Oil Museum ready to open in August

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The chiller being moved to the roof of the Oil Museum of Canada in Oil Springs.

The Oil Museum of Canada will be ready for visitors in August.

That from Laurie Webb, the manager of museums, who has been overseeing the $880,000 renovation.

In February, contractors began stripping the 60 year-old museum to the studs in many areas as part of a plan to return the building to its original design by Ian Rutherford. One of the keys will be opening up the museum again by returning the walls of windows which allowed visitors to look out over the existing oil fields. Right now, Webb says, the window frames are covered with plywood. But sometime this week, the new floor to ceiling, UV ray treated windows will be in place. “It’s going to be exciting to see it open up,” says Webb.

The museum is also redesigning the exhibits based on the original vision of the museum to feature things like the geology of oil, how Indigenous people used oil, the discovery of oil and the reach of Lambton’s oil drillers as well as the history of Oil Springs and the boom there.

Webb says there have been some small construction delays, mostly because getting materials has been more difficult than normal. The work was originally slated to be complete by the end of June, however, Webb says the contractors have a bit of extra breathing room. 

The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions mean museums across Ontario won’t be opening until the beginning of August at the earliest. When the restrictions ease, Webb says the oil museum will be ready for visitors to see the renewed, brighter look.