Canadian Museum of Nature

Tourism Region: National Capital Region

The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada’s national natural history and natural science museum. It promotes awareness of Canada’s natural heritage through permanent and travelling exhibitions, public education programmes, active scientific research, the maintenance of a 10-million-specimen collection and a comprehensive Web site, A founding member of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, the Museum is working with partners to expand its national service and to develop national programmes about the natural environment.

Behind our public face is a vibrant, multi-layered, multi-faceted organization composed of research scientists, collection specialists, education and multimedia specialists, and innovators.



240 McLeod (at Metcalfe)
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 2R1

Telephone: (613) 566-4700/1-800-263-4433
TDD: (613) 566-4770/1-866-600-8801
Fax: (613) 364-4021

Mailing Address: 
Canadian Museum of Nature
Box 3443, Stn D, Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 6P4

Visit the Website
Email Us

Hours of Operation

Operations: Year Round

Open: Fall/Winter Hours (September 3 – April 30)

•Tuesday – Sunday: 9 am – 5 pm
•Thursdays: 9 am – 8 pm
•The boutique opens an hour after the museum.

•Mondays, except:
•October 14 (Thanksgiving Day)
•December 23 (during the holiday period)
•December 30 (during the holiday period)
•February 17 (Family Day in Ontario)
•March 3 (during spring break in Quebec)
•March 10 (during spring break in Ontario)
•April 21 (Easter Monday)
•December 24 closing at 2:00 pm (Christmas Eve)
•December 25 (Christmas Day)
•January 6–10 (inclusive; annual maintenance).

Summer Hours (May 1 – September 2)

•Open Daily: 9 am – 6 pm
•Thursdays, Fridays: 9 am – 8 pm

Closed: Monday
December 24 - closed at 2 p.m.
December 25 - closed

Administration fees

Admission: Charged • Free
Adult: 12 $
Student(13+) / Senior(65+): 10 $
Child(3 – 12): 8 $
Tiny Tot(Ages 2 and younger) : Free
Member : Free

Taxes not included.

Group rates are available. Minimum 15 people per group.
Reservations: (613) 566-4701; Fax: (613) 566-4798

Discounts: Groups • Seniors • Students

About Collections

The Canadian Museum of Nature's 24 major science collections represent Botany, Vertebrates, Invertebrates and the Earth Sciences. Our holdings also include a Library containing over 43,000 books and 100,000 volumes of periodicals. Nature's Archives keep a nature art collection, a photo collection and our institutional archives. The Museum holds more than 10 million specimens representing more than 150 years of collecting efforts and containing many important type specimens. The collections continue to grow at the rate of about 40,000 specimens a year. Specimens in the Museum's natural history collections are loaned to other museums and universitites for study and display.

Approximate number of objects in the collections: 10.5 million


The Museum archives include a nature art collection, a photography collection of over 275,000 photographs as well as administrative and private records.

Architectural Records • Cartographic Materials • Electronic Records • Prints and Drawings • Manuscripts • Films and Videos • Photographs • Textual Records

Fine Arts

The Museum holds a small collection of nature art (about 1,800 pieces).


Painting • Photography • Prints and Drawings • Sculpture • Sketchbooks or Albums • Film and Video

Folk Art

Natural Sciences

National collection of 10.5 million specimens in the fields of zoology, botany, vertebrate palaeontology and the mineral sciences.

Plants and Animals (Biological Collections)
Endangered Species • Living Collections • Parasites • Scientific Specimens : Type Specimens • Zooarchaeological Specimens • Terrestrial Organisms • Aquatic Organisms : Marine : Fresh Water • Botany : Fungi : Non-Vascular Plants : Lichens : Mosses (Bryophyte) : Vascular Plants : Non-Flowering Plants : Seed Plants • Zoology : Invertebrates : Mollusks (Mollusca) : Worms (Annelida) : Crustaceans (Crustacea) : Jellyfish, corals or sea anemones (Cnidaria) : Flatworms (Platyhelminthes) : Roundworms (Nematoda) : Millipedes or Centipedes (Myriapoda) : Spiders (Arachnida) : Starfish (Echinodermata) : Insects (Insecta) : Sponges (Porifera) : Vertebrates : Fish (Pisces) : Amphibians (Amphibia) : Reptiles (Reptilia) : Birds (Aves) : Mammals (Mammalia)

Earth Science and Geological Collections
Minerals • Rocks • Meteorites • Precious Stones (Lapidary) • Drill Cores

Paleontological Collections
Fossil Collections • Fossil Plants (Paleobotany) • Plant Spores and Pollens (Palynology) • Fossil Microorganisms (Micropaleontology) • Fossil Invertebrates (Invertebrate Paleontology) • Fossil Vertebrates (Vertebrate Paleontology)

Services & Activities

Visits to galleries and exhibitions; interpretive support for school groups and general public; lectures; High-Definition cinema; facility rentals for events.

