One of the big halls at the Museum of Civilization depicts Canada´s history - and as one can imagine that is not a small task.
The Canada Hall is on the 3rd floor. And I got so lost there looking for the entrance of the hall that I entered on the wrong side - and saw the history of Canada in reverse, hehe. Later to find out that the entrance is on the opposite site of the museum and one has to enter it from the totem pole side. It is confusing as it says that it is on the 3rd floor, so the logical thing is to go up the escalator where it says 3rd floor - if you are ever there then don´t do that if you don´t want to see Canadian history in reverse - one looks kind of silly going in the opposite direction of everybody else.
The Canada Hall is awesome - very well made. One part is a reconstruction of an old village center, and a sky has been made as well, so it looks like one is outside - amazing, a brilliant idea.
Canadian history is so diverse as it represents the story of so many different nations who became immigrants here. There is fishing and whaling, the fur trade, the Eastern timber trade, Ontario street, New France square, Ukranian store, West Coast communities, Northern Traffic, The Canadian prairies, the Pacific coast, the Atlantic coast, the Central regions, the Canadian north - Canada is SO VAST.
It says by the entrance that it might take an hour to walk through this hall - I would say that the Museum of Civilization takes two visits at least - as there is just so much walking. But it is so worth it. One just cannot take it all in and walk so much in one go. So 2 visits are recommended.
After 16h on Thursdays there is free entrance, so make use of that and go twice - if you are in the city for such a long time.
The First Peoples Hall is not to be missed while visiting the Museum of Civilization. Well, not any of the halls are supposed to be missed - but here is shown the history of the Indians, which used to live here before the white man settled in Canada.
Here the history of the Indians is shown in earlier days and today. There are also so many diverse costumes, which shows how diverse the Indians were and how many they were. I loved looking at the costumes and learning about them - I feel such kinship with the Indians. And their clothes and costumes were so colourful and well made with such details.
Showing only 5 photos here doesn´t give this tip justice, as First Peoples Hall is so diverse and touches on so many aspects.
Here one can see how they hunt and their interaction with the Europeans. Some of the Aboriginals were whalers, some of the traded fur etc.
It takes a long time and a lot of walking going through all the halls at the museum. I would say this one should be an obligatory visit, if one had to choose between the halls.
The Information center is called Maison du Tourisme. It should be the first stop when visiting Gatineau as they have so many pamphlets and maps - extraordinally well made.
This Information center is kind of hidden away behind trees, so I never noticed it and had been walking for hours in Gatineau before getting a decent map.
I first visited Casino Lac-Leamy in 2006, when my friend took me there to show me around. Her ex used to spend most of his time here...
No photos, of course, are allowed inside the Casino, so my photos, from my last visit in 2012, are from outside.
The Casino has got more than 1.800 slot machines, a performance hall, 64 gaming tables etc, i.e. everything a successful casino needs.
To enter the casino one must be at least 18 years old.
Next to Casino Lac-Leamy is Hilton Hotel.
The big fountain, which can be seen from the Ottawa side, is located next to the casino.
Gatineau Park is a very popular place to do Nordic (Cross-Country) skiing. There are many groomed trails, and the Gatineau Loppet (ski race) is the largest of it's kind in North America. In 2012, it attracted over 2000 skiers from 22 different countries. One of this year's racers was the Prime Minister of Estonia.
Ok, this isn't part of Gatineau. But it's so close, just on the other side of the bidge, that I think it counts... The parliament of Canada, on the Parliament hill (just about as tall as a sidewalk), overlooks the Ottawa river, in Ottawa.
I'm usually not attracted to this kind of visit... museum like, silent, historical... but we had nothing better to do. We started outside, taking in fresh air on the Ottawa river and alongside the River canal. Met the cats (see in Off The Beatten path). Then, as we saw peoples come out of the building, people that could only be tourists, we decided to go in and see...
The staff, both security gards and guides, work hand in hand to assure a perfect visit. When we went in, they greeted us and explained the two (free) tours available (the tour and some of the rooms). When we showed our interested for both of them, the security guard called in his buddy in the tour to be sure we would have time to go up and down before the guided visit began an hour later... THAT's service!
