Rather like the ‘Imperial War Museum’ in London the fact that the word ‘war’ is contained in the title might put some people off visiting what is a splendid museum. The aim is not to glorify war but to show how it affects ordinary people within the clamour of their history. There is a regeneration hall if one wants to contemplate what one has seen and at the moment there is a ‘Peace Exhibition’.
The museum moved to its present location in 2005 and the much larger building, itself an architectural achievement, is able to house a far greater number of exhibits than previously.
The looping galleries will take you from the beginnings of Canadian history with its native peoples through the European colonization and the ensuing conflicts between native tribes, colonial powers and American revolutionaries. It helps to explain why Canada is intrinsically different from the United States. If you need to know a bit more about this subject, the museum will explain it with a modern multi-facetted approach able to be appreciated by all members of the family.
The galleries on the First and Second World Wars are excellent and the exhibition on the war of 1812 gives another dimension to the more well-known US version.
Only drawback is the $13 entrance fee, but it is $13 well spent and you could find yourself wandering around all day without sustaining museum fatigue.
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