Get ready for selfies again with your favourite dinosaur, moose, or blue whale. The Canadian Museum of Nature will reopen its doors Thursday, Feb 18 following the City of Ottawa’s transition to Orange Zone provisions in response to the COVID pandemic.
Visitors can once again get into nature and rediscover the magic of dinosaurs, the majesty of a blue whale, the mysteries of the Arctic, the amazing diversity of Canadian wildlife and more. All of the museum’s permanent galleries will be accessible. Visitors can also enjoy the stunning 7-metre representation of the Earth called Gaia, created by British artist Luke Jerram.
The museum will now be open four days a week from Thursday to Sunday. Tickets must be reserved in advance at nature.ca based on 15-minute time slots, and reduced capacity will ensure there will be lots of space to roam and to ensure physical distancing.
Hours will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the first hour on Thursday and Sunday (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.) reserved for members. With the support of Canada Life, the museum has also brought back its free hours on Thursday evenings from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., but visitors still need to reserve tickets in advance.
Museum staff have implemented enhanced measures and modified procedures to ensure the health and safety of visitors. Following public health guidelines, these include timed-online ticketing, mandatory wearing of masks, physical distancing, increased frequency of cleaning and directional signage. Given the stacked 4-floor layout of the museum’s century-old building, visitors follow a path that takes them up one side of the museum and down the other.
The museum’s Nature Boutique will be open to shoppers from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Some high-touch interactive areas such as the Bird Care Clinic, the Arctic Research Vessel and the Nature Café will remain closed for now.
The museum also continues to offer a variety of virtual nature-themed activities and programs on its web site, at nature.ca/explore. Included is a stunning 3D, 360 virtual tour of the museum that visitors can explore at their own pace. More than 80,000 images using a 360 degree camera were stitched together for this amazing online experience. Try it out at nature.ca/360e.