The Canadian Canoe Museum selects architects for Stage 2 Limited Design Competition

The Canadian Canoe Museum is taking another step towards relocating to the Parks Canada Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site on the Trent-Severn Waterway as a way to boost tourist attendance and revenue for both organizations. The Canadian Canoe Museum is taking the next step in its strategic plan to expand its profile and reach into a national scope which is consistent with the museum’s focus on the stories, cultures and history that is about how we got here and who we are as Canadians.

This past March, the Canadian Canoe Museum announced the Stage 1 Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”). The Stage 1 Request for Qualifications was open to all architects worldwide who had an interest in providing design services to The Canadian Canoe Museum at the Lift Lock and requested that each proponent submit a summary of their qualifications for such a project along with relevant background information – such as references, size of the firm, previous projects, etc. The RFQ was announced to the media, posted on the Canadian Canoe Museum website and on The Stage 1 RFQ closed at the end of March.

The Canadian Canoe Museum received over 90 high-quality submissions from North America, Europe and Asia, and was covered in the media both in Canada and the U.K. The Canadian Canoe Museum appointed a committee of outside stakeholders, development experts and staff to review the submissions and make a recommendation to the board of the museum. The committee made its recommendation on Apr. 29 and was approved by the board on May 12. The Canadian Canoe Museum has notified all proponents of the status of their entry.

The Canadian Canoe Museum is extremely honoured and fortunate to receive submissions of this extent and quality from around the world. It is a testament to the compelling and enduring nature of the Canadian Canoe Museum that so many leading architects are willing to prepare designs for this exciting project.

The firms selected for the Stage 2 Limited Design Competition by the Canadian Canoe Museum are some of the best and brightest firms working in architecture today globally:

• Kohn Pederson Fox of New York City

• Heneghan Peng Architects of Dublin

• The team of Bing Thom Architects of Vancouver + Lett Architects of Peterborough

•  The team of Provencher_Roy of Montreal + NORR of Toronto

• The team of Patkau Architects of Vancouver + Brook McIlroy of Toronto

• 5468796 Architecture Inc. of Winnipeg

Regardless of the nationality of the final selection, a locally licenced architect will be an essential part of the final design team for the project.

Stage 2 of the Competition will run through Aug. 11, 2015. At that time the proponents will be making presentations to the various stakeholders in the project as well as a public open house. The Canadian Canoe Museum will be appointing a Stage 2 selection committee to provide a recommendation to the board on the winning design. The Canadian Canoe Museum is expecting to make a final selection of the design in the fall of this year leading towards the Canada 150 celebration in 2017.

The winning firm will be awarded the contract to design the new museum. There will be a performance-based honourarium provided to the remainder of the firms from $10,000 for the 1st runner-up, $7,500 for the 2nd runner-up, and $5,000 each for the other three firms.

The new Canadian Canoe Museum at this location will consolidate two of the most significant tourism and recreation destinations in the region and offer enhanced opportunities for Canadian families, including the opportunity to better explore the canoe’s starring role in Canada’s history, and to enjoy the diverse water-related programming and associated activities that can be offered by relocating to this historic location.

This initiative represents the potential fulfillment of a long-cherished aspiration for the Canoe Museum – the relocation to a new water-based site that will enable wider and more extensive programming.


• The Canadian Canoe Museum Redevelopment Project Feasibility Study identified the Parks Canada location as the preferred destination for the new museum. The construction of the new museum may include a building of 80,000 square feet and space for a gift shop, a café and a meeting room facility to accommodate as many as 250 people.

• This initiative supports economic growth with new construction projects, as well as the potential to create additional employment and business opportunities along the Trent-Severn Waterway. The Canadian Canoe Museum currently provides an economic contribution to the local region in excess of $10 million annually and supports over 83 direct, indirect and induced jobs. The project has the potential to create as many as 600 direct, indirect and induced construction jobs and up to 23 direct, indirect and induced additional permanent jobs at the new Museum with its expanded programs and facilities.

Says Richard Tucker, executive director, Canadian Canoe Museum, “We are extremely honoured and fortunate to have such high-quality, world-leading architects preparing design proposals for the museum. I am very excited by the potential of this first-class group to develop some really outstanding designs for the museum, the Lift Lock site, Peterborough, the Kawartha Region and all Canadians. I am looking forward to being able to share these designs in the fall with the stakeholders and community and for the opportunity for community input into the museum’s selection process.”  

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