City Name
Home » Recent posts » An Insider Guide to the Canadian War Museum

An Insider Guide to the Canadian War Museum

An Insider Guide to the Canadian War Museum

Growing up in Ottawa, I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Canadian War Museum more times than I can count. And every single visit leaves me feeling incredibly humbled and grateful for the sacrifices made by those who’ve served our country.

One thing that always gets me is the trench display. Seriously, standing there, surrounded by the sights and sounds of battle, it’s like you’re transported back in time! 

You can almost feel the mud under your boots and hear the distant echoes of gunfire, and you can’t help but admire the bravery of those who fought in such tough conditions.

So, in this guide, I’m pumped to share more about the Canadian War Museum – the exhibits, the vibe, and why it means so much to us, Ottawans. I hope it’ll inspire you to pay a visit and experience it for yourself. 

Trust me, it’s an experience you won’t forget!

About the Canadian War Museum 

Address: 1 Vimy Pl, Ottawa, ON K1A 0M8, Canada


Phone: 800 555 5621

Operating hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday to Sunday: 9 – 4 pm, Thursday: 9 – 7 pm 

Admission fees: Adult: $20, Senior: $18, Student: $15, Child (2-12): $13, Family (6 person): $50, Members: Free

Way back in 1880, the Canadian War Museum was just a humble collection of militia artifacts. Not until May 8, 2005, that’s when the museum found its new home on the LeBreton Flats site in downtown Ottawa. 

Since its grand opening, the museum has been playing host to around 500,000 eager visitors every single year. That’s half a million people diving headfirst into history, soaking up the stories of courage, sacrifice, and resilience.

But what makes this place truly special isn’t just the impressive statistics; it’s the way they bring history to life. They’ve designed their exhibition galleries and programs to put you right in the shoes of those who lived through the chaos of war. 

It’s not just about dates and battles; it’s about the human experience — the fear, the camaraderie, and the hope.

As per the museum’s collection, there are over 500,000 pieces of materials related to military history, including 13,000 pieces of military art. 

Every corner you turn, there’s something new to discover — a uniform worn by a brave soldier, a letter penned by someone thousands of miles from home, or maybe even a piece of machinery that changed the course of history.

Best Time to Visit the Canadian War Museum 

The best time to visit the Canadian War Museum depends on your priorities. For free admission, visit Thursdays from 5 PM to 7 PM. 

But if you’re aiming for fewer crowds, go on weekdays (except Thursdays) during regular hours, from 9 AM to 4 PM.

Sights to See at the Canadian War Museum

1. The Canadian Experience Galleries 

You can start off with artifacts from the War of 1812, and it’s crazy to see these muskets and gear up close, thinking about what it must have been like to fight with those things. 

Then, as you move through the galleries, you’re practically surrounded by uniforms from different eras. From the iconic redcoats to the modern camouflage fatigues, you can’t help but imagine the stories behind each piece.

And speaking of stories, that’s where things really get personal. You’ll find yourself getting lost in the narratives of Canadian soldiers who served in these conflicts. 

You might read letters they wrote home or watch video recordings of their experiences. It’s incredibly moving to see these glimpses into the lives of real people who lived through such turbulent times.

But it’s not all about the past. You also get to explore the evolution of warfare through the weapons and vehicles on display. 

Swords, rifles, grenades, tanks, armored vehicles, aircraft – you name it, they’ve got it. It’s fascinating to see how technology has changed over the years and how it has shaped the way wars are fought.

2. The LeBreton Gallery 

At LeBreton Gallery, you’re greeted by an impressive array of military technology. 

From formidable tanks to powerful artillery pieces (such as historic cannons and modern long-range weapons) and sleek aircraft (including fighters, bombers, and reconnaissance planes), the collection offers a glimpse into the evolution of warfare.

But perhaps the most poignant experience awaits as you step into the recreated battlefield trench from the First World War. 

Here, surrounded by the echoes of history, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for the harsh realities faced by soldiers in the midst of conflict. 

You can feel the chill of the damp earth beneath your feet and the weight of history pressing in around you as you imagine the courage and sacrifice of those who fought on the front lines.

3. The Royal Canadian Legion Hall of Honor 

At the heart of the museum lies the Royal Canadian Legion Hall of Honor. It’s a tribute to the courageous souls who’ve donned the uniform for Canada. 

Here, you’ll find more than just displays; you’ll discover the heartbeats of those who served, their stories woven into the very fabric of the exhibits.

As you move through the museum, you’ll come across the Canadian Armed Forces History section. You’re flipping through the pages of a grand narrative, each exhibit revealing another chapter in Canada’s military journey. 

From the earliest formations to modern-day operations, you’ll witness the evolution of the defense forces and the pivotal moments that shaped the nation’s story.

But perhaps the most touching part of your visit will be delving into the veterans’ stories. The focus is on the people – the men and women who wore the uniform, fought for their beliefs, and made sacrifices beyond measure.

