Located in the home of the 19th Century firebrand editor William Lyon Mackenzie, The Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum is Canada’s largest working printing Museum.
Born in Dundee, Scotland in 1795, he came to Canada in 1820. The Colonial Advocate was a newspaper for which he was the publisher, editor, writer and paper carrier.
The Best Hands-on Museum in Upper Canada
The restored home of rebel publisher William Lyon Mackenzie reveals 500 years of printing technology, amid the authentic ambiance of a period print shop.
Rarest in the museum’s collection is the Louis Roy Press, oldest in Canada and one of the few original wooden presses remaining in the world! A hands-on experience is encouraged with a working linotype and 8 operating heritage presses.
A joint venture was established in 1990 between The Niagara Parks Commission and a volunteer non-profit Printery Committee concerned with the preservation of printing equipment. To learn more about the Printery and upcoming events, visit Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum.
Printing History Comes Alive in Queenston
More than 200 years ago Upper Canada’s first press printed the province’s first newspaper and began the development of the communications industry in Canada.
The Upper Canada Gazette or American Oracle, Canada’s fifth newspaper, was published April 17, 1793 in Newark (Ontario’s original capital, now Niagara-on-the-Lake).
Thirty-one years later, editor and agitator for politcal reform William Lyon Mackenzie published the Colonial Advocate in nearby Queenston on May 18, 1824. For Mackenzie, publishing the paper began a career of public activism for the reformation of the government of Upper Canada which led to the ill-fated Upper Canada Rebellion at York (Toronto) in 1837.
These significant events in Canadian history, among others, are preserved in the Mackenzie Heritage Printery Museum, located in Queenston in the impressive limestone building in which the firebrand editor sowed the seeds of responsible government.
In 1936, The Niagara Parks Commission undertook the restoration of the Mackenzie House from ruin. The rebuilt home was was officially opened on June 18, 1938 by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, Mackenzie’s great grandson.
The original plan for the home was to house a printing museum. Unfortunately, those plans were put off and such heritage preservation and perpetuation did not take place until 1991.
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