I drove into Ottawa bright and early on a Monday morning and I headed straight to the Canadian War Museum. I have always been fascinated with World War Two, and being a history major in University as well as a history teacher made this attraction the top of my must-see list. Being that is was a Monday morning, the museum was pretty empty – which I loved!
When I go to museums and art galleries I tend to move through them fairly quickly and only look at the things I find interesting. Being all alone allowed me to set the pace but I can honestly say I didn’t skip through any part of this place. It is set up in a chronological pattern beginning in 1885 with battles that shaped our nation, then moves through the 20th Century and into present day. The history is very nicely intertwined with actual tanks, weapons and artifacts from different battles and time periods. I felt the museum did a good job at creating a place for every age, there were some nice interactive exhibits for children but not too many that they were distracting. My favourite experience was the recreated trench from WWI, since the museum was not very busy, I walked through it alone and I felt haunted, it was dark, the sounds were terrifying and I was little bit shaken, which I think was a good thing.
I spent my entire morning and into the afternoon at the War Museum and I feel like I did it justice. I had enough time to explore the permanent exhibits as well as the special exhibit Fighting in Flanders. Seeing the evolution of gas masks throughout WWI was fascinating. Below are two early gas masks and on the right is a mask for a horse.
Be sure to save some time for the basement of the museum where you will find tons and tons of Army vehicles from tanks to ambulances and everything in between. This is the one place I felt I could have spent a little more time, but I was eager to get set up in my jail cell for the night so on I went.
Thanks for sharing my adventures with me!!
The Facts – Canadian War Museum
Location: 1 Vimy Pl, Ottawa, ON K1A 0M8
Cost: $13 adults $10 students
Time: I spent 1/2 a day and I felt that was enough to see everything.
Worth It?: Without a doubt.