Ottawa and area Museums, Ottawa
We were told that this museum was free on Thursday nights between 5 and 9pm, however, I got there at 8pm on a Thursday night, and they were closing! Apparently they had just changed their hours the week before.
So while I couldn't really get into the museum, one of the staff and museum leaders, Tamara, asked if we wanted to see a plane in particular, because she could just quickly let us see it.
We decided on a Lancaster, as my grandfather flew one in WWII. Tamara was kind enough to show us around the entire museum, telling us a bit about a few key planes. Even though we weren't supposed to be there, she gave us a 20 minute tour!
Essentially, the National Aviation Museum is a gigantic museum with dozens of historical aircrafts from all around the world. On their website they say that "the Canada Aviation Museum is recognized as having the most extensive aviation collection in Canada and one which ranks among the best in the world."
I totally believe it! They had planes from all kinds of countries, from the earliest airplanes, to the experimental crafts of the NASA period, to war planes of WWI and II, to sea planes and cargo planes used in extreme northern regions, to the first examples of commercial passenger jets. It was absolutely amazing to see all these planes under one roof. It was mind boggling!
If you're into aircrafts, technology, science or history at all, I would definitely say this museum is a must see. I'm not a HUGE fan of airplanes, but i found this museum fascinating. There was always a story behind each plane, and it was quite amazing to have the real thing infront of your eyes.
The Canadian Museum of Civilization is a museum for all people - a museum that celebrates the diversity of humankind and wonders at the achievements of cultures, past and present.
Don't miss to make your way out of the main building toward the waterfront. You will have a full view of the Parliament Building sit atop of the Parliament Hill just right accross the Ottawa River.
Did you know that Ottawa Region has the highest concentration of museums of any region in Canada?
You must see the museum of Civilization in Hull which is almost right across the river at the parliament hill. I will not put a picture here because you will see that on my Hull page. Don't forget the Art Gallery, The huge spider you see on this image is right in front of the Art Gallery and it's over nine meters tall. The Museum of Nature and the Museum of Science and Technology. Canadian War Museum just opened in 2005 and it's also very popular. I highly recommend to visit the Canadian museum of science and technology. Especially if you go with children. They offer activities for the kids and let them participate in different science projects like building bridges, face painting or just painting Easter eggs on Easter. The CN Galley is also located in this museum. In there you will see old trains and railway related machines. Very interesting place. You can't miss it. There is a light tower right at front. This is a working 24/7 tower. Just like the ones you would see at sea coasts.
This past weekend VT member Regina1965 and some friends of hers and I made the time to explore here.
This museum has recently opened again since undergoing renovations for the last few years...started in 2004 and completed finally in 2010 and I have to say...someone or more than one person has dropped the ball on this one..I was NOT impressed with the "new" look at all, gone is the grand old totem that stood at the center of the arrival foyer for eons, instead you enter at the same point in the building and into a foyer that's large and really spacious,however the foyer is empty of anything that incites interest to want to go further.Its painted a sickly "institution" yellow and that was my first impression.
We made our way throughout the four floors of exhibits and in fact I have to say that SOME of the exhibits were pretty cool...there is a smallish gallery(The Fossil Gallery) containing a number of fossils collected mostly from Alberta and Saskatchewan areas of Canada including a complete fossilized skeleton of a Daspletosaurus torosus,which was more than impressive.You can also see here the fossil remains of a Archelon ischyros was the largest turtle that ever lived.
Throughout the remaining floors you can spend time checking out a Water Gallery,a Earth Gallery where there is quite an extensive collection of rocks,gems, and minerals,some that were just "out of this World" looking..There's a gallery relating to mammals and another for birds.
There's "learning centers" for kids and they seemed to be having the most fun here the day I visited,so maybe its just more geared for a "child's" experience.
In fact the presentation of the collection if the galleries is really not bad, I don't think though its been remodeled to the same standard as the more prominent museum found in Ottawa,The Museum of Civilization.I dunno..just my opinion..Ill make another visit down the road and if my impressions change Ill let you know..
There is a cinema found here and various movies are available to view.Presently you can watch two short films,one called"The Great Salmon Run" and the other "Sea Otter: A Laid-Back Life"
What I found the most interesting is the history of the structure itself, construction started on this building in 1905..and was often referred to as "The Castle". Influenced by "Romanesque and medieval styles of Europe, with a combination of Tudor and Gothic features"the architect David Ewart traveled in Europe in 1901 seeking ideas for his design.
