10 Awesome Museums For Exploring Canadian History

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Canadian history is fascinating and can be best explored by visiting museums across Canada. The journey you will embark on will grab your family’s attention and curiosity, as you dive deep into Canadian history. Relics from the past will capture your interest as you explore these world-class museums, with an abundance of photo opportunities to document your historical journey along the way. Become the Indiana Jones of the Great North, as you travel through time in Canadian history.

Royal Ontario Museum

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The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a museum of art, world culture, and natural history in Toronto, Ontario. It is one of the largest museums in North America and the largest in Canada. The ROM, or Musée royal de l’Ontario (French), is home to a world-class collection of 13 million art objects and natural Canadian history specimens, featured in 40 gallery and exhibition spaces.

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It attracts more than one million visitors every year, making the ROM the most-visited museum in Canada. The museum is north of Queen’s Park, in the University of Toronto district, with its main entrance on Bloor Street West. The Museum subway station is named after the ROM and, since a 2008 renovation, is decorated to resemble its collection. The ROM is a great museum to visit with the whole family to explore rich Canadian history.

Insider Tip: The upper floor of the ROM is an interactive playroom made just for kids exploring Canadian history!

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Stones ‘N Bones

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The Stones ‘N Bones Museum is a 10,000-square-foot museum that features an international collection of fossils, minerals, gemstones, artifacts, shells, butterflies, insects, taxidermy, huge shark jaws, dinosaurs, and more. This beautiful museum is located in Sarnia, Ontario, and is one of the finest museums this beautiful lake town offers. Family membership is only $30 and is valid for one year, with as many visits as you like. A single pass is $20 for a year. Don’t forget to visit the gift boutique, which has loads of jewelry, including ammolite, amber, gems, silver, collectible-quality minerals, fossils, shells and artifacts, decorative goods, and housewares. Ancient Canadian history was never this much fun!

Interesting Fact: Stones ‘N Bones is an outstanding natural history museum, ranked as the 3rd best museum in Canada.

Gasoline Alley Museum

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Gasoline Alley Museum is a celebration of industrial design, illuminated by a storyline that follows the far-reaching social changes that resulted from the introduction and popularization of the automobile in Canadian history. The two-story museum, located in Calgary, Alberta, contains thousands of automobile memorabilia items, mostly dating pre-World War II. Local Calgary businessman Ron Carey generously donated the items to Heritage Park to display for public enjoyment, while being properly maintained.

The artifacts displayed at the museum date from the turn of the 20th century to the 1950s and include vintage vehicles, unique gasoline pumps, and many products and signage from a host of petroleum companies. One convertible is set up like it’s parked at an old drive-in theatre, and you can sit in the car for photos with the entire family.

Interesting Fact: Most of the items on display in the Gasoline Alley Museum were restored by Mr. Ron Carey and his staff.

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Royal BC Museum

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Founded in 1886, the Royal British Columbia Museum consists of The Province of British Columbia’s natural and human history museum and the British Columbia Provincial Archives. The museum is located in Victoria, British Columbia. The museum collects artifacts, documents, and specimens of British Columbia’s natural and human history, safeguarding them for the future and sharing them with the world. Research and presentations enable the museum to tell the stories of British Columbia in ways that enlighten, stimulate, and inspire.

By exploring social and environmental Canadian history, the Royal BC Museum advances new knowledge and understanding of British Columbia. It provides a dynamic forum for discussion and a place for reflection. Millions of visitors go to the museum every year and visit the website to learn about Canadian history.

Interesting Fact: The “Royal” title was approved by Queen Elizabeth II and bestowed by HRH Prince Philip in 1987, to coincide with a royal tour.

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First Toronto Post Office

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Toronto’s First Post Office is a historic site in Toronto, Ontario, and opened in 1834. It is the oldest purpose-built post office in Canada that functioned as a British Royal Mail department, and it’s the only surviving example.

A Visit to the Post Office in 1834

This is a storybook that was written and illustrated just for Toronto’s First Post Office! Rebecca and her father travel to Toronto’s new city from their farm to sell their products and run some errands. They find a surprise waiting for them at the Post Office. Visitors will learn how to write and mail a letter and some of the differences between town and country and past and present. This program is suitable for those under seven years of age or mixed-age groups, including young children.

The Meeting Place

At Toronto’s first post office, this museum workshop looks at Toronto’s growth from colonial outpost to megacity. It also examines changes in communication between Torontonians and the rest of the world. Participants are invited to write a letter with quill and ink, just as in 1834. This program can be adapted to meet almost any group’s needs and focus on different aspects of Toronto’s Canadian history.

Insider Tip: Visitors can combine a post office workshop with a walking tour for a full-day field trip in Toronto’s Old Town. This will be a hands-on tour through Canadian history!

