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Best Local History & Culture in Vancouver

By: Cityseeker
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BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

This hall of fame museum features a large display gallery, tons of great feature exhibits and a hands-on participation space where you can "go ballistic." There is a climbing wall, rowing machines and bikes. Test your ball-throwing skills for speed and accuracy and race against the clock and computers. The Hall of Fame has exhibits on two of Canada's greatest heroes, Terry Fox and Rick Hansen.

Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art is named after the artist who explored his Haida roots through sculpture and other forms of artistic expression. This public gallery aims to share and promote aboriginal art and give viewers a new perspective from which to view the world. With events and exhibitions helping to preserve the unique aboriginal cultures and their mythologies, the Bill Reid Gallery also impacts the community through lectures and educational programs.

Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Vancouver Police Museum

This museum, housed in Vancouver's former Coroner's Court, boasts displays of Vancouver's most infamous era of crime. The Police Museum now offers numerous programs specifically for kids. A walking tour called "Sins of the City" details Vancouver's rich history of vice and vice crime. The museum is located in Gastown.

Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Museum of Vancouver

As part of the complex of museums located in Vanier Park, Vancouver museum is paired with the Macmillan Planetarium at the Pacific Space Centre. It has been in operation since 1894, with most exhibits and presentations focusing on the history of the city and the regions surrounding it. Renowned for its collection of natural history, ethnology, archaeology, and Asian artifacts, there are many things here to see and explore.

Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Vancouver Maritime Museum

Among this Kitsilano center's exhibits is the RCMP schooner St Roch. With a history to rival that of any seafaring vessel, the boat managed to make it through the Northwest Passage (and back), as well as circumnavigate North America. There is also a reference library and gift shop to explore, and facilities for banquets and meetings. It's located near Vanier Park.

Vancouver, BC, Canada
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The Old Hastings Mill Store Museum

At the foot of Alma Street in Point Grey, you will find this small wooden structure that is considered to be the oldest existing building in Vancouver. Built in 1865, Hastings Mill Museum was once a center of trade and commerce for the ships that passed through the young port city of Vancouver. This site of city history houses a collection of pioneer and native artifacts, including photos, furniture, clothing and baskets. This famous museum has seasonal timings and is closed in December and January, please call ahead for details.

Vancouver, BC, Canada
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BC Golf Museum and Hall of Fame

This small golf museum, archive, library and meeting place is perfect for those who want to learn more about this relaxing, centuries-old sport. Antique equipment like bags, clubs, and balls are on display, as well as photos of memorable games, tournaments, and players, and world-class courses to admire. Other golf-related facts and artifacts fill the room. For those new in town and in the mood to tee-off, information on the province's best courses can be found among the library's documents.

Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Beaty Biodiversity Museum

This national history museum at the University of British Columbia has a mammoth collection of over two million specimens which includes the famed 25 meter (82 feet) female blue whale skeleton, supposedly bigger than a brontosaurus. The museum's main aim is to spread the awareness of biodiversity and how it impacts the world we live in. This underground museum is worth the trip for the suspended blue whale skeleton itself. Enjoy the information shared by the guides about the blue whales and other specimens. There is also an interactive lab where you can try to be a scientist by comparing the claws of different bird species and more, under a microscope. The museum also has a family space filled with books, art and interactive exhibits to keep the kids interested and entertained.

Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Burnaby Village Museum

Built as a memorial to British Columbia's centennial in 1958, this four-hectare (ten-acre) open-air museum is a recreation of an early 20th-century community. Among its 30 buildings and outdoor scenes are a schoolhouse, blacksmith's shop, dentist's office and a theater. It also has an ice cream parlor but the main attraction is a restored 1912 carousel. During the holiday season, the museum puts on a spirited Heritage Christmas.

Burnaby, BC, Canada
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Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site

Near the sunlit banks of the Lower Fraser River, the village of Steveston became home to a booming salmon cannery in 1894. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery burgeoned to great heights, going on to become British Columbia's leading producer of sockeye salmon, a feat that earned it the moniker 'Monster Cannery'. Besides being a beacon of the fishing industry on Canada's West Coast, the cannery also promoted a healthy multicultural philosophy, one where people of various descents worked alongside each other, rolling can after can of the indigenous fish. While the industry soon collapsed after the advent of machinery and the conclusion of the war, the building of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery continues to acquaint visitors with the golden heydays of fishing, through riveting guided tours of the cannery-turned-museum, and exhibits of age-old canning machinery and equipment.

Richmond, BC, Canada
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