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Cumberland Heritage Village Museum

About us

There's no need to drive more than 30 minutes beyond downtown Ottawa to step back in time at a historic village! Cumberland Heritage Village Museum provides an immersive and educational experience that showcases life in the 1920s and 30s with dozens of heritage and true-to-the-era reproduction buildings. Find a quiet escape, or join us for our special events. Cumberland Heritage Village Museum always offers a unique experience that encourages you to play in the past and make memories for the future.

Proof of vaccination required - Museums

As of September 22, 2021, you must present proof you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter an indoor museum.

Required proof

  • Proof you are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated means you have received two doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine at least 14 days prior. The following are accepted:
    • Electronic or hard copy of your vaccination receipt
    • Ontario enhanced vaccine certificate (QR code)
    • Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) vaccination booklet
    • Confirmation of vaccination issued by another jurisdiction
  • Valid identification that shows name and date of birth and has been issued by an institution or public body. Photo identification is not required and the identification does not need to be government-issued.

Exceptions

  • Age 11 and under
  • Those with a documented medical exemption from a doctor or nurse practitioner.

Hours and admission

Hours of operation:

Please note that the museum is now closed for the season.

Programs and special events may be offered during the off season. See “Programs and special events” below, follow Cumberland Heritage Village Museum on Facebook, or subscribe to the “At your museum” eNewsletter for updates.

Regular Admission:

Adult - $8.25
Seniors/Youth/Students - $6.00
Child (5 and under) – Free
Family (2 adults and accompanying children under 18) - $21.00

*Special pricing may apply for programs and events.

Planning a COVID-wise visit

Help reduce the risk of transmission by being COVID-wise! More information can be found on the Ottawa Public Health website.

  • Only visit the museum with members of your household.
  • Masks are required inside museum buildings including the Train Station and washrooms, as well as outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Maintain two meters of distance from others outside your household.
  • If you or a member of your group is not feeling well, cancel your visit by calling 613-580-2988 or emailing museecumberlandmuseum@ottawa.ca.
  • Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is available in the Vars Train Station but bringing your own is recommended.

Programs and special events

Halloween Hijinks

Saturday, October 30 and Sunday, October 31 from 10 am to 4 pm.
Advance registration with timed entry required.

Cost: $21 per group (groups include a maximum of 6 people from the same household; each group must include at least one adult to accompany children). Please note that memberships and library passes cannot be used for admission to this event.

Join us at the museum for a family-friendly Halloween event inspired by the silver screen monsters of 1930s Hollywood. Meet Frankenstein, Dracula and other classic spooks as you explore the museum grounds. Embrace your inner mad scientist as you try not to drop the (eye)ball while putting your speed and balance to the test, pit your favourite movie monsters against each other in a soap boat race, and navigate your way out of the hay bale labyrinth. Show us your best or silliest tricks as you collect some yummy treats and fun at-home activity kits along the way. Costumes are encouraged!

This program will take place outdoors and has been adapted to meet public health guidelines. Halloween Hijinks will run rain or shine; please dress for weather conditions, including appropriate footwear for gravel and grassy terrain. If you have questions about accessibility, please contact the museum at 613-580-2988.

Please note:

  • Limit your group to members of your household only.
  • Information to facilitate contact tracing will be collected as part of the registration process and an on-line self-assessment must be completed before arriving on site. By end-of-day Friday, October 29, you will receive a link by email to an online self-assessment tool. This self-assessment must be completed on the day of your scheduled time slot before you arrive on site.
  • Start times will be staggered by 15 minutes and the experience will last 90 minutes to allow for physical distancing between groups. As such, late arrivals cannot be accommodated. Plan to arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled start time. 
  • Maintain two meters distance from others outside your household.
  • Follow the designated unidirectional route as you move from activity to activity.
  • Treats and activity kits will be prepared in advance and quarantined prior to the event. Physical distancing will be maintained during distribution.
  • Bring a mask for use indoors (admission area, washrooms, etc.) or outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Practice hand hygiene. Hand sanitizer will be available but bringing your own is recommended.
  • If you, or a member of your group is not feeling well, cancel your registration by calling 613-580-2988 or by emailing museecumberlandmuseum@ottawa.ca.

