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Canadian Children's Museum

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Date Founded: 

LogoLocated within the Canadian Museum of Civilization building, the Canadian Children’s Museum (CCM) has grown to nearly three times its original size since its creation in 1989. The mission of the Museum, according to the CCM website, emphasizes “hands-on learning” as a way “to enrich children's lives, broaden their cultural experience and provide them with a creative space in which to learn about the world.” The Museum is committed “to learning by discovery and places a strong emphasis on imagination and role playing. Hands-on activities and programmes use real materials from the Museum's collection. A bus in Pakistan. (Photo - Matthew Farfan)Children can touch the exhibits and discover the world around them in a safe, fun environment.” The CCM encourages adult participation as a way of enhancing a child’s educational experience, and is aimed at children up to 14 years old, families, and school groups.The fact that the CCM is located within a larger, world-class museum means that it provides “an effective bridge between children and the collections and resources of the Canadian Museum of Civilization.”

Physical Description: 

Inside an Egyptian pyramid. (Photo - Matthew Farfan)The Canadian Children’s Museum occupies over 2,200 square metres (24,340 square feet) of indoor and outdoor exhibition space, on level two of the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Other services, shared with the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian Postal Museum, include dining facilities, boutiques, an Imax theatre, visitor services, handicapped services, indoor paid parking, and others.


According to the Museum website, the CCM has a permanent collection of 10,000 artifacts, props and hands-on items, for use in exhibitions and programmes. In addition, it has access to the collections of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. A distinctive approach within the Children's Museum is the “juxtaposing of display artifacts within a ‘hands-on’ environment. This approach has resulted in collections being categorized as either Permanent Collections or Interpretive Collection, depending on the function for which they were acquired.”

The Forster Dollhouse, 1845-1978. (Photo - Matthew Farfan)Permanent Collection: this collection, according to the CCM’s website, “focuses on documenting the activities of children throughout the world, by collecting contemporary and historical elements of children's material culture, including toys, games, clothing, art, photographs, etc. These artifacts are treated according to commonly accepted museum practices and standards as concerns environmental conditions, security and handling.”

Interpretive Collection: this collection, “objects categorized as either "Hands-On" or "Props". Hands-on objects form the largest category of the collections and are an integral part of the Children's Museum's philosophy of learning by doing. The collection consists of replaceable cultural objects, replicas, reproductions, and duplicates of other objects in the collections. The Prop collection comprises a variety of objects which support or enhance specific exhibitions and/or programmes, similar in nature to theatrical props. Perhaps the best known prop in the Children's Museum collection is a full size, elaborately decorated bus from Pakistan.”

Special Activities: 

The permanent exhibition of the Canadian Children’s Museum, titled “The Great Adventure,” is an interactive round-the-world voyage where visitors encounter “exciting locations, interesting people and enticing activities.” Children are provided a passport at the gate, in which they can collect ink stamps from exotic countries and locations all around the Museum. Destinations include a pyramid in the Egyptian desert, a bus ride in Pakistan, and a visit to a colourful market bazaar, to name only a few. Along the way, visitors can play parchisi on a verandah in India, perform a shadow puppet show in Indonesia, discover a secret passage in the desert, and much more.

The Museum also features regularly scheduled temporary exhibits (please inquire for dates and times).

The Museum also regularly hosts performances, music, storytelling, workshops, and other activities specially designed for children (please check schedule for dates, times, and fees).



Business Hours: 

[](For the entire Museum of Civilization building)
May 1 to June 30:
7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Thursdays to 9:00 p.m. (the Canadian Children's Museum closes at 7:00 p.m.)
July 1 to September 5:
7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays until 9:00 p.m.
September 6 to October 10:
7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Thursdays until 9:00 p.m. (the Canadian Children's Museum closes at 6:00 p.m.)
October 11 to April 30:
Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Thursdays until 9:00 p.m. (the Canadian Children's Museum closes at 5:00 p.m.)


Please consult the museum website, below, for details.



Canadian Children's Museum,
Canadian Museum of Civilization, 100 Laurier Street, P.O. Box 3100, Station B, Gatineau, QC J8X 4H2.

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(819) 776-7001
(819) 776-8300