Your Guide to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa

Exploring Innovation: Your Guide to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa

The Canada Science and Technology Museum is a captivating place where the past, present, and future converge in a delightful dance of discovery. 

This iconic institution is a time capsule of technological marvels, a playground for the intellect, and a celebration of the ingenious spirit of Canadians through time. 

Now, if you’re planning on going here any time soon or still deciding on whether you should go or not, we’ll lay out everything you need to know beforehand. 

From what you’ll see to even how you get there, this handy guide will hold your hand and tour you through all the info you’ll need until you become your very own expert!

So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s explore the wonders that await in the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa!

History of the Canada Science and Technology Museum

Before it became its own museum, the Canada Science and Technology Museum started as just a branch of the now-defunct National Museum of Canada. It first opened its doors in 1967 and became its very own institution by 1968.

At that point in time, it was named the National Museum of Science and Technology and only adopted its current name by 2000.

Much of the Canada Science and Technology Museum’s original structure was demolished and replaced from 2014-2017. 

As of today, the museum contains over 20,000 artifact lots with 60,000 individual objects, which are displayed in the museum’s exhibitions. 

Must-See Exhibitions at the Canada Science and Technology Museum

Once you’ve passed through the doors of the Canada Science and Technology Museum, there’s a world of wonders just waiting to be explored. 

Here are the exhibitions you should absolutely see as soon as you step foot inside this magical place!

Crazy Kitchen +

The Crazy Kitchen has been a crowd-pleaser since the museum’s inauguration in 1967, and its charm endures in its renewed form today.

A cornerstone of the museum, it remains a beloved attraction with its original interior intact, a nostalgic journey for those who’ve known it over the years. 

The renewed exhibition, named Crazy Kitchen +, introduces visitors to additional interactive experiences, all centered around the realms of perceptions and illusions.

Within this whimsical space, visitors are in for a treat as they unravel the mysteries of how their senses and brains can play delightful tricks on them. 

It’s an exploration that reshapes their understanding of the world around them, making it not just an experience but a journey into the enchanting realms of perception!

Artifact Alley

Artifact Alley is a central hall that serves as the museum’s pulsating core, a space of wonder and exploration, and home to eight thoughtfully themed cases. 

This vital space showcases over 700 artifacts, each telling a unique story and contributing to the rich tapestry of technological history. 

Whether displayed individually as stand-alone marvels or arranged in carefully curated groups, these artifacts span a diverse spectrum. It’s got everything from vehicles and cameras to telescopes and trade literature. 

The experience also extends to handling real woodworking tools, exploring technologies of the past, assuming command of a sci-fi spacecraft, and much more!

From Earth to Us

From Earth to Us is an insightful exploration into the intricate processes through which we convert natural resources for humanity’s various needs and desires. It sheds light on the consequential impact of these transformations on the world that envelops us. 

This thought-provoking journey encompasses diverse subjects, including mining, materials, metallurgy, energy, climate change, and water resources.

Visitors are invited to step into a prospector’s tent, providing a glimpse into the adventurous life of a gold explorer. 

You get to stroll through a virtual mine, discovering the stories of pioneering female miners and exploring the evolution of mining technologies across different eras. 

On Energy Street, participants have the opportunity to install a hydroelectric dam and operate a nuclear fusion reactor.

Then there’s the Glacier, a reflective space where visitors can immerse themselves in the firsthand accounts of those directly impacted by climate change. This serves as a powerful reminder of the urgent environmental challenges we face.

Another thing that adds to the allure of the exhibition is the captivating installation titled “There is a crack in everything.” 

It’s comprised of 1,867 lightbulbs sourced from the museum’s collection, some dating back to 1880. This interactive creation allows visitors to choose a sequence of lights, actively participating in illuminating the installation. 

Crafted by Sunniva Geuer and Lucas Ridgeway of Bouw Design Inc. and associates, this stunning piece merges history and technology into a harmonious experience!

Hidden Worlds

Hidden Worlds narrates the compelling tale of our quest to uncover, observe, and venture into realms that lie beyond our immediate sight. 

This captivating journey spans from the minute intricacies of tiny objects to the unfathomable depths of the oceans and vast expanses of the universe.

Visitors will be immersed in hands-on experiences featuring microscopes and telescopes. Additionally, they’ll delve into an immersive ocean-themed storybook that employs multimedia elements, allowing for an interactive and educational encounter. 

Complementing these experiences is the object theatre, a platform to explore an array of groundbreaking technologies that form the foundation of scientific breakthroughs.

Medical Sensations

Medical Sensations delves into the intricate realm of medicine, examining its facets through the lens of the five senses. 

This exploration highlights the profound interplay between human and technological sensations in shaping the cultural landscape of medicine. 

