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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.

Locations and hours

Location

2940 Old Montreal Road 
Cumberland, ON K4C 1G3 

Tel.: 613-833-3059 ext. 221 
Email: cumberlandmuseum@ottawa.ca 

Hours

The museum is open from Sunday, May 13 to Sunday, October 28 on Wednesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. Please note: the museum is closed to the public on Sunday, October 7. 

Times may vary for special events and programs. Be sure to check all listings for more details.

Admission

Unless otherwise indicated, regular admission fees apply.

Adults - $7.50
Seniors and Students - $5.50
Families (2 adults and all of your children under 18 years) - $19.25
Annual Family Membership - $37.25 (2 adults and all of your children under 18 years)
Children 5 and under are free.

Group rates available upon request. Non-resident fees applicable for registered courses. Additional fees may be applicable to some special events and programs.

Stay connected

Find us on Facebook and Instagram or sign up for our monthly "At your museum" eNewsletter. 

Upcoming events and programs

Culture Days

Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30 from 10 am to 4 pm

Join us at the museum as we celebrate Culture Days! Each day we’re offering a fantastic and family-friendly lineup of activities, heritage demonstrations, performances, and more!

Saturday, September 29

  • Grand Portage Fiddlers (1 pm to 3 pm)
  • Tractor-pulled wagon rides
  • Printing demonstration inspired by the works of L.M. Montgomery
  • Planting demonstration: bulbs and garlic
  • Preserves demonstration
  • Blacksmith demonstration
  • Step back in time to explore the market experience of the 1920s and 30s: design your own advertisement, learn about food costs, and decide if you’ll “grow it or buy it”.

Sunday, September 30

Local producers and artisans from the Cumberland Farmers’ Market will be selling their goods – locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, pastries, alongside artisanal products – at their annual Harvest Market.

  • Sawmill demonstration
  • Farmer’s Cheese-making demonstration
  • Blacksmith demonstration
  • Planting demonstration: bulbs and garlic
  • Step back in time to explore the market experience of the 1920s and 30s: design your own advertisement, learn about food costs, and decide if you’ll “grow it or buy it”.

*Please note that wagon rides will not be offered on Sunday, September 30. Daily activity schedule is subject to change.

Cost: Free admission

Halloween Hijinks

Sunday, October 28 from 10 am to 4 pm

We’re exploring Halloween’s more mischievous origins at Halloween Hijinks! Before trick-or-treating became the norm, Halloween was the night all the pranksters came out to play. Follow the clues to help us identify who’s been causing mischief at the museum. Wear your costume and enjoy a few yummy treats along the way.

Cost: $19.25 families; $7.50 adults; $5.50 seniors and students. Children under 5 are free. Memberships are welcome.

The Ottawa Valley Live Steamers and Model Engineers

Sunday, October 28 – 11 am to 3 pm

Visitors can experience model steam trains and learn about railway operations and history. Weather and circumstances permitting.

Visitors are advised to check our Facebook page or contact the museum by phone at 613-833-3059 ext. 221 for updates.

Children and families

Families with children will never be bored at the museum. There are farm animals from the Heritage Livestock Club of Eastern Ontario, Radio Flyer wagons, soapbox derby cars, wagon rides, sawmill and various heritage trade and domestic science demonstrations and activities offered daily.

Bring Your Own

Visitors are welcome to bring their own food to picnic on the grounds. To preserve the artefacts in the museum, no eating is permitted in the indoor exhibition spaces.

School programs

Curriculum-linked school programs and educational activities are offered for students from kindergarten through Grade 6. Students will learn through discovery and an up-close, hands-on exploration of the skills, lifestyles and challenges of the 1920s and 30s.

Our school programs are linked to the education objectives established by the Ontario Ministry of Education. All education programs are 2 hours in length.

Bookings for education programs for the 2018 season begin January 15, 2018.

Booking for the Heritage Christmas program begins September 4, 2018.

Our education programs

Maximum 100 students per booked program unless otherwise noted.

From Farm to Table: May, June and September - JK to Grade 3

This guided education program is designed to give students the opportunity to learn about a variety of animals on a family farm and discuss the importance of livestock for work, food, clothing, transportation, health and companionship.  Children will learn about safety surrounding farms and farm animals and will be invited to share their own knowledge.

Kindergarten: Belonging and Contributing; Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours; Problem Solving and Innovating

Grade 1: Health and Physical Education; Science and Technology; Social Studies

Grade 2: Health and Physical Education; Science and Technology; Social Studies

Grade 3: Health and Physical Education; Science and Technology; Social Studies

From Kinder “Garden” and Up!: May and June - JK and SK

This guided education program introduces students to the variety of herbs and vegetables that would have grown on farms in the 1920s and 1930s.  Students will plant their own fruits or vegetables and learn about fruit and vegetable life cycles.

