Canada, much like its neighbour America, has no shortage of awesome museums to visit. No matter what you are interested in learning about – be it the dinosaurs of the Alberta badlands, the first British Columbian settlers, Native American history, or anything in between – you can do so at this country’s top-class museums, which are considered to be some of the best in the world. Take a look at these top 5 must-see Canadian museums before you plan your next trip to the land of hockey and maple syrup!
#5: Canada Science and Technology Museum – Ottawa, Ontario
This museum is the largest of its kind in Canada, and is based in the nation’s capital city of Ottawa. The establishment boasts all sorts of epic exhibits that focus on the past, the present, and even the future of science and technological innovation. What makes this venue stand out is the fact that most of its exhibits are walk-through or hands-on in nature, making them an interactive experience suitable for all ages. Visitors can take a break from their bingo Australia games to explore five main galleries, including an Artefact Gallery, a Children’s Gallery, and the appropriately named Crazy Kitchen. Look forward to seeing plenty of planes, trains, rockets, cars, and even cutting edge space travel simulations here.
#4: Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) – Toronto, Ontario
The Royal Ontario Museum is considered to be one of the coolest museums in Canada by far. Based in Toronto, it is dedicated to the cultures and art of the world and natural history, and sees more than a million visitors per year. Guests can spend all day exploring its 40 galleries, which boast over 6 million artefacts. They include minerals, dinosaur bones, and even real meteorites, as well as hands-on live exhibits and interactive activities for curious kids. The exhibits are always changing, too – from adult slumber parties and tours to exclusive workshops, ROM has it all!
#3: Royal British Columbia Museum – Victoria, British Columbia
One of Canada’s most-visited locations, the Royal British Columbia Museum packs in three permanent galleries filled with natural and human history from the surrounding area. Attractions include live tide pools, replica shops and streets, and even a life-sized mammoth. The First Peoples Gallery is a must-visit as well, boasting beautiful ceremonial masks, authentic totem poles, and full sized recreated log houses. Visitors can even watch local carvers creating new totem poles in the museum’s dedicated long house, or check out the largest IMAX theatre in BC.
#2: Vancouver Police Museum, Vancouver, British Columbia
This is North America’s oldest police museum, housing more than 20,000 photos, documents and artefacts. Based in the old Coroner’s Court heritage building (which was once the morgue, crime lab and autopsy facility) the museum welcomes visitors of all ages for fascinating self-guided tours into Vancouver’s law enforcement and crime history. Exhibits include a massive gallery of gambling contraptions, confiscated weapons, drugs, counterfeit currency, and a crime gallery containing real photos and evidence. Fans of the macabre might also enjoy the authentic autopsy suite, while kids can dress up in real police uniforms and enjoy some light-hearted but educational fun.
#1: Biosphere Environment Museum – Montreal, Quebec
The Biosphere is North America’s only environmental museum, offering a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions. The architectural wonder allows visitors to learn more about climate, meteorology, water and air science, and regional biodiversity. The outdoor Arctic photo exhibit pays homage to the natural beauty of the region while educating visitors about environmental changes, and the engaging ‘Design the Future’ show allows them to reconnect with nature and grasp the importance of reversing climate change to preserve the earth for future generations to enjoy.