Sometimes, history can happen in the same place more than once – the Official Opening of the Small Arms Inspection Building is proof of that.
During World War II (WW II) the arsenal lands in Lakeview, which is where the Small Arms Inspection Building is located, became the site of a large munitions manufacturing plant for the Canadian Army. Small Arms Limited was known for their support of recruiting women into their workforce. Two thirds of those employed at this site were women who were given the opportunity to demonstrate their ability in a field that had traditionally been considered ‘men’s work’. This new role was instrumental in bringing forward significant change to Canada’s workforce.
The future for the Small Arms Inspection Building is as impressive as its past. Once the doors open later this month and programming officially begins this fall, the site will be transformed into the only cultural hub of its kind in Mississauga, presenting a wide range of arts and cultural programs. The venue will focus on providing an open and responsive programming model that fosters collaboration and community-building.
Official Opening Ceremony – Details
• Mayor Bonnie Crombie
• Councillor David Cook, Ward 1 – Event MC
• Chris Fonseca, Councillor, Ward 3, speaking on behalf of the TRCA
• Pat Saito, Councillor, Ward 9 and Acting Regional Chair
• Sven Spengemann, MP, Mississauga-Lakeshore
• Paul Damaso, Director, Culture Division, City of Mississauga
• Diane LaPointe-Kay, President and Chair, the Small Arms Society
• Kris Noakes, President, Peel Aboriginal Network
• Former workers from the Small Arms Inspection Building during WW II will also be in attendance
Small Arms Inspection Building
1352 Lakeshore Rd. E.
Saturday, June 23
1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – Official Ceremony
2:30 p.m. – Preview of programming space
This is a free event; however, attendees are asked to RSVP here.
The Small Arms Inspection building is located on the 15.7-hectare parcel of land on the eastern border of the Mississauga waterfront. This land sits on what was the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the traditional homeland of the Wendat, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee nations.
Small Arms Inspection Building – Timeline
1930 – The Small Arms Limited Building was designed by Allward and Gouinlock Architects
1935 – The Department of Defence purchased the Arsenals Lands and Small Arms Limited
1940 – The site became a large munitions plant manufacturing rifles and small arms for the Canadian Army through the Second World War until 1974
1992 – The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) acquired the Arsenal Lands and the Small Arms Inspection Building
2008 – The City of Mississauga intervened as the Small Arms Inspection Building was scheduled for demolition
2009 – The City of Mississauga designated the building under the Ontario Heritage Act
2017 – The City of Mississauga acquired the Small Arms Inspection Building
2018 – The Small Arms Inspection Building officially opens as one of the City’s cultural sites.