Canadian Canoe Museum Reveals New Location at Water's Edge

Official opening ceremonies to welcome community, dignitaries, and donors

PETERBOROUGH, ON, May 11, 2024 /CNW/ – The Canadian Canoe Museum (CCM) will host an official celebration today at 1:00 pm ET, unveiling its new purpose-built, world-class, two-story, 65,000-square-foot museum, on its five-acre lakefront campus located at 2077 Ashburnham Drive in Peterborough, ON. The ceremony will be broadcast simultaneously on the Museum’s website at

“Today marks the culmination of years of planning and hard work that ushers in a new era for The Canadian Canoe Museum, our local community and economy and the arts and culture sector,” stated Carolyn Hyslop, executive director, The Canadian Canoe Museum. “We are thrilled to welcome our donors, partners, members and volunteers as we gather to celebrate the unveiling of the new museum and Lang Lakefront Campus at the start of the paddling season,” said Hyslop.

Situated on the Traditional Territory of the Williams Treaties First Nations, the five-acre site of the new museum provides stunning west-facing views of Little Lake, a connection to the Trans Canada Trail and is surrounded by public parks.

Reflecting on this milestone, Kevin Malone, chair, board of directors noted, “The Canadian Canoe Museum collection is unlike any other and has been recognized for its national significance to Canada. Now, it finally has a befitting, purpose-built home that enables it to be displayed in its entirety and meaningfully cared for as a fundamental part of Canada’s past.”

Designed by Unity Design Studio (formerly Lett Architects Inc.) the architecture is inspired by craftsmanship, and the use of natural elements reflects a connection to the land inspired by the canoe. It will play a vital role in the stewardship of this national cultural asset that was named to the list of Best Cultural Spots on National Geographic’s Best of the World 2024, the brand’s annual guide of the most exciting, meaningful, and one-of-a-kind travel experiences for 2024.

The new 65,000-square-foot museum and lakefront campus, located on the Trent-Severn Waterway, form the key elements of this project, which cost a fully-funded $45M to realize, enables the Museum to display 100 per cent of its more than 600 watercraft in a facility designed to meet Class “A” controlled museum environment artifact conservation standards. The new facility allows for the vessels to be cared for and to have their stories shared with dynamic, immersive exhibits and transformational on-land and on-water visitor experiences.

Hyslop went on to say, “We invite new and returning visitors to immerse themselves in the rich histories and diverse cultures of the canoe and kayak. All our programming offers hands-on indoor and outdoor experiences connecting visitors and locals to the land, water, and canoe.”

Visitors will also see and hear Indigenous languages and voices from the moment they enter the Museum. The local Michi Saagig dialect of Anishnaabemowin is used throughout the building and in its exhibits alongside English and French.

Additional Indigenous languages are featured in relation to specific watercraft. The Indigenous Languages Program is supported by TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment.

The new museum is primed to become a significant cultural and recreational tourism destination between Toronto and Ottawa. It will play a vital role in shaping the region’s identity as a premier travel location known for its vibrant community space, outdoor programs, events, and canoeing activities.

Features of the new museum include:

  • A 65,000-square-foot Museum and Lakefront Campus with a canoe house, gathering circle, campfire pit, accessible boardwalk, a walk-in canoe launch, an adaptive canoe and kayak launch and two expansive seasonal docks to accommodate on-water and outdoor education programming.

  • An integrated Collection Hall that allows for the display of 100 per cent of the Museum’s watercraft in a Class “A” controlled museum environment, an artifact conservation standard.

  • 20,000 square foot Exhibition Hall featuring a brand-new suite of exhibits.

  • Accessible Library and Research Room with Class “A” archival storage.

  • Authentic Artisan Studio and Canoe-Building Studio to facilitate hands-on learning for adults and youth.

  • A premier event rental space featuring a sweeping view of the lake.

  • Café with fireplace and adjacent Lakefront Terrace.

The new museum officially opens on Monday, May 13, 2024, to welcome all guests and encourages visitors to come and enjoy the full range of on-land and on-water experiences.

The Canadian Canoe Museum extends its deepest gratitude for the generous support it has received from its local community and individuals across Canada. This project was made possible, in part, thanks to the support of lead donor and government partners, including the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Province of Ontario, the Weston Family Foundation, the City of Peterborough, and Peterborough County. Today’s event has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation. 

