Best Museums in Canada
By Natalie & Phil Thursday, April 11, 2013
Museums have a sticky reputation. For history buffs they offer a Mecca of learning and discovery, but the general public often sees them as big warehouses with too much stuff that has no relative importance to their current lives. However, Canada offers some of the best and interactive museums in the world, most of which are located in the major cities of the country. If you’ve booked a cheap flight to visit Ottawa, Montreal, or Toronto, to name just a few, spend some time learning about the cities’ greatest contributions and achievements.
Canadian Museum of Civilization- Ottawa
Considered to be the most popular museum in Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization offers the most extensive and inclusive look at the entire history of the country. Known for its stunning architecture, the museum visitors can actually “walk the streets” of history, through real scale replicas of the past that represent thousands of years of human history in Canada. The museum has also curated dozens of collections, including artifacts of the First Nations like totem poles. The museum, which also features an IMAX Theater, receives over a million visitors each year so make sure to plan ahead.
Museum of Anthropology- Vancouver
Part of the University of British Columbia, the Museum of Anthropology holds the distinction of being the most popular teaching museum in the country. The museum mainly pays tribute to the natural and human history of the Pacific Northwest region, where it is located, with sculptures and tributes to and by the native peoples. It also holds over 500,000 artifacts from all over the country, including pottery and tools from the mysterious Haida people.
Museum of French America- Quebec City, Quebec
It’s nice to think that the museums of Canada represent each of their respective cities so well. For example, in the heart of Quebec City, a notoriously French region, sits the Museum of French America, documenting the immeasurable contribution and progression of the original French settlers who first landed in this region during the colonial period. The museum explores the cultural influences and clashes over the past centuries, helping to explain the ongoing love affair this province has with its sister city.
Royal British Columbia Museum- Victoria, British Columbia
One of the gems of the region, this masterpiece museum offers three permanent exhibits that trace the paths of human history all the way back from the Ice Age. With life scaled models of some of the past’s most impressive beasts like wooly mammoths and saber toothed tigers, the museum is adventurous and educational, and certainly an exciting way to spend an afternoon.
Royal Ontario Museum- Toronto
One of Canada’s most engaging and popular cities, it is no wonder that Toronto houses one of the best and perhaps the most popular museums. The Royal Ontario Museum is Canada’s biggest, and holds over six million artifacts from all over the world, unprecedentedly recording history from the dinosaurs to the Yaun dynasty up through the modern age. It is also an extremely kid-friendly museum, with interactive activities like archaeological dig sites and galleries for kids to touch.
For more fascinating museums across Ontario visit the Summer Fun Guide Museums & Historical Sites page.