Toymaker Time Machine

Time Travel Through Toys: Discovering Glanmore’s Toy Making Experience

By Anissa Nielsen, QAC


Toymaker Time Machine

Located in the historic East Hill neighbourhood of Belleville, the Glanmore National Historic Site is steeped in the rich history of the surrounding community and families who helped to form the region. Finished in 1883, the house-turned-museum hosts regular hours for visitors to come in and immerse themselves in the past, as well as numerous programs throughout the year. One of these programs is the Toymaker Time Machine Experience, which in cooperation with the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board, gives visitors the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the museum and its collections, as well as get some hands-on experience with creating their own keepsake. 

Artifacts are used by museums to tell stories, and to help realize life in the past in the visitor’s mind. Participants of this program have the opportunity to make a replica of a toy in the museum’s collections. 

Play has long been a part of learning, and toys give a glimpse into family life of the past. Dave Cox of Glanmore believes, “The program at its core is about giving people a chance to interact with the museum and our objects in a different way; to help them understand how we connect to objects and the importance we give them.” 

He believes that the universality of toys both globally and generationally helps participants relate to the lives and experiences of those who come before them. Cox also hopes that the replica toys can become family heirlooms of the participants, and be passed along for many generations to come. 

The Toymaker Time Machine Experience is offered a few times per year, with the next dates being in Fall 2023. This program is pre-register only, but small groups may book the program as a private event. Although this program was primarily designed for adults (or adults with an inner child!), it also works well for intergenerational groups, accommodating children ten years of age and older. 

Glanmore National Historic Site helps bring the past to life, not only through this program, but other events as well. Their social media, particularly their TikTok, has gained a lot of interest. To learn more about what Glanmore has to offer, visit their website and social media.

@glanmorenhs (Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook)


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