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This Southern Californian who visits Canada every few years would like to know what the Canadians on the forum consider the best museums in Canada.

So far my personal favorites are the Museum of Canadian Civilization in Ottawa, The Royal Tyrell Museum of Palentology in Drumheller, and the Museum dedicated to the Northwest coast indians/first Americans at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

I am somewhat surprised that my favorite institutions of this type are not in the big cities. Any other suggestions?
 

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SSLL
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I've stayed in Central Canada, but I'd agree with the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto is great too, as are the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (the only dedicated contemporary arts museum in Canada).
 

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The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) is said to be THE finest museum by far in Canada.. The AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario), after the renovations and the Thomson collection will be (if not already) the best art gallery in Canada..
 

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The new War Museum in Ottawa is really nice. Night and day improvement over the old one, that was basically just one floor of a building. I also like the Aviation museum just outside of Ottawa.
 

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the civilization museum in Ottawa_hull is amazing, but the ROM is the best regualr Museum especially with the new renovations.
 

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I still like Winnipeg's Museum of Man and Nature - some of the displays (like the Nonsuch ketch) are very well done...at least when I was there last about 5 years ago.

Drumheller's Royal Tyrrell is truly worth the drive from Calgary as well.
 

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The CCA - Canadien Centre for Architects (Research/Museam Centre), MACM (Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal), and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
 

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I'm sorry to deviate from the pack, but I visited the Museum of Civilisation soon
after it was built, and was bored stiff.
In my humble opinion, best art gallery: The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
Best museum: The Royal Ontario Museum (no question there) and my second
fave art gallery: Art Gallery of Ontario.
I have visited the Beaux Arts in Montreal for a few travelling art shows, but
there is not a lot there for permanent display.
 

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Institutionalized culture is ok once in a while, if there's a particular exibit that really turns you on (I used to love to hang out at the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre and the Group of Seven room at AGO).

Rather than pay a fee to have someone tell you what culture is, explore the cities independent art & culture scene and decide for yourself...it's free and far more interesting.

I can understand this being difficult in a place like Ottawa...all they have is big federal institutions...the lovely bonus of being the "capital". If you're in Toronto, you can forget about the institutions all together, as good as they are.






KGB
 

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?? Forget the institutions? Enjoy the city, but also enjoy the institutions it has
to offer. Fun to look at Chinatown, but also fun to look at the amazing Chinese
art collection at the ROM... one of the best outside of China. You are not going
to see this stuff in a shop on Spadina. In my opinion these institutions are worth the admittance fee.
 

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Technocrat
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Agree with you there KGB. I only ever go to museums for very specific exhibits, such as the Foster exhibit at the Glenbow museum here in Calgary during March (it had a whole bunch of architectural models and a video about some of his works, very cool). Apart from that, it's just better to get out and pound the streets.

Some things you have to go to museums for, and the Royal Tyrell is worth the drive to the badlands.
 

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I haven't been to too many, but I love the ROM, the Royal Tyrell, & the art gallery in Ottawa ;]

I love the new renovations for the AGO too
 

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"Enjoy the city, but also enjoy the institutions it has to offer. Fun to look at Chinatown, but also fun to look at the amazing Chinese art collection at the ROM... one of the best outside of China. "

If the chinese stuff REALLY interests you, then go see it. It might be a great collection, but I wouldn't trade it in for even one of my weekly sunday Queen St stolls.

Rom & AGO are basically out of commision at the moment anyway...like everyone else, I will tour both new & superstar architect improved versions when they are complete......and then I will continue with my sunday Queen strolls to sustain me culturally.

Go to ROM on fridays after 4:00pm...it's free.






"You are not going to see this stuff in a shop on Spadina."


Well, I spend a hell of a lot more time on Spadina than I do in the ROM. Must be a reason.

The problem is, when people visit Toronto, they do the utterly predictable....they visit ROM & AGO...the CN Tower...and shop at the Eaton Centre. And then they go home and figure they "did" Toronto.

How sad is that? If you really want to see some interesting art, then go to Ydessa Hendeles Gallery on a saturday. Yea...that's the world-class gallery 99% of Torontonians don't even know exists. Or check out the Power Plant...the most cutting-edge modern gallery in the country. Or if you really want to oooh and aaaah, check out the Sandra Ainsley gallery...I'm not all that impressed with the Dale Chihuly stuff, but for a glass art gallery, it's pretty damned impressive.

Rather than get your culture info at one of those brochure stands in a hotel lobby, grab a NOW, and spend some time looking at it very carefully...how else are you going to know what's going on?






KGB
 

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Sounds like someone just finished reading some Ivan Illich…I mean, exploring some Ivan Illich. Perhaps some Fountainhead in there as well.

Rather than pay a fee to have someone tell you what culture is, have KGB tell you what it is. He probably won't even charge you.
 

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Let's face it, it boils down to what you are interested in. If svs took the time to start a thread asking where good museums are, there is a strong chance that he/she is interested in such things. So, along with lots of fresh air and pounding the pavement, I imagine he/she is the type of person who will appreciate what is on display. Some museums are only good for travelling shows. I think the National Gallery, the AGO, and the ROM stand on their own with or without the travelling shows. If you have paid all that money to come to Canada, a few paltry dollars will be a drop in the bucket.
 

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"Sounds like someone just finished reading some Ivan Illich…I mean, exploring some Ivan Illich. Perhaps some Fountainhead in there as well. "


Couldn't be farther from the truth....I'm not a bandwagon jumper. Over-intellectualizing life is just as counter-productive to enjoying it as under-intellectualizing it is (being institutionalized...be it religion or mainstream consumer)









"Rather than pay a fee to have someone tell you what culture is, have KGB tell you what it is. He probably won't even charge you. "


On the contrary...I encourage people to be interesting for selfish reasons...just not in a monetary sense.






KGB
 

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Without a doubt, the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum in Niagara Falls!! Its downright takiness will amaze crowds from far and wide, AND you can buy minuture wax figures of people!!!!

:jk:

With all seriousness, the ROM is an amazing museum, and I've heard some good things about the Dinosaur Museum in Alberta. Though it depends on what you like, ex. I liked the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa, but I know alot of people who don't.
 

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Great question.

IMHO:

ROM - sucks
Museum of Civilization - Fucking Horrible (thats not an exaggeration)
National Gallery - So great I could live there
AGO - a big mess
AGH - quite nice, great collection
Hamilton Warplane Museum - I'd recommend it to anyone.. one of the last functioning Lancaster bombers flies over my house in the summer
CCA - big dissapointment


I've been to the one in Victoria, Drumheller, and the contemporary gallery in Montreal, but I remember NOTHING.

P.S... I will see the new war museum in Ottawa first chance I get
 

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KGB said:
Couldn't be farther from the truth....I'm not a bandwagon jumper. Over-intellectualizing life is just as counter-productive to enjoying it as under-intellectualizing it is (being institutionalized...be it religion or mainstream consumer)

On the contrary...I encourage people to be interesting for selfish reasons...just not in a monetary sense.
KGB
This thread is about museums, not just culture in general. Quite honestly though, Spadina will teach you little about chinese culture. I could get a book on chinese culture at a library and learn more than you ever would walking around chinatown, for free. Or perhaps the library is too much of an institution.
 
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