How to register:

Please register using the City of Ottawa’s online systemThe deadline to register is Thursday, October 28. Tickets will not be available at the door.

    1. If you do not already have an account, create one before registering.
    2. To find the event, from the welcome page, click Activity Search from the menu at the top of the page.
    3. Under Advanced Search in the left-hand menu type “Cumberland” into the Containing Keyword field.
    4. Click Show Courses to browse the scheduled time slots. View Details and then click Add to proceed to registration for your desired start time.
    5. Only one registration ($21) is required per household group (max 6 people, including one adult). Please complete the registration under the name of an adult who will be accompanying the group on the day of the program.
    6. If you require assistance with registration, please contact the museum at 613-580-2988.

Notice regarding registration: Tickets are non-transferable. ID may be requested to confirm the identity of the primary account holder who completed the registration at check in. If you can no longer attend, please contact the museum at 613-580-2988 for assistance.

Collections and exhibits

Artefact collections

Representing a fascinating period in our history - the 1920s and 1930s - the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum's collection represents the social, cultural, technological, and economic changes of the era between the First and Second World Wars. Textiles, mass communication devices, agricultural equipment, recreational items, and furnishings are just a few examples of the more than 19,000 objects in our care in this collection, with many of them on site as part of the museum's immersive exhibition experience.

Exhibits

*Please note that due to public health guidelines, interior exhibition spaces are not accessible at this time.

Virtual Exhibition - Cabinet of Curiosities

Cabinets of curiosities displayed the strange and the scientific, the weird and the wonderful. Our team has gone through our collections and picked out the artefacts that appeal most to them to create our very own cabinet of curiosities. You can enjoy this exhibition from the comfort of your own home while learning the history of each artefact and why it stood out to our staff. Enter Cabinet of Curiosities here!

Permanent exhibition

Nestled next to fields of hay, corn, and barley, the entire museum is an immersive exhibition that tells the story of rural life as new technologies, transportation, and cultural trends were emerging. As you stroll through the village and explore its many buildings and spaces, you and your family will learn the stories of a fascinating part of history and see thousands of historic objects, machinery, and equipment that may seem in some ways so different from today, and in other ways very much the same.

Dairy in the Interwar Period (Taylor Barn)

This interactive exhibition examines how dairy farming made significant gains and continued to emerge as a major industry in eastern Ontario.  The shift in farming techniques, the movement towards creating products like cheese and butter allowing for year round income, and advancements in technology and legislation, allowed farmers to produce products for Ottawa and the surrounding areas. 

Train Station

The Vars Train Station, complete with a station master’s office, a passenger waiting room, and freight room, tells the story of rail and telegraph service just before the automobile and telephone became the dominant means of transportation and communication for rural residents.

Watson’s Garage 

Housing vintage vehicles, mechanic’s tools and commercial automotive supplies, Watson’s garage symbolizes the move towards advanced technology and a more mobile society during the interwar period. This single-storey building was originally built as a bicycle shop in 1925 and then converted to an Imperial Gas Station.

A.E. McKeen General Store

An essential service in a rural community, the general store tells the tale of how people shopped and the variety of goods available for purchase as the consumer culture wave began sweeping its way across Canada. On display you’ll find dry goods such as fabrics, notions, and gardening tools, as well as consumables like tinned goods, packaged tea, and candies available to rural communities in the 1920s and 30s.

Blacksmith Shop

Our resident blacksmith tells the story of the transition from handmade goods to mass production and the ever adapting craftsmen in the face of technological advance. See the blacksmith forging wrought iron and steel into items of all kinds. You’ll see bellows used to fan the coals of the fire and then the hammering of the red-hot iron on the anvil before the metal is cooled with water.

Sawmill and Shingle Mill                                      

Equipped with a diesel-powered engine, the fully operational sawmill is an example of local manufacturing industries unable to compete with factories of mass production.

Pump Factory

Housing equipment once used to make wooden water pumps for local farms, the pump factory is a unique example of rural ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit.

Dupuis House

This tiny house, built circa 1820, stands in stark contrast to other buildings as a testament to how far rural communities had modernized by the end of the 1930’s. It is furnished as the modest shop of a seamstress at a time when manufactured, ready-to-wear clothes began overtaking the clothing industry. The oldest building on site, it’s associated with one of the area’s first settlers – François Dupuis.

