The Vanier Museopark is one of eleven community museums in the city of Ottawa and one of the few francophone museums outside Quebec in Canada. Located in the middle of a 17.5-acre Urban Park, which has influenced its name, the Museopark enjoys an exceptional setting.
Less than 5 kilometers from the city center, Vanier is described as a francophone stronghold in Ontario, where the secret society of the Order of Jacques Cartier was created to defend the interests of French Canadians.
The Vanier Museopark offers physical and virtual exhibitions on municipal and provincial French events, talks, workshops and interpretive tours to discover the history and heritage of the surrounding neighborhood. He is also responsible for the activities of the sugar shack inherited from the Society of Missionaries of Africa (the White Fathers).
The Richelieu estate, where the Museopark is located, once belonged to the Society of Missionaries of Africa, better known as the White Fathers. They built a major scholasticate there in 1938, to which were added two extensions in the 1950s. The main building was demolished after the purchase of the land by the city of Vanier in 1977. The Museopark is located in the right wing of the building formerly intended for the courses of young religious and the left wing now houses the municipal library.
The Richelieu Park estate remains a natural jewel of 17.5 acres in the urban center where the White Fathers had previously grown a maple grove, still exploited by our unique sugar shack.
On October 11, 2006 the Museoparc officially launches its inaugural exhibition “Vanier-sur-l’Outaouais, today for tomorrow”. This exhibition summarizes the history of the region through an overview of the legacy of early peoples, the arrival of explorers and the use of waterways as a means of transportation by pioneers. All these periods have led to the economic and socio-cultural development that we have known for more than four hundred years. The exhibition also evokes the quiet strength of education, religious guidance in the life of yesteryear and initiates dialogue on the challenges of the future.
The Museopark is the result of many patients, efforts and above all, the profound desire to make the Franco-Ontarian identity shine. In 2002, the Vanier Action Group, under René Doré’s presidency, founded the Vanier Museum Committee – a neighborhood renowned for being the heart of Ottawa’s Francophonie.
A first meeting chaired by Diane Doré will take place at the sugar shack, it brings together former mayors and advisors of Vanier as Roger Crête, Guy Cousineau, Gisele Lalonde and several other residents of the neighborhood. The museum was finally opened in 2006 with the support of generous partners and sponsors such as the City of Ottawa, a group franco-ontarian heritage organizations, the Association of Authors of Ontario in France, the Vanier Business Improvement, The Ontario Trillium Foundation, etc.