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Ignite your wonder across ages, lands and cultures

Explore Museums in Canada

Canadian museums give you a stunning glimpse into the unique natural history of the country and the people who made it what it is today. From dinosaurs to famous works of art, and ancient sculptures to intelligent architecture, look no further to spark your inner curiosity and walk the footsteps from past to present.

7 of the best museums in Canada

The museums in Canada have no shortage of natural history. You'll see many dinosaurs fossils exhumed from various Canadian regions
© Narciso Arellano
Discover Canadian culture and the people who made the country what it is today
© JP Media Works Courtesy of Travel Manitoba

1. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the only one of its kind in the world. Its goal is to explore the subject of human rights with a special, but not exclusive, reference to Canada, to enhance the public's understanding of the subject, to promote respect for others, and to encourage reflection and dialogue.

The architecture of the building is meant to represent the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. With curving lines, bold geometry and unusual angles, you progress through the museum from darkness to light, representing a journey to equality.

Located in Winnipeg, the museum was built on a thousand-year-old meeting place of the First Nations people. Indigenous Elders participated in discussions about the construction and the treatment of sacred items. They even put traditional medicine bags in more than 500 holes drilled to support the building!

The glass frame of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is known as the "cloud". Each piece of glass was custom-made and no two are alike!
© Brydon McCluskey
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first of its kind in the world
© Travel Manitoba

2. The Canadian Museum of History

The Canadian Museum of History is the most visited museum in Canada. Presenting 20,000 years of human history across four million artefacts and specimens (and even a giant 3D-screen movie theatre), there’s much to learn!

In particular you will enjoy the spectacular Grand Hall, one of Canada’s most architecturally impressive displays. With a curving, six-storey, windowed wall and an impressive view of Canada’s Parliament Hill, it’s a sight to behold!

A visit to the First Peoples Hall will leave you inspired as well. This hall celebrates the history, diversity, creativity, resourcefulness and endurance of Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples across more than 2,000 artefacts. Of course, there are many other exhibits to fill your time too!

The Grand Hall is one of Canada’s most architecturally impressive displays
© Bonjour Québec
Discover the history, diversity, creativity, resourcefulness and endurance of Canada’s First Nations in the First Peoples Hall
© Bonjour Québec

3. Royal Ontario Museum

Founded in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto is the largest museum in Canada and one of the top ten cultural institutions in North America. Boasting a collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects and natural history specimens, featured in 40 galleries and exhibitions, this museum is a dream come true for history buffs!

The ROM showcases art, culture and nature from around the world and across all ages. Think dinosaurs (the largest collection from the Burgess Shale!), minerals and meteorites; Canadian, and European historical artefacts; as well as African, Near Eastern, and East Asian art.

You won’t miss it! Museum Station on the underground takes you there and is decorated to resemble the institution's collection. You’ll think you’re in the museum as soon as you get off the train!

The Royal Ontario Museum is a beautiful and architecturally impressive building!
© Lianhao Qu
Museum Station was named after the ROM and is designed to match the decor

4. Royal Alberta Museum

Sharing Alberta's remarkable stories, the Royal Alberta Museum is the largest museum in western Canada and one of the top museums in the country. Located in the Arts District in downtown Edmonton, it opened its doors in 1967 and today boasts over two million artefacts.

On a mission to collect, preserve, research, interpret, and exhibit objects and specimens related to the heritage of Alberta's people and natural environment, you’ll find a variety of stunning exhibits. Learn the history of Western Canada, not only of the people, but also the fossils, animals and plants that represent Alberta's wildlife. From the Canadian Ice Age, to how the Rocky Mountains were formed, there is much to discover!

Get a glimpse of the culture of Alberta across the ages at the Royal Alberta Museum
© Travel Manitoba
Explore the fossils, animals and plants that represent Alberta's wildlife
© BC Robyn

5. Royal British Columbia Museum

The Royal British Columbia Museum is one of Canada’s greatest cultural treasures. Founded in 1886, this museum shares the story of the province of British Columbia, both the culture and natural history, and strives to broaden understanding and inspire curiosity.

With an impressive collection of artefacts, documents and specimens, the museum provides a dynamic forum for discussion and a place for reflection. Arguably the most historically significant items in the museum are the Vancouver Island Treaties, signed between 1850 and 1854. These treaties represent an agreement between Indigenous people and the Hudson’s Bay trading company on the rights to land use.

As history has shown, the Indigenous people received the short end of the stick in these treaties. The Royal British Columbia Museum strives to rectify this by working directly with Indigenous people on various matters, sharing their history in a way that represents them accurately and wholly.

Learn the natural history of the province of British Columbia at the Royal British Columbia Museum
© Travel Manitoba
The Royal British Columbia Museum works directly with Indigenous people on various matters, sharing their history in a way that represents them accurately and wholly.
© Travel Manitoba

6. The Museum of Anthropology

The Museum of Anthropology is home to over 585,000 artefacts with a specific focus on the First Nations People of the Northwest Coast. Found in the University of British Columbia, this is also a research and teaching museum where courses in art, anthropology, archaeology, conservation, and museum studies are given.

The Museum of Anthropology is renowned for its displays of world arts and cultures and includes a number of large sculptures, totem poles, and cultural artefacts. The most famous object in the museum is The Raven and the First Men, a sculpture by Bill Reid, which was previously depicted on the Canadian twenty-dollar bill.

The Raven and the First Men by Bill Reid was previously depicted on the Canadian twenty-dollar bill.
© Nick Kwan
Learn the culture and history of the First Nations People of the Northwest Coast at the Museum of Anthropology
© Travel Manitoba

7. The Museum of Vancouver

The Museum of Vancouver is a civic museum dedicated to encouraging a deeper understanding of the city of Vancouver through stories, objects and shared experiences.

This museum emphasises four broad areas across all their displays from redress and decolonisation, immigration and diversity, environment and sustainability, to urban and contemporary issues. Exhibits showcase the city from 1900 to present day, with endless chances to get to know Vancouver on a deeper level.

The Museum of Vancouver has unique architecture
Get to know the city of Vancouver and the stories it holds on a deeper level
© Travel Manitoba

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