Opening our door to show you more

The month of May was Open House month. We held one event which was attended by 300 visitors providing a chance for the world to see the new exhibit. It also provided us with very valuable feedback necessary for our building efforts.

We had media visits from The Hamilton Spectator, TFO, CTV, and CHCH. May was also the start for two COOP students for the summer.


OHML makes front page of The Hamilton Spectator 

Our Home and Miniature Land was prominently featured in a front-page story in The Hamilton Spectator on May 25th. Reporter Natalie Paddon did a great article that included photos and a link to a video that she shot during her visit. This was to recognize the unveiling of the Hamilton exhibit with the steelworks display that has been attracting a lot of attention. The article, photos and video can all be seen at this link:

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Hamilton becomes a City: 1846

Hamilton, the focus of our recent Open House, officially became a city by an Act of Parliament on June 9, 1846. So this year is its 170th birthday. Back then the population was only 6,832 people. At the time the city had three newspapers, two lending libraries, three bookstores, and several schools. The origins of Hamilton go back to United Empire Loyalists who settled in the area after the War of 1812. According to the 2011 Canadian census, the City of Hamilton had 519,949 people, but when you include the overall urban area, that total jumps to 670,000. What about the name? It’s from George Hamilton, a businessman who was born in Queenston Heights. He acquired farm holdings and then proceeded to establish a county courthouse and jail on his property. He was the son of Scottish-born merchant Robert Hamilton, a judge and political figure in Upper Canada.


Employee Profile: Dan Notley

Dan Notley is one of Canada’s top chefs and until recently taught at Liaison College in Hamilton. But he also likes to create models. Known as the Bonsai Chef at Our Home and Miniature Land, he played a major role in the Hamilton exhibit. He helped create the model for the ArcelorMittal Dofasco steelworks by taking models of three blower houses, three blast furnaces, a coking operation and a rolling mill operation – eight models in all – and integrated everything. The whole model measures 20x8 feet.

At OHML he is responsible for large land forms like the escarpment and Hamilton Mountain, and helps with the software that controls the exhibit. He first got connected to David MacLean after he walked into a hobby shop and mentioned his computer-controlled model layouts. Dan has been an artist since he was a child and has over 40 years of experience as a model railroad builder.

Says Dan, who is a Certified Chef de Cuisine, the highest professional culinary recognition and accreditation in Canada: “A lot of the skills are transferable and it’s all about artistry. I use the same skills for plating as I do in building a scene. It’s just like seasoning a roast.”

His favourite hobbies are cooking, model building, water colour painting, and tinkering on his 1995 Camaro. He likes to read anything about the Pennsylvania Railroad, which goes back to 1846, and his no. 1 movie is Hook.


CTV Feature wins BIG

Last year when our Toronto exhibit was complete CTV’s Scott Lightfoot came to do a feature. It was called ‘Canada’s Biggest City in Miniature’ and aired on June 10th. We thought it was great and aren’t the only ones who figured as much. That feature has won an award from RTDNA Canada, which is The Association of Electronic Journalists. Every year this organization announces awards for the best programs, stations and news-gathering organizations in radio, television and digital. Scott’s feature on OHML won the Hugh Haugland Award for Creative Use of Video in the Television category for Central Region. Hugh Haugland was a CTV cameraman who died in a helicopter crash in 2009. CTV also came in to do a feature on the Hamilton exhibit last month. You can see both these features on our site.

Camille Wodka