Opening of new Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough delayed until late summer or early fall

Click to play video: 'The Canadian Canoe Museum pushes back opening date of new location'
The Canadian Canoe Museum pushes back opening date of new location
The Canadian Canoe Museum—home to the world's largest collection of canoes, kayaks, and paddled watercraft—is getting ready to open up its new waterfront location later this year. But, the ongoing construction is experiencing delays. Germain Ma has an updated look at the progress. – Jan 27, 2023

The opening of the new Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ont., will be delayed until late summer or early fall this year, officials announced Thursday.

Construction began in October 2021 and continues on the $40-million, 65,000-square foot facility along Ashburnham Drive in the city’s end on the edge of Little Lake. The building was initially scheduled to open this summer to display what the museum officials claim is the largest collection of canoes and kayaks, featuring more than 600 watercraft, 500 paddles and hundreds of other artifacts, books and more.

Read more: Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough prepares to move world’s largest canoe and kayak collection

The new site will replace the aging and cramped Monaghan Road museum which closed for the season in early September 2022 to prepare for the move to the new home. The building used to be a factory for the former Outboard Marine Corporation but closed in 1990.

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However, officials say the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the construction industry has led to delays in material availability and shortages, leading to the new museum’s opening to be pushed further into the year.

Carolyn Hyslop, museum executive director, says the goal is to celebrate a grand opening during the paddling season.

“We are working very closely with the project team to recover the schedule delays, as we would be overjoyed to open earlier,” she said. “With so much excitement and interest in the new museum, locally and nationally, we want to be transparent with our community about the timeline as we know many are planning trips to visit us this summer.”

Construction continues on the new Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough on Jan. 26, 2023. Germain Ma/Global News Peterborough
A rendering of the new Canadian Canoe Museum to be built in Peterborough. Lett Architects Inc., courtesy of The Canadian Canoe Museum

Among the construction challenges is a national shortage of cement powder which created a three-week delay in completing the building’s superstructure.

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“The CCM project started at a difficult time in the industry,” said Maria Williams, project director with Chanods Construction. “Due to the pandemic and other influences outside our control, we have seen trade shortages, material supply issues and escalations beyond what we have historically seen. I am incredibly proud of the work of this team, which has come together to find unique solutions to minimize the impact on the project budget and schedule while maintaining the overall quality of the design and construction.”

Read more: Supply chain snarls: How is Canada responding amid global pinch

Bill Lett, managing principal with Lett Architects which designed the museum, says they have seen “unprecedented upheaval” in the construction sector over the past two years.

“While there have been similar delays and supply chain issues on the CCM, through our integrated approach to project delivery, these have been minimized compared to other projects,” he said. “We are pleased with the progress made and look forward to seeing the museum open to the public in 2023.”

Hyslop says the capital campaign has raised 95 per cent of the $ 40 million goal. Along with public donations, financial support has come from the City and County of Peterbrough, the federal and Ontario governments and the Weston Family Foundation.

Anyone wanting to donate to the campaign is asked to contact Kate Kennington, development officer, via email at

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