The museum has an extensive medical collection complemented by rarely-seen images and artifacts drawn from collections across the country. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in these highly interactive, sensory experiences.

These encounters vividly illustrate the ongoing evolution of the human body in medical care, intricately intertwined with the constant advancements in technology. 

It’s a unique opportunity to witness the combination of historical artifacts and cutting-edge innovations, shedding light on the history of medicine.

Sound by Design

Sound by Design drags you on a captivating journey through the evolution of sound technology spanning the last 150 years. 

It shows the transformation of sound from early scientific instruments dedicated to its study to iconic technologies that have significantly impacted how we engage with music. 

Additionally, the exhibition delves into the realm of electronic instruments, which are instrumental in reshaping the creation of music.

You’ll also get up-close encounters with some of the most remarkable artifacts from the museum’s sound collection. 

The experience is heightened through an immersive soundscape installation, providing a sensorial journey through the historical and technological dimensions of sound. 

If you really want some hands-on fun, the exhibition offers the chance to play DJ on an oversized record, adding a playful touch to the exploration. 

Furthermore, visitors can step into the Quiet Cube, a specially designed room that eliminates echoes. This type of experience is a serene contrast to the vibrancy of sound technology’s dynamic evolution.

Steam: A World in Motion

Steam: A World in Motion will take you back to the captivating era of steam transportation in Canada, spanning from 1900 to 1960. 

You’ll get to delve into the intricate tales of those who constructed and operated the ships and locomotives that traversed the globe. Don’t miss the opportunity to uncover the narratives of individuals whose lives were intertwined with these mighty machines.

The exhibition invites you to step into the shoes of those who contributed to the steam-powered world. 

Take the chance to climb into a locomotive cab to envision yourself as a fireman, gaining a firsthand perspective on the demanding roles associated with steam transport. 

Then, immerse yourself in the interactive experience of running a digital roundhouse, assuming the responsibilities of a roundhouse foreman. 

You can also witness the mesmerizing workings of a Canadian-built triple expansion steam engine, gaining insights into the colossal power used by these grand vessels.

Steam: A World in Motion offers a profound understanding of why steam was so important in Canada. 

It also provides an exploration of the factors that led to its eventual displacement as the primary force behind locomotives and ships after 1960.

Technology in Our Lives

Technology in Our Lives is an exhibition that delves into Canadians’ intricate relationships with their household technologies since the end of WW2. 

The exhibition has small, hand-held tools such as cutlery and irons, as well as bigger appliances like refrigerators and the typical family car. All these technologies within our homes continually mold and define our daily lives. 

One notable feature of the exhibition is the museum’s Tiny House, offering visitors an immersive experience of living in a home no larger than 30 m². 

While its concept may boast advantages such as reduced upfront and maintenance costs and a smaller environmental footprint, it undeniably poses many challenges. 

Wearable Tech

Wearable Tech allows visitors to explore the technologies meticulously crafted for the human body. 

From smartwatches, spy cameras, pacemakers, and pet tracking devices, this exhibit sheds light on our technological advancements — some of which trace their roots back to the nineteenth century!

Here, you’ll get to discover the diverse materials and functions of the available wearable technology. Remarkably, some of these wearables were made way before “smart” devices, while others paved the way for future wearable technologies!

Tons of engaging activities await visitors within the exhibition, such as testing a concussion sensor integrated into a hockey helmet. 

You can also listen to sounds captured by a whale recording tag, scan a cat microchip, and even challenge their skills at keeping pace with the rhythm of a pacemaker. 

ZOOOM – Children’s Innovation Zone

ZOOOM is a space where playful and inquisitive young learners aged eight and under can immerse themselves in exploration, experimentation, and the joy of creativity.

It’s purposely designed as a continuous loop with a deliberate lack of a fixed beginning or end. ZOOOM invites children to chart their own course through the exhibition. 

This self-directed environment encourages exploration in any sequence, allowing young minds to start, stop, and resume their journey at any point. 

It emphasizes open-ended experiences to empower children to exercise their imagination and make choices unique to their interests.

There’s a specially designated toddler area adorned with a starry sky, an interactive gear wall, and a play structure rich in sensory experiences. 

Heck, there’s even a station for building and testing vehicles and a console for playing with light and sound, among other awesome features!

It has seating for up to 80 parents and a dedicated baby care room equipped with facilities for bottle-warming, diaper-changing, and feeding.

Into the Great Outdoors

Transportation technology has long been used to traverse Canada’s great landscape. Into the Great Outdoors allows you to examine the relationship between transport tech and the outdoors, along with how it shaped Canadian experiences and identities.

