Steady progress has been made, but industry-wide construction challenges have delayed the Museum’s opening to late summer or early fall.
A photo of the new Canadian Canoe Museum on 2077 Ashburnham Drive under construction, taken January 20, 2023.
2023 will begin a new chapter in The Canadian Canoe Museum’s (CCM) history as the organization prepares to move to its new waterfront location, currently under construction along Ashburnham Drive in Peterborough, ON.
“It is an exciting time for the Canadian Canoe Museum. A little more than a year ago, we had just begun construction. Since then, we’ve achieved many milestones. The building structure has come to life before our eyes, the mass timber façade is taking shape and the building is nearly closed in. Exhibits have been developed and are being sent to fabrication, the fundraising campaign is in its final stretch and the collection is nearly ready for its move across town,” exclaims Carolyn Hyslop, Executive Director.
The Canadian Canoe Museum is creating a new cultural destination that will inspire visitors to learn about Canada’s collective history and reinforce our connections to land, water and one another – all through the unique lens of the canoe.
The new museum will be located on a five-acre site that will provide stunning west-facing views of Little Lake, a connection to the Trans Canada Trail, and will be surrounded by public parks. It will become a vibrant community space for outdoor activities and the Museum’s canoeing and outdoor programs and events.
A national fundraising campaign has inspired Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast and has raised 95 percent of the project’s $40-million cost to date.
The project is also made possible in part by the generous support of the Weston Family Foundation, the City and County of Peterborough, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada through both the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), and donors from across the country.
While steady progress has been made, the new museum’s opening will occur later than initially anticipated.
The new museum project is experiencing delays due to the pandemic and its ongoing impacts on the construction industry, affecting supply chains and material availability and resulting in material shortages. For example, a national shortage of cement powder recently created a three-week delay in completing the building’s superstructure.
Maria Williams, project director, Chandos Construction, explains: “The CCM project started at a difficult time in the industry. Due to the pandemic and other influences outside our control, we have seen trade shortages, material supply issues and escalations beyond what we have historically seen. I am incredibly proud of the work of this team, which has come together to find unique solutions to minimize the impact on the project budget and schedule while maintaining the overall quality of the design and construction.”
The CCM hoped to welcome visitors in early summer 2023, but due to these delays, the anticipated opening of the new museum is now late summer or early fall.
“As designers, we have seen unprecedented upheaval in the construction sector over the last two years. While there have been similar delays and supply chain issues on the CCM, through our integrated approach to project delivery, these have been minimized compared to other projects. We are pleased with the progress made and look forward to seeing the Museum open to the public in 2023,” reflects Bill Lett, managing principal, Lett Architects Inc.
The CCM remains hopeful that the new museum will be able to celebrate its grand opening during paddling season.
“We are working very closely with the project team to recover the schedule delays, as we would be overjoyed to open earlier. With so much excitement and interest in the new museum, locally and nationally, we want to be transparent with our community about the timeline as we know many are planning trips to visit us this summer!” says Hyslop.
To learn more about the new museum or to donate, visit www.canoemuseum.ca/new-museum.
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Images and Video
A high-quality photo of the new museum under construction, taken January 20, 2023, is available for download.
Drone footage of the construction site, taken January 12, 2023 is available upon request.
Additional information and renderings of the new museum can be found on The Canadian Canoe Museum’s Media Kit webpage.
About The Canadian Canoe Museum (CCM)
Located on the Traditional Territory of the Williams Treaties First Nations, in Peterborough, Ontario, The Canadian Canoe Museum stewards the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft. More than 600 in number, the watercraft and their stories have a pivotal role to play in understanding our past – and our collective future.
As part of the Museum’s responsibility for this cultural asset of national significance (Senate of Canada, 2013), it is building a new 65,000 square foot home that aspires to be as innovative as the canoe itself. A purpose-built facility on the water, with an array of indoor and outdoor spaces, will allow the Museum to deliver on its mission in ways that, right now, it can only imagine. It will inspire visitors to learn about Canada’s collective history and reinforce our connections to land, water and one another – all through the unique lens of the iconic canoe.
Learn more at canoemuseum.ca/new-museum.