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Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum

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The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is a paleontology museum located in Wembley, Alberta, Canada. The museum is situated within a 41,000-square-foot building constructed in 2015 and is named after renowned Canadian paleontologist Philip J. Currie. The dinosaur skeletons, recreated bonebed, and the real paleontologists working in the lab provide a walk through time with every visit. Kids will discover something new each time as the exhibits keep changing!

Watch dinosaur movies, documentaries, short films, and more in the museum’s viewing room, Canada’s first National Geographic theater. Rent it out for film screenings or movie nights and enjoy your own party in a beautiful museum. There are also many school programs offered by the museum for kindergarteners to grade 12 to learn more about ancient Canadian history. This spacious and gorgeous museum is great for the whole family and features a cafe for a delicious lunch.

Exploring Canadian History Through Museums
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Manitoba Museum

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The Manitoba Museum is the province’s largest center for heritage and science learning. Its combined human and natural history themes are unique, with immersive world-class dioramas, science and astronomy education, and high-quality programs. Travel through millions of years, as you journey from north to south across Manitoba’s vast and varied landscape, from the icy arctic coast to the windswept prairies as you learn about this important piece of Canadian history. The museum is noted for its three-dimensional walk-through galleries. Highlights include the Nonsuch, a full-size 17th-century sailing vessel, and the Urban Gallery, which takes you back in time to Winnipeg, Manitoba during the 1920s.

The Manitoba Museum is the recipient of many recent awards and designations, including the Michelin Green Guide top rating “Worth the Trip,” the Province of Manitoba’s Tourism Service Excellence Award, the Attractions Canada Prix Award (provincial) for indoor attractions, and the Canadian Tourism Commission’s “Win with Winter in Canada” Award for the Great Canadian Fur Trade behind-the-scenes tour.

Cape Bear Lighthouse & Marconi Museum

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This unique museum is located 25 km from the Woods Island Ferry. The Cape Bear Lighthouse stands on Prince Edward Island’s southeast coast. Built-in 1881, this three-story square tower has guided fishers and sailors along PEI’s Northumberland Strait. The lighthouse’s view reveals small secluded beaches, rugged sandstone cliffs, and much marine life, such as seals and porpoises. Visitors can take a tour of the lighthouse and Marconi museum, visit the gift shop and take in the fabulous views of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island.

Cape Bear Lighthouse was transferred from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to Cape Bear Lighthouse & Marconi Station Incorporated (a not for profit community organization) that focuses on preserving this historic site promoting the Canadian history of the area and the role the lighthouse played over the years.  

Insider Tip: Stop by the villages of Murray Harbour, Murray River, and Beach Point to see the fishing boats and local attractions.

Saskatchewan Science Centre

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The Saskatchewan Science Centre is a great way to spend a day in Regina, Saskatchewan! With more than 185 hands-on exhibits, visiting exhibitions, IMAX films, and awesome stage shows, every visit is different! Play, learn, and explore! The Saskatchewan Science Centre also encourages experiments, surprises you with stage shows, wows you with workshops, and has the province’s only 3D IMAX Theatre!

The Saskatchewan Science Centre is a non-profit, non-governmental educational facility and museum with the mission of igniting scientific curiosity and innovation in Saskatchewan communities through interactive, dynamic, and engaging opportunities. The museum’s vision of the future and fulfilling that mission is inspired by minds interested in science and innovation. The role of science in Canadian history is also explored in this wonderfully unique museum!

Interesting Fact: The Science Centre is one of Saskatchewan’s largest family tourist attractions with close to four million visitors since its opening in 1989.

The Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts

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The Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts (MMFA) is one of Canada’s most-visited museums and the eighth most-visited museum in North America, boasting more than 1.3 million visitors interested in Canadian history. The MMFA’s original temporary exhibitions combine various artistic disciplines, fine arts, music, film, fashion, and design and are exported worldwide. Its rich encyclopedic collection, distributed among five pavilions, includes international art, world cultures, decorative arts and design, and Quebec and Canadian art. The Canadian history museum has seen exceptional growth in recent years with two new pavilions: the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion, in 2011, and the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace, in 2016.

The MMFA complex includes Bourgie Hall, a 460-seat concert hall. The Museum also houses the Michel de la Chenelière International Atelier for Education and Art Therapy, the largest educational complex in a North American art museum. The MMFA offers innovative educational, wellness, and art therapy programs.


After visiting these great museums, you will become an expert on Canadian history. Expect the unexpected as you explore relics that have been carefully preserved and restored, with each telling its own tale from the past. Everyone can learn from history, and these museums are a fun way to capture the attention and curiosity of your entire family. Happy exploring!

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Parveen Duggal
Parveen is a former healthcare professional who lives in Canada on Lake Huron with her husband and three gorgeous daughters. She loves fashion, jewelry, sunglasses, scrapbooking, cooking, enjoys whipping around town in her Tesla, and watching movies with her handsome husband. She is religious and loves to raise money for charities around the world. Parveen loves traveling especially going to Disney World with her entire family.

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