Update: Canadian History Hall

November 25, 2015
Canadian History Hall

An early design concept for one section of the Canadian History Hall.

A multidisciplinary group of Museum historians, ethnologists, archaeologists and museologists is working tirelessly to create the Canadian History Hall, to open on July 1, 2017. This new exhibition will reveal Canada’s essential stories of struggle and accomplishment, loss and hope. It will integrate a multitude of perspectives and will focus on the stories and experiences of real people.

The new hall will cover approximately 40,000 square feet and will consist of three main galleries around a central hub. The first gallery will cover the period from the appearance of the first humans at the end of the last Ice Age to the British conquest of 1763. The second will present Canadian history from 1763 to the end of the 19th century. The third will cover the 20th and 21st centuries.

Douglas Cardinal, the Museum’s world-renowned architect, is working closely with the exhibition team to realize aspects of his original vision within the exhibition’s design. This includes long sightlines and open spaces within the new hall, suggesting Canada’s immensity and iconic landscape.

“The Canadian History Hall will take full advantage of the original architectural design of the building, including the view, which honours Parliament Hill,” explains Mr. Cardinal. “The mezzanine will symbolically flow in sweeping forms like the Ottawa River into an oval ramp, symbolizing the natural phenomena of the ‘Great Kettle’ [Chaudière Falls], which Indigenous People saw as a power centre for the Nations.”

The new Canadian History Hall is the result of a vision — Canada by Canadians. Stakeholders, Museum staff, architects and a diverse group of advisors have come together to create what will be a vibrant, engaging and inclusive experience to be treasured for years to come. Community meetings and online submissions from across the country have helped inform and direct progress.

Your support of the Canadian History Hall is instrumental as it will help Canadians better understand and appreciate the events, people and objects that have shaped their history. Telling our Canadian stories in the most lively and accurate way possible is key to the shared vision and values of the Museum and its donors.