Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough Prepares to Paddle

Peterborough, Canadian Canoe Museum, Canoe, Lett Architects Inc, Ontario, Museums, Renovation, Parks Canada, Peterborough Lift Lock

Canadian Canoe Museum and the City of Peterborough have purchased Johnson Property, five acres of municipal-owned land on the Otonabee River. The new museum is scheduled to open in summer 2023. (Photo courtesy of Lett Architects Inc.)

It has been a year of excitement and uncertainty for the Canadian Canoe Museum (CCM) renovation but things are looking up with the purchase of a new property located near the Peterborough Lift Lock.

CCM had plans to relocate to the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway but announced that it had to terminate its lease agreement with Parks Canada because the proposed location was found to be contaminated with chemicals.

Peterborough, Canadian Canoe Museum, Canoe, Lett Architects Inc, Ontario, Museums, Renovation, Parks Canada, Peterborough Lift Lock

The entrance of the Canadian Canoe Museum features a soaring double-height atrium space with exposed mass timber elements and a beautiful wood ceiling. The atrium is the heart of the public space. (Photo courtesy of Lett Architects Inc.)

But a new year brought good news. In January, the CCM and the City of Peterborough announced the conditional purchase and sale of Johnson Property, five acres of municipal-owned land. CCM will pay $1.575 million for the land and intends to sell its current property at 910 Monaghan Road to help fund the project. The new waterfront museum will be located within the traditional territories of the Williams Treaties First Nations and will provide stunning west-facing access to Little Lake, a connection to the Great Trail of Canada, and is surrounded by public parks.

“Kicking off the New Year with this key milestone realized drives further momentum to our new world-class museum build,” stated Carolyn Hyslop, executive director of the CCM. “In less than a year we’ve moved from walking away from a contaminated site to forming a new build project team and identifying and securing an alternate location. The purchase of a viable new site puts our project firmly on-track to be shovel-ready by the end of this year.”

Peterborough, Canadian Canoe Museum, Canoe, Lett Architects Inc, Ontario, Museums, Renovation, Parks Canada, Peterborough Lift Lock

The Canadian Canoe Museum makes an impression. Its curving façade gently lifts to reveal the mass timber elements through large expanses of glazing. (Photo courtesy of Lett Architects Inc.)

Hyslop says the new build will take an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach where people, systems, business structures, and practices are integrated into a concurrent process, from design to fabrication and construction, in order to maximize efficiency and accelerate schedules.

“This integrative and collaborative, team-based project delivery method will ensure the new museum project can begin construction before the end of this year and provide cost certainty as early as this spring with design concepts expected to be available for sharing by June,” Hyslop said.

Johnson Property is situated on Little Lake, north of Beavermead Park and south of the Parks Canada-Trent Severn Waterway head offices. The new canoe museum will be built on a flat portion of the property, away from the flood plain, to preserve the existing trail, shoreline and natural waterfront.

Peterborough, Canadian Canoe Museum, Canoe, Lett Architects Inc, Ontario, Museums, Renovation, Parks Canada, Peterborough Lift Lock

The Canadian Canoe Museum’s interior is a thoughtful blend of contemporary design and refined cottage sensibilities. Ample daylight flows in from attractive windows. (Photo courtesy of Lett Architects Inc.)

The CCM stewards the world’s largest and most significant collection of canoes, kayaks, and paddled watercraft. More than 600 in number, the craft and their stories hold national and international significance.

The new museum will enable CCM to house 100 per cent of the its canoe collection in a building that meets Class A conservation standards, directly on the water, which allows for increased on-water and in-person programming while being a key cultural tourism driver in what will become a vibrant community hub on the Peterborough waterfront.

The inspiring two-storey, 65,000-square-foot building will serve as home to the museum’s collection and activities, including:

• An integrated collection storage centre allowing for the display of all of the museum’s watercraft in a Class A controlled museum environment
• A 17,000-square-foot Exhibition Hall featuring a new suite of exhibits
• A Lakefront Events and Education Centre with a sweeping view of the lake
• A Canoe-Building Studio to facilitate hands-on learning
• An accessible Library and Research Room
• A café with a fireplace and adjacent Lakefront Terrace.
• A Lakefront Canoe House with docks to accommodate on-water and outdoor education programming.

The project is on track to break ground this fall, and the new museum is scheduled to open in summer 2023. To watch a webinar with updates on the project, click here.

MORE ABOUT CANADIAN CANOE MUSEUM

Website: www.canoemuseum.ca
Address: 910 Monaghan Road, Peterborough, ON (see map below)
Phone: 705-748-9153 / Toll Free: 1-866-342-2663

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism: www.thekawarthas.ca

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Rod has previously worked for Canoe.ca and is currently freelancing for Huffington Post Travel. He’s also written travel articles for the Toronto Star and Up! Magazine. Living in Toronto but raised in the small central Ontario village of Holstein, Rod is a country boy at heart who has never met a farmer’s market he didn’t like.

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