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The Museum of Vancouver

Museum of Vancouver

Showcasing the history of the city, the Museum of Vancouver is a family-friendly place at Vanier Park with vintage neon signs and artifacts of interest.

It’s a fine attraction with educational historical displays and stories from the past.

Museum of Vancouver (MOV)

The Museum of Vancouver is located at 1100 Chestnut Street adjacent to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Vanier Park (where the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival takes place every summer from mid-June until September).

The historical museum is also just a short distance to the Maritime Museum and not too far from Kitsilano Beach.

The Museum of Vancouver isn’t a world-class museum, but it’s still very a good one, and definitely worth visiting if you’re interested in learning about the city’s past. We really like it! It’s also not unreasonably priced at less than $40 for a family of four, including taxes.

The Museum of Vancouver is an especially “best place” to visit on a rainy day, provided that you like museums and history.

Museum of Vancouver Period Display
Historical daily items on display at the museum

What to Expect

At the Museum of Vancouver expect to see Aboriginal artifacts, vintage home appliances like 1950s TVs and laundry machines, and life-like mannequins in period clothing. Also expect to read displays about Vancouver’s history from the early days to the war years and up to near-present-day.

Inside the museum are displays about life in Vancouver from years past, including a collection of old signs from when Vancouver had one of the highest concentrations of neon advertising in North America.

The museum also features a room with videos about historical events on giant screens, an Indigenous dugout canoe and information about well-known local brand names like the White Spot. There’s even a collectible car at the display about the famous drive-in restaurant.

In short, it’s quite a good museum with a wide range of historical items and types of displays.

Collectible Car at Museum of Vancouver
A display about Vancouver’s car culture history

Museum Admission

The Museum of Vancouver is open 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Sunday, and until 8 pm on Thursdays.

Admission fees are $15 for adults, $11 for students, seniors and youth, and $5 for children ages 5 to 11. Children 4 and under are free, and admission for everybody is by donation the last Thursday evening of each month (from 5 to 8 pm).

Click Museum of Vancouver for more information, including current displays.

Tips and Advice

Below is some information and advice to help you make the most out of your trip to the Museum of Vancouver.

  • TIP #1: If you don’t mind crowds and really want your money’s worth, go on the last Thursday evening of the month when admission is by donation.
  • TIP #2: The museum is located close to other best places, including the seawall along Vanier Park (which is great for walks and cycling), the planetarium (located in the same building as the museum), Kitsilano Beach and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. If going to MOV, then check out one or more of these other places on the same day.
  • TIP #3: Consider getting the Vanier Park Explore Pass which gets you into the museum, plus the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre/Planetarium and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. The pass can be purchased at any one of the three vanues at close to $40 for adults and $30 for seniors, students and youth.
  • TIP #4: The Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival is very highly recommended if you like live theatre and Shakespeare. If you are at the Museum of Vancouver in the summer, and you’re not with children, then consider seeing one of the performances (especially if it’s one of the more entertaining comedies).
  • TIP #5: Expect to spend between 30 minutes and 2 hours at the museum depending on who you’re with and your levels of interest in Vancouver history.