The Canadian War Museum is the latest jewel in the crown of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s must see sights.
For decades the Ottawa war museum was housed on Sussex Drive in Ottawa, a lovely facility, but much too small to properly exhibit the rich and vast storehouse of artifacts relating to Canada’s participation – both in war making and peace keeping – in wars around the world.
War Museum is a dramatic structure
The structure of the new Canadian War Museum is dramatic; built to resemble a large defense bunker, perhaps similar to one of those overlooking the beaches of Normandy in World War II.
From the grounds you overlook the beautiful Ottawa River as it winds it’s way east and south, past the magnificent Parliament of Canada, on it’s way to the mighty St. Lawrence River, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) away.
The Canadian War Museum is located a very comfortable 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) West of the Parliament Buildings along Wellington St. and it’s street address is, quite appropriately, Vimy Road.
Look east from the front entrance and in the distance you can see the Peace Tower on the center block of the Parliament Buildings. That’s ironic as the War Museum is dedicated to wars past, the Peace Tower to peace.
A nice stroll from Parliament Hill
If the weather’s pleasant, you might stroll westward along and down from the “hill”, and you’ll first pass the Confederation Building on your right, just past Parliament Hill.
Next you’ll wander past the Supreme Court Building, housing the highest court in the Canada. Take a moment to walk behind the Supreme Court Building to the outlook. The view is well worth the short detour.
As you pass the Supreme Court, just ahead to the right is the National Archives / National Llibrary building, in it’s own right a significant piece of Canada’s history.
And then, just down the hill, you’ll see the breathtaking silhouette of the Canadian War Museum.
More than 13,000 war-related artifacts
Visit, and see how the wars of the world have affected Canada’s development through the ‘eyes’ of the almost 13,000 artifacts on display, from a full size Voodoo Jet, military vehicles of all types, artillery pieces, and to poignant memorabilia of all types.
When there, do take a moment – in fact, you might want to take more than a just a moment – to ponder the meaning of Memorial Hall housed in the brand-new-in-2005 building – which is dedicated to Canada’s war dead. Memorial Hall is the new resting place of the “Uknown Soldier” from WW I. With an astounding piece of design….each November 11, precisely at 11:00 a.m…, a shaft of sunlight will pierce the strategically placed window to illuminate the tomb with the warmth of the fall sunshine.
Here is a brief glimpse of some of what’s inside the Canadian War Museum.
Remembrance Day Ceremony
November 11th is Canada’s Remembrance Day, when all Canadians are invited and requested to take time to remember those fallen in conflicts around the world. Services are held at Cenotaphs around the country, and in Ottawa, there’s a particularly moving ceremony at the Canadian War Memorial.
As it is with any visitor site in Ottawa, it’s always good to call to check details, current times of opening, current admission rates etc. to avoid disappointment when arriving. Here’s information for you that is currently valid, but that you would want to verify when you are ready for a visit.
Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1R 1C2
Telephone: (800) 555-5621 (Toll free)
Or (819) 776-8600 (local call)
Hours of Operation
Fall / Winter
Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Thursdays open until 9:00 p.m.
Spring / Summer
Open 7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Thursdays open until 9:00 p.m.
There’s lots of pay parking at the War Museum.
Also check and see if they still have the admission special where, for the same admission fee, you can visit both the Canadian War Museum and the breathtaking beauty of the Canadian Museum of Civilization which is just a short distance away.For more information on-line, please visit Canadian War Museum website here: http://www.warmuseum.ca
We welcome your comments and candid photos about your visit to Ottawa’s Canadian War Museum. All will be previewed to ensure suitability before going live.