Museum of Vancouver | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Museum of Vancouver

Vancouver, Canada

Luke Tomes

05 Mar 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Museum of Vancouver

The Museum of Vancouver is an award-winning civic history museum located in Vanier Park, Vancouver, British Columbia. It is currently the largest civic museum in Canada and the oldest museum in the city of Vancouver.

Museum of Vancouver history

The museum was founded by the Art, Historical, and Scientific Association of Vancouver (AHSA), which formed on April 17, 1894. Regular purchasing of artefacts for the collections of the AHSA began in 1898 and acquisitions were eclectic and multi-disciplinary, reflecting the interests of the decision-makers rather than any strategic approach to collecting.

The Museum was originally known as the City Museum and in 1905, its collection move in to the Carnegie Library at Main and Hastings provided to the city by American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. That year more than ten-thousand people sign the City Museum’s guest register.

In 1867, the City announced that Vancouver would build a new museum as part of Canada’s Centennial celebrations and in the following year the City Museum moved into its current landmark building on the south shore of False Creek and becoming known as the Centennial Museum. Designed by the well-known architect Gerald Hamilton, the building is planned to house only the museum.

In 2009, the museum was re-branded as the Museum of Vancouver, in an attempt to reflect its changed focus to Vancouver rather than the lower mainland region of British Columbia as originally set out in its objectives and reaffirmed in 1977.

Museum of Vancouver today

The Museum of Vancouver’s stated mission is to achieve a deeper understanding of Vancouver through stories, objects and shared experiences.

Showcasing the history of the city, the museum is a family-friendly place with vintage neon signs and artifacts of interest. It’s a fine attraction with educational historical displays and stories from the past.

The museum has numerous permanent and temporary exhibitions alongside a host of galleries showcasing the history of the city throughout the 20th century.

The museum has a large collection of objects which reflect to a large extent the interests of the donors and of the curators who made decisions on acquisitions over the years. These include ethnological items, Asian and Egyptian antiquities and memorabilia relating to important figures and events throughout the history of Vancouver.

Getting to the Museum of Vancouver

The Museum of Vancouver is located in scenic Vanier Park. It is only a 5 minute drive from downtown Vancouver or a 20 minute stroll along the ocean boardwalk to either Granville Island or Kitsilano Beach. The museum is easily accessible by False Creek Ferries, Mobi Bike Share Program and City Transit.

If travelling by bus, take a number 2 or 32 bus and exit at Cornwall Ave and Cypress Street.

The False Creek Ferries is a fun way to get to Vanier Park from downtown and other destinations along False Creek. Passengers drop off is on the shore of Vanier Park – from there, simply walk south-east to reach the museum building.

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