The structure and exterior of the building were completed in 1910 while work continued in the interior preparing the cabinet-displays of minerals, fossils and birds. The "castle" opened its doors to the public in 1912.
Originally it was built with a tower that had to be removed within a decade of the museums opening..the weight of the tower was not able to be sustained by the soil type surrounding the building.its composition being mostly a clay loam...This is in fact the second renovation in a few decades,the first about twenty years ago was intended to shore up the foundation,again,a consequence of the soil type.
The "new" renovation has replaced the tower with a "lantern", an interesting glass structure,four stories high that in fact resembles a "transparent box" and is quite elaborate.See the first photo.
There are some "stories" of the building being occupied by "Spirits' and the occasional sighting is reported.
The museum has once even served as the temporary location of The Canadian Parliament and the Senate which was temporarily located here after the Center Block of the Parliament buildings burned in 1916.
All in all...the museum is likely worth a look and you can decide for yourself,certainly if you're here in Ottawa and it might be a rainy day,its likely a good place to entertain your kids for a few hours also but I'm not sure that I would purposely make it onto my agenda if my time was limited here in Ottawa.
Cost of admission is $10.00 for adults, $ 8.00 for students and seniors, $ 6.00 for children or a family rate of $ 25.00 or FREE on Thursdays from 1700- 2000.
Access on Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Saturday, and Sunday from 0900- 1800 or Thursday and Fridays from 0900-2000.
Canada Science and Technology Museum is located outside downtown Ottawa and too far to walk to from there.
It has a big park in front with a lighthouse, radar antenna and big rocket. The park makes it an ideal field trip for elementary school students and many inside topics are "please touch" ones.
Main subjexts on exhibition are:
-Odussey of Light
-Autopsy of a murder Canada in Space
-Crazy Kitchen Science Zone with demo's
Tu-Su: 9AM - 5PM
Daily: 9AM - 5PM
Admission: CAD 6,00 for adults.
There is plenty of info here about this museum (and also on my Hull page) and so I'll just give a few details.
This definitely is worth a visit and is located over the river in Hull (Gatineau), adjacent to the Alexandra Bridge. It's about a 15 minute walk from Downtown and is on the OC Transpo bus route 8.
Generally the museum is open from 9am to 6pm, 7 days a week, in the summer and 9-5, 6 days (closed Mondays), in the winter with Thursdays being late evening opening (until 8 pm in the winter and 9 pm in the summer). Variations of opening times are on the website.
Normal admission price for adults is $12 and $8 for children (family ticket 2+3 @ $30) but on the late opening Thursday general entry is free from 4 pm. This is a pretty big and fascinating place and to really do justice to the exhibitions I personally would recommend more than one visit (or allow the best part of a day).
The museum has a couple of cafeteria areas and a slightly more formal lunch restaurant (Cafe du Musee) as well as the expected gift/souvenir boutiques.
The fascinating Canadian Museum of Civilization offers a comprehensive look at the multi-textured stories that have contributed to the making of multi-cultural Canada. Using the best and latest in contemporary museum practices, the Museum gives visitors the opportunity to learn more about the broad range of societies and individuals shaping the Canadian past and present. The structure that houses the Museum - designed by Native/Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal - incorporates broad sweeping curves throughout its design that complements its site on the banks of the Ottawa River. It's worth coming here just to see the building!
Happily, there are many exhibits and displays that relate the experience of the First Nations peoples. Another section of the museum presents life stories (and artefacts) of more than a score of dynamic individuals. Another innovation is the use of professionally trained actor/interpreters who help guide visitors through a rich tableau of "period rooms" and re-created sites.
Also on this site is the Canadian Children's Museum and the Canadian Postal Museum, as well as an IMAX theatre.
This museum is located within the Canadian Museum Of Civilization and although we did not visit this section it looked very popular with children. If the standard is similar to the main exhibits I believe it would be a great place for children. Also on site is an Imax Theatre.
This is a modern museum that contains excellent exhibits relating to the civilization of Canada including the life of the First Nation Indians.
Give yourself plenty of time to view this exhibit and an additional plus is the wonderful location which provides views of the Ottawa River, various bridges and across the river to Parliament Hill.
