On July 1st, 1997, The Canadian Canoe Museum opened its doors at 910 Monaghan Road in Peterborough, Ontario in the former head office of the Outboard Marine Corporation (Canada). Since then, hundreds of thousands of visitors young and old from across Canada and around the world have enjoyed the Museum's unique portrait of Canada and its unparalleled collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft. While there's no question that the site has been a great incubator for the Museum and has let us get on our feet, it's not the best place for the long term. Why not?
Well, for one thing, the water is a long ways away. The site is also far bigger than the Museum will ever need. Although Monaghan Road is full of traffic, it's not the kind of traffic that's best for the Museum. Since the buildings were not constructed as museum facilities, they are not of the standard required to adequately care for the Museum's collections and exhibits. Because of all these factors, the considerable investment required to upgrade the current site and buildings would be better made in a location that could be, as the animal adoption agencies say, a "forever home" for the Museum. In a more suitable location, the Museum could reach the goals of its 2010 Strategic Plan:
Building a sustainable national organization with stable and predictable revenue streams from a variety of sources, including membership, partnerships, innovative programming and a proposed new endowment. . . The second longer term priority has to do with building partnerships and procuring a site on the water in downtown Peterborough that will result, eventually, in the creation of a new integrated facility on the water for the Museum.
In the fall of 2012, the Museum took a major step forward when it received a grant from the Peterborough Community Futures Development Corporation to undertake a feasibility study for its future. Supplemented by some privately-raised funds, this has let us launch a study which will be completed by mid-summer 2013.
The study will explore the long-term vision for the Museum's exhibits, facilities and programs and sketch out both the physical facilities and the staffing establishment that will be required to achieve it. It will also develop a capital cost estimate and a five-year business plan. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it will carry out an assessment of the feasibility of raising the funds that will be required for the project. There will be several opportunities for public consultation during the study, so keep in touch and watch our social media channels for more news. In the mean time, please visit the current Canoe Museum. We look forward to seeing you soon.