Canadian Museum of Nature

#7 in Best Things To Do in Ottawa
Canadian Museum of Nature
Martin Lipman/Canadian Museum of Nature

Key Info

240 Rue McLeod

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Housing more than 10 million specimens, the Canadian Museum of Nature showcases 4 billion years of Earth history. Recent visitors agreed this is a must-see, especially if you're traveling with children, thanks to all of the museum's hands-on exhibits. Here, you'll learn more about prehistoric fossils, insects, wildlife and more. Start out in the Mammal Gallery, where you'll view dioramic displays on Canadian animals, then head over to the Bird Gallery to see the largest collection of Canadian birds in the world.

Sitting southwest of downtown Ottawa near Jack Purcell Park, the Canadian Museum of Nature welcomes visitors from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day during the summer and every day (except Monday) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter. On Thursdays throughout the year and summer Fridays, the museum stays open until 8 p.m. and offers free admission from 5 to 8 p.m. General admission costs CA$13.50 (about $10) for adults and CA$9.50 (around $7) for children ages 3 to 12 (special exhibitions are not included in general admission). You'll find plenty of parking near the museum, but if you don't have your own set of wheels, several OC Transpo routes can drop you off within a block of the museum. Or, if you'd rather use your own two feet, you'll find that the facility is about a 20-minute walk from Parliament Hill. For more information, check out the official website.

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#1 Rideau Canal

Snaking its way through the center of Ottawa, the Rideau Canal is one of the city's most historic attractions. This 125-mile waterway was originally constructed between 1826 and 1832 to create a secure supply and communications route between Montreal, Québec, and Kingston, Ontario roughly 120 miles southwest of the capital. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the city's most beloved features.

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