Kindergarten: Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours; Problem Solving and Innovating

*Maximum 60 students per program.

Waste Not, Want Not: May, June and September - Grade 1 to Grade 5

In this guided education program, students will learn about different methods used by people in the 1920s and 1930s to stretch their resources further.  Reduce, reuse, recycle is not a new idea!  Topics include: food preparation and preserving; sewing clothing; and other grade specific activities.

Grade 1: Science and Technology; Social Studies

Grade 2: Science and Technology; Mathematics

Grade 3: Science and Technology; Social Studies

Grade 4: Science and Technology

Grade 5: Science and Technology

A Lesson in Learning: February to October - Grade 1 to Grade 6

This guided education program allows students to experience the life of a student in a one room schoolhouse using lesson plans based on those from the 1920s and 1930s. 

Please note there are two separate options for this program: Option 1 includes Social Studies, Traditional Games, and Math exercises.  Option 2 includes Social Studies, Traditional Games, and Language exercises.

Grade 1: Social Studies; Health and Physical Education; Mathematics / Language

Grade 2: Social Studies; Health and Physical Education; Mathematics / Language

Grade 3: Social Studies; Health and Physical Education; Mathematics / Language

Grade 4: Social Studies; Health and Physical Education; Mathematics / Language

Grade 5: Social Studies; Health and Physical Education; Mathematics / Language

Grade 6: Social Studies; Health and Physical Education; Mathematics / Language

*Maximum of 25 students per program.

In a Pickle: May and June - Grade 1 and 2

This guided education program introduces students to preserving fruits and vegetables for winter in the 1920s and 1930s.  Students will compare planting from seed with planting from seedling or kitchen scrap, and investigate how museum gardens are important and related to each other. 

*Maximum 60 students per program.

Exploring the Village: May to October - All ages (no additional fees)

This self-guided visit of the museum allows for further exploration of rural life in Eastern Ontario during the 1920s and 1930s.  Visitors will discover the sawmill, blacksmith shop, pump manufacturer, the “Imperial” service station and print shop as well as explore farm houses.  Visit the heritage breed animals and examine the heritage gardens all of which serve as reminders of an economy based on agriculture, trade and industrialization. 

Heritage Christmas Program

Available November 28th through December 21st, 2018 on Wednesdays (mornings/afternoons), Thursdays (mornings/afternoons),  and Fridays (mornings only). Booking for the Heritage Christmas program begins September 4, 2018.

2 hours in length. 100 students maximum (for larger groups please contact cumberlandmuseum@ottawa.ca). 

Program cost is $4.50 per student. *Prices subject to change.

Program includes: gingerbread cookie decorating; guided wagon ride; hot chocolate at the bonfire; a visit with Santa Claus; and a craft. Program is designed for pre-school; junior and senior kindergarten; grade 1; and grade 2. 

Requests for booking forms and questions about the program can be directed to cumberlandmuseum@ottawa.ca. All bookings are tentative until confirmed in writing (email). Cancellations must be received (by phone or email) as soon as possible. 

Please note that there is no available lunch space during the Heritage Christmas Program. 

While the museum makes all possible efforts to address allergy concerns, please identify to the staff assigned to your group all students with food allergies.  For questions about food handling or ingredients, email cumberlandmuseum@ottawa.ca. Please allow up to three business days for a reply.

Please ensure all students are dressed for the weather.  While many parts of the Heritage Christmas program are inside, several components are outside.

Programs for Visiting Summer Camps

*June, July and August. Please contact cumberlandmuseum@ottawa.ca for further information. 

From Farm to Fork (3 to 9 years; max. 100 participants) 

Meet different farm animals on site.  Play games related to farming and farm animals.

Country Sampler (4 to 10 years; max. 100 participants) 

What would a day in the country look like?  Meet some of our animals, visit the school for an activity, and get dirty in one of the gardens.

Museum Sampler  (9 to 13 years; max. 60 participants)

A sample of what the museum has to offer: plant in a garden; participate in a trade; meet some of our farm animals; and participate in a scavenger hunt.

Games we played (4 to 8 years; max. 150 participants) 

A program of games: tug of war; potato sack races; 3-legged races; tag; egg and spoon; "cooperative walking boards"

Fees

The cost to book a single program is $4.50 per child. Additional $1.25 per child for a second program. 

Availability

Wednesday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fully bilingual staff is on site at all times.

Planning your school visit

Before you Arrive

If you have questions about any of the programs or require more details, contact us by email at CumberlandMuseum@ottawa.ca or phone at 613-833-3059 ext. 221. Detailed outlines of the curriculum objectives can be obtained upon request.

