Of all the museums I had the chance to visit in the National Capital Region, the Canadian Museum of Civilization is probably my favourite.

Canada’s national museum of human history is located in Hull, Quebec, directly across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. The location itself is very scenic: the Museum overlooks the River and offers great views on Ottawa’s downtown core and main landmarks, including the Locks, the Parliament, Château Laurier and Nepean Point.

The Museum focuses on Canadian history, its people and the cultural diversity. The permanent galleries explore Canada’s 20,000 years of human history, and a program of special exhibitions expands on Canadian themes and explore other cultures and civilizations, past and present.

Needless to say, there is a lot to see and the Museum is huge.

This time, we started with the Children’s Museum nested inside the Museum of Civilization. Designed for children, it gives them the opportunity to “travel the world” and explore various cultures though props, costumes, cultural artifacts, etc. Kids are free to roam around and play with the many toys from all over the world—it’s really cool actually!

Then we then the Grand Hall, on the building’s first level. This is an architectural masterpiece that features a wall of windows framing the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill.

The Grand Hall is said to be the largest indoor display of totem poles in the world: a dozen towering totem poles and recreations of six Pacific Coast Aboriginal house facades are connected by a boardwalk.

We finished with the First Peoples’ Hall, a permanent exhibition that narrates the history and accomplishments of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples from their original habitation of North America to the present day. It explores the diversity of the First Peoples, their interactions with the land, and their ongoing contributions to society.

As a new Canadian, I always learning something when I explore this museum—give it a try if you are in the area!

Outside the Museum of Civilizations
Outside the Museum of Civilizations
The Grand Hall
The Grand Hall
Children's Museum
Children’s Museum
Children's Museum
Children’s Museum
Children's Museum
Children’s Museum
Children's Museum
Children’s Museum
Children's Museum
Children’s Museum
Mark Exploring the Grand Hall
Mark Exploring the Grand Hall
Montreal Canadiens Hockey Player
Montreal Canadiens Hockey Player
First Nations Art
First Nations Art
The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, Bill Reid's largest sculpture
The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, Bill Reid’s largest sculpture
Central Coast Housefront
Central Coast Housefront
Central Coast Housefront
Central Coast Housefront
Nuxalk Housefront
Nuxalk Housefront
First Nations Art
First Nations Art
First Nations Art
First Nations Art
First Nations Art
First Nations Art
 Moccasins
Moccasins
First Peoples Hall
First Peoples Hall
First Nations Art
First Nations Art
First Peoples Hall
First Peoples Hall
Lacrosse
Lacrosse
Hunting Buffalos
Hunting Buffalo
Hudson's Bay Point Blanket
Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket
First Nations Art
Self-Portrait Outside the Museum
Self-Portrait Outside the Museum

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18 Comments

  1. Holly Nelson June 5, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Look at your teeny tiny legs!!! So jealous! Mark is so cute in that photo where he is laughing his head off with a random baguette! Pleased he had a good time. Bet all of the first people artefacts are very interesting too.

    Reply
    1. Zhu June 5, 2013 at 11:12 am

      😆 I walk a lot, hence the legs I guess…!

      Reply
  2. Dennation June 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Yes, I love this museum too! You already know that though.

    The building’s architecture is reason in itself to visit. Sometimes I often visit a certain museum just for its architecture.

    The Museum of Civilization, however, is also full of so many different things to see. There really is something for everyone. I especially like the reconstructed buildings (I’m thinking of the Chinese laundry/dry cleaner’s and the post office).

    I also like the interviews with the natives that they showed on a screen. When I was growing up I knew nothing about natives (and I still know next to nothing). It is interesting to hear what living in Canada as a native is like (although they are mostly only happy stories).

    I confess to having a hard time leaving the Children’s Museum. It’s so much fun in there!

    Reply
    1. Zhu June 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      I know! I had more fun than Mark at the Children’s Museum, and I want to go back to visit the other exhibitions. We didn’t have the chance to see everything, this place is huuuge!

      Reply
  3. Dennation June 5, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    This might be a bit early, but does Mark eat bread? I’m only asking because I’ve noticed that all French babies are crazy about bread. A lot of them would rather eat bread than eat something sweet!

    Reply
    1. Zhu June 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      No, but he eats rice biscuits… his Asian side! I doesn’t have teeth yet so bread wold be hard.

      Reply
  4. La Madame June 6, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Il a l’air tout heureux le petit Mark avec sa baguette! 😀 De très jolies photos Zhu! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Zhu June 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Merci!

      Reply
  5. barb June 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Zhu,
    I had a good laugh seeing you and Mark with the baguette!!
    What a GREAT museum and absolutly incredible for kids.
    Bring Mark back in a year or two and have more fun with him.
    🙂
    Bises.

    Reply
    1. Zhu June 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      Oh, we will be back before that… I love that place!

      Reply
  6. Lou's Lake Views June 8, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Great post, I really need to get my butt to Ottawa and visit these kinds of places it looks like you had a great time.

    Reply
    1. Zhu June 8, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Do come over! Maybe for July 1st…? It’s “the” place to be!

      Reply
  7. Cynthia June 11, 2013 at 5:45 am

    I used to love this museum when I was a Child, I think the truck and tuk-tuk have not changed since the 1990’s!

    Reply
    1. Zhu June 11, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Really? That’s funny!

      Reply
  8. Ontario Travel Secrets June 12, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Great pics! This is one of my favourite museums! Especially love the architecture. I always think of canoe paddles when I see those long strips.

    Reply
    1. Zhu June 12, 2013 at 10:50 am

      Glad to know the Museum has another fan!

      Reply
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