Ottawa and area Museums, Ottawa
There are many already existing tips on this Museum, so I will just add that it is really worth visiting.
Although it is not Ottawa, it is in Gatineau, Quebec, on the banks of the Ottawa River, directly opposite Parliament Hill.
The Native American exhibit is very intresting and there's a large collection of totem poles. Very impressive!
It is huge, so expect to stay there for a while if you want to see most of it (You will have to go more than once to see it all).
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!
I am a Nature museum nut, so where ever I go I look for a nature museum. And I was not disappointed when visiting The Canadian Museum of Nature.
It recently reopened on the 22nd of May 2010, after 5 years of renovation, so I was in luck. I went there with a group of friends including one VT-friend Greggor58 and we met another VT-friend there by chance Coollikethat.
The building itself, The Victoria Memorial Museum building, is striking and looks like a Gothic style castle. The building is one of Canada's most significant federal heritage buildings. It even housed the Senate for 4 years after a fire in the Parliament. The Museum of Nature received the 2011 International Architecture Awards.
The museum is on 4 floors and expect to stay there for hours. On the first floor there are dinosaurs and the dinosaur garden (see my photo). On the second floor there is the mammal gallery and blue water gallery. There are polar bears and a sceleton of a blue whale - you know, the largest animal on this planet - it is awesome.
On the 3rd floor is my absolute favourite, The Vale earth gallery, with a collection of 800 minerals - and yes, I have added a travelogue with more photos of the minerals, they just mesmerise me :) On this floor is also a frog exhibition and photo exhibition with awesome photographes. I have added another travelogue with more photos of the museum. Did I mention that I loved my visit there ;)
On the 4th floor is the bird gallery and galleries which are available for rental and while we were visiting there was a wedding reception at the museum :)
Entrance fee is CAD 10. Remember to reserve a ticket to the Aquashow when you buy the ticket - it is very well done.
Free entrance on Thursdays from 17-20.
The museum is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 9-20 and other days of the week from 9-18.
The Canadian Museum of Civilization is the largest and the most popular museum in Canada. Highlights include 43 authentic totem poles and life-size reconstruction of a native village, presenting Canadian history in an interesting way.
There is also an IMAX theatre, the Canadian Children's Museum and the Canadian Postal Museum.
Canada and the World Pavillion is a free museum that's nestled among Embassies and close to the Prime Minister's Residence. It's a great way to take a look at Canada from a global perspective and see some of the accomplishments that have made Canada stand out. The museum is divided into Spirit, Mind and Body and showcases humanitarian, athletic, artistic and technological feats.
The first thing that attract your attention is how this museum is built.
Looking it from outside, you can see the face of a native indian on the building and from the inside the ceiling is a reversed boat.
As the national museum of human history, the Canadian Museum of Civilization is committed to fostering in all Canadians a sense of their common identity and their shared past. At the same time, it hopes to promote understanding between the various cultural groups that are part of Canadian society.
The Museum was a great place to get out of the cold. They also had one of the most interesting rooms. You walked into this room and the celing must have been 30 feet high. Skylights across the complete top.The room was a square about 40 feet across. The floor was almost completely coverd with ferns and other plant life. So much Oxygen in the room you almost felt high. Beautiful place to chill out.
There is this very old church on the other side of the plant room. They must have had two dozen speakers arranged in a circle playing classical music. The echos where thrilling. Puts goose bumps on you neck.
GO TO THE MUSEUM!!!!!
The Canadian War Museum is probably the largest museum in Canada devoted to the Canadian men and women who served in past wars and military events worldwide.
While I visited before the War Museum moved to its new and current location, I can only imagine that they layout of the museum has since changed. However, when I visited, the first floor focused on World War I and all wars fought before, going back all the way to when Canada was simply a collection of British and French colonies. I found this part of the museum quite impressive because of all the historical pieces on display - cannons that were used during the battle of the Plains of Abraham, Sir Isaac Brock's coat - complete with the bullet hole that killed him. This is Canada's early military history, and it's very fascinating to see how battles were fought, how power was distrubuted, what uniforms were worn, and what equipment was used.
The upstairs floor of the old location housed all displays about World War II and military events that have happened since then until the present. This was my favourite part of the museum because I've always been fascinated with World War II, partially because I went to France and visited the D-Day beaches and the War Memorial Museum in Caen, but mostly because my grandparents were all involved in World War II.
If you're interested in Canadian history or wars and the military in general, you'll really love this museum. I know I did.
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.
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 Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography is an affiliate of the National Gallery of Canada. It's a photography exhibit located next to the Chateau Laurier, at the end of Elgin Street in downtown Ottawa. The museum is small, but has a unique collection of contemporary photographs, usually taken by Canadian photographers.
There was one photo by Jeff Wall that intrigued me when I was there, although the rest of the photos weren't to my liking. I wasn't familiar with the photographers or the content of the photos. For example, there was one photo of a bruise on somebody's arm, very close up. There was another photo of someone dressed up in clown's clothing, surrounded by discarded clothing, empty bottles and a flaming birthday cake. It was interesting, but not mind-blowing.
Admission is free, and if you're there during the right time, you can take a guided tour. I would highly recommend the guided tour because the tour guide would be able to give you the context of each photo. I didn't spend more than half an hour in this museum, mostly because the exhibit is small.
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 I have seen is either called the Currency Museum or the Monetary Museum. It is located inside the Bank of Canada building. I was looking for it and came across a tropical garden inside the building! And opposite the tropical garden was the entrance to the Currency Museum.
It is such an interesting museum, showing the history of currency through the centuries. There is a good exhibiton from the early days when f.ex. shells, metal, glass beads and cacao beans were used for money. And the interaction and trading with the Indians, which was not always that fair.
There is the history of the origin of the dollar and the first coins used in North-America, then the origin of the paper money.
Then the effect inflation had - with Zehn Milliarden Mark and Eine Billion Mark notes. And counterfeit money and how they could be detected.
There is also the Collector´s Corner inside a Vault at the museum.
All the Canadian bills are now bilingual, but before 1935 there were separate French and English
All in all there are more than 8.000 objects on display here at the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada. It is so worth a visit.
There are interactive displays, so kids will have fun here too.
Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10:30 - 17:00. Sunday from 13:00 - 17:00. It is open on Mondays during the months of May-October.
This is a really beautiful museum! The architecture is actually really nice too. An IMAX and OMNIMAX theatre was built in the museum and you should try going. But be aware, you might get motion sickness hahaha
Being an old enthusiast of airplanes and aviation, the Canada Aviation Museum was a great treat to me. It holds many different planes from different nations and has some really interesting exhibits.
The main gist of the museum is showing the evolution of flight, and it does this through it's great collection of planes ranging from ancient byplanes to cold-war space planes to more recent fighter jets. The museum also has some interactive activities like virtual flying and such.