Located on the West Coast of Canada, Vancouver is loaded with extensive beauty, a mild climate, and a friendly settlement. The city is a very famous tourist attraction and it has recently secured third position as the most livable place in the world. The city’s culture is influenced by the immigrants arriving from continents like Europe, Asia, and the like. Along with being an educational hub, it is also a tourist destination with several Vancouver museums to explore. Museums in Vancouver have several collections such as historical artifacts, art galleries, scientific facts, and the like.
Museums provide different interesting facts that help us to learn more about different cultures, the history of a certain region, scientific reasons, and a lot about art. 12 best Vancouver museums to explore are discussed below.
MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY.
The Museum is located in the Northwest corner of the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
Address: 6393 Northwest Marine Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The Museum was officially established in 1947. The Museum started by showing several rescued totem poles obtained from Canadian Anthropologist Marius Barbeau and the Buttimer collection of First Nations Basketry was displayed in the basement of the University of British Columbia Main Library. Later in 1971, the museum received funds from the government and the University of British Columbia began the construction of the building that now serves as the museum. Harry Hawthorn was the first director and his wife Audrey Hawthorn was the first curator. Dr. Susan Rowley is the present director of the museum.
The museum in Vancouver has a collection of large sculptures, totem poles, and cultural artifacts. There is a collection of 50,000 ethnological artifacts that are collected from different continents all over the world which includes contemporary art as well as historical works.
The Museum contains approximately 535000 archaeological artifacts which are managed by the University’s Laboratory of Archeology. The Museum possesses 2800 African Collections, 40% of the museum’s objects are from Asia, and 1000-1500 pieces from China which includes ceramics, calligraphies, paintings, arts, calendars, textiles, clothing, coins, robes, masks, and the like, several Indian calendars. There are other collection holdings from South America, Oceania, Northwest coast. There are several galleries like Audain Gallery, Elspeth McConnell Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks, Koerner European Ceramic Galleries, and Multiversity Galleries.
The Audrey and Harry Hawthorn Library and Archives contains 90,000 photographs of different cultures, ethnography, and historical objects.
Visiting hours and entry:
Normally the Museum is open from 11:00 am- 5:00 pm and entry tickets charge $15 per adult and $13 for students.
The Museum of Anthropology is closed temporarily until late 2023 for seismic upgrades.
2)VANCOUVER MARITIME MUSEUM.
The museum is located in Vanier Park, West of False Creek on the Vancouver waterfront.
Address: 1905 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia V6J1A3.
The Museum hosts popular exhibitions like the RCMP Vessel ST. Roch, a National Historic Site housed in an iconic mid-century modern A-frame shelter. Its main commitment is to research and provide knowledge about the Pacific and Arctic Oceans and the associated waterways.
The museum possesses ample galleries of ship models inclusive of historic ship models manufactured from cardboard or paper. It also contains the French warship Vengeur du peuple which was built in the 1800s by French Prisoners of war. Apart from these a Children’s Maritime Discovery Centre, a recreation of the forecastle of Vancouver’s ship Discovery, a vast collection of Maritime art, and a large library and archives.
The museum also conducts outdoor visuals like the NASA Undersea Research vessel Ben Franklin, the boiler of the beaver, and the like. People can visit workshops where they can watch craftsman-built models. The Canadian museum contains Captain Cook’s hand-drawn Charts and materials associated with Canadian Pacific Steamships.
Visiting hours and entry:
Tourists can visit the museum during the open hours which are from Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Statutory holidays (excluding Christmas) have the same timing. The Vancouver Maritime Museum now only accepts credit and debit card payments.
Rates for entry are listed below:
- Adult- CAD 15.00+ GST
- Seniors- CAD11.00+ GST
- Students- CAD12.50+ GST
- Youth (ages 6-18)- CAD12.50+GST
- Children 5 and under FREE
- Family Pass (including 2 adults and 4 children)- CAD 45.00+ GST
3)VANCOUVER POLICE MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES.
The Museum is located on Cordova Street next door to Vancouver’s Gastown.
Address- 240 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6A 1L3.
The Museum was erstwhile known as Vancouver Police Centennial Museum. The Museum building was constructed in 1932 for the City’s coroner’s use as a morgue and laboratory. In 1935, the Coroner’s Court was used as a hospital during the Battle of Ballantyne Pier. The building was designed by Architect Arthur J Bird. The First curator of the Museum was Joe Swan, a former police and dilettante historian. Sasha Hnatiuk is the present curator of the Museum.
