When you visit Canada’s capital, you can experience the entire country, all in one welcoming city! Home to seven of Canada’s nine national museums, Ottawa is the mecca for culture vultures, historical enthusiasts and Canadiana buffs. Add these national museums to your Ottawa itinerary:
National Gallery of Canada
To truly appreciate Canada’s artistic treasures, explore the National Gallery of Canada. The beautiful modern building houses the most comprehensive collection of Canadian art, including a large number by the Group of Seven and strong collections of Indigenous, Asian, and International works. It’s also home to the Canadian Photography Institute where photography is presented and studied in all its forms. Even kids can get artsy by playing games, making their own artwork and sharing it with people from around the world during the Artissimo activity!
Canadian Museum of History
The Canadian Museum of History is Canada’s most visited museum for good reason – it’s home to the world’s largest indoor collection of totem poles, the largest exhibition about Canadian history, and it also houses the Canadian Children’s Museum. It’s currently the only place in North America where you can immerse yourself into the Middle Ages during the special exhibit Medieval Europe – Power and Splendour, on until January 20, 2019. Explore one of the most fascinating times in human history and their impact on Canadian history through amazing artifacts from the famous British Museum.
Canada Science and Technology Museum
It’s never been more fun to celebrate Canada’s long history of scientific and technological achievements! The newly reopened Canada Science and Technology Museum combines interactive and hands-on elements with cutting-edge technologies like augmented reality. Explore old favourites like the giant locomotives and Crazy Kitchen as well as new state-of-the-art exhibits. It’s paradise for kids and the young at heart!
Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Journey into Canada’s world of air and space at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The expansive, hangar-like building is home to the most extensive aviation collection in the country and covers everything from the humble beginnings of flight to the sophisticated aerospace industry we know today, plus Canada’s role in outer space. Try flight simulators, sit in cockpits, or take a real flight in a helicopter or vintage biplane!
Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
Did you know Ottawa has a working farm in the city that you can visit to learn about Canada’s unique agricultural heritage? The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is the perfect place for young and old to meet farm animals like horses, alpacas, goats and rabbits. Visit the cows in the dairy barn and learn how milk is collected. Learn how different breeds of sheep are sources of wool, milk and meat. And until the end of April 2019, you can check out the Space to Spoon exhibit to explore the connection between space technology and the food on our plates.
Canadian Museum of Nature
Inside the castle-like Canadian Museum of Nature, you’ll find dinosaur replicas, whale skeletons, mammals, birds, insects, and flora. Discover the importance of our northern land in the Arctic gallery and warm up in the Butterflies in Flight exhibit (starting on October 6, 2018) where hundreds of butterflies flutter around you. While there, stop by the Courage and Passion: Canadian Women in Natural Sciences exhibit to get inspired by women who broke barriers to pursue their passion for science (until March 31, 2019).
Canadian War Museum
Tanks, jet fighters, artillery and art are just some of the impressive items that represent Canada’s war history at the Canadian War Museum. You can also learn about the campaign that ended World War I through artifacts, artwork, documents and photos during the Victory 1918 – The Last 100 days exhibit (October 26, 2018-March 31, 2019). In Novembre, the museum hosts special Remembrance events and activities. At exactly 11:00 a.m. on November 11 each year, a beam of sunlight shines through a single window into Memorial Hall to perfectly frame the headstone from the grave of Canada’s Unknown Soldier. A moving experience!
Ottawa’s national museums are an amazing and easy way to discover Canada’s treasures. To maximize your museum musings, get the Museums Passport and save. Happy exploring!