“As a government, we are proud to have supported the Canadian Canoe Museum’s new lakefront facility, which is enabling the Museum to display 100 percent of its watercraft collection and providing an immersive space for visitors to learn the rich histories and innovation behind the canoe and kayak. This investment through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund is helping foster an environment where people can experience dynamic cultural expressions, celebrate Canada’s history and heritage, and build strong communities. In particular, we are proud to see this Museum recognizing the importance and the place of Indigenous perspectives and languages in this story. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this space will have on the local community of Peterborough and beyond.”

–  The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Congratulations on the grand opening of the new Canadian Canoe Museum! Your beautiful new waterfront location is the perfect home for the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft. This space is an important site for preserving and enhancing both Indigenous and Canadian cultural heritage. The Government of Canada is pleased to have supported this project with an investment of $750,000, which helped to outfit this new space for your community members and visitors to enjoy. My best wishes to all those attending for a successful and enjoyable event. And to all who were involved in making this project a reality, thank you!”

–  The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Our government is proud to support the Canadian Canoe Museum, which has been a unique culture and tourism destination in Peterborough for more than 25 years,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “The museum’s beautiful new location will help to preserve and showcase its world-class collection of watercraft, offer more spaces to engage and educate visitors and have a positive economic impact on Peterborough and surrounding communities.”

“The Canadian Canoe Museum has been an important institution within our community for more than two decades,” said Dave Smith, MPP, Peterborough-Kawartha. “This new facility will create a wealth of possibilities for sharing the history of this important mode of travel with locals and visitors alike – through innovative new exhibits and opportunities to take to the water and enjoy the canoe as its meant to be – on the water!”

“So much of the history of First Nations peoples, and the history of Canada, is reflected in the story of the canoe. For almost 30 years, Peterborough has been proud to host The Canadian Canoe Museum – and now it has a fitting home for its vast collection. I look forward to welcoming visitors from around the province, country, and the world, to experience this nationally significant museum, situated on the shores of Little Lake in beautiful Peterborough, Ontario.”

–  Jeff Leal, Mayor, City of Peterborough

“Peterborough County proudly supports the new Canadian Canoe Museum and has been eagerly following its progress. This investment underscores our commitment to preserving heritage, promoting tourism and economic development, fostering community engagement and education, supporting cultural reconciliation, and enriching our arts and culture landscape. The new location of the Canadian Canoe Museum, situated along the water’s edge, promises a transformative visitor experience, shaping our region’s identity as a premier destination. This museum will attract visitors from around the world, firmly positioning our region as an international destination. Congratulations to the Canoe Museum, our partners, and all the workers and volunteers who contributed to making this project a local success story.”

–  Bonnie Clark, Peterborough County Warden

“The Weston Family Foundation celebrates this next chapter in the Museum’s history following more than 25 years of collaboration, funding, and leadership, including an instrumental role in its founding. Our funding has supported costs and educational program development for the new museum which will educate visitors about our country’s heritage for generations. Congratulations on this monumental achievement and we wish you much continued success.”

–  Garfield Mitchell, chair, Weston Family Foundation

“The new Canadian Canoe Museum creates an exciting new space that amplifies languages and voices from Indigenous communities, helping ensure the rich history, diverse cultures, and traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples are carried forward. TD is incredibly proud to support the Museum’s Indigenous Languages program and the Indigenous Community Coordinators through the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank’s corporate citizenship platform. These initiatives recognize and celebrate Indigenous Peoples and communities, help create conversations about the past, present, and future, and are an important step in our collective journey towards Truth and Reconciliation.”

–  Alicia Rose, AVP, Social Impact, Sustainability & Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group

About the Canadian Canoe Museum (   
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. As part of the Museum’s responsibility for this cultural asset of national significance (Senate of Canada, 2013), it now displays 100 per cent of its collection in its new purpose-built 65,000-square-foot home facility on the waters of Little Lake that aspires to be as innovative as the canoe itself. With an array of indoor and outdoor spaces, the Museum inspires 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. The Museum was named to the list of Best Cultural Spots on National Geographic’s Best of the World 2024, the brand’s annual guide of the most exciting, meaningful, and one-of-a-kind travel experiences for 2024.

Social Media: @cndncanoemuseum
Hashtags: #NewCanoeMuseum #WatersEdge #BestOfTheWorld

Note to Editor:
High-resolution digital images are available online at

SOURCE Canadian Canoe Museum

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