Since Brubacher House’s opening as a museum in 1979, hosts have witnessed dramatic changes to the surrounding landscape of the University of Waterloo’s North Campus.
”Major changes happened after our years. From 1994-2000, very little changed. The golf course was still in operation and no ‘new’ buildings had been constructed on the north campus. The north-south gravel driveway was fully functional as a second access. In many ways it felt like a rural property.”
Hockey on the pond, winter 2002.
“We also made good use of the new ponds that were dug. They often froze perfectly smooth, which made them great for hockey games and skating in the winter (even while pushing 6-month-old Naomi in the stroller).”
“In the summer of 2005 Columbia Lake was dredged and re-configured to support more growth of plants, and a better habitat for the local wildlife. The round-about at Frank Tompa Drive had just been built a few months prior to our moving in and it was one of the first round-abouts in the Region. A month after we started our time as hosts in 2004, and had returned from our honeymoon, they began breaking ground on the large OpenText building which continued to shake us awake at 6am each morning for the entire summer. The Accelerator Centre was also completed in 2005.”
Updates to Brubacher House
“The changes we implemented: expanded the vegetable garden, began perennial flower gardens around the perimeter of the House, added two external signs, both on large rocks (Brubacher House, and Hour sign). Most people, we felt, did not realize the house was open for people to visit.
“In 1999 we developed several panels that we hung in the basement that gave a brief historic overview of the Brubachers and the wider community they represented. Years later, we’d now likely write that history differently, but we offered it because we found so many visitors did not want a verbal (or certainly not a formal) tour, but would be helped with a self-guided, read what you want, set of panels. It was also our attempt to gather materials we had researched over our time and offer that to hosts who followed.”
“When we first moved in all of the exterior windows were repainted.
“We worked with the Brubacher House committee to create the video tour and purchase the projector and speakers for the summer kitchen. On Canada Day in 2004, prior to opening for tours, we hosted a group of actors dressed in historically accurate costumes to shoot some live action footage for the museum AV presentation.”
“In October 2006, shortly after we moved in, the old wooden windows were replaced with vinyl. The roof was redone with cedar shakes and the eavestrough and back porch were replaced.”
New wooden hooks for the basement event space, 2020.
The University of Waterloo replaced the eavestroughs with historically-appropriate lead-coated copper eavestroughs, after having replaced them already in 2019 (without consultation with the City of Waterloo), 2021.
“We installed new indoor and outdoor information panels, 2021.”