The Museum is now Controlled by a non-profit organization, The Vancouver Police Historical Society established in 1983.
The Museum contains approximately 30000 objects that consist of archival documents, photographs, important publications, impounded firearms along with other weapons, counterfeit currency, and various other artifacts.
The Museum conducts educational visuals for Children and youth focused on forensic investigation. Small bookshops are located that sell a curated collection of books for interested visitors to buy.
Visiting hours and entry:
The visiting hours for the museum are
The ticket rates are listed below:
- Adult- $12
- Senior (65+)- $10
- Student (w/ID)- $10
- Youth (5-18)- $8
- Family (2 Adults and 2 Youth)- $30
Science World is located at the end of False Creek.
Address- 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The science world was formerly known as Telusphere till 2005 and Telus World of Science from 2005 to 2020. The building in which the museum resides was built as Expo Centre for the Expo 86 World’s fair. After the Expo ended in October, a thorough lobbying campaign took place and with much government backing, the building was obtained which was renovated with a 3D IMAX theatre for the ‘Transition’ Films. The Science World Society in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Tracy Redies is the current CEO and Cherye Slusarchuk is the Chairperson.
Science World conducts different programs all over BC. Super Science Club is such a program that helps at-risk children to learn about lifelong science and technology.
The Walks of Science World is decorated with art by local artists who tell tales about nature, Science, and technology.
Bodyworks Gallery shows the wonderful things that make people unique. This Gallery helps people to learn about their body starting from the largest organ in the body to the genes and cells. The Ken Spencer Science Park provides a fresh-air arena for visitors to connect to nature. The living lab conducts fun activities which are designed to measure cognitive development. Apart from this, the Puzzles and Illusions, Sara Stern Gallery’s microscopic visuals, Tinkering Space: The WorkSafe BC Gallery, The TD Environmental Trail, and lastly the play-based learning Wonder Gallery are also on the list of must-visit.
Visiting hours and entry :
Science World is open from 10:00 am to 5 pm Monday to Sunday.
The ticket chart is listed below :
- Adults (19+) – $33.20
- Senior (65+) -$26.75
- Youth (13-18)-$26.75
- Child (3-12)-$22.50
The museum requests people keep the visit for a maximum of 3 hours and the children 12 and under should be supervised by adults.
5)BEATY BIODIVERSITY MUSEUM.
The Museum is located in the University of British Colombia and is a museum filled with historical objects associated with Animals, Plants, Climate, and the like.
Address- 2212 Main Mall, University of British Colombia, Vancouver British Colombia, Canada. V6T 1Z4
The objects living in the museum were previously scattered all around the campus. In 2001, the Dept of Zoology and Botany put forward the idea of putting all the objects in a single place. The interesting work of the Patkau Architects inspired the Biodiversity Museum.
Dr . Wayne Maddison was the first director of the museum and Dr. Quentin Cronk of the Dept of Botany is the present professor. The museum is named after its honorable contributors Ross and Trisha Beaty, the University Of British Colombia alumni.
The objects residing in the museum date back to the early 1910s. The Museum has approximately 2 million specimens.
The Museum’s signature piece is the 25m skeleton of a female blue whale. It is the largest skeleton that is suspended without any external framework to support it in the world.
The Cowan Tetrapod Collection contains over 40,000 items which consist of 2000 species of vertebrates, 18,000 mammals from 540 species, 17,500 birds, 7000 bird eggs, and 1600 reptiles and amphibians. It is the second-largest collection of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals in BC. The collection also consists of the rare red panda specimens, the endangered Vancouver Island marmot, and extinct species like the passenger parrot.
The Marine Invertebrate Collection contains several major lineages of invertebrates. In 2006, Kelly Nortan’s donation of thousands of shells and corals expanded the collection.
The Herbarium contains vascular plants and seed collections that were donated by A J Hill, Eil Wilson, W. Taylor, and A E Baggs. It contains more than 650000 specimens. They are used in the research and count about 223000 vascular plants, 85000 algae, 242000 bryophytes, 16000 fungi, and 40,000 lichens.
The Spencer Entomological Collection consists of objects which dated back to the early 1830s and were begun by Dr. George Spencer. It comprises over 600000 items, 500000 pinned insects, 25000 on slides, and 75000 in alcohol. It includes 350 books and other printed materials that are a help in the study of entomology.
