In Situ: Reawakening the Small Arms Building

You’ve probably driven past it before, along the Lakeshore - it’s not exactly hidden, but it’s a gem nonetheless. From the outside, it would be hard to guess that it was constructed as part of a 40-acre munitions plant manufacturing guns and small arms for Canadian troops during WWII. This Small Arms Building is a sleeping giant, and its awakening has begun. 

Having been decommissioned in 1974, the building has been vacant since 2009. Saved from the wrecking ball in 2008, by a group of committed community members, now the Small Arms Society (SAS), it was designated by the City of Mississauga under the Ontario Heritage Act. SAS and the community envision the transformation and reanimation of this wonderful light-filled industrial building with breathtaking spaces into a creative hub for the community in partnership with the City and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

SAS celebrates the restoration of the building with In Situ, a three-day multi-arts event planned for October 27th to 29th and intended to animate the space, build awareness and engage the community in its potential as a creative hub.  Partners will come together to celebrate arts, culture and the environment through performance, installation pieces, mentorship opportunities and more. Imagine the building being transformed by local and emerging artists, live music, live art creation and pop up theatre performances! 

The public and students from local schools will participate in opportunities to learn about the rich history of the site and building through walking tours, art performances and displays.  You can be part of the reimagining process by seeing designs from the Sheridan College Architectural Technology program students who have produced innovative designs for both the site and building. 

Located at 1352 Lakeshore Road East, The Small Arms Building has been part of the significant history of the area. There has been a strong industrial and military presence in Lakeview, playing an important role in Canada’s history from the early 1800’s. The Small Arms Inspection Building is the last remaining building on the site dating from the 1940’s.

The building’s transformation will be an important part of the revitalization of the Lakeview corridor and waterfront. 

For more information on In Situ and the Small Arms Building visit: