Canadian Museum of History

#11 in Best Things To Do in Ottawa
Canadian Museum of History
Ottawa Tourism/Flickr

Key Info

100 Rue Laurier


Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Spread across four floors and nearly 300,000 square feet, the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization) is a behemoth. Welcoming more than 1.2 million people annually, it's also one of the country's most-visited museums. And it's easy to see why: Not only does the museum house artifacts and exhibits that detail 20,000 years of human history, it's also home to the Canadian Children's Museum and an Imax theater, CINÉ+. Among the museum's standout attractions are its collection of totem poles in its First Peoples Hall exhibition and its life-sized recreations of Canadian settlements over the past 1,000 years.

Recent visitors marveled at the building itself and praised the museum's vast collection of totem poles. Reviewers also appreciated that the children's museum offered plenty of hands-on activities for little ones (though some griped that the general museum admission does not include access to the children's museum or CINÉ+).

You'll find the Canadian Museum of History across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill in Gatineau, Quebec. OC Transpo route No. 8 will take you to the museum, but you can also ride your bike along the scenic Voyageurs Pathway to reach the facility. Aqua-Taxi also transports visitors between the museum, the Ottawa dock (located below Parliament Hill) and the Casino du Lac-Leamy. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission costs CA$15 (about $11) for adults and CA$9 (around $7) for children ages 3 to 12. You can purchase discounted combo admission to the museum's other facilities, such as the children's museum and the theater. Enjoy free admission by timing your visit for Thursday between 4 and 8 p.m. For more information, visit the museum's website.

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Ottawa Tourism/Flickr
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