While Canada celebrates its 150th birthday the Goulbourn Museum building is quietly turning 145 this year. If its walls could talk they would tell tales of boisterous town hall meetings, lively dances, community parties and, for the last 27 years, Museum exhibitions and events. And although its walls are still standing tall, the Museum’s floors are telling a story of their own. They have started to sag and show their age.
“After years of struggling to build exhibits on drastically uneven floors and worrying about our visitors with mobility issues, we are thrilled to announce that the City of Ottawa will be replacing our floors this summer,” says Tracey Donaldson, Acting Manager.
In order to prepare the space for its face lift, Museum staff will be emptying the building of all exhibits beginning July 4th, and safely storing the artefacts in the History Centre. The construction project is expected to last all summer and will include the addition of some storage and the removal of the raised stage area so all of the floors are one level and accessible.
It is anticipated that the Museum will be under renovation from July to September and, once complete, staff will have to reinstall and reconstruct each exhibit. “We hope to reopen our doors to the public again in October,” says Keith Hobbs, Goulbourn Museum Chairperson. “Although the Museum cannot host visitors during this time, we will continue to have a presence in the community through offsite events and exhibits.”
Staff will also continue to work full-time hours in the History Centre and research appointments can be accommodated upon request.
“We apologize for any inconvenience our temporary closure may cause but hope you will agree the end result will be worth the wait,” says Hobbs.
The Museum will be posting regular updates on its blog and social media so the public can follow the construction progress.