & Writing Contest. Candidates will submit a creative writing or art project inspired by an historical image in the Thomas Bouckley Collection.

Here are some options to give you some inspiration:


Many more options can be found by browsing our online database. Click here.

Click here to download our entry form, which must accompany entries.

This event is open to all students in the Durham Region from Grades 7 through 12, and the chosen students’ work will be included in an exhibition alongside Thomas Bouckley Collection photographs at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in 2013. There will also be cash prizes of $200 each for the best overall writing and best overall art submissions. The contest will be adjudicated by the Curator of the Thomas Bouckley Collection, Sonya Jones, and Curator of the RMG, Linda Jansma.

Submissions must be received at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery no later than December 10, 2012 at 5pm. Chosen submissions will be notified by December 12.

General Guidelines

Entries must be inspired by a specific image from the Thomas Bouckley Collection. Participants are asked to choose from 30 images available to view here, or can explore the collection which is searchable online.

Participants must be enrolled in Grades 7 through 12 in the Durham Region.

The deadline for entry is December 10, 2012 by 5pm.

Submissions will be accepted at the lobby of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery located at 72 Queen Street West, Oshawa, Ontario no later than 5pm. Writing submissions may be submitted by email to Late entries will not be accepted.

As well as being included in an exhibition alongside the corresponding Thomas Bouckley Collection image, the best overall art submission and the best overall creative writing submission will each receive a cash prize of $200.

Prizes will be awarded at the judges’ discretion. The decision of the judges is final.

Failure to follow the guidelines and to provide complete, legible and accurate information on the entry form will disqualify the submission.

Winners will be asked to provide an electronic copy of their submission to be used for promotional purposes only.

Guidelines for Artwork Submissions:

Each participant may enter one 2-dimensional work of art, no larger than 24” by 30”, in any medium (e.g. graphite, watercolour, ink, acrylic, oil, pastel and charcoal.)

Entries must be the original work of the submitting student.

Pastel and charcoal works should be protected with a fixative.

Artworks must have hanging hardware on the back for exhibition purposes.

All works on paper must be framed.

The completed entry form must be included with the artwork.

Submissions will be returned after exhibition.

Guidelines for Creative Writing Submissions:

Each participant may enter one poem, short story or non-fiction essay.

Entries must be the original work of the submitting student and may not have been previously published.

Entries must be no longer than 500 words and must not exceed one page of a standard 8.5” x 11” sized paper

If an entry is handwritten, it must be legible and fit onto a standard 8.5” x 11 sized paper

Submissions must be submitted unfolded.

Submissions can also be sent by email to no later than December, 10, 2012 by 5pm.