New Museum

Designed by heneghan peng architects (Dublin, Ireland) with Kearns Mancini Architects (Toronto, Canada), the new museum will be a serpentine glass pavilion with a rooftop garden that will emerge from the drumlin.

Designed by heneghan peng architects (Dublin, Ireland) with Kearns Mancini Architects (Toronto, Canada), the new museum will be a serpentine glass pavilion with a rooftop garden that will emerge from the drumlin.

The Canadian Canoe Museum stewards the world’s largest and most significant collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft. More than 600 in number, the craft and their stories of national significance have a pivotal role to play in our collective future.

As part of our responsibility for this cultural asset of national significance, we are building it a new home in Peterborough, Ontario, that aspires to be as innovative as the canoe itself. The new museum will care for the collection the way it deserves to be cared for – preserving, protecting, and showcasing for generations to come.

Project Overview 

One-of-a-kind location – The new museum will be located alongside the Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site on the Trent-Severn Waterway – a partnership with Parks Canada.

Award-winning architecture and 21st-century sustainability – Designed by heneghan peng architects (Dublin, Ireland) with Kearns Mancini Architects (Toronto, Canada), the new museum will be a serpentine glass pavilion with a rooftop garden that will emerge from the drumlin, complementing the lift lock and contouring the waterway. Watch a short video that reveals the inspirations behind the architectural and landscape architecture designs for the new museum.

Extraordinary visitor experiences – The new museum’s spaces, in the building, on-land and on-the-water will offer new and exciting experiences. The museum has partnered with world-class exhibition design firm GSM Project.

Premier destination – The new museum will play a vital role in shaping the region’s identity as a premier destination to explore and create lasting memories – Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development.

Incredible economic impact – The museum will have a $111.3 million overall economic impact between 2017 and 2022, contributing significantly to the area’s economic growth and development.

Committed government supporters The City of Peterborough, the County of Peterborough, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada are supporting the new museum through its capital campaign. Curve Lake First Nation is an important advisor, partner and founding supporter of the project.

Leading philanthropists – As the lead private donor, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has donated $7.5 million to support capital costs and educational programming in the new museum. Many other leadership donors are on board and there is much momentum with philanthropists from coast to coast to coast. A $65 million national capital campaign will support the museum’s move to the water.

Local leadership – The museum will be a leader and a partner in the creation and development of a cultural centre.

National leadership – The museum will ensure the stewardship of this national cultural asset and the role it plays in the collective future of Canadians. Consultation with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians across the country will shape the future of the museum and its exhibits.

Sustainable future – The new museum’s business plan, informed by a comprehensive market demand study, projects a strong and sustainable financial future, supported by the diversification of revenue streams.

Coming soon – The new museum is scheduled to open in Spring 2022.

The Need

The need for a new museum is vital and rooted in three key areas to ensure a fundamental part of our Canadian heritage is not most.

Preservation, Protection & Promotion
Since 1997, the museum has been located in the former Outboard Marine Corporation buildings, a 1960s-era factory site in a highly concentrated commercial area. The museum and storage facility do not meet curatorial standards required for a collection of this significance. As such, the artifacts are at risk of accelerated deterioration and potential loss. This facility has always been considered interim due to its location and the limitations of the building.

Organizational Sustainability & Growth
Without the opportunity to increase attendance, grow programs and diversify revenue, the long-term strength and permanence of the organization is compromised.

Programmatic Capacity
Award-winning educational programming has reached capacity due to lack of space. The visitor experience is limited as only 20 percent of the collection is accessible. On-water programming is restricted due to the museum’s inland location. The new museum, and all it encompasses and enables, is foundational to the realization of a strong, sustainable national organization.

Would you like to get involved? We would love to hear from you.

Carolyn Hyslop, Executive Director
(705) 748-9153 [email protected]

John Ronson, Chair, Board of Directors
(416) 726-8762 [email protected]

Museum on the Move Highlights

– from our blog –

Building A Museum Upon Relationships

Nearly two decades ago, the fledgling Canadian Canoe Museum set out on a journey to develop 20,000 square feet of exhibits for nine, newly-created galleries within its renovated factory setting. Among the many remarkable people who were part of that team...

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Request for Expression of Interest Process

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST PROCESS The Canadian Canoe Museum stewards the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft. This collection, with its more than 600 watercraft, inspires connection, curiosity and new understanding. We are...

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Looking Back at 2017

2017 was an incredible year for the museum! We hosted many events, launched a new exhibit and celebrated some significant milestones. We also made significant progress on our redevelopment project. A series of funding announcements related to our future home allowed...

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