What is the Ingenium Centre?
The Ingenium Centre will be a state-of-the-art facility designed to protect and showcase Canada’s national science and technology collection, entrusted to Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation.
Currently under construction right next to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, the Ingenium Centre will offer public access to Ingenium’s Library and Archives. In addition, public guided tours will make it one of the most accessible collection storage facilities in Canada.
The collection includes more than 85,000 artifacts of different shapes and sizes, including locomotives, tractors, porcelain plates, seeds, radioactive satellite debris, and household objects. Ingenium’s three museums — the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum — can only display around 12 percent of the collection at any given time.
- In 2016, Ingenium received $150-million in federal funding to build the Ingenium Centre. Construction started in 2017.
- The facility will be nearly 36,000 m², four floors but about 10 stories high, housing over 85,000 artifacts and nearly two million 2D artifacts.
- Moving the entire collection will take approximately two years to complete.
This complex project will involve moving:
- The 1201 Locomotive — the largest object in the collection. It weighs 185 t (410,000 lbs), and is 23 m long by 3 m wide. It was used at Expo 1986, and was built in the Angus shops of Montreal around 1944.
- 12 locomotives and 10 rail cars
- 177 cars — the oldest is the 1867 Seth Taylor Steam, built in Québec
- 190 bicycles
- 6,000 agricultural artifacts
- 4,000 domestic technology artifacts
- 40,000 pieces of trade literature, 29,500 monographs, 3,000 rare books, and 2,000 serials
Scheduled for completion later this year, this four-storey building – the size of a football field – will consolidate over 85,000 science and technology artifacts which are currently spread across three warehouses. The Ingenium Centre will also be home to nearly 800 m (2600 linear feet) of archives, a Research Institute, conservation laboratories, workshops, and staff workspaces.
Library and Archives
A modern library and archives — open to the public in Ottawa and accessible online to users worldwide — will offer a rich array of library books, rare books, trade literature, and other resources, ideal for users researching the history of science, technology, agriculture, and food in Canada.
The Research Institute will be a place for Ingenium staff, visiting scholars, students, and guest curators to build communities of knowledge around the national collection, and to inject new ideas and experiences into our public offerings.
A special collection and artifact examination room will be an intimate, hands-on space to engage with objects, to learn from the complexities of genuine material culture experiences, and to encourage multi-person encounters with objects. The Research Institute will include a collaborative collection space as an accessible service for researchers and teachers, along with a robust fellowship program.
Digital Innovation Lab
The Digital Innovation Lab will take Ingenium’s collection beyond the physical walls of the Ingenium Centre. This lab will enable users to develop new approaches in digitization, 3D modelling, visualizations, games and game engines, and augmented, virtual, and mixed-reality applications.
Through cutting-edge digital initiatives, and in collaboration with Digital Humanities scholars throughout Canada, Ingenium is positioned to be a national and international leader in digital museum exploration and practises.
Images – Move Preparations and Construction