Ottawa, Ontario, is Canada's capital city, and it has many interesting museums for both children and adults. The National Museums Passport gives you admission to all the national museums in the city for three days. Here are some of the best places to visit in the area.
The National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is inside an impressive, futuristic-looking building. Moshe Safdie, a renowned architect, designed it in 1988, and it has more than 12,000 metres of exhibit space. It offers an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs that you can view.
A sculpture of a giant spider, Louise Bourgeois's “Maman,” is in the plaza in front of the Gallery. “Northern River” by Tom Thomson is a painting of a river in Algonquin Park. Thomson also created “The West Wind,” a painting from a sketch he drew while working as a park ranger in 1916. This museum also has “Waterloo Bridge: the Sun in the Fog” by Claude Monet, one of almost a hundred paintings he produced of London's Thames River.
You can see exhibits on indigenous art, the early 20th Century, the Renaissance, the Baroque period, the 18th Century, and many other eras. You can also visit My Bistro for salads, sandwiches, and gourmet dishes, and Happy Goat Coffee offers great refreshments and snacks. The Boutique offers books, posters, stationery, jewellery, and unique gifts. There's also a cloakroom, and you can borrow strollers and wheelchairs for free.
Location: The National Gallery of Canada is at 380 Sussex Drive in Ottawa.
Hours: You can visit Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Thursday, it’s open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Canadian Museum of History
The Canadian Museum of History teaches visitors about the history of Canada. It has galleries about early or indigenous Canada, colonial Canada, and modern Canada.
There's also a children's museum that lets kids explore other parts of the world and includes a Mexican kitchen, a home in India, and a colourful Pakistani bus. Featuring everything from “Pepinot” to “Paw Patrol,” there’s an exhibit about the last 70 years of Canadian children's television. It has original puppets, costumes, and more. You can also see more than 3,000 Canadian stamps, which is a collection of all the stamps ever issued by the country. The gift shop offers unique creations from Canadian artisans.
Location: This museum is at 100 Laurier St. in Gatineau, Quebec, about 15 minutes away from Ottawa.
Hours: You can visit Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Canadian Museum of Nature
The Canadian Museum of Nature teaches visitors about the natural history of Canada, from the extinction of the dinosaurs to modern times. The Geological Survey of Canada established this institution in 1856. It has exhibits about rocks and minerals, Canadian bird species, insects, and mammals. The Pacific Discovery Tank is a saltwater tide pool with sea stars, mussels, shrimp, fish, and other creatures. This museum holds more than 14.6 million mineral, fossil, plant, and animal specimens, and the Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration collects information and conducts research about the ecology of the Arctic.
Location: This museum is at 240 McLeod St. in Ottawa. It's inside the Victoria Memorial Museum Building, a national historic site that resembles a fanciful castle.
Hours: The Canadian Museum of Nature is open on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also visit on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Canada Science and Technology Museum
The Canada Science and Technology Museum teaches people about the history of science and technology in Canada. It covers everything from ancient medicine to modern tech, and it has more than 7,400 square metres of space. It opened in 1967, and a renovation in 2017 added many new exhibits.
The museum has permanent displays of printing presses, antique cars, and the largest refracting telescope in Canada. A Van de Graaff generator produces static electricity for hair-raising demonstrations. A reproduction of the Northern Lights includes relaxing music and birds chirping, and kids can see a steam locomotive and operate one in virtual reality. There are exhibits on medical technology and wearable tech, as well as many hands-on exhibits. At the Maple Cafe, you can enjoy paninis, burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, and more. Diaper changing and bottle-warming stations for new parents are available.
Location: The Canada Science and Technology Museum is at 1867 St. Laurent Blvd. in Ottawa.
Hours: You can visit Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum focuses on the history of food production and modern farming in Canada. It has more than 500 hectares of ranches and gardens. Kids can meet many animals and help during feeding time. This experimental farm has pigs, cows, alpacas, sheep, horses, chickens, rabbits, and honeybees. At Discovery Park, you can see hutches and automatic water fountains for cows, solar-powered monitoring systems for bees, and other agricultural technologies.
Location: This museum is at 901 Prince of Wales Drive in Ottawa.
Hours: You can visit Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum
At the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, you can learn about some of the earliest aircraft, hot air balloons, supersonic jets, and the latest technologies used to build orbital satellites and maintain the International Space Station. Guided tours are available, and more than 130 planes and other artifacts are on display. The boutique has model kits, space shuttle and airplane toys, books and DVDs about aviation, and more.
Location: This museum is at 11 Aviation Parkway in Ottawa.
Hours: You can visit Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
These are just some of the outstanding museums near Ottawa. Did we miss any of your favourites? Contact us at Jim Tubman Chevrolet and let us know which museums you like most.