Canada Science and Technology Museum

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Canada Science and Technology Museum
CMST-Entrance.jpg
Former Front entrance
Former name National Museum of Science and Technology
Established 1967
Location Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates 45°24′12″N 075°37′13″W / 45.40333°N 75.62028°W / 45.40333; -75.62028
Type Science museum
Collection size 252,784[1]
Visitors 347,917[1]
President Fern Proulx[1]
Website www.ingeniumcanada.org/scitech/

The Canada Science and Technology Museum (French: Musée des sciences et de la technologie du Canada) is located in Ottawa, Ontario, on St. Laurent Boulevard, to the south of the Queensway (Highway 417). The role of the museum is to help the public to understand the technological and scientific history of Canada and the ongoing relationships between science, technology and Canadian society.[2]

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

The National Museum of Science and Technology was established in 1967 as a Centennial project by the Canadian Government. In October 1966 the government appointed David McCurdy Baird as the first director of the museum; because it was intended that the museum would open during the centennial year, Baird's first task was to find an existing building that could be repurposed without delay to house the museum. He found and arranged the purchase of a large former bakery on St. Laurent Boulevard with truck bays and high ceilings.[3] The government already had an aeronautical collection and a collection of railroad artifacts, and within a few months these were installed in the building. A collection of farm equipment from Massey Ferguson arrived soon after.

Proposed new locations[edit]

In 2001, the museum began looking for a new location to move to, citing a lack of space and accessibility.[4] The desire for more scenic surroundings was also a factor, as the museum is currently surrounded mostly by warehouses and strip malls. Four locations were considered: the western section of LeBreton Flats, on the Rockcliffe Parkway next to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (both in Ottawa), in Jacques Cartier Park on Rue Laurier, and a site on Rue Montcalm (both in the neighbouring city of Gatineau). In 2006, Conservative cabinet minister and MP for Pontiac (which includes the eastern tip of Gatineau) Lawrence Cannon put his support behind the Jacques Cartier Park option.[5]

2014-2017 closure[edit]

During routine maintenance on a leaky roof in September 2014, workers discovered that the roof was in danger of collapse and that mould was spreading from the building's south wall.[6][7] The museum closed to visitors, and the staff offered to lend out some of the exhibits to other museums while renovation and repairs were made to the building.[8]

Most of the original building was demolished, leaving only the "crazy kitchen" and the hall of trains. $80 million was spent to create a modern replacement on the same site.[9][10] The museum reopened on November 17, 2017.[11]

Facilities, collections and displays[edit]

Main building[edit]

The main museum building on St Laurence Boulevard houses a number of permanent displays, as well as temporary exhibits of the museum's collection and visiting exhibitions.[12][13] The most famous (and oldest) of these exhibitions is the crazy kitchen, a room that is built on a tilted surface, thus causing gravity to pull visitors towards the wall, but has all its furniture nailed to the floor so they won't fall, thus creating the illusion that the room is on an ordinary, flat surface. This competing information confuses visitors' brains which makes them feel nauseous.

Artifact Alley, which runs diagonally across the building, displays about 700 historical objects at any one time.[9]

Collections Conservation Centre[edit]

The Ingenium storage facility, located at 1867 St. Laurent Blvd, it includes more than over 268,000 artifacts, such as a prototype for the Bombardier Innovia ART 100, a driverless rail car (ca. 1982), an Iron Lung once used at the Ottawa Civic Hospital (ca. 1950), and the FIU-301, and the Ontario Provincial Police's first Unmanned Aerial vehicle (2005-2007).

Governance[edit]

Helen Sawyer Hogg Observatory with telescope from Dominion Observatory
Lighthouse, originally from Cape Race, Newfoundland, 1856

The museum is operated by Ingenium, a Crown corporation that reports to the Department of Canadian Heritage, which is responsible for preserving and protecting Canada's scientific and technical heritage. The Corporation has a staff of about 275 and is responsible for three museums: the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

Affiliations[edit]

The museum is affiliated with: Canadian Museums Association (CMA), Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), and Virtual Museum of Canada.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 2009-2010 annual report. Collection numbers are for the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation.
  2. ^ "American Civil War and Canada". The Canadian Encyclopedia
  3. ^ "A 'make-do' operation: Canada Science and Technology Museum 50th anniversary story from 2007". Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen, November 18, 2014
  4. ^ Canada Science and Technology Museum - Official Press Release, 30 May 2002
  5. ^ Ottawa Citizen, 15 April 2006
  6. ^ "Revamped Canada Science and Technology Museum opens Friday". CBC News, Nov 16, 2017
  7. ^ "Inside the Canada Science and Technology Museum’s big renovation". Macleans, by Liz Sullivan, Nov 8, 2017
  8. ^ "Canada Science and Tech Museum looking to lend out exhibits". Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen. November 19, 2014
  9. ^ a b "Lights! Camera! Locomotives! Science and Tech Museum reopens after three-year reconstruction". Ottawa Citizen, Tom Spears, November 16, 2017
  10. ^ "$80M later, a new museum, reassuringly old Crazy Kitchen". Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen August 22, 2017
  11. ^ "Renewing the beloved Canada Science and Technology Museum - Canada Science and Technology Museum". Canada Science and Technology Museum. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Quantum: The Exhibition at the Canada Science and Technology Museum". Canadian Association of Physicists website. February 6, 2018
  13. ^ "Canada Science and Technology Museum partners with U of O". Fulcrum, Anchal Sharma, 2018/01/29

External links[edit]