Duford House

The Duford House symbolizes a home typical of rural farming families with limited means with a garage and vegetable garden. The home is modestly furnished throughout with evidence of the many children who once lived there. The log-frame construction is hidden with wood siding. The house evolved over time to accommodate a family of 14 at one point. Jean Baptiste Duford built this 1 ½ storey home in 1925; the smaller home incurred cheaper taxes than a full 2-storey structure.

School House

Unlike their city counterparts, rural children were taught in one-room school houses equipped with wood stoves and oil lamps during the interwar era.

Print Shop

Exhibiting various styles of printing presses, the print shop shows a profession under pressure as mass communication through print and radio distributed from urban centres found its way to rural communities during the 1920s and 1930s.

Foubert House

With its modern electric appliances, telephone and automobile garage, Foubert house (built circa 1915) represents a rural home on the brink of the modern age. The electric ice box and the stove contrast with the wood burning stove and the pressed tin ceilings.

Knox Church

A focal point of every village and town, rural churches held communities together through worship, charity and fellowship. They were the center of life’s celebrations, personal contemplation and remembrance.  Built in 1904 in the Gothic Revival tradition, the Church features decorative cornices, arched windows with stained glass, hand-painted stencilling, decorative wooden wainscoting, and an ornate coffered ceiling.

Fire Hall

Home to the village of Cumberland’s first fire truck (1938), the fire hall displays equipment and memorabilia relating to the evolution of fire fighting technology that made huge strides during the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Gardens

Heritage herbs and vegetables are grown on site.  In rural communities families still grew their own food in gardens beside their homes, preserving the produce for the remainder of the year despite the convenience of the emerging grocery stores and outdoor markets in the city.

Our volunteers

The City of Ottawa Museums are committed to offering residents meaningful and rewarding volunteer experiences.

Heritage volunteers play an invaluable role in preserving our unique heritage and in providing museum visitors of all ages with opportunities to appreciate our shared story.

Thank you to all our volunteer team members for their continued support.

Due to COVID-19 modified operations, the museums are not currently accepting new volunteers. If you have any questions about the volunteer program or would like to be notified when volunteering resumes, please contact heritagevolunteers@ottawa.ca.

Rentals

A vintage rural setting with dozens of historic and true-to-era buildings, acres of greenspace, and gardens provide a nostalgic and picturesque backdrop for your special events.

Please note:

  • The marquee tent is not available for use at this time.
  • Rentals must comply with all conditions of use in place for managing risks associated with COVID-19.

We are regularly updating our rental program according to public health guidelines. For more information, please contact our Customer Service Booking Clerk. Call 613-580-2988 or email museecumberlandmuseum@ottawa.ca.

Accessibility

Work with us to shape your experience. Contact the museum before your visit to discuss your needs. Information about the accessibility of the facility, or our programs and services, is available upon request.

The accessibility features of this facility are detailed below. While the City of Ottawa is constantly working to improve access, please note that not all parts of every facility are necessarily 'accessible for all' as facilities were built to meet accessibility standards of their time.

Parking

  • 4 designated parking spaces
  • Accessible path of travel from the parking lot to entrance
  • 22 metres from parking space to the door

Entrance/Exit

  • Ramp
  • Direct access to the main floor and admissions.

Interior

  • Ramps in 16 of 20 buildings
  • Automatic door access to Train Station and Canteen
  • Wheelchair available to patrons

Reception desks

  • Accessible counters
  • Floor area for manoeuvring a wheelchair

Signage

  • Directional signs
  • High contrast signage
  • Large lettering

Floor Surfaces

  • Slip resistant surfaces
  • Low pile carpet, Wooden floor boards and G-floor covering

Washrooms

  • Accessible washroom (Canteen)
  • Automatic door opener
  • Lowered sink counters
  • Large stalls to allow transfers

Stairs

  • Good colour contrast (Train Station)
  • Continuous hand rails (Train Station & Duford House)

Museums/Galleries/Archives

  • 14 exhibitions spaces are accessible

Learn more about special needs and accessible services.