Back to articles Terry Fox Special Exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History: A must-see for all Canadians!

Categories: Family Fun

We took our kids to visit the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau for the first time this summer during our family trip to the Nation's Capital. We had seen the museum from our cruise on the Ottawa River the day before and were excited to explore such a fascinating looking building. We were particularly thrilled that one of the special exhibits at the museum was about Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope.
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Grand Hall of First Peoples

It's hard not to be impressed when you first enter the Grand Hall at the museum. The totem poles and native art immediately transport you into the world and culture of the First People's of the Pacific Coast. The height alone of these magnificent works of art is enough to blow you away, let alone the story that each totem pole has to tell. Add to that the view of the Parliament Buildings across the Ottawa River, and you've got one intensely Canadian vantage point.

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Morning Star

Don't forget to look UP when you're on the first floor. You won't want to miss experiencing Morning Star by Dene Suline artist Alex Janvier. This absolutely stunning painting is on the celiing and stands out brightly against the white staircase. The museum has made it comfortable and easy to admire the painting with their red lounge chairs underneath. The painting is 19 metres (62 feet) in diameter and covers 418 square metres (4,500 square feet).

Each of the four distinct areas of colour in the outside ring represents a period in Native history.

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Terry Fox Special Exhibit

This exhibit was the highlight of our visit. It was an emotional, informative and inspiring look back at the journey that Terry Fox made in 1980 (celebrating the 35th anniversary of his run). Both our kids were fascinated to read and learn more about Terry Fox. They knew who he was since they've been involved in their school's Terry Fox runs for years, but to see his story up close and personal was even more special.

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The exhibit includes so many of Terry Fox's personal items from his now-famous Marathon of Hope. The t-shirts he wore every day, excerpts from his journal, his Adidas running shoes, his support van and so much more. There's even a magical display of letters that people across the country and the world wrote to Terry to support him in his brave cause.

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But I think the most poignant and memorable item in the exhibit was his prosthetic leg. You couldn't help but be moved to tears thinking of the 143-day, 5,300 kilometre journey from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Thunder Bay that this leg ran with Terry.

The Terry Fox special exhibit runs at the museum until January 24, 2016 and I highly recommend that all Canadians, young and old, try to visit it and relive Terry's incredible journey to help fight cancer.

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Canadian Children's Museum

The Children's Museum is the perfect place for kids of all ages to explore and discover the magic of museums. It is colouful, interactive, vibrant and FUN! There's so much to learn and play with and do.

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The kids get to enjoy the wonders of the world and learn about cultures of different countries. They can globe-trot without even leaving the building! There's a children's passport that they receive and they can collect stamps by visiting all the different areas of the Children's Museum. Make sure you give your little ones LOTS of time in this section so they can experience all the culture and history that our world of diversity has to offer.


Above were the highlights from our visit to the Museum. There is so much more to do and see, including the amazing IMAX theatre and many other exhibits. You can visit their website at for more information and to help plan your visit.


Special thanks to the Canadian Museum of History for providing us passes and to Ottawa Tourism for providing us with an Attraction Passport to help plan our family visit to the Nation's Capital

Please visit their website to find a wealth of information about local events and festivals, accommodations, dining & shopping and so much more!