In October 2006 the Vanier Museopark opened its first permanent exhibition which covers 400 years of history, the time of the First Nations until today’s ordeals, passing by the French explorers, the fur traders and the many educational institutions which religious missionaries opened in Vanier. This first exhibition paved the way for a new version which covers Vanier’s history from mid-19th century up until today. We discuss topics such as the arrival of the first colonizers, economic life, politics, and defense of the francophonie. Our temporary exhibitions also discuss topics such as today’s French-speaking communities in the City of Ottawa.
The Museopark also proposes 4 urban circuits which allow you to discover Vanier’s heritage and main memorable places. The Richelieu Park circuit will let you explore the vast terrain which once belonged to the White Fathers of Africa and which is now home to an urban sugar bush. The Beechwood Avenue circuit will allow you to discover the Saint-Charles church, built in 1908, as well as the impact the establishment of the parish had in tying francophones to Vanier. It is in the presbytery of this church that the Order of Commanders of Jacques-Cartier was born.
The Montreal Road circuit, the economic and historical heart of the district, extends from Cummings Bridge until Notre-Dame cemetery. And finally, the McArthur circuit, which explores the ancient grounds of the McArthur family, amongst the region’s first pioneers.
Besides public talks and CreActivity Club workshops for children, the Eastview Breakfasts – Eastview being Vanier’s old name – are of great interest. Once a month, people who grew up in the area are invited to tell anecdotes of experiences they have lived, with varying topics such as sports, commerce, taverns, and the turpitudes of a memorable priest or the rivalries between parishes. These conversations are recorded and help to create new exhibitions which take advantage of this precious intangible heritage. The Museopark also prepares for the future by valuing the past.