Doors Open at Small Arms building, Sept. 27, 2014 at 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at Dixie Road and Lakeshore Road East

Interior view, Small Arms building, September 2014. Jaan Pill photo

As I have noted in previous posts, I have much enjoyed previous Doors Open events at the Small Arms building at Dixie Road and Lakeshore Road East.

In my experience, the quality of communications associated with each year’s event, and the quality of programming, is exemplary and warrants celebration.

Click here to access Heritage Mississauga overview of Small Arms Ltd. story >

The following text – to which headings have been added – is from the Fall 2014 newsletter of the Small Arms Society

You can access the newsletter here:

Arms2Arts Fall Newsletter


Come Join Us for Our Biggest and Best Doors Open Yet, with Music, Art, Words, Dance and Historic Reenactments

Mural at Dixie Road and Lakeshore Road East, Lakeview (Mississauga). Jaan Pill photo

It’s our latest Doors Open event, and this year’s is going to the biggest yet. This year will be a celebration of the past and the future. SAS is moving forward with its effort to see the building converted into an arts, science and community centre. Of course the building has a rich history, so Doors Open will also look back to the past.

We’ll have more, and new, artists displaying and demonstrating their talents this year. Keep your eyes, and ears, perked for live music and dance performances. Several authors will be at the Small Arms building to sign books and do special readings.

Jane Fairburne has produced an extraordinary account of Toronto’s waterfront experience in her book, [Along the Shore:] Rediscovering Toronto’s Waterfront Heritage. Nicole Porlier’s book Bumpy Roads Have Soft Shoulders, tells of the author’s personal experiences living with a disabling disorder.

Dave Cook is a familiar name in Mississauga. The former councillor and mayoral candidate will be at the Small Arms plant with his recent books, Fading History, Vol. 1 and 2, and From Frozen Ponds to Beehive Glory.

Spent Pencils & Frog in Hand

We’ll also have artists from Spent Pencils on hand to greet fans and sign the latest edition of their comic series on Mississauga’s history. Their latest work is a secret, for the moment, but you’ll find out what it’s all about at the launch, which will be at Small Arms during our Doors Open. We’ll give you one hint. There is a connection between Small Arms and the subject of their latest comic.

Mississauga-based performance company Frog in Hand will have a special, one-time performance of their latest stage presentation. Sisters Noelle Hamlyn and Colleen Snell tell us that Frog in Hand, “comes together to create multi- disciplinary performances in unusual spaces”, and you’re not likely to find a more unusual performance space than the same factory shop floor where weapons were once inspected. But that’s what SAS’s Arms2Arts initiative is all about!

View of Hanlan Feedermain pipe, Dixie Road and Burnamthorpe Road. Jaan Pill photo

Spent Pencils and Frog in Hand will be participating courtesy of Heritage Mississauga. HM is an important addition to our program this year. They will have their own historic displays, and have invited local reserve regiment, The Lorne Scots, to bring their regimental museum along. Also thanks to Heritage Mississauga, Thompson’s Company of the Second York Regiment will practice their drills, 1812-style, and will fire their muskets (weather permitting) to fend off attacking Americans.

Colonel Gerald Haddon

Colonel Gerald Haddon will discuss the aerial exploits of his legendary grandfather, John A. D. McCurdy, who was manager of Mississauga’s, and Canada’s first flight school, and is well-known as the first Canadian to fly a plane in Canada, in 1909.

Small Arms Society, in conjunction with the Mississauga South Historical Society, will have a display of the history of Small Arms Ltd., and of the thousands of women who worked there during WWII, assembling Lee-Enfield rifles and Sten submachine guns, and performing the meticulous work of loading ammunition into bomb casing assembled at other plants across Canada. Thanks to Marcello Pazán, of Pazán Gallery in Port Credit, for helping MSHS and SAS assemble this special presentation. Marcello will have an arts presentation, as well.

Hanlan Feedermain Project: Close-up view of a major tunnelling project

View of feedermain pipes at Dixie Road and Burnamthorpe Road. Jaan Pill photo

There will be science and environmental displays and information exhibits on Rebuilding our Waterfront, Lake Ontario Integrated Shoreline Study, the Lakeview Waterfront Connection, the Hanlan Feedermain Project and Inspiration Lakeviewin the big hall. Thanks to Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Credit Valley Conservation Authority, Region of Peel and the City of Mississauga for their support with our exhibit area this year.

View of feedermain pipe at Dixie Road and Burnamthorpe. Jaan Pill photo

You’ll also have a chance to see construction of the Hanlan Feedermain first hand. McNally Construction, which is undertaking the tunnel boring project, is building a raised platform which will allow Doors Open visitors to see the tunnel project.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a major tunnelling project underway.

There’s plenty for the family to see and do at the Small Arms plant for Doors Open. We hope to see you there.

[End of text from Small Arms Society newsletter]

Small Arms Inspection Building Redevelopment Project

You can access a comprehensive overview of this Toronto and Region Conservation Authority project here.

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) Regiment

The Small Arms building was also the site for an event on Sept. 7, 2014 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment.

Detail from Small Arms display at Sept. 7, 2014 PPCLI event at Small Arms building. Jaan pill photo


As I noted at a previous blog post, the Small Arms building has a temporary new entrance.

For the Sept. 7, 2014 event, the parking lot at Dixie Road and Lakeshore Road East, the former site of a car dealership, was unavailable for parking as the entrances were sealed off with barricades. It’s my understanding, however, that on Sept. 27, 2014, parking will indeed be available at the former car dealership, which is now in the process of redevelopment.

Entrance to parking at west side of Dixie Road, Sept. 7, 2014. Jaan Pill photo

Entrance to parking lot at former car dealership at Lakeshore Road East, east of Dixie Road. Sept. 7, 2014. Jaan Pill photo


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