heneghan peng architects

Canadian Canoe Museum | Ontario

Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

The Canadian Canoe Museum houses the world’s largest collection of canoes and kayaks on a site adjacent to the historic Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent Severn Waterway. Maximising the opportunity of a Canoe Museum along the waterway, the Museum is horizontal, its workshops, and public spaces, creating vistas to the Lock and up and down the Canal.

The Museum takes inspiration from the form of the Trent Severn Waterway that carves through the Landscape, its undulating form shaping, holding and connecting the outside landscape. The site, is situated along the Canadian Waterways with Peterborough Lock, a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, at its north end, a 20m high stucture built in early 20-th century and still in use.

Highest at the north, close to the Lock, the site slopes to the east and the south. Starting from the highest contour, the design creates a winding ripple in the landscape, the Museum emerging from the ground. Winding through the site, the Canoe Museum creates a necklace of outdoor spaces, one oriented on the lock, a second on the dock and the third, creating a protected area to the south for events.

Like the Canoe builders, who designed a boat robust enough for the waterways yet light enough to be carried across land, the Museum design carefully assesses its site, undulating to the east to maximise the views to the canal, taut along the west, embedding collection spaces in the ground and opening up eating and gathering spaces to the light. Also like the Canoe Builder, there is a pride and assertiveness in a beautiful form, an attention to craft and making, looking to find a connection and celebrate the place.

The museum’s two-acre green roof will provide the community with the possibility of creating edible gardens, native flower pollinators and aboriginal three sister plantings while facilitating efficient management of storm water and fantastic views to the Lift Lock.

Fact sheet


Canadian Canoe Museum




Schematic Design


Associate Architect

Kearns Mancini Architects







heneghan peng architects
14–16 Lord Edward Street, Floor 2
Dublin D02 YC63, Ireland

Tel +353 (0)1 633 9000
Fax +353 1 633 9010



Potsdamer Strasse 98a, 4. OG
10785 Berlin

Tel +49 30 20 89 88 750
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