Showcasing Canada’s aeronautical achievements, this large museum houses more than 130 aircraft. See a replica Silver Dart, the first airplane to fly in Canada, and a Canadarm, Canada’s contribution to the International Space Station, then strap yourself into the cockpit and experience the sensation of flight in the Redbird FMX flight simulator.
Many visitors to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum explore during self-guided tours, which allow them to cover the exhibitions and display aircraft at their own pace. Guided tours, included in the price of admission and lasting 30–45 minutes, take place several times daily. Special kids’ tours are given on occasional Saturdays throughout the year.
Tours of the Reserve Hangar, which serves as an overflow site for the museum’s growing collection, are available for an additional fee. For an extra thrill, experience how pilots train with astonishingly realistic flights simulators, or zip over Canada’s capital and Parliament Hill during a ride on an a real airplane, helicopter, or vintage biplane.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts and thrill seekers.
- For an overview of the entire collection, head to the second-floor mezzanine.
- Most of the museum and grounds are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The museum is located on Aviation Parkway, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) northeast of downtown Ottawa in Ontario. Driving from Parliament Hill takes about 10 minutes. Car-free visitors can get here via OC Transpo route 129 or by cycling along the Ottawa River Pathway.
When to Get There
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is open every day except Tuesday. Summer weekends are busiest, but arrive early in the morning or late afternoon and you’ll have plenty of space to explore.
Highlights of the Collection
Among the museum’s most fascinating craft is a replica Silver Dart constructed in 1958 by Royal Canadian Air Force volunteers; the original was the first powered aircraft to take to the skies in Canada in 1909. The museum also has an original Blériot XI, a single-engine monoplane that first came to public attention after crossing the English Channel from France in 1909; parts of a 1950s Avro Arrow, a groundbreaking Canadian jet; and an Avro Canada C102 Jetliner, a prototype craft that in 1949 became the second jet airliner in the world ever to fly.