The Vancouver area has over 15 different museums, reflecting its location on the West Coast and its cultural diversity.
BC Farm Machinery and Agriculture Museum
9131 King Street, Langley
This museum, located next to the Langley Centennial Museum, houses a fascinating collection of early farming equipment including steam tractors and stump pullers. The museum is open from April to October Tuesday to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. On Sundays you can visit the museum from 1 to 4:45 p.m. Admission. Kids under six get in free.
B.C. Sports Hall of Fame
777 Pacific Boulevard South
The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame highlights some of the greatest moments in the history of British Columbia sports. It’s a great place to take the kids, featuring educational and energizing displays and information exhibits. Visitors will feel the passion and commitment of sports stars as they walk through time. Mementos can be found throughout the museum including hockey sticks, medals and track shoes.
Learn about Terry Fox’s famous journey across Canada to raise money for cancer research and Rick Hansen’s Man-in-Motion tour. The History Galleries take you back as far as the 1860’s, where you can learn about the games played in Victoria and Barkerville. The Starlight Theatre features sport news from the 1930s. The galleries continue to take you through the past sports history right up to the ’90s. Admission.
Burnaby Village Museum
6501 Deer Lake Ave.
This museum is located on nine acres of parkland and shows the life of early settlers in the Lower Mainland. It features over 30 authentic buildings from the 1890s to 1925 era. Historically costumed villagers will invite you into their homes and involve you in hands-on activities of their time. Watch a blacksmith at work, meet a herbalist and take in the various displays in the different buildings. The museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission for adults is $6.10, seniors pay $4.25, kids aged six to 12 pay $3.55 and kids under six get in for free.
Canadian Museum of Flight and Transportation
13527 Crecent Road (South Surrey)
This 6.5 hectare park features 38 aircraft from the 1920s to the present, including many restored World War II and early Canadian craft. Open late April to late October.
Fort Langley National Historic Park
23433 Mavis Street
This is the birthplace of British Columbia. During a visit you’ll step inside the high walls to experience the sounds and sights of the Hudson’s Bay trading post during the 1850s. The site is open year-round from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Fort’s palisades and buildings have been restored and costumed staff demonstrate blacksmithing, barrel making and pioneer cooking. Admission. Kids under six get in free
302 Royal Avenue
This house was built by Captain William Irving in 1864, the “King of the River”, when New Westminster was still the capital of the mainland colony of British Columbia. Its furnishings were shipped on the early boats, and the house is very well maintained. There’s even a crack in the wall caused by a 1946 earthquake. Open daily May to Sept., Wed – Sun the rest of the year.
Museum of Anthropology
6393 NW Marine Drive (UBC Endowment Lands)
(604) 822-3825 or (604) 822-5087
The museum features art and artifacts from around the world. Visitors enter the museum through a giant bent cedar box created by ‘Ksan master carvers. The Masterpiece Gallery offers dramatic views and exquisitely carved works in gold, silver, argillite and wood. Visitors are invited to stroll outside among the totem poles and Haida houses which overlook the mountains and the ocean. MOA is open in the summer from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Winter hours are the same except the museum is closed Mondays. Admission. seniors and kids five and under get in free.
Museum of the Royal Westminster Regiment
530 Queens Avenue
This museum includes an impressive collection of military artifacts of The Royal Westminster Regiment and its successors since 1863. See weapons, uniforms, medals, awards, trophies, photos, manuscripts, documents and memorabilia. The museum is housed in the old 1895 gun room of The Armories. Open all year. Tuesday, 1 – 3 p.m., 7 – 9 pm., Thursdays 1 – 3 p.m. or by appointment.
Inn on the Quay
Experience a river adventure on The Native, a 27 metre replica of a sternwheeler! You’ll leave from the New Westminster waterfront and take a ride back to the 19th century. The trip offers an entertaining narration which explains the accomplishments and hardships encountered by Simon Fraser on his voyage to the mouth of the river. You’ll hear about the Natives who fished and hunted along the river, the wild days of the Gold Rush and the role of the Hudson’s Bay Company in the development of British Columbia. The tour will take you past Port Hammond, Barnston Island, Port Haney and you’ll dock at Fort Langley (with a two hour stopover), the birthplace of British Columbia. Pass by the riverside communities of Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Surrey, Port Hammond, and Haney. Cruises are offered at various time and fares vary.
Port Moody Station Museum
2734 Murray St, Willingdon Park
This museum of pioneer artifacts and railway memorabilia is housed in a restored 1907 Canadian Pacific Railway railway station.
SS Samson V Maritime Museum
Waterfront, between public market and the Inn
The SS Samson V was the last sernwheeler to operate on the Fraser River. She was built in 1937, and was operated until 1980. Open Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, with extended hours in the summer.
1455 Quebec Street
Science World is jam-packed with unique experiments and activities the whole family can enjoy. Experience a breathtaking OmniMax film on one of the world’s largest dome screens. The 3D Laser Theatre will blow your mind and each of the theatres offer a variety of incredible shows year round. The Science Centre is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Admission for adults is $9, $5.50 for seniors and people aged four to 18 and kids under four get in free.
3811 Moncton Street
(604) 271-6868 or 277-6812
The Steveston Museum holds the history of the area. Housed in a building that was erected in 1894, the museum features period rooms and photo-displays which capture the feel of the building in the early 1900s. The canneries
were used as late as 1979 for herring production. If you need to mail a letter to a long-lost friend, a post office is located in the museum.
Vancouver Police Centenial Museum
240 E. Cordova Street
The museum, featuring historical displays about some of Vancouver’s best-known crimes, celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year. Educational displays are a large component of the museum as well as an excellent weapons display. The museum is open from May-September, Mon-Sat 9-5. September-April, Mon-Fri, 9-3. Admission.
Vancouver Maritime Museum
1905 Ogden Avenue (Kitsilano)
A visit to Vancouver wouldn’t be complete without immersing yourself in the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Most displays are hands-on adventures and many of the models are life size. The Children’s Maritime Discovery Centre offers a look at the boats in the harbor through a high-powered telescope. Kids will be delighted to take a step further by actually setting foot on one of the boats such as a scale-model tugboat. Also at the museum is the historic St. Roch, a restored Royal Canadian Mounted Police auxiliary schooner. Its original crew was the first set of RCMP members to sail from west to east through the Northwest Passage. These attractions and many more await you at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week but closed Mondays in the winter.
Vancouver Mineral Museum
1100 Chestnut Street
This is Canada’s largest civic museum. True to its name, it focuses on Vancouver’s past, present and future. Displays and educational programs describe the
history, culture and natural development of the Lower Mainland. The museum also contains a gift shop featuring First Nations art and jewellery. From
June to September the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from September to May it’s open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.