Also inter-museum loans; permanent, temporary and travelling exhibits; specialized library with 74,000 books and serials on a range of natural history topics; books and microfilms, available for research purposes through university, museum or inter-library loan; reading room; gift shop and cafe on premises.

Research Services

Archival Records, Library, Laboratory, object or scientific specimen identification, conservation and restoration, 3D imaging centre

Archival Records • Conservation or Restoration • Laboratory • Library • Object or Scientific specimen identification

Educational Programs

Throughout its history, the Canadian Museum of Nature has enhanced its exhibitions and galleries with innovative educational programmes, workshops and activities for schools and the general public. These programmes are designed and delivered by our staff of professional nature educators and our many dedicated volunteers.

Classes or Workshops • Demonstrations • Discovery Room or Centre • Family Programs • Films • Internships • Lectures • School Programs : Age 0-4 (Pre-School) : Age 5-11 (k-6) : Age 12-17 (7-13)(Quebec: Secondary 1-CEGEP) : Age 18 and up (Post-Secondary) • Seniors Programs
Other: Trading Post, Nature for Tiny Tots, Nature for Little Groups

Visitor Services

Provide visitors with floor plans and other handouts, answer questions and direct them to exhibits and activities in the Museum.

Bilingual Services • Films and Videos • Guided Tours : English : French • Accessible by Public Transportation • Audio Guides : English : French • Children's Activities or Services : Strollers Available : Nursing area or Change Table • Information Centre or Desk • Meeting Room Rental • Parking Facilities : Charged : Bus • Gift shop • Special Needs Facilities : Parking : Signs : Washrooms : Wheelchairs available : Wheelchair access • Cloakroom • Washrooms

Volunteer Services

Volunteer Services Available • Volunteer Training Offered

Number of Volunteers: 156

Activities: Volunteers deliver curriculum-based nature workshops and on going public programmes, assist with research and collection projects (identifying, sorting and cataloguing specimens and recording data), and administration work.

Member Privileges

Members of the Canadian Museum of Nature gain unlimited free access to the Museum and to over 300 other museums around the world. They are invited to special events and receive a 10% discount at the Nature Boutique. There is also a 20% discount for an annual subscription to Canadian Geographic Magazine.

Food Services

Our new Nature Café, located on the main floor, serves a varied menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, freshly baked goods and fair-trade coffee. The museum also invites visitors to bring their own snacks and meals, which can be enjoyed in the Nature Café, PCL Plaza or Group Entrance.

Cafeteria • Snack Bar or Vending Machines • Picnic Area • Catering Services • Reception Facilities • Restaurant
Other: YMCA on Argyle Avenue (behind the Museum)

Internet Services

General InformationCollectionsEventsVirtual ExhibitionsEducationSchool Visits or ProgramsChildrenDirections or MapLocal HistoryOnline Giftshop or BookstoreOther Internet Services

Other Services

Click on for all the details! Lectures, 3D theatre, Teacher Zone, Collections, Research, Membership, Making a donation, etc.

Publications & Products

The Canadian Museum of Nature produces publications and multimedia products for children, general audiences and science professionals.

Annual Reports • Books • Brochures • Catalogues • CD-ROMS • Educational kits • Newsletters • Postcards • Posters • Tour Packages • T-Shirts or Sweatshirts or Caps • Slides • Commemorative Souvenirs • Videos
Other: Press releases, stock footage and photographs, models and casts of specimens, specimen storage containers.


Image highlighting the museum Canadian Museum of Nature

The Victoria Memorial Museum Building

© Canadian Museum of Nature

Image highlighting the museum Canadian Museum of Nature

Museum researchers in the field. Join them at

© Canadian Museum of Nature

Image highlighting the museum Canadian Museum of Nature

Hands-on learning at the Exploration Station

© Canadian Museum of Nature

Image highlighting the museum Canadian Museum of Nature