Canada contains 7% of the world’s renewable fresh water. Like many Canadians, we Londoners have some of this fresh water on our doorstep. It was and is a fundamental part of our lives. Many of us consider it to be one of Canada’s most precious resources and a key component of our national identity.

A Ripple Effect examines the larger story of Canadians’ relationship with fresh water by focusing on the Thames, Speed, and Eramosa rivers. Organized under the themes of work and play, the exhibition will explore the ways in which we have used fresh water for domestic and industrial pursuits. It will consider the sometimes negative consequences of that use as well as how we have attempted to address them. A Ripple Effect will also highlight the wide variety of ways we have enjoyed water for recreational purposes. From boating and swimming to skating and curling to picnicking and nature study, we are drawn to fresh water to refresh both body and spirit.

The exhibition will include a wide range of artifacts and images including a hand-operated water pump, mussel shells used in the button-making industry, paintings of early industrial sites such as saw and grist mills, swimsuits, skates, and curling equipment. Highly interactive, the exhibition will feature a variety of activities geared to families with young children as well as to older children and adults.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Museums Assistance Program.