Officials at the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough say an anonymous out-of-province donor has invested $1.25 million to support the construction of a new museum.
The new museum is to be built alongside the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent Severn Waterway in the city’s east end, replacing the 1960s-era building on Monaghan Road. The museum boasts the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft.
Construction on the $65-million museum is expected to start this spring with a target opening of sometime in 2021.
The latest donation is the largest from a donor outside Ontario.
“We are grateful for this generous gift, and the donor’s appreciation for the national nature of the new museum project,” stated Bill Morris, capital campaign chairman.
“This donor recognizes the canoe as a national icon, and sees its potential and power to connect Canadians.”
The new museum, which will make accessible all 600 watercraft, thousands of small artifacts and an archive, is designed by the Irish award-winning team of Heneghan Peng architects with Kearns Mancini
Architects (Toronto). The museum has partnered with world-class exhibition design firm GSM Project to create “one-of-a-kind visitor” experiences.
“Our collection is of national importance, as is our work; and the new museum will not only allow us to attract more visitors from across the country, it will allow us to reach out from coast to coast to coast in new and
different ways,” Morris said. “It will be our new high-profile headquarters.”
The project has received financial support from the City of Peterborough ($4 million), the provincial government ($9 million) and federal government ($1.4 million) along with private investments such as $7.5 million from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation.
Last month, officials said they were more than halfway to their fundraising goal.
The new 85,000-square-foot facility will feature collections from six identified regions including Atlantic, Arctic, Boreal forests, Great Lakes/St. Lawrence, Pacific Northwest and the Prairies.
“The idea of the canoe is such a simple one,” said curator Jeremy Ward. “But it’s never just that; it’s a vessel that often carries stories, it’s a connection to the environment around us and it’s an expression of cultural and
geographic diversity across this country. The canoe can be a guide, offering us new ways to learn from each other.”
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