Dr. C. Maclean Fraser’s fish collection contains over 850000 specimens, 50000 DNA and tissue samples, contains freshwater and nearshore marine species.
The 1924 fossil collection of Dr. Merton Yarwood Williams consists of 20000 items including stromatolites which dates back to 500 million years, for example of Burgess Shale. Three casts of dinosaur trackways were added to the museum.
AN EXPANSION WILL BE HAPPENING TO THE SPRING MUSEUM STARTING FROM APRIL 2023 TO SPRING 2025 WHICH MIGHT RESULT IN THE CANCELLATION OF BOOKINGS AND RENTALS AT SHORT NOTICE.
Visiting Hours and Entry :
The Museum is closed on Mondays and Statutory Holidays. Its opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00-5:00 pm. The Gift Shop hours are the same. The Beauty Nocturnal takes place every third Thursday of the month from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm and admission to 8:30 pm and the admission is confirmed by donation.
The Ticket Chart is as follows –
- Adult- $14
- Senior (65+)- $12
- University of British Colombia Students, faculty + Staff (with UBC Card – FREE )
- Student(w/10)- $12
- Youth (13-17)- $12
- Child (5-12)- $10
- Child (0-4)- Free
- Large Family ( 2Adults\4children\youth)- $45
- Small Family (up to 1 adult, 2 children)- $
6)ROEDDE HOUSE MUSEUM.
The Roedde House Museum is located on Barclay Street in Vancouver. It was used as a rooming house previously and is now open to the public as a museum.
Address: 1415 Barclay Street Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. V6G 156
Gustav Roedde and his wife Matilda Cassebohm Roedde lived in different cities in the early years. Their house was completed in 1893 and was designed by Architect Francis Rattenbury. The house is mainly made of cedar and fir as lumber was available at a cheap rate at that time. The family eventually grew and in 1925 Anna Catherine was killed at the age of 28 thus the family moved to Drummond Drive in Point Grey.
The Community of Arts Council of Vancouver protected the building from, getting demolished in the 1970s due to its historical significance. Over the years the Roedde house was renovated and restored. On May 12, 1990, the museum was officially opened to the public by Mayor Gordon Campbell.
The Museum contains over 2700 objects which include clothing, furniture, books, and items that were owned by the Roedde family. Some of the artifacts are the George iii Longcase clock (1775), the Upright Steinway piano (1893), Stereoscope, and the Universal bread maker.
The Museum conducts guided tours that feature classical and Jazz Concert Series.
Visiting Hours and Entry :
The Museum is open for interested visitors on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm.
The Ticket Chart is as follows :
- Gen Admission – $10
- Youth(6-18) – $5
- Children(5yrs and under)- Free
- RHM – Free
7)PACIFIC MUSEUM OF EARTH
The Pacific Museum of Earth is located on the University of British Museum’s Vancouver Campus. Address: Vancouver Campus 6339 Stores Rd. Earth and Ocean Sciences Main Building Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. V6T 1Z4
The Pacific Museum of Earth is the University Of British Columbia’s Museum featuring scientific and artifacts of the earth. The collection consists of an 80-million-year-old Lambeosaurus dinosaurs skeleton, a collection of millions, of rocks, and fossils from around the world, a secure precious minerals vault, a tornado machine, a dinosaur egg, and amber-encased insects.
The Museum offers tours for students, a teacher’s resource center, and also its gift shop. Admission is by donation.
Visiting Hours and Entry :
Interested visitors can visit the museum from Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Ticket Chart is as follows:
- In-person tour and programs – $110
- Virtual tour and Group visit – Free
- Self-Led Group Visit – Free
- In-School Programs – Prices Vary
8)THE JEWISH MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.
The Museum is located on Ash Street and celebrates 150 years of Jewish Culture and history.
Address- 6184 Ash Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
The Museum celebrates 150 years of Jewish Community Culture and its historical significance. It is a registered non-project societal organization that documents and preserves several archival holdings of the community.
The Museum collects different archival documents that record the life of Jews in British Columbia. It contains 325000 photographs, 900 Oral history interviews, and the like.
The museum provides several walking tours like the Jewish Gastown and Strathcona Walking Tour, Jewish Oakridge Walking Tour, Archives Tour, and Mountain View Cemetery. Private Tours are available upon request.
Visiting Hours and Entry:
The Museum is open from Monday to Thursday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The membership is available by donation.
9)CHINESE CULTURE CENTRE MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES.
