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Automotive museum gets a lift

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Oshawa's Canadian Automotive Museum has received support towards some important upgrades.

The museum has received a $49,000 capital grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).

The funds are being used to help with the costs of a new roof, which is almost completed and making safety improvements to the museum's freight elevator, which is used to move cars between floors.

According to museum officials, the elevator dates back to the 1920s, when the building was a car dealership.

"When the museum opened, no one could have imagined the scale of the collection we would hold 57 years later," said museum executive director Alexander Gates. "The goal is to make the museum into a world-class institution and improvements to the roof and elevator will allow us to better preserve this world-class collection."

Oshawa MPP Jennifer French said the museum is a "special space" in the city.

"We're so happy to see so much traffic - pardon the pun - coming through here," she said, adding she is grateful any time an OTF grant is allocated in Oshawa.

Joan Young, a member of the OTF grant review team for Durham, Haliburton, Kawartha and Pine Ridge, said the museum is a more than worthy cause.

"It represents the history of the automotive industry, and all those who helped to form that history," Young said.

Gates noted the museum is working with numerous partners in developing a new exhibit on the history of the recently-closed General Motors assembly plant in Oshawa. The exhibit is scheduled to open in March.

According to Gates, the exhibit will show "how Oshawa developed into the automotive town and a city that built more than 20 million cars. It's a number you can't really fathom."

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express