It’s interesting to discover how some people channel their passions. Some become collectors, and when the time comes, they might donate their collection to a museum, sell it, or leave it to a beneficiary. In most cases the collection disperses and is lost forever. Then there are others who take an entirely different approach. Allan Symons belongs to the latter group. In May 2000, after a career as a research scientist, Allan opened The Canadian Clock Museum in Deep River, Ontario.
The museum is a registered non-profit charitable organization and is funded through admission fees, donations, various grants and with the ongoing support of Allan’s monthly pension cheques. Allan is the founder and curator. He relies on volunteers for the rest. Allan views the museum as his personal retirement project and as his special contribution back to the province of Ontario and to Canada. The result is a generous legacy that showcases the heritage of Canada’s many clockmakers from the early 1800’s to the present time. Many of the items have come from his personal collection, through other donations, and via new acquisitions. It is well worth the visit to Deep River for an insight into the history of our clockmakers and the tools of their trade.
A major gallery collection focus is on clocks made by:
- The Arthur Pequegnat Clock Company (Berlin/Kitchener, ON, ca. 1904-1941)
- Westclox Canada (Peterborough, ON, ca. 1920-mid 1980’s)
- Snider (Toronto, ON, 1950-1957 and 1957-1976)
The initial collection of more than 600 clocks, watches and horological documents has grown to more than 3,000, and also includes a significant collection of watchmaker tools, published articles, and a reference library. Since 2018 the museum has had more than 13,000 visitors and more than 100,000 visitors have viewed the museum’s website since May 2000.
In 2019 the museum acquired a one-of-a-kind tramp art clock made in 1934 by Harry Sykes from Welland, Ontario. Allan wrote an interesting article about it in the March/April 2020 issue of NAWCC (National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors) Watch and Clock Bulletin. Click on the links below to view or download the article:
Ontario Historical Society’s 2018 President’s Award
In 2019 Allan accepted the Ontario Historical Society’s 2018 President’s Award presented to The Canadian Clock Museum for an “outstanding contribution to the preservation and promotion of Ontario’s history”. In addition to writing articles for the Watch & Clock Bulletin, Allan is currently drafting the story about the first 20 years of The Canadian Clock Museum. It’s one man’s passion that keeps giving back to the history and people of Canada.
Museum Contact Information
For hours, location and admission fees please visit The Canadian Clock Museum’s website.
Address: P.O. Box 1684, 60 James Street, Deep River, Ontario K0J 1P0