I guess I'm cheating a little bit because this museum is actually located across the river in Gatineau, QC but it's all part of the National Capital Region. Although its history goes back to 1856, the museum as we know it today opened in 1989. The design of the building itself is rather spectacular, as there are no sharp angles - only curves. The museum's four main halls host permanent exhibitions that relate the history of Canada, from the country's First Nations to its most prominent citizens. If you only have time to visit one hall I would suggest going straight to Canada Hall (third floor) - to me it was by far the most interesting section of the museum.
The building also houses the Canadian Children's Museum, the Canadian Postal Museum and an IMAX Dome theatre. Special exhibitions, usually featuring civilizations from other countries, are also presented. Tickets for the museum cost $10 for adults (add $5 for an IMAX movie, $7 for two IMAX movies, and $5 for special exhibitions). On Thursday nights, regular entrance is free.
This was a really neat museum - my husband enjoyed it a lot more, because he is more interested in this type of thing. The aircraft were neat. I couldn't stay and watch the memorial to the soldiers who have died in Afghanistan (of which a few have ties to my hometown of Truro, NS) because after about a minute I was close to tears. There was a lot of really interesting stuff - we walked there in about 15-25 minutes from Parliament Hill, bought a combo ticket with the Civilization Museum. Very eye-opening and informative. I found the World War sections the most interesting (and in a section on the Cold War, they had a TV playing some modern rock videos pertaining to the Cold War, including my favourite, U2!). Need a good 2-3 hours here.
This was only a few blocks from our B and b, so it was the first place we hit. My husband is into fossils and that kind of stuff (and so am I...). Building was under reno outside. Great place for kids! We thought admission was free (the website we checked out said by donation), but I believe it was $5 for adults. Dinos, wildlife, birds...it was a nice way to kill a few hours!
The wedding had its grand finale in a very interesting location - inside and scattered among the airplanes of the National Aviation Museum!! As it turns out, the father of the groom is a Chief Warrant Officer in the Canadian Air Force and the father of the bride formerly held a senior position at the National Aviation Museum. As a result, once the relatively brief wedding ceremony was concluded and the MacDougall tartan had been bestowed, we all continued out of Ottawa for a short distance until we reached the Museum, located beside a small local airport.
The museum was open only to invited guests of the wedding and the various tables, bar area and dance floor had been previously arranged amongst the aircraft on display. The museum does have quite an array of airplanes (about 115 of them), with all but one actually capable of flying if pressed (the exception being the replica of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell's biplane, the Silver Dart which performed the first flight in Canada in 1909 as it took off from the frozen Bras d'Or Lake in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia). The National Aviation Museum has many plaques, movies and interactive displays scattered throughout, describing the history of aviation in Canada. I really enjoyed wandering amongst the exhibits before things got seriously underway, looking at old bushplanes, WW2 fighters and bombers, early jets, freighters and passenger aircraft. I had Sue take a photo of me with a Royal Canadian Navy carrier-borne Hawker Sea Fury. Developed just before jet fighters were introduced, and with a top speed of 460 mph (740 km/h), this was the fastest single engine propeller-driven fighter to ever enter production. Just to the right, with its wings also folded back, is a British-build Swordfish torpedo bomber - the type that disabled the German battleship 'Bismarck' enough that it could be caught and sunk. I was a bit naughty with my final photo too, concentrating on the jet fighters behind the head table instead of doing proper wedding photography!
This museum located at the Rockcliff airfield houses a great number of planes.
I was surprises to see rather new jet fighters on display too, like the Starfighter, Harrier and F18.
The museum is planning to build new exhibition buildings to display what now still is on storage.
The bigger planes of the collection are showed outside.
Summer openings: Whole week 9AM - 5PM
Admission: CAD 6,00 for adults.
Museum exhibiting a broad range of scientific and technological themes. Exhibits include: Canada in Space, Steam Locomotives, Canoes, Odyssey of Light, MegaScience (physics), Nortel Connexions (telecommunications), Innovation Canada (including Canadian Science & Engineering Hall of Fame), and Autopsy of a Murder (fun join-in investigation to discover who did it). There are also demos, temporary displays, a Science Zone for kids, and a simulator ride. The museum has its interesting aspects, but I felt it was most suitable for kids (good family trip). Don't go on the simulator ride unless you're bringing yor kids, trust me!