Jean-Louis Brenninkmeijer was awe-inspired when he visited Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg. The model railway exhibition brought him back to his childhood, when he used to build models of his own. He wanted to do something similar in Canada (which he’s called home since 1999), so in 2011 he quit his job and got to work.
He assembled a team of craftspeople and, in 2014, began construction on “Our Home and Miniature Land.” Since then, he’s contributed $4 million of his own money to fund the project, and his team has put in more than 60,000 hours of work building it. So far, they’ve completed Toronto and Hamilton; Ottawa is their next big project, with Parliament Hill as the grand centre piece. The team will spend close to a year building Canada's capital before moving on to the next locale.
Brenninkmeijer intends to open “Our Home and Miniature Land” to the public in 2019 and is currently shopping around for an exhibition space. He hopes it will become Canada's next big tourist attraction — and that it will inspire in visitors the same awe Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg did in him.
May we have a moment of your time?
Our public funding only covers some of the cost of producing high-quality, balanced content. We depend on the generosity of people who believe we all should have access to accurate, fair journalism. Caring people just like you!
Get Current Affairs & Documentaries email updates in your inbox every morning.