Whether it’s the bicycle or a rock-climbing device, this exhibit will allow you to learn more about them in a way you’ve never seen before.

When can I visit the Canada Science and Technology Museum?

You can visit the Canada Science and Technology Museum year-round, from Tuesday to Sunday (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM). The museum is also open on all statutory holidays except for December 25th.

Getting a Ticket to the Canada Science and Technology Museum

You can get tickets to the Canada Science and Technology Museum via its official website. Just input the date and time of your visit, plus the number of tickets you’ll be needing.

Feel free to take a look at the table below for the various tickets available for purchase:

Ticket Price
Adult (18+ years old)$20.91
Senior (60+ years old)$15.82
Student (18+ years old with Valid ID)$15.82
Youth (3-17 years old)$13.56
Family of 3 (Maximum of 2 adults)$53.11
Family of 4 (Maximum of 2 adults)$53.11
Family of 5 (Maximum of 2 adults)$53.11
Family of 6 (Maximum of 2 adults)$53.11

On Canada Day (July 1) and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30), admission is free. On regular days, you can also get in for free if you’re visiting from around 4:00 to 5:00 PM.

Take note that an average visit to the museum lasts around two hours, so be sure to choose a schedule that’ll give you more than enough time to check everything out!

How to Get to the Canada Science and Technology Museum

You can get to the Canada Science and Technology Museum via private car or public transportation, such as the OC Transpo Bus. 

If you’re coming from the Queensway, exit at St. Laurent Blvd, drive 2.6km south to Lancaster Road, and turn left on Gladwin Crescent.

The museum offers paid on-site parking if you’re bringing your own car, but it’s highly encouraged to use public transportation instead due to the museum’s many visitors.

You can pay your parking fee by phone or on-site for only $3.75 per hour or $9 for the entire day.

Where to Eat at the Canada Science and Technology Museum

It’s normal to work up an appetite after exploring the Canada Science and Technology Museum, but thankfully, you don’t have to go far to get a bite to eat!

Check out all the best spots to take a seat and chow down after a fun-filled day at the museum over here!

Alissar Lebanese Cuisine

Address: 1765 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1G 3V4, Canada


Contact Details: +1 613-249-0888

Must-order Menu Items: Shawarma Platter, Fatoush, Chicken Kafta, Mango Salad

Price Range: $ (Cheap)

If you’re craving something exotic or even specifically Mediterranean cuisine, Alissar Lebanese Cuisine serves up some of the best Lebanese food in Ottawa.

Once you’re done exploring the Canada Science and Technology Museum, stop by and order the famous shawarma platter and stuff yourselves until you’re ready to burst!

Rôtisserie St. Hubert

Address: 1754 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1G 1A2, Canada


Contact Details: +1 613-526-1222

Must-order Menu Items: Rotisserie Chicken, Creamy Coleslaw, Pudding, Club Sandwich

Price Range: $$ (Average)

St. Hubert is well-known for its chicken, so you definitely shouldn’t miss out on its signature rotisserie chicken when you visit. But if you prefer something more light on your stomach, the Club Sandwich also never disappoints!

Urban Indian Cafe

Address: 1910 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1G 1A4, Canada


Contact Details: +1 613-247-1010

Must-order Menu Items: Butter Chicken, Paneer Makhni Platter, Chicken Tikka Tandoori Wrap, Chicken Curry

Price Range: $ (Cheap)

Don’t miss an authentic taste of India at the Urban Indian Cafe, which serves up some of the best Butter Chicken in Ottawa. 

Just be careful because some of the dishes might prove to be too spicy for your tastes, but the heat is definitely worth all that good flavor!

Liam Maguires

Address: 1705 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1G 3V4, Canada


Contact Details: +1 613-737-7801

Must-order Menu Items: Mushroom Swiss Burger, Steak Sandwich, Smokey BBQ Ranch Burger, Perogies

Price Range: $$ (Average)

At Liam Maguire’s, you can enjoy a hearty, meaty burger and a pint or two after a day spent at the museum. Sip on the awesome drinks while you wind down for the rest of the day!

168 Sushi Japanese Buffet

Address: 1760 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1G 1A2, Canada


Contact Details: +1 613-523-1680

Must-order Menu Items: Golden California Roll, Salmon Avocado Sushi, Philadelphia Roll, General Tao Chicken

Price Range: $$ (Average)

Sometimes, walking around can get pretty tiring, especially if you were already doing a lot of activities even before taking that museum tour.

So, when the munchies are particularly bad, eating at a buffet has to be one of the best choices to make. 

168 Sushi Japanese Buffet offers some of the best sushi and Japanese food in Ottawa, and it’s an all-you-can-eat! Just don’t go too overboard because there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.