Serving Style: Women in Business on Main St.

Serving Style is one of six exhibits that make up Myseum of Toronto’s Discounted Histories, an exhibition that takes a deeper look at the movement of goods, services and ideas that have formed Toronto’s retail landscape, bringing to light overlooked, unseen and forgotten histories.

The exhibit explores the story of Clementina Wilson and Karen Piper and their role as successful female business owners on Main Street Markham.

Wilson was a successful 19th-century businesswoman whose dressmaking and millinery shop was a staple of the retail landscape of Markham Village Main St. Her shop was shared with her husband, Henry, who ran a variety store. However, it was well known that it was her who kept Wilson Variety Hall thriving and successful.

Similar to Wilson, Piper continues the trend of successful female entrepreneurs on Markham Main St. Her long-running store, Peppertree Klassics, maintains a legacy of women in business. This exhibit celebrates such women and explores the evolution of retail, service and style over the last 150 years.

Serving Style is a project partnership with Myseum of Toronto, Peppertree Klassics, the University of Toronto Faculty of Information, and Markham Museum.

The exhibit will be on display from November 1 to December 8 from 12pm to 5pm Tuesday to Friday and from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Rachel Moats is the guest curator. The exhibition opening reception takes place Nov. 10 from 2 to 4pm.

Visit for more information.

Image: The Serving Style exhibit will be on showcase Nov. 1 to Dec. 8 at the Markham Museum in the Wilson Variety Hall.


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