The Canadian Canoe Museum's Collections Storage

Virtual Public Meeting for the New Museum

The Canadian Canoe Museum is building a new home along the water’s edge. 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 Great Trail of Canada (formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail) and is surrounded by public parks. It will become a vibrant community space for outdoor activities and the museum’s canoeing and outdoor programs and events. 

The Canadian Canoe Museum has a unique opportunity to create 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 iconic canoe.  

Virtual Public Meeting
April 28th, 2021

On April 28th, 2021 the Canadian Canoe Museum hosted a virtual public meeting to share how our new museum will become a vibrant community hub on the waterfront of Little Lake. The presentation featured an hour-long presentation, followed by a question and answer period. The video above is the full recording from the meeting.

NEXT STEPS: The re-zoning application will go before the City of Peterborough’s General Committee for consideration at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 7, 2021. 

The Location

The future site of our new museum will be located on the Traditional Territory of the Williams Treaties First Nations, in Peterborough, Ontario. Visitors will be able to explore the canoe’s leading role in Canada’s past, present, and future on Little Lake’s waterfront at 2077 Ashburnham Drive (Johnson Property). The new museum will become a part of the vibrant waterfront community, surrounded by parks, the Great Trail (formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail), soccer fields, the GreenUP Ecology Park, Beavermead Park and Campground, Rogers Cove and Parks Canada. The site is easily accessible from Highway 115 and the Trans-Canada Highway with ample parking available.

The Great Trail of Canada that bisects the site near the water’s edge and the open park space that follows the trail will remain intact and publicly accessible during and after construction.


The Design

Inspired by craftsmanship, the design of the new museum reflects a connection to the land and the artisanship of canoe making. Clad in weathered Corten steel siding, the museum will feature a distinguished curve at its southeast façade that opens to the site and lets on to an outdoor gathering area. Inside, the exposed mass timber and wooden structure will enrich the reception atrium and public spaces, offering revealing views to the outdoors and lake beyond.

The museum will be located close to Ashburnham Drive to allow for the majority of the site to be naturalized and used for programming – both on land and on water. The museum will also be adjacent to the Great Trail of Canada (formerly the Trans Canada Trail) and this important public corridor will be preserved with enhanced access to this pedestrian trail. A modest boathouse set back from the shore will provide support for vibrant on-water programming.

The Canadian Canoe Museum intends to create spaces for community gathering and enjoyment through careful landscaping of the site, reflecting a thoughtful approach to planting and habitat restoration developed with the guidance of local First Nations consultants, landscape architects, and other partners.


The Building’s Features

The inspiring two-storey, 65,000 square foot building will be a purpose-built facility that will serve as home to the museum’s collection and activities, and help preserve history through the display, restoration, and appreciation of the canoe. This will be achieved through:

  • An integrated collection storage centre allowing for the display of 100 per cent of the museum’s watercraft in a Class A controlled museum environment, an artifact conservation standard.
  • A 17,000 square foot Exhibition Hall featuring a brand-new suite of exhibits.
  • A Lakefront Events and Education Centre with a sweeping view of the lake.
  • An authentic Artisan Studio and Canoe-Building Studio to facilitate hands-on learning for youth and adults alike.
  • An accessible Library and Research Room with Class A archival storage.
  • A Café with a fireplace and adjacent Lakefront Terrace.
  • A Lakefront Canoe House with docks to accommodate on-water and outdoor education programming.

The City of Peterborough is currently in the process of re-zoning 2077 and part of 2011 Ashburnham Drive 
to allow for the described use of the Museum.

Environmental Focus

The Canadian Canoe Museum is committed to minimizing its impact on the natural environment. Management of the new museum property will include a comprehensive plan to restore and rehabilitate the site by introducing a mix of diverse, native plants and tree species to enhance its ecological function and bolster the existing woodlot. Through ongoing engagement with First Nations, plant species with cultural significance for Indigenous Peoples will be identified, and where possible, incorporated into the comprehensive planting rehabilitation plan.

A constructed wetland, rain garden and innovative stormwater features will provide on-site infiltration and quality and quantity control of runoff before it reaches Whitlaw Creek or Little Lake. The wetland area will also provide significant wildlife habitat by introducing native water plants and amphibians to the site.

Cambium Inc. has completed a thorough ecological field investigation to ensure that all wildlife habitats and species have been identified and the new museum building will be fully dark-sky compliant.

The natural surroundings of The Canadian Canoe Museum will be echoed in its sustainable design. The warm, organic structure will connect guests to their surroundings by using natural materials that simultaneously reduce the overall carbon footprint of the building. Guests are encouraged to reduce their environmental impact by utilizing one of the many means of active transportation to arrive at the museum from Little Lake, the Trent-Severn Waterway, the Great Trail of Canada or the City of Peterborough’s transit routes.

Site plan of the future Canadian Canoe Museum at 2077 and part of 2011 Ashburnham Drive. 


Be a part of history in-the-making