Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, has announced funding of $80.5 million to resuscitate the recently closed Canada Science and Technology Museum. John Baird, Cabinet Minister for the Capital Area, was also present at the announcement.
While earlier rumours speculated that the government’s announcement on Monday might detail plans for a brand-new, purpose-built building located in LeBreton Flats, a location favoured by the National Capital Commission, the actual announcement made clear that the money was to be used for renovating the existing location.
“This investment marks the beginning of a new era for the Canada Science and Technology Museum,” said Alex Benay, CEO of the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation. “It will ensure that the museum is fully repaired and upgraded with the latest technologies which will enhance visitor experience-both online and on site. This modernized innovative Canada Science and Technology Museum will also highlight Canada’s past innovation while showcasing the future, inspiring our youth to become future innovators.”
The museum’s 50th anniversary is slated to coincide with Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in 2017.
Opened in 1967, the Museum took over the space of an old bakery and was meant to be temporary. The space can only hold a maximum of 2% of the Museum’s collection.
Last September, it was forced to close due to a leaky roof and subsequent testing which revealed the presence of a high quantity of airborne mould. The building also has asbestos in its roof.
The money will be used by the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation to replace the roof and retrofit the building’s construction to better resist the capital area’s frequent seismic activity.
The minister used the announcement to point out that the federal government has committed $248 million since 2006 to four museums in the National Capital region, including this one, as well as creating the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, the Canadian Immigration Museum at Pier 21 in Halifax and the Canadian Museum of History.
After being shut down in September, the Museum announced that it would not be reopening until January 2015. Its library, located nearby, remains open.
The Canada Science and Technology Museum was one of many infrastructure projects built in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s centenary.