Big Bands and Baseball: The Good Old Days at the D.I.L. Recreation Centre

    Leisure time was a luxury when you had to work eight-hour shifts on your feet per day. Even weekends would be often spent catching up on some sleep or doing your laundry. On occasion, the Ajax D.I.L. workers had some leisure time and perhaps the energy, and would enjoy a dance or a…

Something fishy used to go on down by the lake…

When you think of Ajax's history you think factory, bombs, warship, wartime homes and fish? During the postwar period, fishing for smelt was one of the most popular pastimes, and there were hundreds of them! Many of those who grew up in Ajax between the 1950s to the 70s remember going to the lake in…

Mapping Historic Ajax

I decided to try out Google My Maps to create a miniature Ajax Timescapes. This consists of notable DIL-era buildings, memorable shops and schools, and buildings and spots which still exist today, and residents remember fondly. A big part of remembering places in Ajax is imagining the community back then through a geographical perspective. Maps…

The Ajax Bomb Girls At Work

The video below is exclusive footage of Defence Industries Limited, provided by YouTube as well as the official Town of Ajax website (www.ajax.ca). The video explains how Ajax ultimately became the ideal spot for DIL to operate, and an overview of the experience of its workers, who were predominately women. As you watch this video,…

Objects and History

Material culture can tell complex stories about a person or community's history. Below is an object that gives a window to the history of Ajax and Defence Industries Limited. A daily routine for Ajax Bomb Girls was filling cordite shells, a task which was often dangerous and laborious. It is crucial to remember the relationship…

Conceptualizing Pierre Nora’s Lieux de Memoire in Ajax

Stretching from Harwood Avenue North to South once was the nucleus of Defence Industries Limited, an Allied munitions factory that was demolished after the Second World War. Today, the Town of Ajax is hoping to designate the area as a National Historic Site. As the site itself, a true remnant of its past disappeared, the…