The Nepean Museum is a space where kids and families can learn and explore together. The exhibition gallery showcases Nepean’s history through a series of changing exhibits. With many fun hands-on events, programs and exhibitions, you’ll find lots to discover together.
Pre-book your visit
Hours and admission
Hours of operation:
Due to provincial restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City has temporarily closured indoor recreation and cultural facilities.
Admission is by donation.
*Special pricing may apply for programs and events.
What to expect when you visit
We look forward to welcoming you back to the museum! We have adapted the visitor experience to reflect guidance from Ottawa Public Health and the Province of Ontario while still providing fun opportunities to engage with local history. Please read below before planning your outing.
The number of visitors inside the museum is limited according to provincial guidelines. Booking your visit online by 4 pm the day prior helps us maintain physical distancing on site.
Contact-tracing information will be collected and visitors will be asked screening questions upon arrival.
Exploration of the museum is self-guided with directional signage to guide traffic.
Please note that as a public health precaution, interactive (hands-on) elements of the exhibitions are not available at this time.
Public washrooms are available to museum visitors.
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 the museum including the lobby, exhibition spaces, and washrooms.
- 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 613-580-9638 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is available in the admission area but bringing your own is recommended.
Collections and exhibits
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 - Rural Roots and City Streets
Nepean: Rural Roots and City Streets explores this essential piece of Ottawa’s history. Using dozens of photos, artefacts, and interactive elements, this new, permanent exhibition spans the full history of Nepean from its use by Algonguin peoples from time immemorial, up until Nepean’s amalgamation with Ottawa at the turn of the 21st Century.
Temporary exhibition - Water: A Journey to the Source
Water: A Journey to the Source is a special exhibition exploring how Ottawans have obtained, used, abused, and conserved this precious resource. It takes visitors from the frigid depths of the ancient Champlain Sea to the warm baths of Victorian spas and through the inner workings of our modern water treatment plants. Stories of whales and well diggers, water witches and waterworks engineers join never-before-seen artefacts to tell the cultural and social history of water in our city and region.
Sneak previews open at the Atrium Gallery (Ben Franklin Place) on March 22 and at Ottawa City Hall on May 1. The full exhibition opens on May 12 at Billings Estate National Historic Site, Nepean Museum, and Pinhey’s Point Historic Site.
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 email@example.com.
We are regularly updating our rental program according to public health guidelines. For more information, please contact our Customer Service Booking Clerk. Call 613-580-9638 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: rentals must comply with all conditions of use in place for managing risks associated with COVID-19.
Work with us to shape your experience. Contact the museum before your visit to discuss your needs. Information about accessibility at the facility, 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.
- 3 designated parking spaces
- Accessible path of travel from the parking lot to entrance
- 20 metres from parking space to the door
- 2 accessible entrances
- Entrances marked with the International Symbol of Accessibility
- Wide door for wheelchair passage
- Automatic door opener
- Direct access to the main floor, lobby, elevator
- All public spaces on accessible path of travel
- Ramps or elevators to all levels
- Accessible seating available
- Floor area for manoeuvring a wheelchair
- Swipe access from seated position
- Large lettering
- Located on lower level
- Automatic door opener
- Large stalls to allow transfers
- Universal (gender-neutral)
- Access to all floors
- One-wheelchair lift
- Located between the two entrances
- Volume control
- Accessible path
- All exhibition spaces are accessible
- Captioned videos
- Wheelchair accessible
- Good visibility for patrons in wheelchairs
- Interpretative labels/panels in large font
Learn more about Inclusive Recreation and accessible services.