About Us

Get to Know Us and Our Museum

1972

The idea of a museum came about after the Centennial Celebration of Aylmer in June 1972. A building that housed a former furniture business on East St. Aylmer, was purchased for $1000 and then donated to the Town of Aylmer for the purpose of a museum. Grants were under the direction of Wilfred "Ducky" Smith, a member of the museum volunteer board. The building was renovated using recycled products from other heritage sites under renovation or demolition. It took allmost 3 years to complete the renovations and to set up the business of a museum.

1977

On December 17, 1977, The Aylmer & District Museum Association officially opened its doors.

1999

In 1999, the museum separated from the Town of Aylmer to become a stand alone museum.

2011

In 2011, the museum Board of Directors voted to change the name of the Aylmer & District Museum Association to the Aylmer-Malahide Museum & Archives to better reflect the changing nature and mandate of our community museum.

Today

Today, we continue to preserve local artifacts and histories so they may continue to be enjoyed by future generations.

Amanda VandenWyngaert

Curator

Amanda worked for the museum first as a co-op student then returning on several summer student grants while in university. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology and a Post Graduate Certificate in Museum Management and Curatorship. In 2014 she joined the museum as the full-time curator when the previous curator retired. Contact Amanda at curator@aylmermuseum.ca.

Kathi Vandermeer

Office Manager

Kathi works behind the scenes keeping the books and the business of the museum going. Hired in 2011, she not only pays the bills, but she manages all the grants, fundraising, membership, and donations required to keep the museum open. Contact Kathi at officemanager@aylmermuseum.ca.

Sarah Bentley

Digital Archivist/Collections Manager

Sarah joined the museum as a summer student, assisting in cataloguing the collection and designing exhibits through the summers of 2019 and 2020. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies, with a background in archaeological excavation and collections management in Ontario, England, and Greece. Sarah was hired on a generous donation from the estate of Donna Bushell to digitize the archives and will stay on staff as Collections Manager. For archival inquiries, contact Sarah at archives@aylmermuseum.ca. For inquiries regarding donations or the museum's collections, contact Sarah at collections@aylmermuseum.ca.

Ivana Csinos

Collection Indexer

Ivana Csinos is a resident of Aylmer and is currently studying Commerce at Queen’s University as a second-year student. She has experience organizing and analyzing data files and has interests in preserving Aylmer’s heritage. Ivana’s goal this summer is to digitize the Museum's General Artifact Collection, which has included artifacts such as lemon squeezers, automobile perfume lamps, and match safes!

Paul Hickling

Collection Indexer

Paul Hickling (right) is a resident of London and is currently studying Library and Information Science at Western University. As a Collection Indexer, he will continue to digitize the museum’s vast collections. Additionally, he will be assisting with archival arrangement and description as the museum looks for new ways to make its records more accessible for the community.

Get to know our museum


The Aylmer & District Museum opened its doors in 1977 as a museum and archival site to store the history and artifacts of the Town of Aylmer and the surrounding area. In 1999, after separating from the Town to become a stand-alone museum, the name changed to Aylmer & District Museum Association. In 2011, the museum once again changed its name to The Aylmer-Malahide Museum & Archives to better reflect the changing nature and mandate of the museum. To this day, we continue to collect the histories of the people, businesses, industry and heritage of Aylmer and Malahide. We are proud of our collection of over 35,000 artifacts, and are working hard to get all artifacts listed in a database that will be available to the public through the Elgin County Archives online portal. Search our collection by clicking below.

Bricks

During WWII, cement was scarce, so bricks were salvaged from a house in Houghton county and used to construct this building at 14 East Street, Aylmer. When the museum board began renovations, the original bricks were kept at the back and sides of the building. The windows were cemented over to protect any museum artifacts on display from harmful UV light.

Bricks were recovered from the Brown House (now IDA Pharmacy) to create the brick facade on the front of the museum.

Portico

Museum volunteers became expert scavengers. When it was heard that the owners of the Cullen house were going to tear down their portico, the museum board immediately offered to help in exchange for keeping the portico to use at the museum.

Iron Bars

For security, iron bars were added to the exterior windows of the museum. These bars were originally used at the St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital shown on the left.

Iron Grillwork

The decorative iron grill work was salvaged from the Swiss Cottage in Aylmer, when the owners renovated the exterior. Some of the grillwork also graces the front of the Old Town Hall.

Double Doors

Even the interior details came from other buildings. The double doors leading to the gallery came from the offices of Doctors Homer McLay and McLay Miller.

Staircase

The walnut staircase came from the Yorke McConnel estate on Pine St.

Donations are always happily accepted


All financial donations of $20 or more are eligible to receive a charity tax receipt for the full amount.

Benefits of Membership

  • Free admission to museum exhibits
  • Access to Museum Archives (by appointment)
  • 5 Newsletters per year
  • Help to support the museum and your local heritage
There are several different membership levels available.

Become a member

Benefits of Sponsorship

  • Free admission to museum exhibits
  • Access to Museum Archives (by appointment)
  • 5 Newsletters per year
  • Help to support the museum and your local heritage
There are several different sponsorship levels available.

Become a sponsor

All items must be brought to the museum during regular business hours, and donors must fill and sign a temporary receipt and gift form. Items to be considered for donation will be brought before the monthly acquisition committee for acceptance. A charity tax receipt will be issued for the current market value of the item once acceptance has been approved. For the safety of the artifact(s) in question, please do not leave artifacts at our door.
Donation does not guarantee exhibit display. A majority of our collection is in storage, where artifacts can be safely preserved.
For inquiries regarding donations, contact Collections Manager Sarah Bentley at collections@aylmermuseum.ca.  

Donate