Government of Canada announces design of Parks Canada’s new home for 25 million artifacts

News release

Facility will ensure that archaeological and historical objects are safeguarded and conserved for future generations

July 23, 2019                                   Ottawa, Ontario                     Parks Canada Agency

Parks Canada is responsible for protecting nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and enabling the stories of these treasured objects and places to be shared with Canadians.

Today, Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced the design of Parks Canada’s new purpose-built collection storage facility. The 8,200 m2 facility, located in Gatineau, Quebec, will be the new home of 25 million archaeological and historical objects which are currently spread across six different facilities across the country. By bringing them together under the care of specialists and conservators, it will be easier for researchers, institutions, and all curious Canadians to learn about Canada’s diverse and varied history.

The new facility will also provide top-of-the-line protection for many delicate historical and archeological objects.  Currently, about 60 per cent of the collection under Parks Canada’s care is at risk from inappropriate environmental storage conditions and security measures. The new facility will have optimal environmental conditions, ensuring safe protection and conservation of the collection. The collection will be cared for by a team of specialists, curators and conservators and will be properly managed, stored, and easily retrievable.

The new building will use renewable energy and incorporate sustainable and energy-efficient green building standards, making it a net-zero building. Landscaping around the building will also use native species and dry ponds will capture excess rain water. By building smarter, Parks Canada will also save on energy costs.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2020 and be completed in 2022. Parks Canada’s collection of objects located at the current storage facilities will be relocated to the new facility in Gatineau once it is operational.

Parks Canada will continue to exhibit archaeological and historical objects under its care at national parks and historic sites in every province and territory, making sure Canadians have the opportunity to connect with our history.


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“The Government of Canada is committed to preserving our heritage and providing opportunities for Canadians to learn more about our rich history. This new facility, located in the city of Gatineau, will ensure that one of the largest collections of historical and archeological objects in North America is safeguarded, carefully conserved, and properly managed for the benefit of future generations. Green building standards, which have been incorporated throughout the facility’s design, will also reduce its environmental footprint.”

Steven MacKinnon,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and
Accessibility and Member of Parliament for Gatineau

Quick facts

  • The design was developed by Moriyama and Teshima Architects (Ottawa, Toronto) and NFOE Architects (Montreal), as a joint-architectural venture.

  • About a quarter of the building is dedicated workspace for researchers and staff, as well as reception, meeting, and ceremonial spaces.

  • PSPC is working collaboratively with Parks Canada on the procurement process for the design and construction contracts. PSPC is also managing the project on behalf of Parks Canada and will be responsible for overseeing the construction of the building.

  • Of the 31 million objects in the collection under Parks Canada’s care, 25 million archaeological and historical objects will be housed in the new facility.

  • Objects currently displayed at Parks Canada’s places, as well as objects on loan to partner organizations, will remain at these locations.

  • Throughout this process, Parks Canada has been collaborating and consulting with its partners and all interested parties, including Indigenous communities, regarding access, care, and management of this important collection.   Parks Canada protects a vast network of natural and cultural heritage places that include 46 national parks, 171 national historic sites, four national marine conservation areas, and one national urban park.

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Sabrina Kim
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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