The awe-inspiring spaces at the Canadian Museum of Nature bring to life Canada’s nature – from dinosaurs to aquatic wonders – all majestically presented in the castle-like Victoria Memorial Building. Beautiful, world-class galleries along with fun and interactive features ensure that visitors of all ages are entertained. The building itself has a fascinating past. It is the birthplace of all of Canada’s national museums and once served as the emergency headquarters for the Canadian government after a fire destroyed the Parliament Buildings in 1916. Former Canadian Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier lay in state in the Museum in 1919.
- In 2010, the Museum completed a massive renovation to its heritage building. The most visible feature was the glass addition on the front of the Museum, called the Queens’ Lantern. This multipurpose space is used for special events, family activities and small exhibits. Its most striking feature is the huge, inflated jellyfish which is suspended from the ceiling and tastefully illuminated at night.
- In 2017, the Museum opened their new permanent Canada Goose Arctic Gallery, a large space where you can discover the natural history, diversity, and impacts of change in the North through some of its animals, peoples and even an ice installation you can touch!
- The Water Gallery is filled with fascinating things to see and learn – all exploring the vital role that water plays in sustaining all living things. Peer into a 4,550-litre river aquarium, play in an Arctic research ship and say hello to an impressive 19-metre blue whale!
- The Earth Gallery showcases more than 1,000 dazzling minerals and rocks. Visitors will learn about the powerful forces that have shaped our planet, and how geology and mineralogy connect with everyday life.
- The Fossil Gallery offers many complete skeletons of real dinosaurs, including the towering Daspletosaurus (T.rex’s earlier cousin). A favourite with kids is the walk-through dinosaur diorama and the Extinction Theatre. The gallery follows the end of the dinosaurs’ reign on Earth and the rise of mammals (65 to 35 million years ago).
- The Mammal Gallery features the wildlife of Canada, from polar bears to white Arctic hares, moose, bison, caribou and cougars.
- The Bird Gallery features an impressive collection of 500 specimens of Canada’s finest feathered friends.
- The Nature Live gallery is an awesome, interactive space where you can get nose to nose with many creepy crawlies housed in attractive terraria. There is even a bee colony during the spring and summer. On the weekends, enjoy fun activities such as crafts and Nature Trade.
- Take a journey to several of Canada’s notable ecozones by walking through the Museum’s outdoor exhibition space, Landscapes of Canada Gardens. Make sure to take a photo with the mammoth family!
- Adults can experience the Museum at night during the popular Nature Nocturne parties, offered frequently throughout the year. Grab a drink, enjoy some fun special hands-on experiences and dance the night away on multiple dance floors to various live and DJ music.