Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Our Last Week in Ontario

After Church on Sunday the men went to the vintage air show in Gatineau, Quebec. 

First they dropped me off for a glorious afternoon all to myself wandering around the Museum of Civilization. 

#1 Son is a senior programmer there, and right now is working on interactive things for folk to do when they visit the Voodoo Exhibit that starts on November 15.  His office looked out over the Ottawa River to the back of the Federal Parliament Buildings.  He is on a contract now so can work from home which saves 2 hours of driving a day. 

The museum was built to plans drawn up by a First Nations architect, Douglas Cardinal, whose style is traditional and modern and so distinctive.     
He also designed the National Museum of the American Indian ( NMAI ) for the Smithsonian, in the US and had some controversial problems with them.  I will not comment on that unless you ask.  But I like the welcoming style of the buildings he is famous for in Canada.  This is a church he designed for the Canadian Prairies ( St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Red Deer, Alberta)

Even though I don't usually like modern architecture, I do find that his buildings feel embracing and welcoming for some reason.  There was a jazz group playing in front of the First Nations Exhibit on the bottom floor, that was too loud for my old ears so I took the elevator and went to the 4th level to work my way back down to the more public areas.  A lot of folk though were going down the escalator to watch them, as I went up to get away.    I like jazz but this was too loud for my virgin ears. 

The top floor was an historical survey of early explorers like Cartier and Thompson and military folk like Brock and Wolfe.  I studied them all at some time in school but needed a refresher course.  Then the display went into modern times' heros like Nellie McClung and Tommy Douglas.  Level 3 covered how Canada was opened up from the cod-fishing industry on the east coast to farmers, ranchers, loggers and the oil patch in the west.  The scenes presented to inform of that era, made me feel like I had been there.  This pottery shop would have been very popular a few hundred years ago as the country grew. 

The boat builders drydocks were a special place to see for me also. 
I needed longer in this museum.  I could have spent a day in just this area on the third level.

This skylight was also designed by a First Nations artist.  It became more beautiful with each level of the museum I descended and/or ascended.

I could still hear the jazz when I got to level 2 so I decided to check out the children's area.  What a delight that must be for children to visit.  Every exhibit is a trip to somewhere in the world and all are hands-on-areas.  I am not sure about how well that trains youngsters to walk sedately around a real museum.  There was a lot of playing going on.   Children crawled all over this bus that showed how high folk could be stacked during public transit in the area to experience south asian cultures.   
It is how folk really live and get around in our world, so is realistic and a truthful way to teach young folk.
# 1 Son phoned me to tell me I had 20 minutes more......before they picked me up for dinner.  I had actually visited most of level 2 but never finished level 1,  below the picture of the entrance which is on level 2.   I found it all confusing until I found out that Level 2 is the main level.  I will blog some more tomorrow.  We are in a very quiet camp by the Batchawana Bay which has 3 miles of sandy beach.  We plan to stay awhile as it is so peaceful.  I will blog more about the museum tomorrow.


  1. Mr. Cardinal's designs are very fluid! No sharp angles. I think that helps to make them feel so welcoming. The church is beautiful! The Museum appears to be quite interesting, and it's nice that you had so much time to explore. Your new camp site sounds nice. Looking forward to hearing more!!

  2. great trip we took again Thanks for the invite

  3. Interesting to see designs presumably not influenced by other than his own imagination. I like them.

  4. Some view your son has! And what a neat job. Loved the tour of the museum and the introduction to the architect. I don't like modern architecture that is all straight and angular, but this is curvy.