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 show 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.

Serving Style is a project partnership with Myseum of Toronto, Peppertree Klassics, the University of Toronto Faculty of Information and Markham Museum. The exhibit explores the story of Clementina Wilson and Karen Piper and their role as successful Main Street Markham female business owners.

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.

The exhibit celebrates such women and explores the evolution of retail, service and style through the last 150 years. It will be on display from Nov. 1 to Dec. 2. The exhibition opening reception is scheduled on Nov. 10 from 2-4 p.m.

The Museum hours are from 12-5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Rachel Moats is the guest curator. Visit for more information.

Image: The Serving Style exhibit will be showcased Nov. 1 to Dec. 2 at the Markham Museum in the Wilson Variety Hall.


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