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Looking to make use of your leisure time before another long week of school or work starts again? Why not go check out a museum. Visiting museums are awesome; you get to learn, relax, absorb some culture, and be entertained in one fell swoop. To help you get your culture on, here is a list of some of the best museums in Canada you need to check out…
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario
The ROM is straight up one of Canada’s best museums. Most people in Southern Ontario will be introduced to this one through a class trip. While some may be intrigued, it’s usually not until one visits on their own that they come to the conclusion that the place is actually pretty cool. Full of exhibitions like natural history and culture, this museum boasts six million items including an impressive dinosaur bone collection. They continually change their exhibitions to keep things fresh, so keep an eye on what’s currently showing.
Royal BC Museum, Victoria, B.C.
Because of its location, on Vancouver Island, the Royal BC Museum doesn’t get the credit it deserves. But make no mistake; this museum is worthy of a ferry line and trek to the island. Tracing the human history of British Columbia with three permanent galleries, and featuring live tidal pools, cobblestone streets, totem poles, Chinatown’s alleys, and shops, this museum is sure to endear itself to you in a hurry.
Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta
When visiting a museum, the choice of which exhibits to check out can be a pretty overwhelming decision. Not the case with the Royal Tyrrell Museum, which proudly displays one of the largest and most acclaimed collections of dinosaur bones on the planet. Forty mounted skeletons, a live reef, and live paleontological excavations make this one a must-visit.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Quebec
Canada’s first museum and still one of it’s best, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has one of Canada’s best collections of contemporary and classic visual art. Featuring art from the Group of Seven, renowned Inuit and First Nations artists, as well as European Impressionists, compliment an astounding collection of artefacts and decorative arts.
Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario
Regardless of your feelings around war, this museum is worthy of a visit. The museum aims to bring an understanding to armed conflict in addition to honouring the legacy of Canada’s war veterans. The numerous exhibitions do a wonderful job of emphasising the experience of war while also displaying interesting and rare vehicles, uniforms, medals, personal memoirs, and more.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, Manitoba
The newest museum on the list, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights has some of the most striking displays of architecture in the country. Beyond the incredible building standing on the banks of the Assiniboine River, the museum is 4,000 metres, features 11 galleries on seven levels, and leads visitors on ascending walkways of backlit Spanish alabaster. Yeah. It’s impressive. Not only does this museum aid in one’s understanding of human rights, but also brings attention to some of the today’s issues, ultimately, inspiring change.
Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario
If the goal of a museum is to connect us to our past, this one does a fine job of it. For those not familiar with the history of the building; it was constructed in 1958 at the order of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to protect members of the government in the event of war – that is to say, it’s a nuclear bomb shelter. Exploring this relic of the Cold War is at once fascinating, and kind of spooky. The Diefenbunker now features an escape room, which is totally amazing if you can evade a panic attack.
The Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto, Ontario
The Hockey Hall of Fame is definitely in the grey zone as far as our concept of traditional “museums.” But don’t be fooled into thinking you won’t be connected to the past or learn something new while visiting, as this museum commemorates Canada’s favourite game and all of the finest athletes to ever play the sport. Anyone who appreciates sport and athleticism will be enthralled during their visit.
The Rooms, Saint John’s, Newfoundland
The Rooms was opened in 2005 and houses the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador in addition to the Provincial Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador. The facility features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of Newfoundland and Labrador via dioramas of the animal and plant life of the area, bird displays, fishing displays, and exhibits on aboriginal people who lived in the area.
Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, P.E.I.
This huge complex in Charlottetown, P.E.I. can be a touch imposing at first, but venture on anyway to see a showcase of the best Canadian visual and performing arts. Recently renovated, and featuring live theatre, live music, and visual art, any visit to Charlottetown isn’t complete without spending some time at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
The Audain Art Museum, Whistler, B.C.
The Audain is a brand new privately built art gallery in Whistler, B.C. With 56,000 square feet of space to explore, it now stands as the largest building constructed as an art gallery in the entire province. Michael Audain is the philanthropist and art collector behind the museum and donated $30 million to the museum’s construction just to house his personal art collection for public viewing.