In 1940, the Arsenal Lands, located on the eastern border of Mississauga’s waterfront became the site of a large munitions plant. The plant manufactured rifles and small arms for the Canadian Army through the Second World War until 1974.
Small Arms Limited recruited and supported a significant number of women, who made up about two-thirds of the plant’s workforce. This was critical to changing the role of women and recognizing their significance to the workforce in Canada.
In 1992, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) acquired the Arsenal Lands and the Small Arms Inspection Building (SAIB). In 2008, the City of Mississauga intervened as the building was scheduled for demolition and designated the building under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2009. The City of Mississauga acquired the building in 2017 with the intention of repurposing it as an arts and culture hub.
The SAIB collection includes a number of archival items donated by Clifford ‘Bud’ Patchett (b. 1928), employed at Canadian Arsenals Ltd from 1946 until 1976.