New museum’s 1.5-acre green roof to be named in recognition of generous gift

The Canadian Canoe Museum is thrilled to announce that the Dalglish Family Foundation has made a $1.2 million commitment to its capital campaign – a significant investment in the future of the organization.

Camilla and Peter Dalglish, directors of the foundation and longtime supporters of the organization, were at the museum this afternoon for the announcement of the generous gift, which will support capital costs for the new facility, to be built alongside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway. The new museum’s 1.5-acre green roof, with its accessible boardwalk, extensive pollinator gardens and exhilarating views of the National Historic Site, will be named in their honour.

“Kirk Wipper realized the importance of protecting these historic boats, as do I,” said Mr. Dalglish at the announcement in the museum galleries. “The Dalglish Family Foundation is a small, family-run organization, and this is our biggest donation to-date. Our family members were unanimous in their desire to support The Canadian Canoe Museum.”

The 83,400 square-foot facility has been designed by the award-winning team of heneghan peng (Dublin, Ireland) and Kearns Mancini Architects (Toronto, Canada). The building, purpose-built for the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft, will blend almost seamlessly into its landscape, emerging from the drumlin and complementing and contouring the waterway. In fact, thanks to its green roof, the new museum is expected to be invisible via Google Earth.

“The roof is the largest external surface of the facility – the fifth façade,” says Roisin Heneghan, Lead Architect. “It will be very visible from the lift lock. Meanwhile, from the roof itself, there will be sweeping views of the waterway. The creation of this bio-diverse roof will also ensure that green space is retained on this park-like site.”

The roof will welcome visitors of all ages and abilities, and encourage them to explore the spaces along a boardwalk, inspired by the High Line public park in New York City. The roof will feature up to 50 local plant species, including a wildflower meadow. Many of the species are of significance to Indigenous cultures in the area, and have been chosen because they will bloom at various times of the year and thrive in the climate and conditions.

The outdoor spaces at the new museum, including the roof and the waterway, will allow programming to flourish as visitors will have integrated experiences that include its world-class collection. The roof will be among the areas that will allow for ecological exploration and experimentation.

“With this new space will come an incredible array of opportunities for everyone who will visit,” said Bill Morris, Campaign Chair. “The museum community and beyond is so grateful for the Dalglish’s vision for the facility, and for the green roof, in particular. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the Dalglish Family Foundation Green Roof in 2022.”

The new museum will be supported by a $65 million capital campaign, and has received foundational financial support from municipal, provincial and federal governments. The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has invested $7.5 million, building on its more than 20-year-long legacy of leadership with the museum.

Green Roof Backgrounder – Design Highlights

“It’s rare for a museum in Canada or the United States to be proactive about sustainable design. But the new land-architecture museum being designed for The Canadian Canoe Museum is significantly defined by its vast green roof.”

 -Lisa Rochon, Design Director.

  • Green roofs provide additional insulation to buildings and serve as a buffer against extremes of heat and cold, and reduce solar insolation. The museum’s green roof will feature a sweeping wild flower garden, and local grasses to help absorb and retain rainfall that would otherwise place extra demand on the city’s storm water systems.


  • The museum’s green roof merges seamlessly with the grounds on the north side, providing beautiful views of the National Historic Site and a close-up experience with up to 50 local plant species specially selected by landscape architect Phil Collins, of Foggy River Farm Design.


  • The green roof will offers habitat for small animals and will attract bees and butterflies to the pollinator plants.


  • Below the north section of the green roof lies the museum’s collection. Because they are light-sensitive artifacts, sinking the collection below the green roof – and below ground – helps to naturally shelter the beautifully-crafted boats, protecting them for generations to come in an energy efficient and sustainable manner.

The Canadian Canoe Museum conceptual rendering