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.
Cumberland Heritage Village Museum
Locations and hours
2940 Old Montreal Road
Cumberland, ON K4C 1G3
The museum is now closed for the regular season. Special programming is offered throughout the year.
Please see our Upcoming Events and Programs listing below, subscribe to our monthly "At your museum" eNewsletter, or follow us on Facebook for information on special programs and events over the winter months. Times may vary for special events and programs.
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.
Upcoming events and programs
Vintage Village of Lights
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 30 to December 23
3 pm to 8 pm (illuminated from 5 pm to 8 pm)
There’s holiday cheer to share with family, friends, and loved ones of all ages at the Vintage Village of Lights! Our 1920s and 30s village is illuminated to set a picture-perfect scene as you explore the festive touches, decorations, and embellishments that have been a part of Christmas traditions through the years.
As you enjoy your stroll around the Village, be sure to check out some of the fun activities we have planned including: decorating gingerbread; taking a horse-drawn wagon ride; receiving a Santagram; printing a greeting card; personalizing a wooden tree ornament; a site-wide advent calendar; and more. And, of course, don’t forget to say hi to Santa!
Cost: $19.25 families; $7.50 adults; $5.50 seniors and students. Children 5 and under are free. Memberships are welcome.
Tips for making the most of your visit:
- Please check the weather forecast and dress appropriately for conditions. This is mainly an outdoor event with some activities located inside our buildings. Vintage Village of Lights is best enjoyed when bundled up warmly in layers: winter jackets, hats, mittens, scarves, and winter boots are recommended. Snowsuits may be appropriate for younger children. Our site can be quite gusty so keep the wind chill factor in mind.
- The main walkways between buildings are packed gravel. Most buildings with activities are wheelchair accessible. As some of our heritage buildings were built to the standards of their time, not all parts of the site are accessible for all. If you have questions regarding accessibility, please contact the museum at 613-580-2988 for more information.
- Strollers and sleds for children are permitted. However, to reduce crowding in some buildings, we ask visitors to leave strollers and sleds outside. We recommend labelling your stroller or sled for easy identification.
- Santa is happy to take pictures with visitors. Please note that we do not have a photographer on site so visitors are encouraged to bring their own camera.
- Saturday evenings are usually our busiest. If you are looking to enjoy a more relaxed experience, we recommend visiting on Fridays or Sundays. We suggest that families with younger children consider beginning their visit in the afternoon to avoid longer wait times for popular activities. Plan to enjoy all the fun first and then catch the lights at the end of your visit when the site is illuminated at 5 pm.
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 Wednesday mornings (*limited availability) and afternoons, Thursday mornings (*limited availability) and afternoons, and Fridays (mornings only *limited availability). Booking for the Heritage Christmas program begins September 4, 2018.
2 hours in length. 100 students maximum (for larger groups please contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com 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"
The cost to book a single program is $4.50 per child. Additional $1.25 per child for a second program.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unlike their city counterparts, rural children were taught in one-room school houses equipped with wood stoves and oil lamps during the interwar era.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 4 designated parking spaces
- Accessible path of travel from the parking lot to entrance
- 22 metres from parking space to the door
- Direct access to the main floor and admissions.
- Ramps in 16 of 20 buildings
- Automatic door access to Train Station and Canteen
- Wheelchair available to patrons
- Accessible counters
- Floor area for manoeuvring a wheelchair
- Directional signs
- High contrast signage
- Large lettering
- Slip resistant surfaces
- Low pile carpet, Wooden floor boards and G-floor covering
- Accessible washroom (Canteen)
- Automatic door opener
- Lowered sink counters
- Large stalls to allow transfers
- Good colour contrast (Train Station)
- Continuous hand rails (Train Station & Duford House)
- 14 exhibitions spaces are accessible
Learn more about special needs and accessible services.