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Ontario's Royal Canadian Regiment Museum preserves and shares the history of the first infantry regiment established in Canada within the permanent force. The regimental history can be traced back to the War of 1812 and it overlaps with some of the most significant episodes of post-confederation Canadian history. The museum is housed in Wolseley Barracks, which was originally called the Infantry School Building when it opened in 1888. The first unit to occupy the building was ‘D’ Company of the Infantry School Corps. They were the fourth company established after the creation of the Infantry School Corps in 1883. The Infantry School Corps would later become The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) after several name changes.


  • Fox Hunt at The Infantry School Building c. 1890
  • Infantry School Building
  • The Infantry School Building, c.1890
  • Wolseley Barracks, Officers Quarters
  • Map showing how to access the site
  • Wolseley Barracks, West Wing

The museum is located at Wolseley Barracks in London, ON. Owned by the Department of National Defence, the barracks is currently used by 31 Canadian Brigade Group, of which 4th Battalion, The RCR is a part. 31 Canadian Brigade Group is an army reserve brigade whose area of responsibility spans from Hamilton to Windsor and north to Owen Sound and Barrie. The museum occupies the western wing of ‘A’ Block, Wolseley Barracks, which is a large ‘U’ shaped structure. Built from 1886-1888, it is one of the oldest military buildings in Canada that was specifically built by the Canadian government and not a repurposed British or French facility. The building was designed by the Engineering Branch of the Department of Militia and Defense. Henry James was the Chief Architect of the Militia Department who signed off on the design of the building.  The building has seen a continuous military presence since the day it opened in 1888.  

The 1886 floor plans for ‘A’ Block show a space designated to become a ‘museum room,’ but it is not currently known if this space was used as prescribed, or, if it was, how it functioned. The idea of collecting and preserving the history of The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) in a regimental museum does not appear to pick up steam until the 1930s following publication of the regiment’s first official history in 1933. Despite this interest, the process of developing a regimental museum came to a halt with the outbreak of the Second World War. The museum gained permanent space in Wolseley Barracks following the Second World War and Korean War, but it was not until the 1970s that the modern RCR Museum really began to take shape. It became an accredited Canadian Forces Museum in 1973. For the centennial of The RCR in 1983, significant renovations and expansions were undertaken and commemorated with a grand opening where His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel-In-Chief of the Regiment, cut the ribbon.  

Additional space had become available for the museum in 2009 when the regimental headquarters was relocated from London to Petawawa. A major renovation project was conducted between 2009 and 2013. The highlight of the renovation was the transformation of the former archway entrance to the parade square into the museum’s foyer and reception area. Since its re-opening in 2013, The RCR Museum has been committed not just to providing a home for the regimental collection, but also to fostering a deeper understanding of the regimental experience within the broader context of Canadian military history among all visitors.  

The museum holds a variety of objects, photographs, and archives related to The Royal Canadian Regiment, and its perpetuated units, whose histories span from 1812 to the present day. It covers the activities of the regiment in times of peace and conflict, including both domestic and overseas operations. 

 

Please check out the website for opening hours and other details. The site is accessed off of Oxford Street at Elliott Street. 

Fetherstonaugh, R. C.. The Royal Canadian Regiment 1883-1933. Volume 1. Fredericton, New Brunswick. Centennial Print and Litho Ltd., 1981.

History, The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum. Accessed May 7th 2020. http://www.thercrmuseum.ca/en-ca/History.

Our Colonel-In-Chief, The Royal Canadian Regiment . Accessed May 8th 2020. http://thercr.ca/about/our-colonel-in-chief.

Parks Canada. Wolseley Barracks, A Block, Directory of Federal Heritage Designations. Accessed May 7th 2020. https://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/dfhd/page_fhbro_eng.aspx?id=3693.

Stanciu, Georgiana. The ‘Museum Room’ at the Infantry School Corps building in London, Ontario. The story behind the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum. ICOMAM Magazine. December 31st 2018. 39 - 44.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

The RCRM Collection

The RCRM Collection

The RCRM Collection

The RCRM Collection

The RCR Museum Photograph

The RCR Museum Photograph