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11 Must Visit Museums in Ottawa To Explore Canadian History

Last updated on January 21, 2023


Not only is Ottawa the location of the capital of Canada, but it is also often regarded as the cultural centre of Canada. Right, so that’s not the proper term for it, but I think it is.

While there are a lot of things to do in Ottawa, here are some of the best museums in Ottawa, Ontario that you must visit if you love to explore the history and culture of Canada.

Museum of Aviation and Space

There are more than 130 aircrafts’ propellers and engines on exhibit, including those from military jets, fighter biplanes from World War II, helicopters, and even one of the first planes ever invented.

You can even participate in flying simulators, book excursions via helicopter, or take your own flight in a biplane, just like we did in the previous paragraph.

It is highly recommended that you pay this museum a visit as it is widely regarded as being among the very best aircraft museums in the world.

The National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Canada is a magnificent building that houses a vast collection of works of art from Canadian artists. People are drawn in by the enormous spider that is situated in front of the building.

The renowned sculptor Louise Bourgeois created the Maman work, and the city of Ottawa is not the only location in which it may be found.

If you do a lot of travelling, you may have seen it in the Tate Modern Art Museum in London, England; in Missouri, USA; in St. Petersburg, Russia; in Bilbao, Spain; in Tokyo, South Korea; in Doha, Qatar; or in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Canadian Museum of History

From the First People’s Hall, which honours the history of Canada’s indigenous peoples, to the Canadian History Hall, which highlights significant events and figures from Canada’s past, the Canadian Museum of History has a wide range of exhibits.

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The architecture is one of a kind, it beautifully depicts the Canadian countryside, and it’s a sight to behold. The city skyline of Ottawa and the Alexandra Bridge all lit up at night make for stunning views that may be had from this vantage point.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Historic Display

The Fairmont Historic Display may be found on the main floor of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier and is open to the public free of charge. Walk past the boutiques and into a hall that is packed with images documenting the history of the property and the city.

This hall is located inside the well-known Chateau Laurier. There are various images of Winston Churchill having fun at Ottawa’s many attractions and activities that were taken at the Chateau Laurier, which he frequented frequently.

Even the Titanic has something to do with it. Charles Melville Hays was in charge of the expansion of the railway system in Canada and was also involved in the recruiting process for the hotel’s architects and interior designers.

Along the railway line, several other hotels were going to be erected, but the Chateau Laurier was going to be the flagship hotel. Check out the visa application process to apply for a Canada visa for Iceland citizens.

Canadian Museum Of Nature

It took us a few trips to Ottawa before we were able to check out this museum, and now we’ve travelled back to the city not once but twice! The breathtaking architecture of the Canadian Museum of Nature immediately takes your breath away the instant you step foot inside.

This structure was intended to be Canada’s first-ever national museum, and it was constructed specifically for that purpose. It was constructed in 1905, and its design was inspired by the Centre Block of Parliament.

The entrance is flanked on both sides by enormous facades, each of which features rotating art exhibits suspended from the ceiling.

This contemporary architecture is a stunning enhancement to the historic stone edifice that resembles a castle, helping to elevate its status as one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Ontario.

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This museum has everything you could ever want to see, from prehistoric animals to butterflies and, in our opinion, the best exhibit overall is the Canada Goose Arctic Gallery.

The Canadian War Museum

There are displays remembering Canada’s involvement in the Cold Military, World Wars I and II, as well as the early wars that took place in Canada between Aboriginal People, the French, and the English.

These fascinating exhibitions illustrate the history of Canada’s war efforts. However, Memorial Hall is a place for meditation, and it is also the location of the grave of the Unknown Soldier.

The Museum of Bytown

This modest museum in Ottawa is frequently overlooked by visitors. It is a beautiful exhibit that showcases the history of Ottawa, and it is located right on the canal (formerly known as Bytown)

Take a tour of its three levels to learn about the construction of the Ottawa Canal, the contributions that the people of Ottawa made to the war effort, and the local indigenous people’s history.

Remember to go through the cafe on your way to the vault in the back of the building. Get your Canada visa for Ireland citizens and visit these museums in Ottawa so that you may know the rich history of Canada.

Laurier House National Historic Site

The Laurier House is now a National Historic Site in Canada and has served as the official residence of not one but two Canadian prime ministers.

In the late 1800s and up until the middle of the 1950s, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie made their homes in this area, which was at the centre of Canadian political life.

Visitors can take a tour of the historic property to get a glimpse of what life was like for our prime leaders in the past. You also have the option of doing what we did and going on a ghost tour of Laurier House.

It was common knowledge that Wilfrid Laurier had seances in the residence, and a significant number of persons passed away in this location. Nighttime exploration of this location is not recommended.

The Museum of Science and Technology of Canada

The children will enjoy themselves at this museum. This museum takes you on a journey through the history of science and technology, much like the Science Centre in Toronto does.

The kitchen’s unusual layout is a major selling point. Kits congregate there to experience the tug of gravity, and we found the collection of vintage computers and televisions to be really interesting.

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It is a hands-on experience, and there is even a sizable train section. Who doesn’t have a thing for train rides? Check out some of the best adventurous things to do in Ottawa.

Women Of Canada History

Even though it’s not technically a museum, you absolutely should not miss out on seeing this. There is a magnificent display of Canadian women throughout history that can be found just outside the senage and directly across from the Chateau Laurier.

This display honours women who have broken down barriers made a difference and had a significant impact throughout history.

From Kim Campbell, our very first and, to this day, only female Prime Minister, to Viola Desmond, an activist who is now featured on the face of our ten-dollar bill.

The Museum of Agriculture and Food

My childhood home was in a rural area of Ontario, so I was exposed to a wide variety of farms and cattle. This is a fascinating museum, though, for those individuals who are curious about the cultivation, breeding, and processing of the food that we eat.

I believe that people from other countries would like to view this display very much. It is unique in that it is a working farm that is located within a capital city.

I spent much of my childhood years in the centre of the Dairy Capital of Ontario, where there were a lot of Holstein cows.

This museum is home to a wide variety of important cattle breeds from Canada in addition to other animals common on Canadian farms, such as horses, goats, llamas, and chickens.

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