First Floor Gallery
A rich gallery filled with history about the formation of British Columbia including the exploration of the Spanish, Hudson’s Bay Company and other explorers and privateers. Discover our Children’s Activity Deck and stories about ship building, whaling, fishing, deep sea diving and the historic voyage of the dugout canoe, Tilikum. Watch for updates to the Children’s Activity Deck and an addition that highlights Pacific involvement in the War of 1812.
This small gallery tucked into one of the original vaults of the building celebrates all that operates under power. From small engines to large ones, learn about the machines that changed the course of naval transportation.
In 1959, Trekka was the smallest vessel to circumnavigate the globe. Discover her in residence in the mezzanine, one of our spaces where temporary exhibits are typically featured, and learn about her epic story.
The model ship collection at the Maritime Museum of BC exceeds 400 and is one of the largest in Canada. Models come in all shapes and sizes ranging from 2 inches to 17 feet. Throughout history, ship models have served varied purposes from decorative pieces to visualizations of ship plans. Ship modeling can be traced all the way back to ancient civilizations as seen in Egyptian funerary boats over 4,000 years old. Visit Modelmania to see amazing models including handcrafted all-wood models crated to the bone ship made by a French prisoner of war.
Canadian Pacific Steamship Gallery
The Canadian Pacific Steamships played a vital role in the opening and development of BC. With a rugged mountainous terrain that separated BC’s coast from the rest of Canada, the CPR’s Coast Steamship Service was formed in 1901 to provide a vital, scheduled transportation link along the coast in a time before road and rail connections existed. This gallery tells the story that spanned decades of ships that allowed people, freight, vehicles and mail to move in and out of many isolated communities on the coast.
BC Ferries Gallery
This gallery celebrates the ferry system that started in 1958 to serve as a link between Vancouver Island and mainland BC. As one of three ferry systems that existed at the time, the Province of BC grew this transportation link into the organization it is today. This gallery is currently closed.
Royal Navy Gallery
In 1778, Captain Cook anchored two ships, Resolution and Discovery in Nootka Sound. Fourteen years later, Captain Vancouver arrived in Nootka Sound in HMS Discovery to negotiate the transfer of sovereignty over what we call British Columbia from Spain to Great Britain. Learn how the Royal Navy story continues up the Columbia River in 1813 and how the Royal Navy took cues from the Hudson’s Bay Company move North with the American expansion West.
Royal Canadian Navy Gallery
Under redevelopment, we hope to reopen part of this exhibit in 2014.
A jewel of the building, the courtroom was restored in 1996 to what it would have looked like at the turn of the century. This majestic room will amaze and inspire with the detail and the history it conjures. Have a seat where Chief Justice Matthew Baillie Begbie would have sat or dare if you will, to sit in the prisoner’s box.