As Canada’s Capital, Ottawa is home to many objects and artifacts that come from across the country; from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia and beyond. In many ways, Ottawa is where all points of the country meet.
So if you’re a Canadian and you’re looking for a connection to your home province in Ottawa, chances are that you’ll find it. And particularly, if you’re from Alberta, you’re in luck!
Alberta is the first province Ottawa Tourism has decided to feature in an ongoing series of articles that will highlight different aspects of Canada’s provinces. From its beautiful mountains to its scenic and expansive prairies, discover how Alberta is represented in Ottawa.
Canadian Museum of History:
- Just across the Ottawa River, you’ll find the beautiful Canadian Museum of History. This unique building is considered to be one of the most striking architectural masterpieces of the twentieth century! It was designed by Canadian and Aboriginal architect Douglas Cardinal, who grew up in Calgary, Alta. According to the Museum, in 2014, it renamed one of its main event and meeting rooms the Douglas Cardinal Salon to honour the architect’s eightieth birthday.
- Also in the Museum of History, at the west end of its iconic Grand Hall, which is home to the world’s largest indoor collection of totem poles, you’ll find an artistic dome rising seven stories above the Museum’s shiny granite floor. Measuring 19 meters in diameter, the dome is adorned with an intricate, abstract painting by artist Alex Janvier. Born of Dene Suline and Saulteaux descent on the Le Goff Reserve near Cold Lake, Alta., Janvier is a pioneer of the contemporary Aboriginal art movement.
Canadian Museum of Nature:
- Now, when you think of Alberta, you might think of dinosaurs. Ottawa has those too! At the Canadian Museum of Nature, you’ll find the huge Edmontosaurus regalis. This was the first dinosaur to ever be displayed in Canada! According to the Museum, these bones were discovered near Alberta’s Red Deer River Valley in 1912. The full dinosaur was revealed at the Museum in July of 1913 and today, it remains a highlight of the Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery. According to the Museum, the dinosaur and its display frame weigh in at 6,800 kg!
- You’ll also find a Daspletosaurus torosus at the Museum of Nature, which is said to be the ‘cousin’ of the fearsome T-Rex. Having lived 75 million years ago, this giant carnivore can now be found at the entrance of the Fossil Gallery. According to the Museum, the Daspletosaurus was discovered in 1921 near Steveville, Alta., which is close to Medicine Hat, by its dinosaur hunter, Charles M. Sternberg. At the back of the Fossil Gallery, you’ll find an adult and juvenile Daspletosaurus in fleshed-out form. This is a great area for photos!
Canada Agriculture and Food Museum:
- If nature and animals are what you’re interested in, you might want to know that the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is home to several Lacombe pigs, which are named after their place of origin; Lacombe, Alta. According to the Museum, the Lacombe pig was created through a breeding program at the Lacombe Research Station of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. These pigs are known for their docile nature and rapid weight gain.
Canadian War Museum:
In the Canadian War Museum’s famous LeBreton Gallery, you’ll find two large-scale artifacts that are linked to this particular province.
- The first one is a Chieftain Main Battle Tank. According to the War Museum, when the Chieftain first entered service in the late 1960s, its 120 mm main gun made it the most powerfully-armed tank in the world. The tank, which was donated to the Museum in 1998, was originally used at the British Army Training Unit Suffield in Alberta. This particular Chieftain is adorned with a camouflage pattern that is suited to Alberta’s prairie landscape.
- The second Alberta-related artifact is a 4-inch Naval Gun. According to the Museum, this weapon is an improvement on the main gun carried by Canadian corvettes and other escort vessels during the Second World War. This version of the gun could fire faster and had a better range. The mounting for this particular gun was manufactured by the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Ogden Shops in Calgary, Alta.
These are only some of the many treasures that can be found in Canada’s Capital. There are many more things to see and do, as well as more museums to discover such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Canada Science and Technology Museum (which will reopen in mid-November 2017).
There will also be more artifacts and new exhibits to discover as Ottawa gears up to celebrate Canada’s big 150th anniversary in 2017! If there’s anywhere you’ll want to be in Canada in 2017, it’s Ottawa. For more information on what’s going on now and on plans being made for Canada’s big birthday, browse Ottawa Tourism’s 2017 website section.