Where to Eat Near Canadian War Museum 

1. Chez Fatima 

Address: 125 Prom. du Portage, Gatineau, QC J8X 2K2, Canada

Phone: 819 771 7568 


Operating hours: Wednesday to Sunday: 5 – 10 pm 

Must-order: Soupe Harira, Tajine Agneau, Tajine Poulet  

Price range: $$ – $$$ average – expensive 

Chez Fatima is a family-owned restaurant that offers a taste of Moroccan cuisine. 

One dish that has me coming back time and time again is their Harira Soup, which is rich, aromatic, and oh-so-satisfying! It’s a tomato-based soup with a Moroccan twist. 

It’s got this velvety-smooth texture packed with all sorts of goodies like lentils, fava beans, and chickpeas. 

And the spices? It has parsley, turmeric, saffron, and lemon.

2. Bâton Rouge Grillhouse & Bar 

Address: 270 W Hunt Club Rd, Nepean, ON K2E 1A5, Canada

Phone: 613 224 2570 


Operating hours: Tuesday to Friday: 12 – 9 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 4 – 9 pm 

Must-order: Ribs and Chicken Family Combo, Steak Tartare, Grilled Octopus 

Price range: $$ – $$$ average – expensive

If you’re up for some serious comfort food after diving into all the history, then Bâton Rouge Grillhouse & Bar is the spot you need to hit up! 

Their Ribs and Chicken Tenders are really a must-try — succulent ribs paired with crispy, hand-battered chicken tenders. 

But it doesn’t stop there; they also throw in some creamy spinach dip, tangy coleslaw, and a heap of family-sized fries to round out the feast.

It’s the kind of meal that’ll have you feeling like a victorious general after a battle – full, satisfied, and maybe even ready for a nap. 

3. Bistro Coqlicorne 

Address: 59 Rue Laval, Gatineau, QC J8X 3H1, Canada 

Phone: 819 205 4344 


Operating hours: Tuesday and Wednesday: 11:30 – 9:30 pm, Thursday and Friday: 11:30 – 10 pm, Saturday: 12 – 10 pm, Sunday: 10 – 2 pm 

Must-order: Buffalo Bill, The Calumet, Cheesecake 

Price range: $ – $$ cheap – average 

It’s worth coming to Bistro Coqlicorne just for THE CALUMET. Just the name alone makes you curious, doesn’t it?

Cream cheese, spinach, and artichoke spread generously over homemade naan bread — that’s already a winning combo. 

They top it off with charcoal-smoked salmon, pickled onions, and fried capers.

Where to Stay Near Canadian War Museum

1. The Westin Ottawa

Address: 11 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 9H4, Canada

Phone: 613 560 7000 


Operating hours: Check-in time: 3 pm, Check-out time: 12 pm 

The Westin Ottawa isn’t just a hotel; it’s a slice of modern comfort nestled right in the beating heart of downtown Ottawa. They’ve got everything you need to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. 

There’s the Shore Club restaurant that’s perfect for a good meal after a day of sightseeing. 

And if you’re in the mood for a bit of a workout (or maybe just some relaxing time), they’ve got you covered with an indoor saltwater pool, a fitness center, and even private squash courts. 

Would you like to be pampered? They offer it too, such as massage therapy, a dip in the jacuzzi, or a detox session in the sauna at the Westin Health & Squash Club.

But what makes this hotel really commendable is the view. You’re treated to a stunning panorama of the Ottawa cityscape from your room or suite!

2. Sheraton Ottawa Hotel 

Address: 150 Albert St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5G2, Canada

Phone: 613 238 1500 


Operating hours: Check-in time: 3 pm, Check-out time: 12 pm

Another great option if you’re looking for a place to stay is the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel. They’ve got this awesome indoor saltwater pool that’s perfect for a refreshing dip after a long day of exploring the city. 

And if you’re like me and try to keep up with your fitness routine even while traveling, they’ve got a top-notch fitness center too.

As per the rooms, they have a plush bed, a flat-screen TV to catch up on your favorite show, and a mini-refrigerator that’s perfect for keeping those late-night snacks close at hand.

Now, here’s the cherry on top: pets are welcome! So if you’re traveling with your furry friend, they’ll feel right at home too (just make sure to check the restrictions beforehand).

3. Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Downtown 

Address: 361 Queen St, Ottawa, ON K1R 0C7, Canada

Phone: 613 234 6363 


Operating hours: Check-in time: 4 pm, Check-out time: 12 pm

The Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Downtown is located in the heart of the city center, making it a breeze to hop over to the museum or explore other nearby attractions. 

Here, you’ve got all the essentials covered: a fitness center to burn off those poutine calories and an indoor pool for a refreshing dip. 

And when hunger strikes, no worries because you can have onsite dining at The Garden Grille & Bar, which means you don’t even have to venture far for a delicious meal. 

Plus, there’s this 24-hour Pavilion Pantry for all your late-night snack cravings. Because, let’s face it, sometimes you just need a little something at odd hours.

Did I mention the rooms? From what I’ve heard, they’re pretty cozy. 

Think oversized windows letting in that beautiful Ottawa sunlight, a spacious desk (for all those post-museum reflection moments), and a big old 47-inch HDTV for when you just want to kick back and relax. 

But just when you thought it could get any better, they also have some rooms that come with balconies, perfect for sipping your morning coffee or enjoying a nightcap under the stars.