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“One of the best museums in Ottawa”

Canadian Museum of History
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and up
Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Ranked #2 of 47 things to do in Gatineau
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization At Canada's most visited museum, discover the events, experiences, people and objects that have shaped the nation's history. Take in the beauty of this architectural gem and its spectacular setting on the banks of the Ottawa River. Marvel at the world's largest indoor collection of totem poles, explore the traditions and achievements of Canada's First Peoples and this summer, step aboard the Empress of Ireland and relive the experience of the worst maritime disaster in Canada's history - with its stories of tragic loss, courage and human kindness - through artifacts and eyewitness accounts. Be a kid again at the Children's Museum and live the ultimate cinema experience at the IMAX(R) Theatre.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
43 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“One of the best museums in Ottawa”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

I attended this museum for the first time, and I was quite impressed. When I attended they had a special voodoo exhibition. It was fantastic, colourful and very informative. In the lower level they have the largest collection of Totem poles in Canada. As you walk through the main collection, you are taken on a visual journey through time.

Although I have a few eras in history that peak my interest, I am by far not a history buff. The museum kept this non history buff very interested. They also had an Imax presentation of butterflies (it does change), and a great children's section. This is a mist see for people of all ages!

I will be back to explore again! If you are on a budget, this museum as well as a few others gives you free admission on Thursday evenings after 17:00 or 17:30. Usually special exhibitions are not included in this.

Visited November 2012
Thank persephone1021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,471 reviews from our community

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English first
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
144 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“One can spend a whole day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2013

My first comment was "an interesting architecture".
Shortly after that once we were inside I learned that it was build by Douglas Cardinal, the architect of the new National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC, a building I also admired.

The exhibits were great and to much to see in just an afternoon, but we got a great impression of the early days of Canada.

I commented that it was very much Canadian history and civilization, not as a criticism but more as an observation. I now understand there is some talk to change the nave to Canadian History; that would be good, but make sure you do not miss this Museum, especially if you are interested in Canadian history and how it started.

And if you enjoyed your visit, you may like to go to Louisburg as that "pioneer town" is the only museum that can rival this one.

Visited January 2013
Thank Henk W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Algonquin Park
Level Contributor
66 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Reason to visit Ottawa/Gatineau”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2013

This museum is fantastic, plan on a full day for your visit to do the exibits justice. The building is well laid out and staff are fabulous.

Highly recommended while in the area.

Visited January 2013
Thank Nagagamisis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Best museum I’ve ever visited!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2013

This museum is definitely a gem! I is absolutely worth visiting when you travel to Ottawa and it is equally interesting to kids and to adults. Plan to spend the whole day (or two) in the museum – there are many interesting permanent and temporary exhibits to see. I was lucky to see the Voodoo Exhibition (temporary), which was amazingly impressive and even frightening.

Visited January 2013
Thank melifaro81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orangeville, Canada
Level Contributor
119 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Very worth a visit...or two!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

Beautiful location right across the river from Parliment Hill. Very quick to get to from downtown Ottawa by car or even walking. We found that it was interesting for all of us, adults and kids. The displays were done so well, especially the one hall that showcases the west coast of Canada. It really showcases our heritage as Canadians. There is a great kids section with passports for them to get stamped which was very enjoyable for the kids. More geared to ten and under, but my 11 year old enjoyed it too.

Visited January 2013
Thank 2plus2-9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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