The Museum is located on the vibrant streets of Chinatown with various Asian restaurants surrounding it.
Address- 555 Columbia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V64 4H5.
The Museum lets people experience and gain knowledge about the historical origin of the Chinese Community and Culture in Canada. The Museum also helps as a Community Center.
The Museum produces over 100 quarterly visual programs and gallery exhibitions which include XianRui Artist Excellence Series curated by Abby Chen, WOMEN, and the like. It also houses different arts like Occupy Shanghai Subway, San Francisco Chinatown Keywords School, and Sunrise. The Museum has also set up its educational programs. It celebrated festivals for the visitors to revive the cultural aspects of the community.
Visiting Hours and entry:
The Museum entertains visitors from Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
10)BILL REID GALLERY.
The Gallery is located in the heart of Downtown Vancouver.
Address: 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6C 2G3
The Gallery was established by Bill Reid Foundation to celebrate and promote the artworks of various indigenous people of the Northwest coast. The Gallery hosts the Simon Fraser University’s Bill Reid Art Collection.
The Gallery contains different forms of art that highlight the culture of the Indigenous people of the Northwest coast. It contains Reid’s bronze masterpiece, Mythic Messengers, Reid’s gold and silver Jewellery, and a full-scale totem pole carved by James Hart Of Haida Gwaii.
The Gallery also has shops that provide various artworks that are shown in the gallery for the visitors to have a memento for life.
Visiting hours and entry:
The Gallery welcomes people from Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The ticket chart is as follows:
11)MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER.
The museum of Vancouver is the oldest in Canada located in Vanier Park in Vancouver.
Address: 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6J3J9.
The Museum of Vancouver is the oldest civic museum in Canada. It went through various names before being revamped as the Museum of Vancouver in 2009. It was founded by the Art, Historical and Scientific association in 1894. The top floor of the Dunn Building was occupied for the exhibition of the museum. Later due to the increment of the collections a permanent place was sought out. In 1959, the museum came under the city’s civic board.
The Museum contains several First Nations and Oriental Artifacts. Maximum objects are stored away due to the lack of space in the exhibition. The Museum also contains Argillite Carvings, Monumental wooden sculptures, Baskets, Objects carved by Charles Edenshaw, Glass slides painted by Frederick Alexcee, Selected masks, boxes, bowls, canoes, and Pauline Johnson’s Performance costume. In the Asian Antiques collection, there are Chinese art objects dating from the Shang Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, Japanese objects dating from Muromachi Period to the Meiji Period, Indian, Nepalese, and Tibetan Stone, wood, and bronze sculptures, textiles, and paintings, Thai Bronze Buddhist statues, Buddhist sculptures, Vietnamese and Cambodian ceramics.
Apart from these, there are several Egyptian Antiques such as mummy wrappings that are inscribed “Penechates, Son of Hatres”, mummified crocodiles, hawks, and cats. Some of Vancouver’s historical objects like Edwardian household furnishings and accessories include an excellent collection of locally-made stained glass.
The Museum contains several galleries like the Ugly Vancouver, Neon Vancouver, and History Galleries.
Visiting hours and Entry:
The Museum is open for visitors daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and only on Thursday to Saturday are the museum hours extended till 8:00 pm.
The ticket charts are listed below:
- Adults- $20
- Students(w/ID)- $15
- Seniors- $15
- Youth (6-17)- $15
12)VANCOUVER ART GALLERY.
The Museum is located next door to Robson Square in Downtown Vancouver.
Address- 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6Z 2H7.
Under The Provincial Society Act, the Vancouver Art Gallery Association was set up to maintain a museum for the city of Vancouver. During those years many protests took place there and the building was used as a shelter. The Museum was later renovated in 1950 to adopt the International Style of Architecture. In 1983 the museum was relocated and is presently owned by the Government of British Columbia. Anthony Kiendl is the present director of the art gallery museum.
The Museum contains approximately 12000 works by Canadian and international Artists. The collection consists of First Nations Art and Art from Asia. It also contains photographs from the 1950s to the present, photos by N. E Thing Co. Artist Collective, photographers of the Vancouver School of Conceptual Photography, and other artists including Dan Graham. Andreas Gursky.
Visiting Hours and entry:
The Gallery entertains visitors from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The ticket chart is listed below:
- General Admission- $29
- Youth(13-18 age)- FREE
- Child(12 and under)- FREE
- Gallery members- FREE
- Caregiver- FREE