A new home for the Canadian Canoe Museum will start rising in Peterborough, Ont., on a five-acre site along the water’s edge. The idea is that it will become a new cultural destination for visitors to learn about Canada’s collective history and reinforce their connections to land, water and one another – all through the unique lens of the iconic canoe.
West-facing views of Little Lake, a connection to the Trans Canada Trail and surrounding public parks will create a vibrant community space for outdoor activities and the museum’s canoeing and outdoor programs and events.
The museum recently completed purchasing the city-owned site and intends to sell its current property at 910 Monaghan Road to help fund the project, in addition to a fundraising campaign that has raised just over 82 per cent of the $40 million needed. Chandos Construction Ltd. and Lett Architects Inc. will be overseeing the project, slated for completion in 2023.
The design of the museum’s interior is a thoughtful blend of contemporary design and refined cottage sensibilities, with a large indoor/outdoor fireplace directly off the public café.
The entrance features a soaring double-height atrium space with exposed mass timber elements and a wood ceiling. The atrium is the heart of the public space and contains the reception area, retail zone, elevator, and the feature stairs to the exhibition hall on the second floor. From the atrium, the public is also offered access to the artisan workshop to witness the art of canoe-making and restoration first-hand, as well as into the museum’s collection storage centre, where hundreds of watercraft rest on racking awaiting future exhibition.
Directly off the café is a covered outdoor terrace, which is also accessible from the Trans-Canada Trail to the west of the building, allowing the public to stop by for refreshments as they walk the local network of trails.
From the street, its curving façade gently lifts to reveal the mass timber elements through large expanses of glazing. The building is clad in weathered steel panels, giving a warm quality to the museum that suits its natural lakefront setting.
Construction on the new Canadian Canoe Museum begins October, 2021.