Human rights museum construction hits milestone

Thursday was a big day for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, where the last pane of glass was installed on the building's Tower of Hope.

Human-rights museum's building milestone

10 years ago
Duration 1:56
The last pane of glass was installed on the Canadian Museum for Human Rights' Tower of Hope.

Thursday was a big day for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, where the last pane of glass was installed on the building's Tower of Hope.

Construction of the $351-million museum, Canada's first national museum outside the Ottawa region, began in spring 2009 at The Forks in downtown Winnipeg.

It is currently slated to open in 2014, about a year later than originally planned, after encountering spiralling construction costs.

Installation of the 1,670 pieces of glass covering the tower and museum had been ongoing for the past year. There are 1,336 pieces on the museum and 334 on the tower.

The tip of the Tower of Hope's glass spire, at 100 metres, is 24 metres taller than Manitoba's Golden Boy, which sits atop the Manitoba legislative building and reaches 76 metres.

Museum in detail

Click here to read about FAQs, construction planning and progress, and other details about the museum. 

It even surpasses the Peace Tower in Ottawa, which tops out at 92 metres.

The late media mogul, Izzy Asper, spearheaded the project after conceiving of it more than a decade ago.

Fundraising in earnest for the project — a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, The Forks North Portage Partnership and the private sector — began in 2003 with a $30-million federal grant from the then-government of Liberal Jean Chrétien.

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The federal government has now contributed $100 million, while the province has put up $40 million and the City of Winnipeg has provided $20 million.

The federal government has also agreed to cover operating expenses estimated at $23 million a year.

Once complete, the museum will have 47,000 square feet of exhibition space, employ 250 people with an approximate payroll of $21 million and generate some $12 million in taxes.