Ottawa

A sneak peek inside the Canadian History Hall

Canadians will soon be able to walk through 15,000 years of history, thanks to the new Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History, set to open July 1, 2017.

Canadian Museum of History's largest exhibition on Canadian history opens July 1

Canadians will soon be able to walk through 15,000 years of history when the new Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., opens July 1, 2017.

The exhibition was an ambitious undertaking by the Canadian Museum of History, requiring five years of research and collaboration.

"The hall is unapologetic in its exploration of Canada's history, depicting the moments we celebrate along with the darker chapters," said museum president and CEO Mark O'Neill in a media release.

These chapters, he said, "must be told if we are to offer an accurate and complete account of this country's past." The museum received feedback from over 24,000 Canadians in putting the exhibit together.

"When we spoke to these Canadians, at the beginning of the project, there was an absolute thunderous consensus that any history project should talk about the good and the bad," explained Lisa Leblanc."We took that quite seriously throughout."


The curved passageway eventually leads visitors to the Canadian History Hall. The hall is divided sequentially into three galleries.

The exhibition begins the moment visitors step into the passageway, a long curved walkway decorated with 101 silhouettes of national landmarks and cultural symbols and activities. The passageway eventually leads to the three exhibition galleries.


The $30-million exhibition spans over 40,000 square feet across two floors. The artifacts, multimedia presentations, and interactive displays create an engaging and compelling experience.

The exhibition is divided into three galleries — early Canada, colonial Canada, and modern Canada. The galleries showcase the major events and turning points in the each era told through a display of artifacts and multimedia presentations.


The ivory carving, estimated to be between 3,600 and 3,900 years old, is the oldest known representation of a human face found in Canada.

Over 1,500 artifacts are on display at the Canadian History Hall. Notable artifacts include the handcuffs worn by Louis Riel moments before his execution, a T-shirt worn by Terry Fox, and an ivory carving, the oldest known representation of a human face found in Canada.


A display found in the Rossy Family Gallery, showcasing early Canada from 15,000 years ago to 1763.

The Canadian History Hall will open on Canada Day, on the 150th anniversary of Confederation. In celebration of the official opening, entry to the museum will be free during the holiday weekend.

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