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“Not To Be Missed”

Canadian Museum of History
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$15.91*
and up
Canadian Museum of History
Ranked #4 of 50 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
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Of all the museums I've ever visited, this ranks among the finest. I wish I'd had more than the 3 hours alloted our group. By beginning in Canadian People's Hall, you trace their history through 200 years. The structure and detail are amazing. You actually feel as if you are walking the streets of early Canada. A bit of added sound would give it even more of a "real" feel. I could go on and on, but suffice to say this SHOULD be a planned stop on anyone's vacation in Canada.

Thank Travelingal702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"totem poles"
in 148 reviews
"first nations"
in 132 reviews
"canada hall"
in 49 reviews
"grand hall"
in 42 reviews
"terry fox"
in 30 reviews
"gold rush"
in 30 reviews
"imax movie"
in 43 reviews
"temporary exhibits"
in 22 reviews
"special exhibit"
in 31 reviews
"stamp collection"
in 21 reviews
"across the river"
in 56 reviews
"third floor"
in 24 reviews
"great exhibits"
in 17 reviews
"children's area"
in 15 reviews
"on display"
in 27 reviews
"parliament hill"
in 54 reviews
"top floor"
in 16 reviews
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972 - 976 of 1,823 reviews

Reviewed May 28, 2013

This is a world-class museum just across the Ottawa River from Ottawa, Ontario. I spent 2 hours in just one exhibit, the Canada Exhibit. It was so well put together that I just couldn't pull myself away from it. Everything seemed so real. The exhibits were put together so as to envelope you in history. They tug at your learning strings and beg you to learn more. There are other exhibits that are great as well, but I particularly liked the Canada Exhibit.

Thank rroberts41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

"Double Take" is the name of a special exhibit of famous Canadians - good, bad and indifferent. Makes a wonderful discussion for afterwards over lunch in their new restaurant.

This is part of the Museum of Civilization which is just over the bridge from Ottawa. This is the best museum (and the most visited one) in all of Canada.
It caters for all ages, having a Children's hands on museum as well as wonderful interactive exhibits of the history of the First Nations and of pioneers and early settlers.
Your visit to Ottawa/Gatineau cannot be complete without a visit here.

Thank MChristine72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

This is a brilliant museum and Ottawans and all Canadians should be justly proud of this great testament to the Canadian nation. The Canadian People's Hall is where everyone starts, correctly so, since it traces 200 years of Canadian history, with great text, life-size exhibits, relics, videos, still photos, and so many artifacts that provide flesh to what you read in travel books. The First Nations Hall on the ground floor is also worth a one hour look as it traces the progress of tribes that populated Canada before the colonists arrived. In front it were the recreations of clan houses with their totems that provided perfect photo opportunities. The 4th floor had the hall featuring the great Canadians in government, public service, etc. through the centuries. My children were looking for Celine Dion, Wayne Gretsky, Paul Anka, Jim Carrey, Cique du Soleil and were disappointed that they had no "Canada's entertainment export to the world".

For the younger set, they had a children's museum and an IMax theater that showed 3 or 4 3D films at any one day. And they have two different temporary exhibitions at any one time. On the day we were there, they had a voodoo exhibition and a portraits studio of famous current Canadian personalities.

The building itself is a work of art, a large stylized beaver face. The museum is very well laid out and attractively designed with giant sculptures at different strategic areas.

If you only had one museum to go to in Canada, it should be this Canadian Museum of Civilization (although by the time you visit, it may already have been renamed Museum of Canadian Civilization). Plan to spend at least 3 hours, not counting IMAX viewing time. And that's already rushing it.

Thank JGR001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 25, 2013

Very open floor plan, children's area, wonder depiction of Canadian history. Excellent IMAX theater, take advantage of this. If you have family members who use a walker or wheelchair, book in advance, use the elevators.

1  Thank Tara J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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