Leaving Home, Finding Home in Oshawa:
Displaced Persons and Stories of Immigration
Opening Fall 2021
The aftermath of World War II saw a world faced with mass movement of human beings on a scale never before seen. Initially the idea was to “repatriate” people back to the countries from where they had been displaced, and there were over 1.1 million people left who were determined "non repatriable." The job of finding homes for these individuals was handed over to the newly created International Refugee Organization (IRO).
In 1947 the Canadian government agreed to open the borders for 5000 displaced persons to come to Canada and begin life anew.
Since 2016, the Oshawa Museum has been undertaking a very important oral history project. The focus of this project was to collect the memories of those who arrived in Oshawa as displaced persons and post-war immigrants, many hundreds of whom resettled in Oshawa due to economic and social factors, positively contributed to the city as both an industrial hub and as the proud beneficiary of a rich cultural landscape.
The information collected is becoming a part of the archival record and will be the basis of the Oshawa Museum’s spring 2021 exhibition, Leaving Home and Finding Home in Oshawa: Displaced Persons and Stories of Immigration. The exhibition was planned for 2020 but was postponed due to the Pandemic.
From Ship to Shore: Looking at Oshawa's Relationship with Lake Ontario
Due to COVID-19, all in person Feature Events at the Oshawa Museum are on hold indefinitely. In lieu of in person events, we are holding many favourite events, like Sunday FUNday, Speaker Series, and Tea & Talks virtually!
Plan Your Visit
Programming at the OM
Leaving Home, Finding Home in Oshawa Education Program
Travel on a journey through the Oshawa Museum's latest exhibit that connects oral histories, artefacts, and primary and secondary sources: Leaving Home, Finding Home in Oshawa. Students will experience what it was like to be Displaced Persons in Oshawa.
Using the stories from those who contributed to the exhibit, students will research their lives, learn to empathize with the unfamiliar experiences of Displaced Persons and contemplate their own family’s arrival in Canada.
This program is free and offered as a virtual program, facilitated by Museum staff. While directly linked to the grade six social studies Ontario curriculum, it can be tailored to other grades discussing aspects of traditions and immigration. Teachers will need to schedule 60 - 90 minutes for this program to be facilitated effectively.