Booking Information

All educational programs must be booked ahead of time. As we can only accommodate a limited number of visitors at a time, plan alternate dates for your outing in case we cannot accommodate your first choice. To receive a booking form, please email: cumberlandmuseum@ottawa.ca.

All education programs are 2 hours in length.

Upon booking, you will receive a booking confirmation form as well as our Guidelines for Visiting Groups.

Cancellations must be received (phone or email) seven days prior to your field trip. Cancellations due to severe weather must be received as soon as possible.

Before your Visit

Please arrive 15 minutes before the designated start time of your program. Complete programs cannot be guaranteed for late arrivals. Please consider weather and traffic in your travel time.

A member of staff will meet your group at the group entrance, at the east side of the Train Station to direct your group to the location where you will meet your guide(s) and are able to leave your bags.

Program fees must be paid upon arrival at the museum at the Train Station. The museum accepts: cash, cheques (payable to: City of Ottawa), credit cards (Master Card, American Express or Visa) or debit cards.

Adult Supervisors

Please make sure everyone is dressed appropriately for the weather.

Please notify museum staff of any food or environmental allergies within your group.

Children’s groups are required to maintain a student to adult ratio of 1:5 for pre-school, junior and senior kindergarten, and grade 1, and 1:7 for grades 2 through 6.

Supervisors are reminded to stay with the children at all times including lunchtime, self-guided visits, and washroom breaks.

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

City in Motion: From Railways to Highways

Opening May 13

The automobile brought with it major changes to daily commutes, leisure travel, infrastructure, and more. From Railways to Highways interprets the transportation links between Ottawa and its surrounding rural communities from passenger rail to modern highway networks.

City in Motion explores all the ways Ottawa residents have travelled from point A to point B. Learn more about the region’s transportation history by visiting all four City in Motion exhibitions, each one expanding on a different theme. City in Motion is on display at Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, Billings Estate National Historic Site, Nepean Museum, and Pinhey’s Point Historic Site.

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.

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.

Venue rental

Cumberland Heritage Village Museum is a rare village setting with modern conveniences and rustic charm. Whether you're planning a meeting, a special event, or the most important day of your life, the museum offers facilities with historic character set in a beautiful, tranquil location. With the addition of modern-day conveniences, your guests will enjoy a successful and memorable day.

An affordable and flexible option just 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa, the museum showcases historic buildings, lovely gardens, and 100 acres of fresh country air. The site has an outdoor capacity of up to 250 people, while smaller groups of up to 59 people can be accommodated year-round. 

Weddings and Special Events

The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum offers a uniquely vintage experience making it the ideal outdoor setting for your special day. A mixture of historic buildings, lush green space, and lovely gardens provides a nostalgic backdrop to capture your wedding memories, celebrate your anniversary, or commemorate a special occasion. Choose your own caterer to make sure your event is exactly how you’ve always dreamed it would be.

Corporate Meetings and Retreats

The museum is a fantastic setting for your next corporate event. A lovely, spacious outdoor area for meetings, BBQs, picnics, and team building exercises will surely energize your entire team. Smaller groups up to 59 people can be accommodated year-round in the Community Hall.

Birthday Parties

Birthday boys and girls can have a blast when they host their next birthday party at Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. Parents can plan their own activities, or work with our team to incorporate some of the museum’s favourite kids programs into their celebration in a fun and safe environment.

Our venues

Knox Church

The Knox Church is a 1904 Victorian Gothic Revival and is a popular choice for wedding ceremonies, recitals, and gatherings for up to 120 people. The Church is no longer consecrated.

Bandstand, Picnic Shelter, and Marquee Tent

The picnic shelter and marquee tent are a popular choice for outdoor weddings, receptions, family picnics, and other events with a maximum capacity of up to 150 guests. The turn-of-the-century replica bandstand offers another choice for an outdoor ceremony. The bandstand, tent, and picnic shelter are rented as one unit.

Community Hall

The Community Hall provides a large open space that is ideal for use as a dressing room for brides, grooms, and special guests.  Heated and therefore available year-round, this quaint structure can accommodate a total of 59 guests.

Amenities for rentals include

  • Tables and chairs up to 150 guests
  • Use of the designated food preparation area
  • Staff to facilitate set-up and take-down of your event
  • Full access to the museum grounds
  • Free parking

You can book your outdoor special event up to 18 months in advance, and your indoor events can be booked up to 6 months in advance.

Book an appointment

The charm of Cumberland Heritage Village Museum must be seen to be believed. Make an appointment with our Customer Service Booking Clerk for a tour of our venue and to receive a full rental information package and application form.

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.