Parks Canada’s new artifact collection facility will be built by Pomerleau under a CA$42m (£24m) contract.
Moriyama & Teshima Architects (Ottawa, Toronto) and NFOE Architects (Montreal) designed the 8,200m2 facility, which will allow for the protection and conservation of the collection under optimal storage and environmental conditions. It will also provide Indigenous peoples, researchers, institutions, and community groups from across the country with access to the collection in one location.
Parks Canada said that protecting the country’s diverse cultural and natural heritage and telling the stories of these objects is an important part of its work. It cares for approximately 31 million historical and archaeological objects, representing over 11,000 years of human history. The new facility will house 25 million archaeological and historical objects under Parks Canada’s care. Objects currently displayed in national historic sites and national parks, as well as ones on loan to partner organisations, will remain where they are and will not be consolidated in the new facility.
“Historical artifacts are irreplaceable and connect us with the places, persons and events that have shaped history in Canada,” said minister of environment and climate change Jonathan Wilkinson. “Today’s $42 million investment will ensure the protection of this important collection for generations to come, while enhancing Parks Canada’s ability to share the stories of these objects with Canadians in new and innovative ways.”
“This new purpose-built facility, located in the city of Gatineau, will provide the necessary storage and environmental conditions for these important pieces of Canada’s shared history,” said Steven MacKinnon, parliamentary secretary to the minister of public services and procurement and accessibility and member of parliament for Gatineau. “In addition, the facility will serve as a model building, by adopting sustainable and energy-efficient green building standards, and will achieve zero carbon emissions through the use of renewable energy.”
“It is a privilege to construct a culturally significant piece of infrastructure that will help preserve Canada’s rich and storied history,” said Pomerleau’s regional vice president for Ottawa, Patrick Hebert. “As a company that has strong and deep Canadian roots, we are proud to work with Parks Canada and our partners to deliver a facility that will reflect the environmental and security demands for preserving our cultural heritage.”
Construction activity will begin shortly and completion is expected in 2023.