Canadian Canoe Museum to Begin Construction on New Museum

The Canadian Canoe Museum makes an impression from the streetside. Its curving façade gently lifts to reveal the mass timber elements through large expanses of glazing. The building is clad in weathered steel panels, giving a warm quality to the Museum that suits its natural lakefront setting. The building’s impressive scale and unique design reinforce its status as a nationally significant museum. (Image: Lett Architects Inc., courtesy of The Canadian Canoe Museum)

The Canadian Canoe Museum (CCM) has announced that on September 22, 2021 it completed the purchase of Johnson Property, from the City of Peterborough. The land at 2077 Ashburnham Drive in Peterborough, ON is the site where it will build its new world-class museum slated for completion in 2023.

Rendering: Lett Architects Inc., courtesy of The Canadian Canoe Museum.

Peterborough City Council approved the direction to proceed with the sale of the land in January 2021. The sale was subject to a number of conditions including rezoning, project validation and confirmation of site appropriateness, all of which have been met to the satisfaction of both CCM and the city. CCM paid $1.575M for the five acres of land.

The Museum’s interior is a thoughtful blend of contemporary design and refined cottage sensibilities. The curved façade provides ample daylight into the space, and the swooping veil element adds interest and dynamism to the public atrium. The Museum features a large indoor/outdoor fireplace directly off the public café – the perfect spot to relax with a mug of hot chocolate after touring the Museum’s impressive world-class collection. (Image: Lett Architects Inc., courtesy of The Canadian Canoe Museum)

The CCM reports that it intends to sell its current property at 910 Monaghan Road to help fund the project in addition to a fundraising campaign that has raised just over 82 per cent of the $40M needed to complete the overall project.

Having completed project validation, CCM is now moving into contract for continued design and construction of the new facility. The Museum marked the occasion by signing a CCDC30 Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) contract on September 27, 2021 with Chandos Construction Ltd. and Lett Architects Inc., valued at $27,363,383.00. This agreement allows for the commencement of design services and construction work associated with the building of the new museum on the Johnson Property.

The entrance of the Canadian Canoe Museum features a soaring double-height atrium space with exposed mass timber elements and a beautiful wood ceiling. The atrium is the heart of the public space and contains the Museum’s reception area, retail zone, elevator, and the feature stairs to the exhibition hall on the second floor. From the atrium, the public is also offered access to the Artisan workshop to witness the art of canoe-making and restoration first-hand, as well as into the Museum’s collection storage center, where hundreds of watercraft rest on racking awaiting future exhibition. (Image: Lett Architects Inc., courtesy of The Canadian Canoe Museum)

“Canadian Canoe Museum is thrilled to have completed these critical milestones so that we may commence with construction as planned in October,” said Carolyn Hyslop, executive director, Canadian Canoe Museum. “Our project team is working at lightning speed to stay on schedule so that we may be ready to open the new museum in 2023.”

The new museum will enable CCM to house 100 per cent of its collection in a building that meets Class A conservation standards, directly on the water, which allows for increased on-water and in-person programming while being a key cultural tourism driver in what will become a vibrant community hub on the Peterborough waterfront.

“I am pleased to see the completion of this transaction for the property that will be the future home of The Canadian Canoe Museum. I am very much looking forward to the building of this exciting project in Peterborough’s Ashburnham Ward,” said Councillor Gary Baldwin, City Council’s representative on The Canadian Canoe Museum Board.

Directly off the Museum’s café is a covered outdoor terrace where visitors can enjoy a beverage and a snack while taking in lakefront views. The terrace is also accessible from the Trans-Canada Trail to the west of the building, allowing the public to stop by for refreshments as they walk the local network of trails. This space features a large fireplace and comfortable seating, making it the perfect spot to relax as the sun sets over Little Lake. (Image: Lett Architects Inc., courtesy of The Canadian Canoe Museum)

The CCM reports that distinctively, the new museum build is employing an IPD approach where people, systems, business structures and practices are integrated into a concurrent process, from design to fabrication and construction, in order to maximize efficiency and accelerate schedules. IPD is a relatively new process which takes a values-based approach to construction, assembling key project partners to the table from the start to work simultaneously to design, plan and execute together. It is an integrative and collaborative, team-based project delivery method.

Project partners include:
Architect: Lett Architects Inc., Peterborough, ON
General Contractor: Chandos Construction Ltd, Toronto, ON
Structural Engineering: LEA, Markham, ON
Mechanical Trade Partner: Kelson Mechanical, Sharon, ON
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering: DG Biddle & Associates, Oshawa, ON
Electrical trade partner: Lancer Electric, Peterborough, ON
Civil Engineer: Engage Engineering, Peterborough, ON

According to CCM, it’s executive director Carolyn Hyslop extends gratitude to all of its partners, donors, supporters and community members who are making the journey to the water’s edge possible. The project has received foundational financial support from municipal, provincial and federal governments, and the Weston Family Foundation.

Johnson Property is situated on Little Lake, north of Beavermead Park and south of the Parks Canada-Trent Severn Waterway head offices. The new canoe museum will be built on a flat portion of the property, away from the floodplain, on the open land along Ashburnham Drive so as to preserve the existing trail, shoreline and natural waterfront.

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