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Volunteer Position: Research Assistant

Photo collage on two pages in open book. Words "opening day" can be read.

​The Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre has multiple opportunities for volunteers to assist in building the collection and knowledge of our local histories. Research is largely project based, and will contribute to informing exhibits, collections, and the general knowledge of key areas of interest for the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre. Volunteers may also come forward with a proposal for research pertaining to the key pillars of the Interpretive Centre and elements of local history, to be discussed with the Curator.

The position may call for occasional off-site research (archives, etc.), remote work, and working with collections at the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre.

Ongoing Research Projects

The Cemetery Exhibition:

The 2022-2023 project will focus on the history of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital that operated from 1890-1979 in the Cottage buildings of Lakeshore Campus East, specifically the cemetery associated with the Hospital. The goals of this project are to reduce stigma, and build an empathetic, human-focused perspective on mental health history in Ontario, and share the advocacy efforts of the local community in ensuring the site's preservation. Research will include primary and secondary archival research, and will inform the 2023 exhibition.

Volunteer team will be credited as researchers in the exhibition and invited as guests to the launch event. There is opportunity for volunteers to assist in the writing and design of the exhibition.

Future Opportunities:

  • Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital Newspaper Project (off-site research possible)

  • Lakeshore Grounds Heritage Reports and Grounds Development Project 

  • Mimico Asylum Patient Database (requires off-site research)


Volunteers assisting in research projects can discuss commitments based on interest and availability. Time commitments can be discussed with the Curator, and to an extent can be built around the volunteer’s schedule and tailored to their interests and career goals.

Students wishing you receive Co-Curricular Record (CCR) credit must complete one semester (avg 20 hours, or 2 hours per week) to be eligible for the CCR Certificate on your Transcript.

Required Skills

  • An interest and enthusiasm for local history, culture, and storytelling
  • Excellent communication and writing skills

  • Reliable and organized

  • Research experience or previous gallery/museum experience an asset

  • Respect, patience, and courtesy with all visitors, staff, and fellow volunteers


Volunteers will receive training on the Interpretive Centre, and its activities, as well as project and related information. Each volunteer will receive a digital welcome package that includes information, policies, and contact information prior to their training. One on one support from the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre staff is always available.


Email a Cover Letter and CV to Nadine Finlay, Curator at

Cover Letter should include:

  • Whether you have visited the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre before

  • Why you want to volunteer with the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre

  • Highlight your experience or opportunities you have had related to the position description


Please include attachments as PDF or Word files

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