Scheduled to open in 2021, the Museum of North Vancouver is a new North Shore museum that’s still under construction in Lower Lonsdale.
The original plan was for it to open in the fall of 2020. Because of COVID-19, however, completion of the museum got postponed. The exact opening date is to be confirmed, but the hope is for it to be in May of 2021.
MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver
Located at 115 West Esplanade, so just steps from both Lonsdale Quay and the Shipyards District, MONOVA showcases the history of North Vancouver (or at least it will when it opens). Stories told include ones about life during the world wars, how the Shipyards worked, the early lumber industry and local Indigenous peoples.
The place will showcase permanent collections of North Vancouver artifacts including an original street car from 1908. It’ll also feature exhibits that change from time to time.
While the museum is preparing to open, the MONOVA website offers free online exhibits for visitors to explore. The themes are all related to North Vancouver and they will likely be comparable to the kinds of exhibits inside the future bricks-and-mortar museum.
Hours and Admission
At the time of writing this article, MONOVA’s hours of operation and admission rates have yet to be determined. More details will be added later in 2021. Admission likely won’t be free or by donation. We expect rates, however, to be reasonable and affordable.
What to Expect
MONOVA is in a modern 16,000 square-foot facility that was built and designed specifically for the museum. At a cost of $8.5 million, it’s an impressive attraction!
When it opens it’ll be a place for interactive multimedia exhibits, innovative programs and events. It’ll showcase North Vancouver’s history as well as stories about the region’s present and future.
At the museum expect to find interactive displays. It’s not a place that you can only look at things. Instead, it offers tactile and interactive ways to experience the region’s history, neighbourhoods, culture and people.
Inside the museum there will be the restored Streetcar 153 which used to run up and down Lonsdale Avenue (much like how street cars still operate on the hilly roads of San Francisco today). The venue will also feature a carving of The Two Sisters (Sch’ich’iyuy) by Indigenous artist Wade Baker of the local Squamish (or Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation. (The Two Sisters are the North Shore’s iconic mountains which are also called The Lions.)
Museum Accessibility and Parking
Being in a new and modern building, the museum is wheelchair accessible. Located close to Lonsdale Quay, it is also convenient to get to. The SeaBus and main bus terminal are just a 5-minute walk away.
If you drive to the museum you’ll find free parking on the surrounding streets (if you’re lucky and there’s a spot available). There is also pay parking at the Lonsdale Quay Public Market, at the nearby Pinnacle Hotel, in the ICBC parkade across the street, and underground at the Shipyards (which is about a 5-minute walk away).
Other Things to See and Do In the Area
Other places of interest near the Museum of North Vancouver include the following (all of which are within a 5-minute walk away):
Lots of events take place nearby at different times of the year. Some happen at Lonsdale Quay, some at the Shipyards and some at nearby Waterfront Park. The Shipyards Night Market, for example, occurs on Friday evenings from May until September most years. Live music also often takes place at Shipbuilder’s Square on Saturday evenings in the summer.
For a list of other events and things to do in the area see our article about the City and District of North Vancouver.
Visit the MONOVA website for more information about what to expect.
The new Museum will join the Archives of North Vancouver under the MONOVA brand. The Archives are located at 3203 Institute Road in Lynn Valley (about a 15-minute drive away).
Other articles that may be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Places for History and Culture
- Museum of Vancouver
- Rainy Day Activities
- North Vancouver
- Vancouver Activities for Children
- Educational Places in the Lower Mainland