After we passed a security check point, as thorought as an airport search, we were allowed to take pictures of everything we wished!
We visited the tour and saw a beautiful panorama of the Ottawa and Gatineau cities and the river. And joined the guided tour in time to visit many rooms used to rule the country. Honor Hall, Senate and House of Commons chambers, Library of Parliament... The guide was passionate about her surroundings and it was communicating. The building in itself is beautiful and the history it contains is fascinating.
A must see, even if you think you wont like it. You will...
During the months of january and february, the rideau canal freeze over and becomes the longest skating rink of the world (or so they say). About 7km. For the most part, a big festival goes on. Skates rental, sharpening, food and drinks, animation, shuttle service...
The site is really nice and it's the perfect way to take in some fresh air. There's a lot of people, but the canal is big enough for everybody. The day we went tho, it has just snow and the ice wasn't in the best condition! Or maybe it's just my excuse for being so exhausted after one kilometer!!
The Canadian Museum of Civilization offers a detailed look in the origin of Canada.
There are 4 exhibiton levels presenting the following:
-Level 1: Canada's First Peoples.
-Level 2: Changing exhibitions. The Canadian Postal Museum, Canadian Children's Museum and the IMAX theatre in the former the Glacier Wing.
-Level 3: Sights and sounds from the country's past.
-Level 4: Tthe Canadian Personalities Hall.
Outside the Museum building itself, there are various outdoor exhibits that are accessible when weather permits.
From the Café du Musée you have agreat lookoff on the Ottawa River.
Mo-We: 9AM - 6PM
Th-Fr: 9AM - 8PM
Sa-Su: 9.30AM - 6PM
Tu-We: 9AM - 5PM
Th: 9AM - 8PM
Fr: 9AM - 5PM
Sa-Su: 9.30AM - 5PM
Admission: CAD 12.00
Parking at the Museum
Rate: CAD 1.75 per half hour
Daily maximum rate: CAD 10.00
The Canadian Museum of Civilization (ou Le Musee Canadien des Civilization??) is Canada's best presented museum of Canadian history and culture. From the Native Peoples and their lifesyles through to the European (and later) immigrants. Over 4 floors, with short digressions for special exhibitions and the second floor museums of Poste and Children.
There's a slightly fuller set of tips on my Hull page but the official website has really good info too - in fact with all the links, & etc., the civilizations site perhaps even supercedes mine!!!
Gatineau's history goes back far further than its city status, the river and then the hills predating La Ville by several hundred years. As a leisure park 16.000 hectares were aquired by the Canadian government at the time that the then Prime Minister Mackenzie King also owned land (which he later bequeathed to the nation). In the 1950's as Jacques Greber evolved his plan for the Capital Region the park became an important component in his holistic vision of urban balance between the city and the natural environment surrounding it.
This is a vision which is carried on by the present National Capital Commission who actively promote the use, both summer and winter, of The Gatineau Park and successfully maintain the balance between public accessibility and its natural environment.
The Gatineau Park is a mere 15 minutes drive from Downtown Ottawa and the southerly accesses are on several bus routes including the STO No 37,
In the summer the park is criss-crossed by hiking and cycling trails of varying legnths and difficulties and has beach areas, campsites and picnic areas. In the winter the park obviously changes personality and provides opportunities for skiing (downhill and cross-country) as well as skating and snow-shoeing.
See The Relais website for more winter info (in French as I can't find the English button!!)
If you are going to go to one museum in Canada, make it the Museum of Civilization. With stunning architecture (meant to look like an artic glacier), fantastic exhibits, and the only IMAX/OMNIMAX theatre in the world, it is a must see.
The museum of civilization if actually across the river in Gatineau but still just a short distance from downtown Ottawa.
There is an IMAX Theater here as well.
Haven't been yet. But when I passed by this fall, the colors seemed irresistible... Can't wait to see it during summer... during fall...